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A Different Lesson / Tropes M to Z

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     Tropes M-O 
  • Made of Iron: Lampshaded but also partly averted—characters get hurt badly a number of times, take time to recover, and have to be careful about side-effects and after-effects.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Vachir, thanks to being the Made of Iron Implacable Man as well as the Healing Factor provided by Chao's dark chi.
    Vachir, after being hurled the entire length of a bridge, slamming into a wall, and leaving an Impact Silhouette: Sorry to disappoint ya. Was that supposed to tickle?
  • Making a Splash: In the fic's setting, high-level kung fu masters can manipulate chi so as to create and/or control various Elemental Powers (although these are the Chinese elements, of course, not Western) based on the year of their birth. Po's elemental ability is revealed to be water, which aside from the usual sorts of attacks and powers (some right out of Katara's book) also allows him to cleanse and purify which is how he removes Heian Chao's corruption from the Pool of Sacred Tears.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: After the defeat of Heian Chao, Tai Lung and Tigress celebrate by having sex in countless unusual places outside of their respective bedrooms—in the training hall, the bathhouse, the scroll room, behind the arena bleachers, in the pantry, and on the floor of the Hall of Warriors by the Moon Pool. The given explanation is a cross between Overcome with Desire, wanting to make up for lost time, and getting their fill before the Emperor arrives, but it wouldn't be surprising if the risk and thrill of getting caught (or watched) factored into it, at least on Tai Lung's part. In any event, Hilarity Ensues.
  • Malignant Plot Tumor: What starts out as a story about Tai Lung redeeming himself, making friends, learning to lighten up, and being accepted turns into a battle to take out assassins, a serial killer, and a dark chi wizard threatening all of China.
  • Mama Bear: Xiulan is willing to stand up to Master Shifu and the entire Jade Palace crew, the Dragon Warrior (who as much as he's a Nice Guy is still a legendary figure of kung fu to be accorded respect), the Wu Sisters, and especially Tai Lung when it comes to protecting her little daughter, Yi. Other than the Sisters, this is misguided but understandable after her having lost her first husband in the snow leopard's rampage. It's also a large part of how Heian Chao is able to influence and control her.
  • Master of Illusion: Chao uses such an ability to disguise the briefly-possessed Xiu as Tai Lung during the Frameup.
  • The Matchmaker: As soon as she realizes Tai Lung has romantic designs on Tigress, Viper does anything and everything she can to help them get together, ranging from contriving ways to get them in close proximity at the Ghost Festival, to planning a "Truth or Dare" game culminating in a kiss between them, to actually instructing the snow leopard in the ways of courting (specifically, getting close to Tigress). Also applies to Mei Ling to an extent, who once she learns of the situation embarks on Operation: Jealousy to help.
  • May–December Romance: Tai Lung is almost twenty years older than Tigress (and Jia is about the same age difference from Po). Xiulan is also much older than Zhuang.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • "You didn't see anything." "Sure did, every last beautiful moment." Also, with original movie dialogue, "If that's the way you want it..." "That's the way it has to be!" Said by Xiu and Po, of all people. Crane's "Don't mention it. Ever," spoken this time to Tai Lung and in a completely different manner. And the "You cannot defeat me! You're just a big. Fat. PANDA!" "No, I'm/he's THE big fat panda." exchange appears again, with Xiu the one who refuses to believe and Tigress responding on Po's behalf.
    • An example where an entire passage of text is echoed—the very opening lines of the fic, where Shifu first visits Tai Lung in his cell, are echoed when he visits him again later after he's been arrested for murdering Shen Zhuang. Considering the second one is an example of whether the snow leopard has truly changed due to the offer made in the first, the parallel drawn is apt.
    • Another example of an entire passage of text appearing again—the dream Tai Lung had of Tigress slipping into his bed, only for it to turn out Jia was there for real, is reused when Tigress genuinely does come to Tai Lung's bedroom after they are finally together as a couple. Amusingly, the similarity is enough for Tai Lung himself to notice it, and thus test Tigress to ensure he isn't dreaming again.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Heian Chao means "The Great Dark One." He obviously chose it himself. His original name was something of one too, since Xun, meaning "quick", references his species.
    • Wei Chang means "Towering and Smooth," which is clearly meant to be ironic.
    • Shen Zhuang means "Robust and Strong", "Deep Thinker".
    • Yi means "Gift" (or "Joy").
    • Xiulan means "Elegant Orchid." Also somewhat ironic.
    • Xiu means "Graceful," Chun means "Spring" (or "Honest"), and Jia means "Beautiful." Or "Good". Given at birth, before it was known what they'd be, but also by an assassin mother who planned to raise them in the family business.
    • Wu Qing, the mother of the Wu Sisters, has a name which means "Pitiless", "Merciless" and "Ruthless", while Xu Mei, the mother of Mei Ling, means "Gentle" and "Beautiful". The contradiction between them could not be more obvious. Xuan's name, meanwhile, means either "High" or "Chosen", which fits his background as nobility in Kunlun Shan, but also applies to his being an Imperial bodyguard, his being Chen's close personal friend (and Yong's), and his place in the backstory for how he acts as a role model and inspiration to Mei, Jia, and even Chun to some degree.
    • Tai Lung's given name, Qiao Gang, means "Handsome, Hard, and Unbending". His father's name, Yong, means "Brave or Bold", his mother's, Jian, means "Determined or Resolute", and his brother De, The Casanova who will go after Anything That Moves, has an Ironic Name meaning "Virtue".
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Zigzagged. In a rarer gender inversion of Stuffed into the Fridge, two of the most prominent female characters in the story, Mei Ling and Xiulan, are motivated by male deaths in Backstory, Mei by her father Wu Xuan (who is given enough personality, value, and backstory, and is remembered and honored often enough, to come across more as Dropped a Bridge on Him), Xiulan by her first husband Dishi and then by her current husband Zhuang. The two deaths with the greatest Emotional Torque in the story are both men (Zhuang and Vachir), and while the latter starts out extremely unsympathetic, this changes simply due to the suffering he's put through (and a bit of Backstory) while the former immediately starts out sympathetic and ends up motivating a large number of characters to acts of heroism (in fact he is, as noted below, Too Good for This Sinful Earth, a trope usually reserved for women). While both Chang and his wife are put through horrific torture, it's Chang who suffers the worst (and this despite being extremely unsympathetic to begin with as well) and is treated as such. While the Big Bad is male, many readers considered the eldest Wu Sister, Xiu, to be far worse as a villain, and while his fate is more graphic and violent, hers remains filled with subtle and disturbing horror which did not inspire sympathy in the vast majority of readers. And the only ones of the Five to come close to dying are male, with one of them receiving a fair amount of mourning time from the other characters. The closest the trope comes to being played straight is through the victims Vachir/Chao murders...but the genders of most of them are never specified. Tai Lung does consider himself expendable compared to the others (particularly Po and Tigress), but this is due to being The Atoner and the nature of his crimes, not his gender.
  • Mercy Kill: Tai Lung to Vachir. Partly it's because the latter is dying from a fatal injury there is no way to treat under the circumstances, and so he wants the pain to end, but mostly it's to keep Chao from reinstating the Demonic Possession that prior to this had made it so he couldn't end his misery himself.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: Tai Lung uses this early on, in reference to his tenacity, though as usual subverted since he notes he doesn't have a middle name.
  • Mexican Standoff: When the Wu Sisters are holding Ping captive in his kitchen, Jia is desperate to save him because he is Po's adopted father (the sisters knew the panda's biological family, and had promised to help keep an eye on him). So she ends up putting a knife to Xiu's throat even as she in turn is menacing the goose...and then Chun does the same to Jia. For several very tense minutes the three are involved in Gunpoint Banter to try and resolve the situation; eventually Chun realizes Jia is right and switches so they're both menacing Xiu...but then another person comes into the kitchen, upsetting the balance. It doesn't end well.
  • Mighty Glacier: Vachir. When Tai Lung fights him one-on-one in Chorh-Gom, the snow leopard is left incredibly battered, bleeding, and bruised afterward, especially after the rhino employs Thai fighting against him. He is also able to punch holes into stone walls (being left uninjured by this is due to the dark chi possession of Chao, and is an example of Made of Iron, but it also shows how much strength the rhino has to do it in the first place). As for being slow? Prime example would be when Tai Lung and Tigress are charging toward him to deliver a double thrust-kick to his stomach, and Vachir can't get out of the way in time.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Near the end of the story, Ping walks in on Tai Lung and Po just as the former is holding out an orange to the latter (the fruit is used as part of the New Year's festival, wherein someone who loves another writes their name on it, then throws it in water to be carried to the deity of love). Ping responds, "Son, was there something you wanted to tell me?"
  • Modest Royalty: Played with. When Emperor Chen appears at the end of the story, he's decked out in the rich and regal robes you'd expect for the Lord of Ten Thousand Years. However, as soon as the formalities are dispensed with, he takes off his robes to spar shirtless with Tai Lung, then joins Po and the snow leopard in the kitchen dressed more simply and acting far more relaxed, even insisting they call him by name and that he'd do away with formal titles entirely if he could get away with it.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Occurs after Tai Lung and Tigress's second sex scene; amusingly, the sheet isn't even mentioned during the act itself (although this does suggest the realistic point that those in the middle of sex aren't likely to notice or remark upon the bedding, and also keeps it from being intrusive). Luckily for the cats, they must have pulled the sheet up Just in Time, since it happens to cover his waist and her chest right when Shifu appears in the doorway—also justifying the trope since, while they wouldn't have wanted to be caught by anyone, they especially wouldn't have wanted it to be him.
  • Mommy Issues: Played with. While Wu Qing didn't beat her children, there was more than enough verbal abuse to justify turning out badly.
  • Mood Whiplash: Deliberate contrasts in emotion and tone are set up at several points in the story, with a placement to suggest either irony, the Genre Shift going on (i.e. horror intruding on action and comedy), or a Gut Punch depending on circumstances. Chapter 17 starts with a fun slumber party scene (complete with "Truth or Dare"), only to segue into a gruesome murder; Chapter 24 consists of first Mantis, then Viper helping a pathetic Tai Lung learn how to romance Tigress only to switch to possessed Vachir threatening a family and murdering their child; Chapter 33 starts with a Chew-Out Fake-Out when Shifu catches Tigress and Tai Lung in bed together and banter courtesy of Viper and Mei Ling, switches to a dark and grim foray into the mind of Heian Chao (complete with his corruption of the Sacred Pool), only to jump back to Tai Lung desperately trying to buy birth control herbs from the apothecary, and then seeing Chao's dark chi invading the Valley; and in Chapter 38, the tension and distress of the trial and near-execution is finally relieved after Chao's power is broken by plenty of hugging and renewed bonds of friendships, two couples being openly established by public kisses, and then finally Tai Lung's opium Mushroom Samba.
  • More Than Mind Control: Chao's possession, while obviously fueled by The Dark Side and The Corruption, also is made more effective by the fact he manipulates his victims into giving in/joining him/carrying out his desires by tapping into their own secret urges, inflaming their vices or flaws, or otherwise encouraging them to act on their own beliefs and choices. Whether it's Vachir's desire for Revenge and Knight Templar tendencies, Monkey's jealousy and possessiveness when it comes to Tigress, Tai Lung's pride and fiery temper, or Xiulan and the rest of the village's willingness to believe the worst of the snow leopard, it's a very twisted and disturbing phenomenon seeing how quickly characters can be made to submit, give away their will, or let loose their own inner demons. The fact Chao is directly influencing Life Energy (and thus the essence of a person's spirit and consciousness) just makes it all the more believable, and unsettling.
  • Mr. Exposition: Thanks to the fact he has personal knowledge of Chao that no one else does, Oogway provides several Infodumps regarding his powers, Backstory, and even some of his Evil Plan (couched in generalities or prophecies, of course) to both Tai Lung and Shifu. Yet he also has to spend a fair amount of time explaining his own rationales and philosophies to the snow leopard to get him to even listen (and forgive), and at the end of the story he even explains the meaning of previously obscure plot points, makes suppositions about the future, and summons other spirits to help bring closure and explanations for some dangling plot threads.
  • Mr. Fanservice:
    • Tai Lung, being a very large and muscular male who goes around perpetually shirtless most of the time, was already eye-candy for viewers who are into men, at least if they also didn't mind (or were attracted to) villains...but since in this story he's a protagonist on his way to becoming a hero, it's even easier for readers to be drawn to him. Ironically, the author actually gives him a proper shirt (sleeveless, of course), but that doesn't stop there being plenty of scenes where it gets removed (training scenes, as well as ones involving construction and repair work), and even one bathhouse scene where he's wearing only a towel.
    • Emperor Chen, despite being seventy-some years old, is revealed at the end of the story to be in incredible muscular shape, which gets shown off in his own Shirtless Scene where he performs in a kung fu tournament exhibition with Tai Lung, to the excitement (and swooning) of many of the ladies watching.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Downplayed, since it's only accomplished by word choice and a certain philosophical vagueness to add portent, but the scene where Shifu builds up what Tai Lung's first new lesson will be, only for it to turn out to be repairwork (and the "amazing" weapon being a hammer) certainly makes such a mundane activity and tools seem more exciting and meaningful than they really are. And while the observations Shifu makes have a great deal of truth to them, and performing such things will teach Tai Lung humility he sorely needs (thus justifying the stress being placed upon them), it's also fairly clear the red panda is Trolling the snow leopard to some degree. The fact this is a Motif for the fic (referenced in its title, no less) and highly symbolic doesn't hurt.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: After learning of Tai Lung's romantic interest in Tigress, Jia threatens on several occasions to kill Tigress so she can claim the snow leopard for herself. However, in the end she doesn't go through with it.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Tai Lung's point of no return from the movie, rejecting his father's apology and love and almost killing him for the Dragon Scroll, becomes this to him once he's no longer controlled by rage and hatred. To an extent, the rampage itself also becomes this, but it's mostly that act of filial impiety. Another key moment of Character Development.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Tai Lung speaks during the "Truth or Dare" of a time when he was young and had rushed to save travelers who were caught hanging on the Thread of Hope after it broke and fell; interestingly, it seems this actually contributed to his becoming a Fallen Hero, since the lesson he took from it was that he "wasn't strong enough" and it's his drive to be the best or else he'll be worthless that ends up breaking him when he is turned down by Oogway.
    • After clearly understanding just why Tai Lung turned out the way he did, Shifu has come to view how he raised the snow leopard to be his biggest mistake and regret, and so he is now determined to do whatever it takes to atone and help his son become the hero he should have been.
    • Jia, meanwhile, considers her father Wu Xuan's death to be her greatest failure, since she believes that he would never have died if she hadn't attempted to keep him in her life and thus encourage Xiu to kill him for "holding her back."
    • Oogway also happens to have his fair share of failures, all involving Xun Chao and how his inability to see his student's Fatal Flaw led to him falling into darkness and the deaths of all his fellow students and many innocent children, as well as the fact that imprisoning him rather than killing him is part of what led to Tai Lung's own descent into villainy.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: Xiu, after she is 'gifted' with Chao's dark chi, discovers that, as the falcon himself puts it, a mortal mind cannot handle the full depth and power of so much arcane knowledge, and so she is driven (more) insane. While some of it is also due to Po breaking the connection between them before Chao can drain her chi, this is also why she ends up catatonic and locked within her own mind.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Heian Chao, “the Great Dark One”.
  • National Animal Stereotypes: Aside from the obvious (Po and his panda stereotypes, snow leopards being native to Tibet), the author explicitly references several males who once attracted Tigress's eye as having species connected with their homelands—a wolf mercenary from Siberia, a fox from Japan, a tiger from the capital, and a Gir lion from India. Additionally, the Great Khan is described as a wolverine, Chao is an Amur falcon, and Oogway is suggested to be native to Galapagos. One notable exception is making Vachir and most other rhinos be Mongolian in origin, despite those in the film being Javan in appearance, due to the Anvil of Heaven being placed at Chorh-Gom and Vachir's name being Mongolian for "thunderbolt"; this is addressed in one of the sequel vignettes when Vachir reflects on his family having Javan ancestry but having relocated to live among the Mongolian steppe tribes many generations ago. Other examples occur in the sequel vignettes and shuffles as well.
  • Necromancer: Chao. A bit of logic may apply in precisely how he gained this ability, since when his Backstory is eventually told, it is revealed that he was once a great healer and, had he stayed on the side of good, could have been the best doctor in the empire. I.e., as a master of chi he could already manipulate Life Energy. May also tie into how he can perform a Summoning Ritual.
  • Never Found the Body: Tigress points out regarding Mantis that, because he was dropped from an arrow slit inside Chorh-Gom, and no one was able to find his body, there was still a good chance he might be alive, despite him having been badly battered at the time. And it turns out she was right.
  • Never Heard That One Before: Unsurprisingly, Tai Lung's thought during the roofing work, when Monkey heckles him about "taking a catnap", is "Like I haven't heard that one a million times before. How brilliantly original!" Unlike most examples of the trope, however, Monkey isn't saying this to be genuinely funny, or out of true ignorance, but a deliberate attempt to get a rise out of the snow leopard.
  • Never My Fault: Since Heian Chao is not only the Big Bad, but a Well-Intentioned Extremist (originally) who believes I Did What I Had to Do, it's to be expected he would blame others for his own mistakes and choices. However, it takes quite the self-delusion, Moral Dissonance, and Implausible Deniability to claim, right after having killed all of his fellow students, that it is their fault because he didn't want to kill them but they "got in his way".
  • New Era Speech: Chao informs Xiu, rather bombastically, that Tai Lung's chi will let him bring about a "new order which all of China sorely needs" in which "the weak shall be strong" and "the world will never be the same. It will be better." He later gives Tai Lung a different outline, focused on how he will supposedly use his power to ensure all who serve and obey him will never have to suffer and die or lose anyone they love.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Played with. The revelation that Chao has power over ice chi, which is both Foreshadowed and makes perfect sense for such a powerful master of chi, ends up not mattering when he has to face the pairing of Tai Lung and Po's Fire and Water chi. Also, while the protection which Oogway has Shifu set up over the Jade Palace as a barrier between Chao and the Heroes does come out of nowhere, it too ends up being fairly insignificant in the Final Battle: although it prevents the Big Bad from possessing or outright controlling his opponents, he's still quite able to use dark chi to horrific effect on Tigress and Jia, as well as strongly influence both Tai Lung and Po's emotions. The barrier only provides the Heroes enough wiggle room to still fight, with it being the combination of Tai Lung and Po's chi and kung fu and Tigress throwing the Golden Spear that finally does Chao in. Even the Urn of Whispering Warriors being able to release the Warriors of Tenshu and the Sword of Heroes being able to seal gateways to the underworld, as useful and sudden as these abilities seem to be, aren't precisely played straight, seeing as this doesn't contradict anything revealed by the movie, the KFP website, or Art of Kung Fu Panda.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Po's usage of the Wuxi Finger Hold also freed Chao.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Initially, Chao's attempt to use the murder of Zhuang to turn the People Puppet villagers of the Valley against Tai Lung was a brilliant scheme which took advantage of the snow leopard being viewed as a Falsely Reformed Villain with a Once Done, Never Forgotten past. But once the truth comes out who really killed him, and Shifu and Po succeed in freeing the villagers from his control, this same plot is what sways even die-hard haters like Xiulan to Tai Lung's side, and compels Tai Lung and Shifu to seek Chao out in his lair. Oops.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Thanks to Chao's Necromancy, the Anvil of Heaven returns as an army of zombies and skeletons to battle the heroes. While they have a finite number rather than endlessly spawning, they do seem to be fairly unkillable and can't be stopped until Vachir is freed from Demonic Possession. And when it's a large proportion out of a thousand troops, that's a lot to swarm with.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: As evidenced twice—once in the past from his friend Master Dog, once in the present from Mantis when possessing Monkey, Chao's pride is such that he cannot bear being called a coward. Whether his response afterward proves or disproves his cowardice is debatable, as he certainly proves he isn't averse to entering into fierce, even vicious combat and he kills, or he thinks he kills, the accuser in question, but attacking those who call him out rather than admitting he could be wrong is still pretty cowardly.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • Happens twice to Tai Lung, once when his working to save Po's life after the Wu Sisters' attack leads to Tigress and Monkey accusing him of the panda's murder, and a far worse one when his deciding to turn back to help Xiulan instead of returning to the palace (and establishing an alibi) gets him locked up and put on trial for Zhuang's murder. Yet Tai Lung doesn't use this as an excuse to fall back on villainy—partly because there's plenty of other good things he does that don't result in bad karma for him, partly because he knows the bad karma is actually being enforced by Heian Chao, and partly because in the end his name is cleared.
    • Zhuang could be said to suffer from this trope, since his death comes about due to trying to convince his wife to lay off Tai Lung, and trying to save Ping's life, but since he still succeeds in clearing Tai Lung's name and his daughter will be well looked after it's debatable whether he views what happens as a punishment—certainly not one to justify refusing to do good deeds.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Po of all people, as well as Tigress, administer one of these to Xiu at Wu Dan. An even worse one occurs during the final battle, when Tai Lung uses almost every single kung fu technique he knows, in rapid, random succession, to take Xiu out. Both times, she most definitely deserved it. Chao also received one at the hands of Po and Tai Lung, while Tai Lung himself received one from Vachir.
  • Noodle Incident
    • The contents of Oogway's more explicit love letters.
    • Also, the third usage of the Wuxi Finger Hold, which was actually a Rule of Three / Rule of Funny gag and never meant to be explained. Although it's entirely possible, after the third movie, that this could be sending the one it's used on to the Spirit Realm.
    • After Tigress and Tai Lung start being intimate everywhere they can and Po accidentally walks in on them, he's left in shock and says he can never look at plum juice the same way again.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Tai Lung says this about Vachir, when trying to convince himself he'd died during the escape. And of course, it turns out he was wrong. Also, Jia regarding Po's throat-slicing and Monkey regarding Mantis.
  • Not a Game: After nearly being killed by Xiu and declaring he now has a "cool" kung fu scar, Po gets lectured by Tigress that lives are in danger, matters are extremely serious, and he needs to stop acting like a cub and grow up.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Tai Lung knows better than to resist arrest, let alone kill any of the guards when they try to arrest him for Zhuang's murder (since even without knowing about the Demonic Possession he was well aware they'd never allow him Wrongful Accusation Insurance). He also is lucky enough not to be found bent over the victim, nor does he Manhandle the Murder Weapon (since it was removed from the scene). However, his later attempt to escape prison (complete with threatening Shifu's life as a hostage) really doesn't do much to prove his innocence (though in his defense he was suffering from Sanity Slippage brought on by the trauma of being imprisoned again). And he does have the unfortunate luck of being found by the city guard right as he was trying to calm Xiulan down.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Inverted and averted—it's one of the heroes who says this regarding their chances in the final battle if they all work together, and despite some hairy moments and coming close to losing Shifu, the Heroes win.
  • Nothing Personal: Jia tries to pull this trope on Po at Wu Dan, based on the fact she's a Punch-Clock Villain Forced into Evil who owed him The Promise. Surprisingly, even though this is all true, she is sincere, and he acknowledges these facts and shows regret for it, he still takes her out with the nerve strike instead of surrendering and agreeing to their/Chao's terms so he can learn about his parents—because it's also not personal for him, just something that has to be done if the heroes are to win.
  • Not Me This Time: Thanks to being Reformed, but Rejected, but believed to be a Falsely Reformed Villain, Tai Lung gets this several times—first being accused of nearly killing Po, then suspected of Vachir's killings around the Valley (something Xiulan is grudgingly forced to admit wasn't him), and finally put on trial for killing Zhuang. This last one, at least, is helped along not only by his former villainy but also by the authorities and innocent villagers being under Demonic Possession More Than Mind Control at the time.
  • Not Quite Dead: Xiu, who suffers not only from a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown but ends up stabbed (front and back!), yet somehow still has the willpower to get back up and keep fighting, even if it's just to demand chi healing so she can do so. On the heroes' side, Mantis, who survives nearly being crushed and then falling into a miles-deep chasm, although this is justified in-story both by his own usage of chi techniques and the intervention of Oogway.
  • Not So Different:
    • From the first time he appears in the story, Vachir notices this about himself and Tai Lung (and disliked admitting it), reflecting on the similarities between them in his memories of their first meeting, namely that they were both willing to do anything to get what they wanted (or felt was due them), as well as to achieve vengeance on someone they felt had slighted them. As the story progresses, Tai Lung in turn learns just what a phenomenal fighter the rhino is once they finally end up in combat against each other. After they are left together on the ledge in Chorh-Gom and stories are shared, Vachir reveals how his Knight Templar attitude led him to fall into He Who Fights Monsters, and the rhino understands that his subsequent actions were no better or different than Tai Lung's rampage. And both of them were pushed into their atrocities by Chao's More Than Mind Control. The snow leopard finally admits that if matters had been different, they could have been friends.
    • Tai Lung and Chao, at least in Backstory, share a number of traits—both the greatest warrior/chi master of their generation, both filled with too much pride and a powerful sense of entitlement, both believing they had a grand destiny from which the turtle was holding them back, both believing they had to go out and make the world a better place/face down a great evil, and willing to do anything to achieve it—and both, of course, falling into darkness and ending up imprisoned by Oogway. Chao himself uses these similarities to try and convince Tai Lung to join him, while Shifu recognizes them when told the story by Oogway.
  • Not So Stoic: Tai Lung works extremely hard to keep his emotions, especially those of a more tender and empathetic nature, hidden from everyone out of a combination of uber-masculinity, pride, and a fear of appearing vulnerable. But as Viper, Po, and Tigress work on him over time, this facade cracks to reveal he actually does have a heart (and not one of stone)—especially notable moments are when he is shown the items in Oogway's secret cabinet and realizes the turtle did love him, and when he and Shifu finally reconcile. After this the snow leopard becomes more willing to be open about his feelings, but he still does his best to remain standoffish or at least serious as much as he can, though he also ends up displaying much more of a sense of humor and light-hearted side.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Averted. When the Anvil of Heaven is resurrected by Chao, the story and the characters just call them zombies. Shifu does call them "revenants" at one point, which is just a fancy way of saying the same thing.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • Played with (since the characters in question aren't a romantic couple), but Po walks in on Tigress and Viper apologizing to one another after an earlier argument they'd had about Tai Lung—which since they are embracing, with their faces close together, and crying happy tears very much looks like something else; not only does Tigress respond with the trope name, but Po immediately tries to downplay his reaction by stating "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"
    • Played with in a different way when Tigress walks in on Tai Lung and Jia when the latter is sharing the former's bed; it is what it looks like on one side, since the Wu Sister is trying to seduce Tai Lung, but the latter is only trying to string her along so he can get information about her sisters and their mysterious employer, as well as his missing family. Interestingly, despite Tigress still having a fairly low opinion of Tai Lung at this point, she believes him when he protests that matters weren't as they appeared, since she is focused on getting revenge for the Sisters' earlier attack on Po.
    • Much more seriously and with more dire consequences, Tigress and Monkey catch Tai Lung literally red-handed, bending over Po's bleeding, unconscious body.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: What Mei Ling thinks must be responsible for how Jia, of all people, could have killed their father yet still act so ditzy and flighty. She's wrong of course, though Jia may use it somewhat to make people underestimate her.
  • Oblivious to Love: Classic example, in both Crane and Mei Ling. He's an Unlucky Everydude, underconfident, can't believe she would notice him, and wants his beloved to be happy. She's a Broken Bird, and believes he must view her as a Rich Bitch, he sees her as a sister, or he thinks an Interspecies Romance will never work to explain why he's never pursued her, and so has fallen into Attractiveness Isolation. Add in Poor Communication Kills, Cannot Spit It Out, a Hate Plague, shake and stir. What makes the plot work is how in-character it is (at least on Crane's part, and if the Ship Tease of Secrets of the Furious Five is real then he does seem oblivious to Mei's feelings for him), that it is at least partly justified by Chao's interference, and that the resolution is genuinely romantic and sweet, as well as Played for Laughs.
  • Obviously Evil: Referenced by Monkey when he mocks Mantis for not having figured out sooner that he was under Demonic Possession: "I was startin' to think I'd have to hit you over the head with it before ya got the point—wear black all the time, maybe, grow oleander in the garden, decorate my room with skulls..."
  • Odd Friendship: Tai Lung and Po are about as different as can be in multiple ways, but eventually they do become friends, and both of them learn more about each other and themselves as a result. While Tai Lung and Yi are more strictly speaking a case of Intergenerational Friendship, the amount of difference between a nearly-forty-years-old, former villain, hulking snow leopard warrior and a sweet, innocent, five-year-old cow girl is staggering...and yet they too become friends (and playmates!), although in this case it's only Tai Lung who learns something.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Repeatedly used on Tai Lung. Vachir does it with "Come to Chorh-Gom and face me or I'll keep killing people", Xiu does it with "Join my clan or I'll kill Po", and Chao himself does it with "Join me or I'll kill you and resurrect you so you join me anyway". Averted when Tai Lung refuses the last two.
  • Offstage Villainy: While the reader gets to see a number of awful things the Wu Sisters do, a great deal of their history as assassins is left undisclosed. Also, their mother, Wu Qing, is terrifying enough to twist Xiu around her little finger and disturb the battle-hardened Wu Xuan, but the reader never gets to see exactly what she was truly like or was guilty of. Again, this is rectified in the sequel vignettes.
  • Oh, Crap!: As might be expected, a number of these moments show up:
    • Tai Lung, when he first encounters the Wu Sisters.
    • Tai Lung again, when Monkey and Tigress discover him bent over Po's wounded body.
    • Po, Mei, and the Wu Sisters when they find Monkey's Room Full of Crazy.
    • Everyone, when they encounter the zombie Anvil of Heaven at Chorh-Gom.
    • Tai Lung and Tigress, when Shifu walks in on them in the bedroom.
    • Shifu, when he gets told that Tai Lung has been arrested for the murder of Zhuang and again when Oogway's staff lets him see Chao's possession of the townsfolk.
    • Everyone, when Chao summons the yaoguai.
    • Monkey, when he sees Po took on Chao on his own.
    • And probably the strongest example in the fic, Chao when he sees the Golden Spear heading right for him.
  • Omniscient Morality License: While "there are no accidents," yadda yadda and so on, Oogway admits that he was wrong about many things and he feels more than a bit guilty about how things played out. Still, he did say that he believed everything worked out for the best in the end, and that he knew it would.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Played straight at first, but eventually averted. Tai Lung eventually forgives Po for humiliating him, and Tai Lung himself is eventually forgiven for his rampage, but not until after a great deal of time, soul-searching, and grudge-bearing—for the longest time it seems as if the snow leopard will never get over his final battle with Po or acknowledge the panda had done anything worthwhile as a kung fu warrior, and thanks to how terrible his rampage was it seems as if everyone will only remember Tai Lung for that and not any of his heroic deeds which preceded it.
    • Prime illustrative quotes—first, Tai Lung regarding Po's humiliation of him during their battle:
    "Do I have to spell it out?" Tai Lung snarled sarcastically. "You battered me senseless, made me bite my own tail, bounced me off that belly of yours, and turned me into a laughingstock! No one in the village, or the whole valley, will ever take me seriously again!"

    The panda winced, looking rather guilty. His voice became evasive, even as his eyes shifted uncomfortably about, never meeting Tai Lung's gimlet gaze. "Yeah, well, ya didn't leave me much choice there, buddy. It was you or me, and you're the one who made it that way. I gave you every chance to call it quits, but you just wouldn't stop—"

    Tai Lung's nostrils flared. "You made tail." He seemed very stuck on that point.
    • And then regarding his rampage:
    "And as for who I think I am..." [Tai Lung] drew himself up to his full height, nostrils flaring as he growled softly. "I think I'm the one who defended this valley when you were knee-high to a grasshopper. I know I'm the one who kept the peace and protected all the outlying communities in Hubei province years before Oogway ever made his judgment or Chorh-Gom was rebuilt, so don't try and tell me how to do my job!"

    He knew he shouldn't be boasting, but he couldn't help it—as Po had made him realize, there was a lot more to his life and what he had done with it than his short-lived rampage (however horrific it had been), and everyone, himself included, needed to remember that.
  • One Degree of Separation: The Wu Sisters not only happen to have gone to school with Crane and Mei Ling (and are the latter's half-sisters), and have met Tai Lung and helped him on the way to becoming a Fallen Hero (a reference to their having been part of his army in the original script), but they also happened to know Po's biological parents and promised them they'd look in on the panda and Ping. While the former connections are there just for dramatic narrative purposes, the last one is surely meant as another symbolic way to underscore how Po and Tai Lung are Not So Different, Foils, and two halves of a Bash Brothers, Red Oni, Blue Oni, Yin-Yang Bomb pairing. The fact it was the Wu Sisters' father who brought Tai Lung to the Jade Palace as a baby, as a favor to the wife of his friend after the latter's death, and that Xiu killing him kept Tai Lung's origin a secret as much as Po's was via oath, is even more of an example. "There are no accidents", indeed.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Big Bad is an insanely powerful Kung-Fu Wizard, master of dark chi and other forms of Black Magic, and won the Super Power Lottery. He's almost required to transform into a larger, more terrifying and deadly form during the Final Battle. That said, it's still scarily effective, as Chao basically turns into the Firebird. At the same time, the form doesn't seem to last, only being fueled by his anger as he summons the yaoguai from their spiritual prison, since afterward he seems to be back to a generally normal size and appearance again (for him), although the draining of his chi reserves by the battles which follow may also be responsible for the change back.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: Played with. While it is unequivocally true that Tai Lung, Tigress, and Po all get happy endings, so does Jia, who while arguably a lead by the end of the story started off as a Punch-Clock Villain, as do Crane and Mei Ling. Additionally, Monkey gets to redeem himself after his stint with Demonic Possession, and even Chang and Xiulan, despite losing his son and eyesight and her husband, find healing and seem to have a brighter future ahead of them, due to Tai Lung's carpentry apprenticeship and becoming godfather to Yi, and their families becoming friends.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: The Golden Spear, a mystical weapon from the Hall of Warriors originally described on the KFP Wiki, was created to seek out evil within the heart of any warrior—including the one wielding it, since only the purest and bravest can do so without being burned by it. Tai Lung eventually becomes able to wield it.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
  • Operation: Jealousy: Mei Ling and Tai Lung attempt this to force Tigress to admit her feelings for him. It works, after a fashion, but in the process, thanks to Poor Communication Kills, Crane first becomes a Green-Eyed Monster, then mistakenly believes their relationship is genuine and decides they belong together.
  • Opponent Switch: Happens on Wu Dan, but subverted in that the switch doesn't instantly result in the heroes' victory (Tigress doesn't even beat Xiu in the end, it's Po, and it's Chun's original opponent, Viper, who takes her out). Also justified in the case of Po and Jia since she really doesn't want to fight him, and with Po and Xiu since she was focused on her Arch-Enemy Tigress at the time and had discounted him.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Played with. While Heian Chao only appears onscreen (at least as himself) in five chapters other than the Final Battle, those five chapters involve him doing some fairly active things—hiring the Wu Sisters, finding a pawn to possess, outlining his Evil Plan, punishing his lackeys/demanding explanations for their failure, aiding in a critical murder for the Frameup, and corrupting the Sacred Pool. And since he possesses both Vachir and Monkey, any time one of those characters is onscreen is actually him being active as well, albeit in secret.
  • Otaku: Po was already revealed to be an obsessive fan of kung fu in general, and the Furious Five in particular, in the first movie. While that still remains true in the fic, the panda has also graduated to a Tai Lung-otaku—possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of the snow leopard's past exploits and heroism before his fall into darkness (although some tales he was unaware were Tai Lung's because his name had been expunged from the legends), and drawing upon this to not only earn points/convince the snow leopard to back off, but show him (and everyone else) that he truly can redeem himself.
  • Our Liches Are Different: While he has no Soul Jar per se and is in some ways more demonic, Heian Chao could be considered a lich by virtue of the dark chi he absorbed keeping him alive indefinitely, not to mention his control over the undead. He certainly studied forbidden lore for the sake of power—and when separate from his body cannot be killed.
  • Out of the Inferno: Inversion—via a Flashback Nightmare, this is revealed to be how Tai Lung left his rampage in the village to head for the Jade Palace and steal the Dragon Scroll, disappearing into the fire. A direct Shout-Out to Sephiroth of Final Fantasy VII.
     Tropes P-R 
  • Painting the Medium: The opening of Chapter 22, wherein Po is using the action figures of himself, Tai Lung, and the Five to act out his wishful thinking of all of them getting along and being close friends (and in Tai Lung and Tigress's case, declaring their love for one another), is at first played as if it's the actual characters doing so before The Reveal. This is only possible in a textual medium, since in actual animation the truth would have been given away instantly. (The author has stated, though, that if it were possible to animate the fic, this scene would be done with the 2D animation to achieve the same effect—though the sudden appearance of 2D would clue the viewer in that something was up...)
  • Pair the Spares: Played with. Jia is a spare, being a Hopeless Suitor for Tai Lung who only has eyes for Tigress—but Po isn't, being one of the leads and a character who wasn't romantically pursuing anyone, let alone another main character. Although the panda is somewhat less prominent here than in the movies.
  • Papa Wolf: While Shifu was already an Action Dad (albeit something of a Retired Badass), in the movies his closeness to Tigress was quite downplayed, and he naturally ended up having a one-on-one combat with Tai Lung when the snow leopard shows up to take the scroll, since he was the villain of the story. However in this fic, the villains come to learn to their detriment that you don't ever threaten Shifu's children, especially after he's struggling to save/redeem/become close to them so as to make up for his past mistakes in raising them. Several times (whether in his thoughts or aloud), the red panda explicitly states anyone who threatens his children is going to pay for it nastily and in very final fashion, and he proves true to his oath—not only physically when facing down Vachir and Chao (the latter all by himself), but in defending Tai Lung from the charges of the Kangaroo Court.
    Shifu: If this is true, if [Vachir] did this…then I'm going to kill him. He is going to die, and I'm going to do it myself.

    Heian Chao: Truly, what have you done with your life, Shifu? Always second to your master. None of your students were yours, they were all chosen for you save the harlot Tigress.
    Shifu, in his thoughts: You are so lucky she didn't hear that. You are not lucky that I did.
  • Passing the Torch: Shifu eventually steps down and gives his position to Tai Lung. (And he in turn inherits Oogway's position.)
  • Pass the Popcorn: Mantis's reaction to Tai Lung and Tigress's incipient kiss during the "Truth or Dare", as well as later when he's spying on them in the bedroom in chapter 24.
  • Patricide: What Mei Ling believes Jia is guilty of. Actually it's Xiu, apparently because she's an Antagonistic Offspring who thinks Love Is a Weakness that is holding Jia back from her true evil calling.
  • People Puppets: While Chao's abilities over others generally involve Demonic Possession and More Than Mind Control, he is able to manipulate those he possesses and influences on occasion, especially when his power has been augmented in some fashion. This is most clearly seen in the flashback where he forces his former classmates to kill each other, but it also appears to some degree with the villagers during Tai Lung's trial.
  • The Perfectionist: Tai Lung, and definitely to his detriment since it led to an all-or-nothing mentality that contributed greatly to his rampage (if he cannot master the scrolls perfectly, he cannot become the Dragon Warrior, which then makes him nothing but a poor orphan and his kung fu is all meaningless).
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Once it is revealed that the Wu Sisters knew Po's biological parents, Jia makes several attempts to reach out to the panda and be kind to, or even assist, him—ranging from only half-heartedly fighting him while learning about (and praising) his understanding of kung fu, to agreeing to tell him about his parents if he will surrender, to actively trying to stop her sister Xiu from killing Ping and honestly praising Po for cleansing the Sacred Pool.
    • Chun confesses to Po the full story of his parents, rather than using it as a bargaining chip for a lighter sentence, in order to keep her oath to look out for him and to help him honor where he came from. She also reveals she isn't just the Emotionless Girl she appears when she notes in her thoughts that after discovering some of Vachir's victims around the Valley rim, she made sure to anonymously report them so they would get proper burials.
    • Tai Lung himself reveals he not only Wouldn't Hurt a Child but has a soft spot for them, and then that he knows how to play the flute, and does so in honor of Oogway.
  • Playing Possum: Mantis survives his Disney Death by pretending he was actually crushed by Monkey's paw (after protecting himself internally with a chi shield), so that he would be sent falling into the Chorh-Gom abyss and assumed to be dead. Comes complete with a Shout-Out to Secrets of the Furious Five and his "staying-still-for-a-really-long-time" technique.
  • Playing with Fire: In the fic's setting, high-level kung fu masters can manipulate chi so as to create and/or control various Elemental Powers (although these are the Chinese elements, of course, not Western) based on the year of their birth. Tai Lung's elemental chi ability is fire, which is made possible via a nice Retcon of the movie and the end of his Final Battle with Shifu, explaining both how he was left unburned and what fueled it (his rage). Just prior to facing Heian Chao he naturally has a Burning with Anger moment, and even a few Wreathed in Flames occurrences during combat.
  • Plot Armor: While most of the good guys get badly hurt, none of them die.
  • Plot Magnet: No matter how much he wishes otherwise, Tai Lung continues to attract characters and plot developments throughout the story. On the heroic side he has his father and Po continually coming to his defense and trying to redeem him (even against his will, at first), while the rest of the Five either try to help, stay neutral, or openly disbelieve him being The Atoner and reject him. (This also extends, to some degree, to their attempts to aid or block the growing romance between him and Tigress.) On the villainous side, the Wu Sisters are determined to make him their ally (and/or consort), Heian Chao is obsessed with the sheer amount of his chi and potential for darkness and (depending on whatever his claim of the day is) either wants him as his new Dragon or a glorified power battery to help him Take Over the Empire, and Vachir wants revenge for his rampage and the break-out from Chorh-Gom. He's also a Chick Magnet (Jia, Tigress, Mei Ling, and Xiu all being interested in him to some degree), and draws in new friends (Zhuang, Yi, Ning Guo) and enemies (Xiulan and Fu Xiao).
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Crane and Mei again, though it is an example in which the lack of communication is actually in-character; it was established in Secrets of the Furious Five that Crane has confidence issues, and there also seemed to be a Ship Tease between him and Mei which he was, of course, completely oblivious to. It also doesn't help when a Hate Plague is making everyone suspicious and willing to jump to the wrong conclusions.
    • Ironically, a villainous version appears where Chao's Right Hand vs. Left Hand policy and Xiu's Pride and belief that Tai Lung could never fall in love result in the Wu Sisters not being told exactly what was planned for Tai Lung via Monkey and Chao not being told about Mei Ling or the romance with Tigress.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: While Chao can gain power from anyone's chi, he is made strongest by that of an innocent child.
  • Power of Friendship: To go along with his other villainous traits, Heian Chao alternately mocks friendship (and love in general) as weak and pathetic or claims that in the end they will fail you, with yourself being all you can truly rely on. Tai Lung and Po prove otherwise, since their friendship and belief in each other not only allows them to continually stand up to him morally and emotionally as well as physically, but provides the power to withstand his dark chi when acting as Bash Brothers essentially provides them a Yin-Yang Bomb of sorts. Even the completely unmystical (and non kung fu-related) friendship Tai Lung has with Zhuang acts in this manner, since it's the bull's devotion that in the end enables him to provide the Dying Clue that exonerates the snow leopard at the Kangaroo Court, thus completely undermining Chao's final gambit. Thanks to the nature of the villain's powers and plans, as well as Po's Wide-Eyed Idealist, Nice Guy nature, it's not surprising this trope is played unabashedly—and justifiably—straight. Just like...
  • Power of Love: Explicitly stated to offer protection to Tai Lung from Chao's dark chi, as despite the fact the latter is able to influence his emotions and soul through a bit of his fur, Oogway's love for the snow leopard (as expressed through his holy chi), Tigress's love, and even Shifu's all allow Tai Lung to resist Chao's corruption. It's in fact noted that his love for Tigress, finally admitted during the battle at Chorh-Gom, is key to helping them overcome Vachir—as well as forgiving both him and Monkey afterward. This also extends to Po and his All-Loving Hero nature keeping him mostly immune to Chao (and Viper's sweet personality, for that matter), and helping Crane get a clear head so as to figure out how to save Tai Lung at his trial, after he and Mei Ling finally clear the air and become a couple.
  • Power Trio: Tai Lung, Tigress, and Po become this by the end of the story. Which makes this highly appropriate in an archetypal, psychological sense. (Id, superego, ego.) It also acts as a form of Anatomy of the Soul, since Tai Lung would clearly be Body, Po is Spirit, and Tigress (despite her temper and Action Girl nature) is a clever and intelligent fighter and therefore Mind.
  • Precision F-Strike: Po never curses. Never. And when he finally does say a single curse word (Bitch), "can of whoop-ass" doesn't begin to describe it. Also, when Tigress uses foul language on Tai Lung is when the story starts taking a very serious turn. Heian Chao gets the greatest example, however, when he lets loose a curse so foul it had to be written in Mandarin to avoid driving up the rating (it translates as, "Fuck your ancestors to the eighteenth generation").
  • The Promise:
    • Early on, Tai Lung wants Tigress to ensure that if he ever falls into darkness again, she stop him before he commits another rampage. Naturally, she is quite eager and willing to do so. But when, true to the trope, she faces the prospect of having to keep her word near the end of the story, ironically she is no longer so sure she can do it since by then she has come to love him. Luckily for her, her resolve is never tested since other forces intervene.
    • Chun and Jia also made one to Bao to look after his son. Thanks to Xiu, they weren't able to keep it until late in the story.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Aside from the experiences of Xiulan and Chang noted under Laser-Guided Karma which can seem like this (although no one in the story calls out Po and the rest of the Jade Palace crew for their early treatment of them, in the end it's clear their sufferings are as much their own faults and the villain's, not the heroes', everyone actually ends up treating them both much more sympathetically later, and they receive some happiness by the end), there is the backstory of Po's father and his actions as a highwayman vs. how everyone (including Emperor Chen) reacted to what was done to him to set him on his path. It should be noted that the emperor did still agree punishment for Bao was warranted, he likely would never have done the things he had if he hadn't been forced to desert, and there was much more going on with that bigoted general than it seemed on the surface. note  The author has gone on in his sequel vignettes to show Bao not only hasn't gotten off scot-free but knows he did wrong and regrets it (so he isn't being forgiven just because he's one of the heroes' fathers), and has shown more insight into him and that general.
  • Psychic Powers: Chao can astral project. This is a key point, since it not only allows him fast travel, the ability to be in two places at once, and is what prevented him from going even more insane while being held prisoner for nine hundred plus years, it's how he was able to keep himself fed on chi and alive all that time, and how he visited Tai Lung in Chorh-Gom, corrupting him and influencing his hatred and desire for vengeance.
  • Psycho for Hire: Xiu is the most mentally unstable of the Wu Sisters, though technically all of them are for hire. Played with, however, in that the snow leopardesses are not merely working for money, but to earn things they very badly want from Heian Chao: eternal youth and beauty, the Touch of Death, and power over chi and Black Magic in general so as to be the greatest assassin of all. Eventually Jia and Chun both decide what they want is not worth the price of serving Chao, and Xiu ends up deciding It's Personal between her and Tai Lung as well as her and Po, and thus doesn't even care about the money anymore.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: At many times, Chun seems to be an example of this, enjoying being an assassin solely because it's her job. (Noble Anti-Villain.) This is helped by the fact she not only definitely has standards, but as is revealed once we get in her head (and is explicated further in the vignettes), she fully believes being an assassin can and should be a noble thing where methods most consider unsavory can and often are the only way to end conflict and effect change without lots of bloodshed. So, a combination of Noble Demon and I Did What I Had to Do.
  • Punctuated Pounding: After Vachir insinuates during the battle at Chorh-Gom that they are Not So Different, Tai Lung reacts with a furious, vicious denial, one that is accompanied by various physical blows and sound effects to match his words.
    "NO! I am nothing like you! I may have killed a lot of people, but I had a damn good reason for most of them. You…you're just killing because you enjoyed it, to lure me out, to make a point! You think you're better, that you can throw your weight around and everyone will just fall down to obey you! You're nothing but a weak—" Smash, cracking the jaw at last. "—pathetic—" Slash, clawing right over one eye until it was blinded with streams of blood. "—bully!" Crunch, as his heel drove in like a battering ram, snapping two of the rhino's ribs.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: In yet another parallel between him and Tai Lung, Heian Chao was once a good person, as well as Oogway's most promising and skilled student, with his arrogance and impatience at not being taught the mystical skills he believed he needed being what caused him to fall into evil. Interestingly, this puts Tai Lung in the position of being both the Hero's Evil Predecessor for Po and the Mentor's New Hope to bring down Chao, but where Po simply acted to save and redeem the snow leopard, Tai Lung has no intention to do anything but destroy the Kung-Fu Wizard. It's also a case where the Master-Apprentice Chain has some side links (Po has to face Shifu's previous student, but Tai Lung has to face another of Oogway's, not Shifu's) and is being followed farther back in history so as to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • Pure Energy: The Pool of Sacred Tears turns out to be this, as a gathering of holy chi. Which is thoroughly corrupted by Chao's touch into a terrifyingly demonic force that lets him make People Puppets of the whole Valley.
  • The Quiet One: For much of the story, Wu Chun doesn't talk much beyond dry, witty banter or cold, emotionless observations, and she does indeed enjoy killing a bit too much (albeit in a swift, surgical fashion). And when she does speak for much longer, it's indeed for very critical reasons (debating with Jia whether to turn on Xiu for the sake of Po and his father) or to impart important information (about Po's biological parents).
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Wu Sisters are for the most part the competent version of an ensemble of Elite Mooks, just like Avatar: The Last Airbender's Dangerous Ladies they're based on were (and something they even seem to have been designed to be by Dream Works during pre-production). Xiu is The Dragon to Heian Chao and the group's extremely effective leader, and while there are times when Jia, the group's resident Cloud Cuckoolander, is a bit ridiculous, in most cases the three snow leopardesses make for formidable opponents; the only times they aren't is when their hearts aren't fully in it or Xiu is going completely over the edge of sanity. They also persistently dog the heroes throughout the story, facing them on five different occasions (and winning or fighting to a draw two or three times, depending on how they're counted, but always being difficult to defeat).
  • Rage Against the Mentor: As already seen under Calling the Old Man Out, Tai Lung is quite willing to lash out at both Shifu and Oogway for their treatment of him (whether real or perceived). While both of them were mentors to the snow leopard, Tai Lung's complaints toward Shifu more related to mistakes he made as a father, so it is Oogway who fills the mentor role to rage at—particularly when it comes to his Cryptic Conversations and Omniscient Morality License. A good portion of their first conversation is nothing but the snow leopard raging, and he even gets in some digs at the very end of the story when finding out just how much Oogway knew about his destiny but had been holding back.
  • Raised Hand of Survival: Tai Lung does a form of this after the Final Battle, when he uses one fist to punch through a rockfall that had buried him.
  • Rape Is The New Dead Parents: Averted regarding Tai Lung's time in prison—while a number of writers (and even fans) have posited the notion that Vachir and/or his men raped the snow leopard while he was in Chorh-Gom, this author refused to go that route (right down to having Tai Lung himself lampshade and mock it, even on a logistics level), instead pointing out what else can act as sufficient motivation for trauma, angst, and a desire for revenge in this sort of situation.
    Tai Lung: Damn it all, is that all you ever think about? Why does everything have to be about sex...why does everyone have to jump to the worst possible conclusion? For your information, you witless little stick, that blasted shell on my back made it so no one could get to my arse, even if they wanted to! But that's not the point...the point is, there's a hell of a lot of things that can happen to you in a prison with a thousand men and no women, and they don't involve violation!
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Applies everywhere, even characters' thoughts, save for ones whose ways of speaking and thinking are different from the norm (Po's slang, Monkey's accent, Mantis using tangents and run-on sentences). This actually allows for a subversion later when Tai Lung realizes the thoughts in his head encouraging him to go off the deep end again are too perfect and too pat, thus giving away that it was really Chao trying to manipulate him again. Outdated, perhaps, but still an Acceptable Break from Reality.
  • Reality Ensues: Po's first battle after facing Tai Lung (in the fic's timeline) is against the Wu Sisters. Does he have potential? Of course. Is he a fast study and learner? Absolutely. Did he beat Tai Lung? Yes, by keeping his wits and being extremely unorthodox when facing an opponent who was both extremely traditional-minded and also increasingly maddened and desperate, a tunnel-visioned opponent whose thought processes were clearly skewed—when he was even thinking at all, not just reacting. But he's still just a beginner at martial arts, and goofing his way through fights won't cut it with all opponents, especially ones with a clear head. So what happens? He loses to the Wu Sisters big time. In fact he gets badly beaten up, his throat slit by a garrote, and nearly dies.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Thanks to his absorption of chi for over nine hundred years, Heian Chao not only never truly died, he still appears the same age he was when Oogway imprisoned him. Life Energy, it seems, is an excellent health tonic and way to stay looking youthful if you don't mind the price.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Emperor Chen, who not only pardons Tai Lung and Jia after fairly examining all details of the cases at hand, but also trusts the word of Tigress in her letter and believes everything he is told about Chao without batting an eye. This may be because he learned much more of the metaphysical than most rulers thanks to his being taught by Oogway.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Xiu gives the classic "villain addresses a hero to demoralize them" speech to Tigress in the birch forest just before their fight—not so much to break her, but to make her easier pickings due to her rage and because she genuinely is that contemptuous of Tigress; it consists of a detailed recapitulation of the ways the leader of the Five has failed (or believes she has failed) to live up to her father's expectations, prove herself better than Tai Lung or Po, and become a legendary hero.
    • Heian Chao's multiple examples tend to be less detailed (except against Tai Lung and Po), but the series he uses against the Five during the Final Battle are not only explicitly Breaking Speeches, they are backed up by his dark willpower to give that added "oomph", so it isn't required to do much but jab at their outdated ideals, failure to figure out his nature and how to defeat him, dependency on weak things like friendship and love, and so forth. (Though his attack on Monkey's jealousy and what it enabled him to do is especially harsh and effective.) Po's is more directed toward his unknown ancestry and a big mistake he made, while Tai Lung's relate to his being unloved and alone, and foolishly believing he could achieve what he desired via forgiveness and redemption instead of embracing the darkness again.
    • Po gives one, of the "tired of your friend's action/attitude" type, to Tigress after she chases Wu Jia into the birch forest and gets herself badly injured for no real purpose. His Brutal Honesty, which calls out her hypocrisy after she had previously gotten after him for doing the same thing, helps to snap her out of it and start improving her attitude.
  • Reconstruction: The author takes a large number of super villain tropes which, by themselves, have either nearly become Dead Horse Tropes or are usually always subverted and played for laughs...and shows just why they were originally so effective and, quite often, scary.
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • Even though it was not completely his fault (he still allowed Chao in, but it was under Demonic Possession), the disgusting murder spree Vachir goes on undercuts the majority of good will he had earned over the years leading the Anvil of Heaven; so while in the end Tai Lung forgives him and everyone else is able to still at least honor the hero he once was, it seems that his death was in fact necessary because there was no longer a place for him in the world, at least in this life (there would be too many demands for his execution by the populace). And considering he appears at the end of the story as a heroic warrior spirit who, due to the circumstances and his fighting against Chao from within, received a good judgment from the Lords of Death and will get to be reborn, it appears as if his death literally did bring him redemption.
    • Subverted with Tai Lung, who despite the terrible acts he committed during his rampage is able to prove his willingness (and ability) to be a hero again, and also earns forgiveness from the people of the Valley, even from some of his harshest critics. Thus he redeems himself—but he also gets to keep on living.
  • Redemption Promotion: Tai Lung still loses in battle often enough to justify needing Po and the Five as his allies, and he has issues with controlling his temper and (not coincidentally) his Fire chi, but in all other respects he remains as powerful, incredible, and badass a fighter as he was when a villain. The fact he isn't maddened or enraged all the time (and has gotten over his Freudian Excuse) also allows him to actually make use of those thousand scrolls he learned, and use them cleverly and effectively. The Fire chi and the Golden Spear also count as power-ups for him. Jia, when she changes sides, isn't demoted either, remaining as awesome and skilled in combat as ever, as well as helping take out Xiu.
  • Redemption Quest:
    • While it starts off as simply an attempt to teach Tai Lung how to be a true kung fu warrior again, make amends with the Valley, and restore his relationship with Shifu, the entire point of the fic ends up becoming a series of dangerous tasks to prove the snow leopard's worth on a larger scale—putting a stop to a bloodthirsty Serial Killer, bringing the Wu Sisters to justice (and ensuring Xiu especially does not gain power over chi), and finally the most epic and deadly task of all, eliminating Heian Chao. When he manages to survive all of them, this does indeed provide the final testimonial to regain his honor and prove he deserves forgiveness and a future no one can gainsay.
    • Done in a relatively quieter way with Jia at the end, where Walking the Empire will allow her to try and make up for her years of committing murders and other crimes as a Wu Sister and hurting those (like Mei Ling and Xu Mei) who loved her, as well as undo the mistake of letting herself be Forced into Evil in the first place and (in her mind) leading to her father's death.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Monkey ends up with eyes that glow red, and even become balls of hellish fire, thanks to Demonic Possession, although no one notices it until it's almost too late. Later on the villagers, especially Xiulan, all end up with the same burning eyes thanks to Chao controlling them via the corrupted Pool of Sacred Tears. Finally, Chao himself first develops such reddish eyes in the flashback where he murders and absorbs chi from innocents, and it's strongly implied that the centuries he has kept himself alive by feeding off of others' chi have rendered his eyes permanently like this.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Played with. Tai Lung is absolutely a Red Oni, seeing as he's Hot-Blooded, brawny, determined, a Blood Knight, a cynic, choleric, and The Lancer (most of the time)...but he's also very much not a people person, he's still quite intelligent and skillful (when he's no longer insane and raging), and thanks to his backstory is often more melancholy and brooding than enthusiastic or boisterous (though this shifts to some degree by the end of the story). Po, meanwhile, is hardly calm and logical like a typical Blue Oni, and in fact possesses the zest for life, extroversion, wild impetuousness, lack of sophistication, and people-oriented nature of a Red Oni...but he also has a more instinctive understanding of the spiritual aspects of kung fu, is far more wise (albeit often in a common sense manner), is generally less overly emotional than Tai Lung, is capable of a great deal of composed serenity when truly tapping into his Dragon Warrior powers, and is an optimist and The Heart. And of course Tai Lung is the one Playing with Fire while Po is Making a Splash, and while they start as rivals/enemies, they end up becoming Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Tai Lung ends up as this by the end of the story as well, although far less so than most examples. Still, he retains his Deadpan Snarker nature (which is often very biting), continues to carry certain resentments, and will always have a belligerent temper and some degree of arrogance.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Tai Lung is practically the poster boy for this trope. Although the crimes he committed during his rampage are serious and dark enough as to justify wariness and suspicion at the very least, the snow leopard was once a hero and noble warrior so it's still possible he could redeem himself. And while cynical and resentful at first, he is eventually convinced to try and change himself and his life for the better thanks to Shifu and Po's efforts...only to have Tigress and Monkey (and to lesser degrees, Crane and Mantis) be either extremely skeptical of his conversion or actively hostile and confrontational every step of the way. In addition, very few of the villagers are willing to trust him and give him another chance, and he has at least two Inspector Javerts, Xiulan and Vachir, who refuse to believe he can change and are openly waiting for him to revert to form or goading him into doing so, respectively. In the end, however, Tai Lung has the strength of will to weather such attitudes and, after performing a number of heroic acts, is able to prove himself reformed to his naysayers.
  • Replacement Goldfish: While this appeared to some degree in the movie as well, the implications of how Tigress was meant to replace Tai Lung in Shifu's eyes are explored more in-depth here, particularly when his return, Shifu's attempts to redeem him, and the subsequent reconciliation lead to her once more feeling pushed aside and forgotten, just as she had when Po was chosen as the Dragon Warrior. Leads to Calling the Old Man Out.
  • Restrained Revenge: During the training in Chapter 22, Tai Lung engages in a rather playful (for him) form of this trope, as he unexpectedly uses his nerve strike to immobilize Po's limbs, causing the panda to fall flat on his back and Tai Lung to sit on his gut, where he teases Po about finally having gotten some payback over Po first defeating him.
    Tai Lung: So what now, big guy? Now I'm sitting on you.
  • The Reveal:
    • After going almost the entire story never knowing Heian Chao's real identity, his species, or even his appearance (thanks to either his always being concealed in--and even composed of!--shadows or In the Hood), all are finally revealed in the flashback memory Oogway shows to Shifu.
    • The backstory of Po's biological parents, how he ended up adopted by Ping, and how the Wu Sisters knew them and their secret, are revealed near the very end of the story, and in the very last chapter, the reveal is made of just why Tai Lung was a Doorstop Baby and his biological family's identities.
    • Two Internal Reveals occur when the other characters finally learn that Monkey has been under Chao's Demonic Possession right in the middle of the battle at Chorh-Gom, and Mei Ling finally finds out it was Xiu who killed her father, not Jia. While both of these are things the reader has known for some time, the sharing of knowledge between characters and the actions which occur because of it are extremely pivotal to the story.
  • Rhino Rampage: Vachir actually gets to show off this time how badass he is...and not only wipes the ground with Tai Lung, but comes this close to defeating him. If not for Tigress...
  • Right Behind Me:
    • Inverted. Shifu is well aware of the fact that Crane is eavesdropping on his and Tigress's conversation; perhaps it's those enormous ears of his...
    • A dramatic horror, rather than comedic, version occurs at Chorh-Gom, when Vachir forms out of the darkness right behind Tai Lung. Almost, but not quite, an Enemy Rising Behind.
  • Right Hand vs. Left Hand: Chao chooses not to share with the Wu Sisters the entirety of his plans for Tai Lung or Vachir, and nothing at all about his plans for Monkey, partly to keep his cards close to his chest, partly because he believes they will rebel if they learn the full story. He's right, since Even Evil Has Standards, Xiu is selfish, and none of them would care for being a Red Shirt. But keeping things from them ends up biting him in the ass, between Poor Communication Kills, Didn't See That Coming, and indirectly encouraging Jia's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • A chronic problem on Tai Lung's part which Po, thankfully, is able to help restrain somewhat. And when pointed at the right person...
      • When it appears he's about to be hanged for a crime he didn't commit, the snow leopard is on the verge of breaking free of his bindings and going on another rampage to save himself...and while it ends up averted thanks to the actions of Po and Shifu, he reflects afterward that he has no idea who all he might have injured or killed during the escape—i.e., not necessarily just the ones who were holding him prisoner and unjustly punishing him.
      • A more strictly vengeance-based example occurs at Chorh-Gom, when Tai Lung furiously, viciously, and bloodily does everything in his power to bring down Vachir—partially for all the killings he's been carrying out and for threatening Tigress and Shifu, but mostly as punishment for his Cold-Blooded Torture.
      • And after everything he's done throughout the story (as well as his past involvement in the rampage and pushing him into instability and entitled resentment), the snow leopard also does his level best to bring down Heian Chao (as violently and combustibly as possible) during the Final Battle, whether it's to protect Tigress, Po, or simply out of fury over all the villain has done to him in particular.
    • Po himself employs the Tranquil Fury version on Wu Dan against Xiu for having kidnapped his father and killed Zhuang.
    • Invoked by name when Shifu, after revealing his Chew Out Fakeout was a Secret Test of Character, claims this is what Mantis would have said he'd do upon discovering Tai Lung and Tigress together.
  • Romantic False Lead: When Mei Ling begins showing interest in Tai Lung (unknown to him, for the purpose of Operation: Jealousy), Crane views the snow leopard as an outside intruder in his relationship with the mountain cat, whom he believes is meant for him (though he can never bring himself to confess to her). Unusually, Crane actually can understand what Mei Ling sees in him (partly thanks to his own low self-esteem), so that after being the Green-Eyed Monster for a while, he eventually ends up encouraging them to be together out of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Although there's nothing wrong with Monkey (other than, according to her, the species difference), and he's certainly funny, skilled, and likable, he ends up losing out to Tai Lung for Tigress's affections. Granted undergoing Demonic Possession and having tried to kill her because she wouldn't choose him doesn't help his case, but this is also aided by the fact she had already let him down (somewhat) easy years earlier via Like Brother and Sister.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Monkey's room is discovered to have its walls, floor, and even the ceiling covered with obsessive writing, mostly of Tai Lung's name over and over again but also some Buddhist and Confucian sayings as well as a random Madness Mantra "I like (dead) bananas". Unusually, it also contains imagery, namely drawings of Tai Lung and the rest of the Five being hanged on gallows. The creator doesn't catch those who stumble across it (Po and Jia) because he's already on his way to Chorh-Gom with the others but it still acts as a disturbing reveal which only makes his presence with the others more worrisome.
  • Rousing Speech: Variation. At the point in the story when this occurs, the Big Bad has actually just suffered a major defeat, all the heroes are united and fully supportive of one another at last, and even the Wu Sisters have been captured. However, how close they came to another rampage, Tai Lung's death, and losing everything still makes this the fic's Darkest Hour (yes, they won, but just barely, and they have no idea what they'll have to face next). And thanks to Zhuang's death, Chun and Jia telling everyone just what they're up against in Chao (but also that they don't know how to defeat him), and Po having learned the truth about his parents, everyone still needs to have their spirits lifted so they can overcome the overwhelming odds against them. Cue Tai Lung giving a hell of a speech that crosses Tired of Running with Dare to Be Badass, listing all the reasons It's Personal to take Chao out as well as what they're all capable of if they only work together. While it doesn't directly quote the "It's time to take the fight to them" line, the result is a Lock-and-Load Montage before all the heroes go to the Final Battle.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Oogway fully believed in Tai Lung all along, and that if he could simply be freed of Chao's influence and learn from Po's example, the goodness and heroic nature he once possessed would reassert themselves, as they were who he truly was at heart.
    • Hobbes Was Right: Ironically, Po thinks this after learning about his highwayman father Bao, but despite his ability to be ruthless and fierce in battle, he finds his fears are unfounded and, instead of this being In the Blood, he too has an inner goodness and heroic nature.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Mei Ling, since she is descended from the ruling clan of Kunlun Shan and is thus a noble. Also, Emperor Chen, who not only fought on the battlefield for years alongside his men, but who became personally involved in the case of Po's parents.
  • Rule of Cool: Considering the universe of the fic is already one where the laws of physics are regularly bent if not broken for the sake of amazing fight scenes (the battle between the Five and Tai Lung on the Thread of Hope, the snow leopard's battles with Shifu and Po, and his very first scene escaping from Chorh-Gom come to mind), and that the kung fu genre in general is known for this, it isn't surprising there's a lot of Willing Suspension of Disbelief for the sake of awesomeness. While there are even minor moments which occur (for example, a bit in the kitchen where Tai Lung is able to catch a falling sack without ceasing his mixing, just to prove he's ambidextrous), all of the major battles escalate in scope and results so that the first climax where Tai Lung, Tigress, and Shifu all face off against Vachir (who nearly wins) while the rest of the Five battle the undead Anvil of Heaven ends up being just the opening act to the Final Battle. The latter starts as four simultaneous one-on-one duels, followed by an army of ghostly warriors versus an army of demons, the usage of multiple mystical kung fu artifacts, gravity-defying struggles, and the manipulation of elemental forces before ending with a literal explosion of fiery dark chi.
  • Rule of Three: Aside from the repetition of "Say hello to [X] for me" mentioned under Give My Regards in the Next World, a line of original movie dialogue is echoed twice in very different contexts: "So that is his name" (referencing Po) becomes applied by Tai Lung to the Big Bad when he first learns of his assumed name, and then finally appears at the very end when he learns from his birth family of his original given name. This last iteration is particularly meaningful, since while his original given name did have a badass meaning, it was a lot less obviously heroic and special than the one Shifu gave him—and him recognizing and embracing this is the final proof he has gotten over the obsession with being the Dragon Warrior, and the best, that had driven him for so long.
     Tropes S-U 
  • Sacrificial Lion: Zhuang. Although he is a minor, extremely likable character whose death is a Gut Punch meant to show the villains are Dead Serious, he is not throwaway (his friendship with Tai Lung is the first outside of anyone at the Jade Palace, offers the snow leopard a window into an ordinary world that might not involve kung fu, and opens the way to much deeper connections with Xiulan and Yi), and he also performs pivotal roles in the plot ranging from being a Spanner in the Works for the villains to helping the heroes out in key critical moments (the birch forest, Chang's house, his Dying Clue). And his death is most certainly a Wham Episode which changes the way the rest of the characters behave and pushes Xiu over the Moral Event Horizon In-Universe, particularly for Po.
  • Sadistic Choice: Die for a crime you didn't commit, or go on a second rampage to save yourself, thus proving everyone right about your unrepentant villainy and giving the Big Bad the inroads to corrupt and possess you. Tai Lung can be very grateful there was a third option.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Tai Lung, who naturally refuses to display vulnerability of any sort (especially not the emotional kind), uses the excuse of his allergy to all the dust in the air thanks to cleaning Oogway's room, when the turtle's secret cabinet has been opened and revealed he did love and care for the snow leopard, to cover for the tears forming in his eyes. Amusingly, Tigress uses the same excuse in the very same chapter, when they discover a set of dominoes among Oogway's things which are strongly implied to be the same ones Shifu used to help her train her strength as a cub in Secrets of the Furious Five.
  • Satellite Character: Several, though not as many as in most fanfics. The two most obvious would be Zhuang and Xiulan, but although it is true their story mostly revolves around their reaction to Tai Lung and his possible redemption, they also have their own subplots relating to Tigress, Ping, and Chang (another Satellite Character). Also of note is that both Xiulan and Chang are that rare form of the trope, the one full of all-consuming rage, bitterness, vengefulness, and outright hatred.
  • Say My Name: While the usual example happens a few times (the most notable would be Tai Lung screaming Tigress's name along with a Big "NO!" when they both fall into Chorh-Gom's abyss), an amusing inversion occurs as a Running Gag throughout the fic of a character being snapped out of a Flashback memory by their name being spoken—the one saying it isn't emotionally invested, instead it's the person being spoken to.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • While Tai Lung was the "horrible criminal escapes from prison" version of the trope in the movie, Heian Chao is the more conventional version, seeing as he was sealed away by Oogway nearly a thousand years ago and, with the turtle's death plus Po's usage of the Wuxi Finger Hold, he breaks free to wreak havoc once more. Interestingly, the two end up being somewhat related, since one of the reasons for Tai Lung being locked in Chorh-Gom in the first place turns out to have been keeping him away from Chao's corrupt influence—which unfortunately didn't work since he could still haunt him for twenty years anyway thanks to Astral Projection. And it was Chao who enabled Zeng's feather to reach Tai Lung, making for an inversion where the Greater-Scope Villain is the one to release the (previous) Big Bad from his Tailor-Made Prison before eventually getting free himself.
    • The yaoguai, though they seemed to be a Red Herring earlier in the story, are summoned to the Vault of Heroes for the Final Battle by Chao. It isn't clear if he simply released them from the physical prison Tai Lung's rockfall had sealed them in or if the snow leopard had actually banished them to a spiritual one, but since he did use a mystical kung fu weapon to do it and Chao summons them through what appears to be a gateway between dimensons and not simply a portal to another part of the world, it seems to have been both in some manner.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Very much Tai Lung's attitude at not receiving the Dragon Scroll. Somewhat justified by him believing that earning it would make Shifu proud of him, and that after having been led to believe that he would be the Dragon Warrior, the people of the Valley resumed taunting and rejecting him for being an orphan trying to rise above his station.
  • Secret Test of Character: Shifu's Chew-Out Fake-Out with Tai Lung and Tigress after catching them in a compromising position also turns out to be a downplayed example of this, for while it doesn't take place in the middle of a larger challenge of courage, strength, or skill, nor does it involve performing something morally reprehensible (unless one subscribes to Sex Is Evil), it is the case that they are challenged on whether they will continue their relationship no matter what anyone else in the Valley or empire thinks or whether it will put them in danger from the Big Bad to do so. And after a typical usage of Exact Words, it turns out that Shifu was actually testing their commitment to one another, whether it was real love that would withstand any obstacle or simply lust/a passing fling that would be abandoned the minute things got rough or unforeseen consequences occurred.
  • Seers: Meditating allows Shifu, like Oogway before him, to have visions and premonitions of the future. The one depicted in-story, aside from being ominous, rather portentous, and vague, is also enough to nearly make him pass out.
  • See You in Hell: Variation: Tigress tells Chao to 'drop dead', to which he replies, "I already tried that and it didn't agree with me."
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Or at least, Villain-Disposing Villain. But while what happens to Xiu (Convenient Coma) is thanks to Chao, it would never have occurred if she hadn't gotten Drunk on the Dark Side and begged Chao to give her his power. Though Po interfering with the transfer may also have had something to do with the results.
  • Self-Parody: The action figures scene, which makes fun of both certain elements of Taigress fics and Tai Lung redemption fics as well as the author's own fic. An in-story example would be one only mentioned in passing: in the "Truth or Dare", when asked to praise Po, Tai Lung adds in an extra of himself speaking of Po when he faced the Five on the bridge and hams it up for good measure.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Po and Tai Lung, respectively, are moderate examples. The panda is chubby rather than skinny (though this still makes him rather unathletic, a big reason for his difficulty in learning kung fu initially), his mannerisms are more childish and silly than effeminate, and while he loves (and is extremely good at) cooking, he's also utterly devoted to kung fu which is considered a very masculine sport in Eastern cultures and settings (and over time has come to be viewed similarly in the West, if not on the same level as being a soldier, warrior, or contact-sport athlete). But he's also literally In Touch with His Feminine Side due to having more affinity for Yin, the feminine side of the taijitu, and is of course more emotional, kind-hearted, and an all-around Nice Guy. Tai Lung, meanwhile, is about as butch and virile as can be, ranging from his well-muscled Heroic Build and aggressive, generally rough nature to his overall dismissal of most things feminine (whether cooking, fashion, and the arts or being loving, gentle, and sympathetic to the needs and emotions of others), as well as having an affinity for masculine Yang. However, over time he does soften his views and attitudes so that, even while he remains manly, he no longer disparages femininity and becomes more caring, gentle, and friendly (though always retaining that biting snark).
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: It's a good idea to keep a dictionary open in another tab while reading this. That said, the...uncommon words are used correctly, and in almost all cases are actually more of a precise fit than their everyday equivalents. In-story, this also applies to Chao's speech patterns because he's from an earlier time.
  • Shadow Walker: Heian Chao is able to use his dark chi to transport his spirit-form through the shadows. This allows him to cover days worth of distance in a few seconds, and even act in two places at once.
  • Shaming the Mob: Subverted. Shifu and Mei Ling each attempt to talk down and eventually fight off the growing mob of villagers in the Valley, both during the trial and the impending execution afterward, when they are dead set on hanging Tai Lung, but thanks to Chao's chi manipulation, no one listens to them.
  • Shipper on Deck: Viper and Mei Ling both work to bring Tai Lung and Tigress together as a couple throughout the story; while Tai Lung already realizes his true feelings, he does need to be taught how to properly express them (and deepen them beyond lust and possessiveness) and learn how to pursue romance in general, while Tigress has to both realize and act on her emotions. The serpent is focused on setting up situations where Tai Lung can do heroic or romantic things or putting them in close quarters/compromising situations so nature can take its course, as well as just giving him advice; Mei Ling just employs Operation: Jealousy. To some degree this is also true of Po, although he limits himself simply to wishing for them to finally get over themselves and admit the truth, and cheerleading from the sidelines.
  • Shoot the Rope: Variation, as just when Tai Lung is about to be hanged, Crane flies in and cuts the rope with his bill.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shown Their Work: As should become clear with even a cursory reading, the author did some serious and extensive research on ancient China. Among the many topics which are addressed, and either appear as brief asides or are gone into in great detail, are: ancestry and the treatment of orphans; Yin and Yang, as well as numerous aspects of Buddhist and Taoist beliefs and sayings, the Chinese gods and other spiritual beings, and several holidays (the Midsummer Ghost Festival and Chap Goh Meh); food and clothing; artwork, literature, and history; flora and fauna, as well as geography; burial practices and funerals; widows and marriage rights; trial proceedings; roofing practices; kung fu (of course!); and even the sacred directions.
  • Shutting Up Now: During the "Truth or Dare", when Tigress tries to refuse kissing Tai Lung with the excuse that since they were both adopted by Shifu this technically makes them brother and sister, Crane points out this isn't really a taboo since there's no actual blood relationship. Cue both cats (plus Monkey) glaring at him, at which point he hides under his hat along with "I'll be over here now."
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Although (as per the trope description) the Final Battle has a number of moments where a hero interrupts a villain—either verbally or physically—when they are in the midst of ranting at them with Trash Talk, a "Reason You Suck" Speech, a Breaking Speech, Not So Different, or some other form of Evil Gloating (Po, Tai Lung, and especially Mantis get in plenty of mocking digs on Chao), the snow leopard also responds with a sarcastic, cold, and dismissive rebuke when Chao pulls a Just Between You and Me, We Can Rule Together in his prison cell.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: In textbook fashion, Mei Ling kisses Crane to silence him twice—once when the bird is (he believes) gallantly stepping aside so that she can be with Tai Lung, and once when he's babbling about the Power of Love and how it has protected various characters from Chao. At the very end of the story, Jia comes close to similarly kissing Po, when she reveals she loves him and he stammers in disbelief just before she tackles him.
  • Sign of the Apocalypse: When both Tai Lung and Tigress agree on something (in this case, that the "Truth or Dare" game is a bad idea), everyone is shocked and stunned, and Po comments in his thoughts, "Should I be checkin' the almanac for an eclipse? Or lookin' out the window for a red comet?"
  • Silver Fox: Despite being as old, if not older than Shifu, Emperor Chen is basically an anthropomorphic version of Sean Connery built like a professional bodybuilder.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Aside from the overall progress of Tai Lung and Tigress's relationship, this actually happens literally during Tigress and Tai Lung's confrontation in the cave—thanks to their argument about his trying to help her and Shifu reconcile, Tigress ends up slapping the snow leopard twice (for a vulgar comparison, but also because she's furious at him for being right), and after several more heated minutes of sniping at each other, he kisses her forcefully to prove he loves her. She kisses him back, and after several more exchanges it goes to the next level.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: In grand kung fu tradition (see Big Trouble in Little China), the fic begins with the comedy (and action) seen in the movie, then gradually introduces horror elements as the Big Bad and his lackeys become more prominent in the story. Mood Whiplash is also deliberately invoked a few times (the "Truth or Dare" immediately followed by the first murder victim being found, Shifu catching Tai Lung and Tigress in bed and Tai Lung fetching birth control bookending the corruption of the Sacred Pool by Heian Chao, the Mushroom Samba following the trial). But in the end, the comedy mostly acts as effective breather moments between the most terrifying horror scenes, and taking over again completely once the Big Bad is defeated. Overall it seems mostly balanced rather than one or the other dominant.
  • Slouch of Villainy: When Shifu finds Chao in the Vault of Heroes, the Kung-Fu Wizard is slouching atop a throne-like boulder in a niche while his Black Cloak of shadow flows and undulates all across it and onto the floor. Somewhat unique in that the description of the boulder implies it was also the site where Oogway had imprisoned him for the last nine hundred years, in which case his lounging is not only showing badassery, sliminess, and superiority toward Shifu, but contempt for the turtle as well.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped (invoked in-story):
    • While just about everyone gets to do this in the end, Shifu, Oogway, Po, and Tigress all especially have to beat it into Tai Lung's skull repeatedly that he is not the Dragon Warrior, was never meant to be, and why—but also that this doesn't doom him to be evil or mean his life and training are now meaningless. Also, when the time comes for Tai Lung to realize and accept that he and Po are meant to be brother warriors who fight as two halves of a team, their abilities and personalities reflecting the Yin and the Yang, this fact is ground in for him by Po's fur colors.
    • Any number of times the point was repeatedly made (whether to Tai Lung, Shifu, Tigress, or the villagers) that while powerful and terrifying, Heian Chao's dark chi was always More Than Mind Control—i.e., that he was only influencing flaws and negative character traits which were already there, to make people do what they secretly wanted to on some level. Which meant that even once Chao himself was gone, these traits and flaws still must be dealt with in the usual manner to prevent tragedy and suffering in the future—and that no one he influenced could be excused of their actions because of him. He encouraged and manipulated them, but in the end most of their choices were still theirs.
  • So Proud of You:
    • As might be expected, a number of times throughout the story Tai Lung has his achievements, his redemption, or simply his skills and talents celebrated by someone telling him they are proud of him—from Shifu (though this time, unlike in the movie, the snow leopard accepts and is moved by it), but also from Oogway at the very end, which considering how long he hated and resented the turtle for denying him the Dragon Scroll is especially meaningful.
    • After finding out the true history of his parents and why he was adopted by Ping, Po isn't especially eager to even meet them, let alone have them be proud of him, but after he helps defeat Heian Chao and then receives a letter from his biological father, telling him he's proud of him not just for his actions but for being more honorable and heroic than he ever was, it's not at all surprising Po breaks down in tears.
  • Spanner in the Works: Shen Zhuang. Not only does he rescue Tigress and prevent the Wu Sisters from killing Ping, but his rescue of the Weis deprives Chao of power at a crucial moment, allowing Vachir and Monkey to be defeated and freed, respectively. And all without him even knowing he was doing for leaving a message behind to name his killer, which most certainly ruined Chao's plans.
  • Spiteful Spit: In an utterly badass moment, Zhuang spits in Xiu's face when she, possessed by Chao and made to look like Tai Lung, kills him—not only is he showing his general contempt for her and her evil, he's letting her know he can see the truth and understands about the Frameup being arranged.
  • Squishy Wizard: Averted, since Chao can heal himself of any injury so long as he has dark chi to draw upon, and is a skilled and powerful kung fu fighter in his own right.
  • Start of Darkness: Not only does Oogway tell Shifu a fairly-detailed rendition of the reasons for Chao's descent into villainy near the end of the story, he actually shows him a Flashback vision raised from the very walls of the Jade Palace. Although the turtle reveals that he was A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil and thus was once an honorable kung fu warrior, the vision in question only shows his Bloodbath Villain Origin in which he ended up slaughtering all the child students as well as his fellow masters and former friends.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Averted. Not only does Tai Lung (wisely) never expect this of Tigress, but when Crane and Mei Ling get together, he follows her on a kung fu adventure across the empire. (This is contrary to some of the men Mei has known in the past, who were threatened by her Action Girl status.) And Po, of course, is the one who will stay in the kitchen when he isn't being the Dragon Warrior.
  • Stealth Pun: While it's not clear exactly how this would work in-world, or if something like this is even possible, a very naughty Getting Crap Past the Radar implication is made in this scene at the apothecary:
    Ning Guo: Really? Well, nothing to be ashamed of, sonny, happens to all of us at the worst of times, doesn't mean anything about your masculinity. I could give you my own special brew...a certain weed I mix with something fresh from yours truly... Ning Guo is a goat.
  • Storming the Castle: Both the finale version and pre-climax version appear. About two-thirds of the way through the story, the heroes receive an ultimatum note from Vachir, a case of a villain actually inviting (or taunting) his enemies to come and face him, and while he doesn't have a home base as such, Chorh-Gom was once his and the Anvil of Heaven's fortification. In any event, its status as his former prison certainly drives Tai Lung to comply, and while they leave Po and Mei Ling behind (and they don't gear up in any particular way), there is the threat that the awful killings will continue unless they obey. The Final Battle is a textbook example, since it involves every single kung fu warrior at the palace descending into the Vault of Heroes to face Chao, bringing along numerous powerful mystical kung fu artifacts, and going up against all of his various dark forces to save the Valley and all of China.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike:
  • Straw Nihilist: Chao definitely has shades of being this kind of cynical villain. While it isn't gone into in great detail, and it is often difficult to know how much is genuine belief and how much self-serving lies to manipulate/intimidate his victims, it becomes clear after a while that he considers life to be either empty, meaningless, and worthless, or else filled with nothing but pain and loss, which explains both why he'd be against the cycle of reincarnation and would wish to keep living forever while controlling the lives and wills of everyone around him. (Prevent others from causing him pain, derive meaning from being the only one who can decide who has worth and who deserves to suffer.) As a result, he shifts between Fauxlosophic Narration, What Is Evil?, Virtue Is Weakness, and Omnicidal Maniac, and he's most definitely a case of The Sociopath and The Unfettered. How much of this stems from his original motivations and how much is due to his corruption by the powers he unlocked in his studies is also unclear.
  • Summoning Ritual:
    • During the Final Battle, Chao summons the demonic yaoguai; unlike most such examples, there doesn't seem to be much actual ceremony to it, perhaps because the sheer amount of dark chi and other mystical knowledge he has unlocked allows him to bypass the need for such. He does, however, at least chant in another language that seems to have a very infernal sound to it, and it does create a gate between realms/dimensions.
    • Interestingly, the Banishing Ritual Mantis and Monkey have to use seems to have a bit more to it, since it not only requires the use of a mystical kung fu artifact but also its own chanting in Mandarin, as well as the creation of hanzi symbols in mid-air to act as a form of Geometric Magic.
    • When Mantis calls the Warriors of Tenshu, this is also a Summoning Ritual of sorts, though it also consists of only chanting in Mandarin: calling their Survival Mantra / Badass Creed into the Urn of Whispering Warriors.
  • Super Power Lottery: Chao (which is rather unsurprising for a Big Bad). He is a Body Snatcher and can create People Puppets due to Demonic Possession; can astral project and travel via means of a world of shadows; can incite a Hate Plague and use More Than Mind Control to influence others; has powers over darkness and shadow and ice as well as some ability with illusion; and can both raise the dead and summon demons. Justified due to being a Kung-Fu Wizard and master of chi (which could be used for anything related to life, the soul, or the mind, as well as perception thereof), as well as using Black Magic to extend his life and generally discovering Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.
  • Surprise Witness: Ning Guo acts as this—not at Tai Lung's trial, but his execution, although by that point his words are only an additional confirmation rather than the linch-pin since Crane had already brought the evidence to exonerate the snow leopard and Shifu had exorcized the People Puppets of the village so that they could actually listen.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: How Po attempts to convince Jia he wasn't about to declare his love for her: although she just came upon him with an orange he was marking with her name for the New Year festival, and she knows exactly what this means, he tries to claim it's just because he's hungry and hasn't gotten to eat while working at the noodle shop, and it "wasn't for the festival or anything, of course not..."
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: Crane and Mei. She's trying to explain to him why she is seemingly pursuing Tai Lung and not letting him in on it, he believes she is confessing to loving Tai Lung in order to help him earn Tigress's acceptance, and it only gets worse when her bringing up Viper makes him think the whole thing is actually a conspiracy (not necessarily against him, but one he wasn't a party to). Occurs not because he is dim, but thanks to him genuinely thinking she could never love him.
  • Sweet Tooth: Tai Lung. He doesn't like to admit it, but he'll blissfully chow down on any sweets he can get his paws on.
  • Sympathetic Magic: In order to influence Tai Lung, and everyone around him, into acting on their darker impulses, Chao makes use of some of the snow leopard's fur. While he isn't as successful as he'd like thanks to Oogway intervening with his chi mixed with Tai Lung's inside his staff, he's still able to affect things enough to bring his plans close to fruition.
  • Take a Third Option: Chao arranged things so that either Tai Lung would be captured, tortured, killed, and/or corrupted back into a villain by Vachir, or he would in turn kill Vachir and become just like him thanks to Roaring Rampage of Revenge, Thou Shalt Not Kill, and Jumping Off the Slippery Slope rendering him susceptible to Demonic Possession. Instead, Tai Lung does the right thing after Vachir is freed by Tigress fatally injuring him, by both granting him forgiveness and a Mercy Kill. Cue Big "NO!" and Villainous Breakdown.
  • Taking the Bullet: Tai Lung dives between Tigress and Monkey to keep the latter from stabbing her with a knife at Chorh-Gom. The Big "NO!" doesn't come up until they both fall in the abyss, he ends up on his knees next to her rather than in her arms, and the attempted killer doesn't get to try again because he was restrained by others.
  • Taking You with Me: When Vachir demands Tai Lung to Come Alone for a Duel to the Death, the snow leopard considers performing some sort of Heroic Sacrifice—partly because he believes such a thing may be the only way to stop the rhino, partly because he sees it as the only way to fully atone (protecting the Valley from both of them). Thankfully, despite attempting it when he knocks both of them off a bridge in Chorh-Gom, it ends up not happening.
  • Talk to the Fist: Coming as a surprise to absolutely no one, Tai Lung punches Heian Chao during the Final Battle, as a means of shutting him up while villain monologuing. Despite this, it's actually delivered with a dismissive drawl (and the oft-heard words "You talk too much"), not in a temperamental rage.
  • Tampon Run / Trojan Gauntlet: Tai Lung being sent to the apothecary by Tigress to fetch birth control herbs straddles the line between both of these tropes, seeing as the item in question is for the female character, but both Ning Guo's misunderstanding questions and Tai Lung's reactions fall under those for buying condoms, and his embarrassment is not only for the actual thing he's getting but also for exposing the fact he's having sex at all. The scene works because a) Ancient China, while sexually permissive, hardly had the same openness when it came to private, intimate issues as generally exists in modern times b) the choice of words adds to the hilarity c) Tai Lung's shyness and modesty make perfect sense for a virgin (especially at his age) and d) it's just funny seeing this happen to such a badass character.
  • Tell Me About My Father: Both Tai Lung and Po are interested in learning about their biological families, although the snow leopard is far more determined to do so, aided by his less-than-stellar relationship with Shifu as opposed to the panda's devoted closeness to Ping. One is quite happy with what he learns, the other...isn't. And it's not who you think. Interestingly, in both cases it's both parents the asker is concerned with, although Po ends up more focused on his father than his mother in the end (because he's the one who turned out to be somewhat villainous). Also, in one case it was simply a matter of not wishing to disturb him in the new family he had come to love (and the death of the one character who knew the secret), not any attempt to hide the truth from him, while for the other it's a case of the Disappeared Dad being the one who wants his child Locked Out of the Loop because he doesn't want him to Turn Out Like His Father, and thus making Chun and Ping swear an oath of secrecy.
  • Tempting Fate: Monkey learns that he really should have listened to Po, and not mentioned the possibility of spirits taking him over the night of the Ghost Festival... Crane also skirts the edges of the trope when, right before Chao first leaves Chorh-Gom to implement his plans, the bird comes just a couple words away from thinking to himself the old (apocryphal) Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times", as well as wondering "What could possibly happen next?"
  • That Man Is Dead: Thanks to the dark chi powers he has been corrupted with, Heian Chao is no longer the good kung fu warrior he once was under Oogway's tutelage, and the turtle says as much. When Shifu calls him by his original name during the final battle, Chao naturally responds with the trope name, followed by the contemptuous "And good riddance to him!" Interestingly, despite this it turns out this may not be exactly true, since Tai Lung's usage of the Golden Spear along with the chi in Oogway's staff manages to resurrect some portion of his old self as a hungry ghost who must work off his penance, as revealed in the sequel vignettes.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Variation. Although Tai Lung is confirmed to have killed a number of people during his rampage, and he does eventually come to regret and feel remorse for this, it's actually almost killing someone that has the snow leopard staring at his paws in despair and horror "as if they belonged to someone else, as if he could not believe what they had done, or almost done." Considering this is in reference to him nearly killing his own adopted father, Shifu, near the end of the first movie, and that he later explicitly recalls how terrible it was to feel the red panda's neck within his grip and what would have happened "if Po had arrived just a few minutes later", this is completely understandable.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Despite the story taking place in ancient China, Chapter 13 is when the Wu Sisters are first introduced and the Big Bad's villainy is made clear. On the other hand, this same chapter also includes one of the most touching and heartwarming moments in the story between Po and Tai Lung, and Tai Lung having something of a Meet Cute with his past cub self to reassure him he still has goodness in him.
  • This Cannot Be!:
  • This Is Reality: When the true nature of their adversary is revealed thanks to Vachir, Po is taken aback at the notion of a dark chi wizard who can possess and control the souls and wills of others, calling it something that "only happen[s] in stories." (And this after learning that zombies actually exist—although according to Chinese mythology, they do—and admitting it would explain several in-story events.) Cue Tai Lung saying "it's not just a ghost story, it's real life." Considering the kung fu genre can vary from being Like Reality Unless Noted to full-on supernatural with numerous mystical artifacts and powers, and that other than the Wuxi Finger Hold nothing is really depicted in the first movie which tells the viewer just how "real" the KFP world is, having the snow leopard say this does open up the setting to more of what is possible.
  • This Is Something He's Got To Do Himself: Thanks to their past history together (Chorh-Gom and the Cold-Blooded Torture the rhino and his men subjected him to) as well as his current siege of slaughtering innocent victims around the Valley, Tai Lung views dealing with Vachir as something only he could, and should, do—whether as a form of atonement, It's Personal, because he is the target of Vachir's Revenge, or because he doesn't want the rest of the Jade Palace crew hurt by that point. Somewhat ironically, despite the personal connection he also shares with the Big Bad (being his target for corruption and him being the one behind Vachir, the snow leopard's instability and darkness, and much more), Tai Lung does not employ this with Heian Chao, instead being only one of three who takes him out (though he does deliver the actual killing blow). Not that he didn't attempt taking him on one-on-one prior to that, of course.
  • This Is Wrong on So Many Levels: When the Five, Tai Lung, and Po are cleaning out Oogway's room and see the contents of the turtle's more explicit love letters, they react, whether verbally or physically, as if whatever they read is just too hard to describe in how wrong it is.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted. Though Po still doesn't kill anyone, no one else seems to have this compunction.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Because they are based off of Avatar: The Last Airbender's Dangerous Ladies, the Wu Sisters fit this trope as well—Jia, the sweet and affectionate, playful and, despite her backstory, innocent Child (while her sisters are casing the noodle restaurant in preparation for assaulting Ping, she's bouncing excitedly over the menu and begging for salmon); Chun, the sensible and capable Wife who save for two points in the story remains eternally cool, calm, and collected (and actually would make a good wife, as shown in backstory by a conversation she had with her father); and Xiu, the Manipulative Bitch Seductress (though Jia also has aspects of the latter, note the scene where she suggests a bondage threesome with herself, Tai Lung, and Tigress).
  • Through His Stomach: Apparently food is one of the ways in which Po succeeds in befriending Tai Lung, since not only does the snow leopard become ever more friendly, amenable, and accepting of the panda the more times he samples Po's cooking, but their very first interaction involves a bowl of noodles and broth in Tai Lung's cell; their next closer bonding occurs when they're eating together at Ping's restaurant; and when the snow leopard's paws are burned by his Fire training at Wu Dan so that he can't handle chopsticks, Po actually feeds him dumplings. It's also while Tai Lung is taking care of Po after the injuries he receives in Yunxian (including feeding him the questionable meals he's prepared) that the snow leopard finally admits to himself he's starting to see the panda as his friend.
  • Tinkle in the Eye: Though not actually in the eye, this otherwise happens when Tai Lung, conscripted into helping Tigress at the day care, has to do the dreaded Diaper Change—from a red panda cub, no less.
  • Title Drop: Technically the title is dropped right in the fic's opening blurb ("Can a father undo his past mistakes? Perhaps, if the snow leopard can be taught...A Different Lesson"), but it is properly referenced at least three times in the fic itself—the first time during the training on Wu Dan where it emphasizes what Tai Lung has to do differently and how he should view the world and his place in it if he wants to be a hero, the last time at the very end when he is reflecting back on everything he's gone through. The second time, in a sinister variation, is spoken by the Big Bad, implying what he will offer if Tai Lung joins him.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Despite no one ever coming out and saying it, some might consider Zhuang to be this, considering he has a number of Gary Stu traits (though thankfully not fully becoming one due to not taking over the story), he has next to no flaws, and it is his death, among other things, that galvanizes Po to fight the Wu Sisters, sends Tai Lung on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Xiu and Chao, and even gets Xiulan and the rest of the Valley's support behind Tai Lung once it comes out who really killed him. The trope is still played with at least, since he does not get a long, drawn-out death scene (though there is a Meaningful Funeral and a Dead Person Conversation before he moves on to the next life—albeit for Tai Lung's ears alone) and the Big Bad not only doesn't reflect on it, he dismisses him as a mere peasant whose death was Laser-Guided Karma for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and a simple byproduct of his plan to Take Over the World.
  • Took a Level in Badass: At a certain point, Tai Lung shows that when cool and collected, he could defeat Po, probably easily at that. But after some time, lessons and new tricks from both Shifu and Tai Lung, combined with Po's natural talent, and... well, let's just say you also don't want to see an angry panda.
    But then, as [Xiu] was about to slam a Tiger Fist into Po's face—with enough force, it looked like, to break his nose—the panda suddenly rallied, and with a speed that seemed impossible brought one paw up to catch her fist just inches away from his muzzle. Staring at her past the meaty, black-furred appendage, he growled softly. "Big mistake." His fingers closed around her paw, squeezing—and suddenly Xiu was screaming, trying to jerk her paw out of his grip.
    Only when Po relented and allowed her to escape was she able to stagger back, cradling her paw against her chest and glaring at him in pure, molten hate, and Viper's jaw dropped: with his strength, the panda had come that close to crushing every bone in Xiu's paw.
  • Too Slow: When Xiu is fighting Tai Lung at Yunxian and is able to easily dodge one of his blows by bending swiftly aside, she taunts him with the Stock Phrase "Too slow, Tai Tai."
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Tai Lung absolutely adores candy and desserts of any kind, though he's very secretive and does not like people to know about it.
  • True Companions: Although at first his relationships with those at the Jade Palace range from openly hostile (Tigress and Monkey), to neutral and cool (Mantis and Crane), to compassion and tentative friendship (Viper and Po), over time spent together getting to know one another as well as facing down the increasingly deadly and villainous threats of Vachir, the Wu Sisters, and Heian Chao, Tai Lung eventually learns to see all of them (except Tigress, to whom he becomes even closer) as deep friends he can depend upon in a crisis—and they come to view him the same.
  • Try Not to Die: Tigress uses a snarkily dry variation of this in Chorh-Gom after having saved Tai Lung from falling off a collapsing bridge; because of the Slap-Slap-Kiss, Masochism Tango nature of their relationship, this rather than the usual plaintive, emotional version makes sense—for them, this is a heartfelt prayer to come back to each other.
    Tigress: Try not to fall again...I might not be there next time to catch you.
  • Tsundere: Tigress is a quite intense example of the Harsh Tsundere; while she is generally cold, aloof, and fierce with others, her opening up to and getting to know Po during the first movie has softened her a fair degree so that now she more comes across as a Grumpy Bear...except when dealing with the snow leopard, who even when she isn't suspecting him of foul play and being a Falsely Reformed Villain is constantly treated with nasty, vindictive, malicious insults as well as violence when she feels the occasion warrants it. And as she starts falling for him (and realizes it) this behavior becomes even more pronounced. Once she isn't able to deny the truth any more, and the two of them are able to declare their love and become a couple, she finally mellows out and becomes sweeter (well, for her), but there are still times when Tai Lung is able to set off her trigger, to his great regret (and fervent intention to avoid in future). The snow leopard himself is a male example, though also a Jerk with a Heart of Gold (he's fairly harsh, dismissive, and even cruel at first to almost everyone, with a heart that's genuinely capable of warmth and affection as he works to redeem himself, but his attitude toward Tigress remains the same as hers toward him until he too finally softens and relaxes as they draw closer).
  • Twice Shy: Crane and Mei Ling are kept from hooking up for the longest time because the bird is incredibly shy and awkward, while the mountain cat thinks he only sees her as a dear friend, and neither of them can admit how they really feel. In this case the outside force which gets them to come clean (after initially adding to the confusion) is Operation: Jealousy, the breaking of Chao's chi power over the Valley, and the Kangaroo Court against Tai Lung.
  • Unexpected Virgin: Tai Lung, due to both his age (almost forty years old) and his badass, tough-guy exterior, but it turns out that he simply never bothered with romance in his single-minded pursuit of the Dragon Scroll.
  • Unlucky Everydude: Crane. Although he is (at least in this story, and extrapolating from information revealed in Secrets of the Furious Five) around the same age as Tai Lung, his utter shyness, cluelessness with women, insecurity, and lack of any close family leaves him completely floundering out of his depth when it comes to Mei Ling. (The fact he's the last of the Five to figure out what's going on between Tigress and Tai Lung, however, shows his issues extend beyond just the mountain cat.) And since he's otherwise extremely skilled with kung fu, intelligent, and insightful when it comes to social interactions and reading other characters, this one flaw marks him as the Butt-Monkey when it comes to love.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Subverted. Shifu tells Tigress and Tai Lung exactly what he intends to do to stop Vachir. Despite this, the plan itself works perfectly—Vachir just happens to survive it is all. Also, despite Chao telling the Wu Sisters his plan for Tai Lung and the Five, it comes very close to working with only Oogway's protection preventing it. However, it is later played straight when Chao tells Tai Lung what he intends for him to do as his servant, which of course never comes to pass.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Aside from the way this already applies to him in the movie, the scene where Tai Lung and the others discover the portrait of him as an adorable cub in Oogway's room is an In-Universe Old Shame / Played for Laughs variation. Except that instead of Tai Lung bemoaning the ruining of his Villain Cred, he's attempting to head off Badass Decay. Despite the fact he remains a badass for the rest of the story, amusingly, no one seems to believe him when he calls his cub self a hellion...except Tigress.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Chao uses a promised glorious future as his reason (excuse!) for murdering his friends and fellow masters, as well as a group of child kung fu trainees—believing that only by committing such acts, and absorbing the chi released in the process, can he save all of China and remake it in the image he believes will be best for all by eliminating the tyrannical emperor who is crushing and controlling everyone's lives. And he is willing to commit whatever other atrocious acts may be necessary to unlock still more mystical secrets which will help him succeed. By the present he still appeals to this motivation, except that now he claims the world he will create is one without pain or loss, where none need die or be denied love and a prosperous future...if, of course, they will only obey him, give their wills to him, and allow him to eliminate those who would stand in his way.
     Tropes V-Z 
  • Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Vault of Heroes has shades of this, being an underground location with epic architecture and statuary, lots of space for fighting, and an impressive name. However, not only is the name the exact opposite you would expect, the place was never intended to be the location for a Boss Battle, since it was a hall built to honor fallen heroes and a nexus of holy spiritual energy; it only becomes this trope due to being the place where Oogway imprisoned Heian Chao. Its choice for the Final Battle, on the other hand, is also a reference to its original intention as such for the movie.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Variation, since the school they attended together was a kung fu academy and not, as far as we know, an actual common educational institution, and from the ages given for the characters they were older than the usual trope examples. But in terms of spending critical formative years together, how they viewed one another (albeit mistakenly at times), and their lack of being High-School Sweethearts, Crane and Mei Ling both qualify—particularly since, after the fifteen years they spent apart since graduation, meeting one another again is what jumpstarts their relationship to the next level.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Lampshaded, invoked, and parodied: when the characters stop at a bookstall in a marketplace and discover a scroll detailing the "legendary" events of the first movie, among the numerous parts the writer got wrong is Tigress's depiction as a man. This is a meta reference to the fact that thanks to a lack of Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, many prospective fans viewing trailers or pre-production materials were similarly confused (until seeing the casting news/hearing the voice work of Angelina Jolie).
  • Villain Ball: While Chao is usually not found carrying one of these, he does do so in at least one respect: inflaming Jia's lusts for Tai Lung so that she comes to care for him too much, while at the same time encouraging Monkey and/or Vachir to kill him. And he doesn't expect this to cause any difficulties with Jia. Not the smartest move. Confessing his great plan to Tai Lung in his cell also counts.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Xiu at Wu Dan, and you can see every step on the way to it. Heian Chao has one too, albeit more drawn-out: starting from after Chorh-Gom when things start going wrong for him (see Didn't See That Coming, Xanatos Gambit, and Take a Third Option), getting worse after Tai Lung is exonerated, and culminating when he discovers Po is not only still involved in the battle despite his I Have Your Father ultimatum but had also cleansed the Pool of Sacred Tears. Watch Chao go from suave, sophisticated Chessmaster to psychotic, raging apocalypse.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: At first played straight, then later averted. When the Big Bad first appears in the story, all of the plot-driven elements come about due to him or his lackeys, with the Heroes either trying to stop him, put an end to his crimes, or protect Tai Lung, Po, and the people of the Valley. But after one too many schemes, before Chao can recover and launch an even worse attack, Shifu decides to be proactive, learn who and what and where he is, and go take him out—and after learning of him from the Wu Sisters, the rest of the Heroes decide the same thing.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Subverted. What seemed to be the Wu Sisters out for dinner at Ping's restaurant was actually them casing the joint to get info on Po.
  • Virgin-Shaming: Nicely subverted with Tai Lung. Although there is a certain amount of teasing and mockery on Mantis and Monkey's parts over it, the rest of the Five, especially Tigress, seem to commend him for his status and the story never suggests or implies the snow leopard is anything less of a warrior or man for this. In fact Tai Lung loses his virginity just before the battle at Chorh-Gom...and still loses to Vachir, undermining the notion that a change in his sexual status suddenly made him a better fighter, while after he and Tigress finally become a couple and start frequently sharing a bed, he is still only one member of a team that helps save the day. He does defeat the Big Bad, but only with the help of Po and Tigress—so the Power of Love and the Power of Friendship trump losing your virginity.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: In the "only one friend" variation, Tai Lung will not miss an opportunity to snark at, poke fun at, and sometimes even threaten Po with physical harm, and while Po is not oblivious to it (most of the time), the panda just takes it all with good humor and continues to be as friendly, warm, and caring as can be—except if Tai Lung insults Mr. Ping and his soup or restaurant. On occasion Po does return the teasing and snark right back, but only in a gentle, lighthearted way, naturally, and this tendency increases as the story progresses and Tai Lung's companionship influences his Character Development; by the end they're a bit closer to Friendly Rivalry.
  • Voice of the Legion: Whenever Heian Chao possesses someone, his voice underlies theirs during moments when he reveals himself (or his control simply subsumes his host's will completely), and the blending of voices (even when his host's voice is also deep) is remarked in-story as being quite unnerving and chilling. His own voice also contains a reverberating echo from time to time, and even seems to be backed by other layers of whispers; it isn't clear what exactly causes this effect (one of the sequel vignettes suggests it's at least partially a simple auditory trick performed via chi manipulation), but the implication is that at least some of it stems from darker spirits he unleashed during his chi studies, perhaps even that some of them may have taken up residence within him.
  • We Can Rule Together:
    • Heian Chao offers Tai Lung the chance to become "the greatest of his servants", partly as an alternative to him killing him and everyone he loves, partly to offer him unique powers and a legendary status he's craved his whole life. Despite the threats, the PTSD which stems from being imprisoned again, and the Sadistic Choice Chao is placing him in, the snow leopard is tempted thanks to his Inferiority Superiority Complex (and his belief everyone has either turned on him or is helpless to save him)—but in the end he refuses.
    • Xiu offers to have Tai Lung join the Wu Clan, both when they first meet in Yunxian and during the Final Battle, with the added bait of learning about his family and why he was a Doorstop Baby, but he refuses.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Xun Chao, before becoming Heian Chao, wanted to use his mastery of chi to bring order to China by overthrowing the Emperor. To do this, he needed to murder children and absorb their chi. By the time he tried to follow through with it, he was quite clearly out of his mind...and thanks to The Corruption, The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, and (it's implied) Love Hurts he has dispensed with things such as love, compassion, and morality as pathetic signs of weaknesses, instead merely using appeals to them to justify his actions and manipulate others while not even believing in them any more.
  • Wham Chapter: Chapter 34. Nuff said, and Chapter 30 as well. The first one is the chapter where Zhuang is murdered, Ping is kidnapped and Po informed of it, and Shifu has his frightening premonition just before the Cliffhanger of Tai Lung's arrest. The second starts with Zhuang discovering the blinded Chang and his wife being fed off of by Chao and warned about Vachir, then has the zombie Anvil of Heaven, the fight with Vachir, the revelation that Monkey was possessed (and Disney Death of Mantis), and the stabbing of Vachir that led to the explosion of dark chi and Tai Lung and Tigress falling into the abyss. Whew! Chapter 34 also counts as a Drama Bomb since, unlike Chapter 30, it takes place after a breather in the plot and what seems to be things mostly better or on the rise toward resolution.
  • What Is Evil?:
    • Seeing as he's a Straw Nihilist and Well-Intentioned Extremist who went Jumping Off the Slippery Slope into The Dark Side because Utopia Justifies the Means, it isn't at all surprising Heian Chao would use moral relativism to try and sway others to his side. At the same time, it seems fairly obvious at certain points that he is indeed aware of what evil is—or at least how others define it—he just believes the ends justify the means, that no one else can understand the truth of what must be done, and that those who get hung up on right and wrong are missing the point when it comes to what he wants to achieve.
      Heian Chao: Cease prattling about morality and ethics, you and I both know those are simply words we use as masks, facades to present to the world to keep the weak and misguided from interfering while we do our work.
    • Unsurprisingly, Xiu holds a similar view which she inherited from her mother and the assassin's code, but Chun points out that it isn't a matter of not being able to define evil, but one of perspective.
  • What Would X Do?: As mentioned under Ice-Cream Koan, Tai Lung ends up trying to think like his Old Master Oogway when it comes to giving advice and comfort to Tigress while they're trapped on the ledge in Chorh-Gom. Unfortunately, while he's forgiven the turtle by this point, his long history of dismissing much of what he said (plus Oogway's inherently confusing thought processes) makes the snow leopard rather bad at it. Also comes with a bit of I Can't Believe I'm Saying This, when he finds himself having to ask such a question in the first place.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Another motivation for Tai Lung's rampage, besides claiming what he had been led to believe was rightfully his—to get back at those who had mocked him for not becoming the Dragon Warrior.
  • Why, Thank You, X!: Late in the story, Shifu is searching the scroll room at the Jade Palace for information on Heian Chao. Oogway's ghost appears and points out to him which scroll he should read, causing the red panda to absentmindedly thank him before doing the requisite Double Take. What makes this funnier (and even more in character) is that considering their personalities, it's highly like the turtle pulled this sort of thing on Shifu even when he was alive.
  • Wicked Cultured: Until he loses his temper after the failure of his plans, Chao has this trope written all over him—suave, eloquent, often with a polysyllabic lexicon, urbane and florid in his mannerisms and gestures, a very dry and sardonic sense of humor, and overall a keen intelligence and sophistication. Some of this likely stems from his having lived nearly a thousand years in the past, but it also clearly relates to his elite education—and probably his class as well, since Oogway notes his family was of the nobility.
  • A Wizard Did It: Used quite literally to explain and justify such things as why Tai Lung conveniently forgets about Chao for a while, why the Five become increasingly argumentative, why Mei Ling doesn't tell Crane about her plan to make Tigress jealous, why Poor Communication Kills, why Tai Lung thinks it's a good idea to reconcile Tigress and Shifu in the middle of a Hate Plague, and so on.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Despite the setting and the fact he is a Black Magic user, Chao is nine hundred plus years old. That said, the kung fu genre has numerous examples of mystical villains unnaturally extending their life/preserving their youth and health, and in Chao's case the fact he's drawing upon Life Energy from countless others would only further augment and sustain the Five Elements flowing through his body; Oogway mentions that if not for this he would have decayed long ago, with the implication that it would be due as much to his use of the dark arts as because of his age and lich-like status.
  • Won't Take Yes For An Answer: How Po reacts to Jia revealing she has feelings for him, too—immediately launching into all the reasons he believes, in his insecurity, that she (or any female) could never be interested in him that way (being fat, being immature, lacking in confidence and badassery) before realizing what she'd actually said.
  • The Worf Effect: As proof of what a serious threat the villains of the story are—Exhibit A: the Wu Sisters come this close to defeating Tai Lung during their first encounter, nearly kill Po, and do succeed in beating Tigress the first time they meet her; Exhibit B: Vachir gives an absolute No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Tai Lung at Chorh-Gom and succeeds in holding Tigress hostage; and just before the Final Battle, during Heian Chao's series of Breaking Speeches to the kung fu warriors, we see from Tigress's POV just how powerful the shadow mage's chi is, since he comes quite close to breaking her. In the end, though, all of this merely allows for multiple examples of Heroic Second Wind as Xiu is eventually defeated by first Po, then Tai Lung, Vachir is dealt a fatal blow by Tigress, and not only is Chao killed, but his army of demons is taken out by the Five, led of course by Tigress.
  • World's Shortest Book: Inverted example on Wu Dan, where Xiu taunts Tigress with the knowledge she possesses of what's going on back in the Valley that the kung fu master doesn't have. (Although Tigress gets a good rejoinder in by mocking Xiu's age, as not having enough time to tell her.)
    Tigress: Wait a minute—what do you mean, "I should be worrying about Tai Lung"? What's going on? What do you know that I don't?
    Xiu: Oh, that could fill whole mountains of scrolls, Master Tigress. Are you sure you have the time to hear it?
  • Worth It: During the "Truth or Dare" game—despite the fact it results in him being chastised, threatened, and forced to endure two dares or questions in a row, Tai Lung murmurs to himself that it was worth it just to make Po attempt to touch his toes and witness the results.
  • Wouldn't Hurt A Child: While he brutally injured and even killed many innocent people during his rampage, Tai Lung never once harmed or killed a child—from his thoughts it's clear he considers this a point of honor for him as one of the few parts of the kung fu code he managed to retain. As a result it's also a Berserk Button for him if you suggest that he would, as Monkey discovers. Jia also notes that is a line the Wu Sisters have never crossed, not even Xiu. Chao, however, has no such compunctions.
  • Wronski Feint: Crane pulls a clever move on Heian Chao during the final battle, flying straight at one of the walls of the Vault of Heroes and then veering away at the last second so that the villain crashes into the rock; for maximum effectiveness he does this by bringing his feet up, driving them into the stone, and then shoving himself away up and at an angle so Chao has even less time to correct course.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Chao, being Genre Savvy, tries pulling one of these off on Tai Lung at Chorh-Gom, figuring that he'll either kill Vachir out of rage and be open to being corrupted, or get killed and serve him as a zombie; either way he would win. Similarly, no matter which way Tai Lung resolved the Sadistic Choice which Chao had set up via the murder of Zhuang and the trial (be executed for a crime he didn't commit, or go on a second rampage to save himself, thus proving everyone right about his unrepentant villainy, both of which would again leave him open to possession, corruption, and necromantic control), he would gain the snow leopard's service and power, and win...except for Zhuang's Dying Clue which Crane found and brought as evidence, and Po cleansing the Sacred Pool along with Shifu's use of Oogway's staff to free the villagers of their People Puppets Demonic Possession. The fact it took so many elements to bring down this second scheme shows just how well-plotted it was, and how close it came to succeeding.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After the confrontation at Chorh-Gom, and despite matters such as the death of Mantis, Monkey being locked up, and Chao and the Wu Sisters still being on the loose, it looks like things are finally looking up for Tai Lung—everyone has accepted him at the Jade Palace (even Monkey), he and Tigress have finally declared their love for each other and are a couple, he's proven he's changed and is being forgiven. Naturally, this all occurs right before the fic's Darkest Hour, with Zhuang's murder, Ping's kidnapping, and Tai Lung's trial and near-execution. Tai Lung himself lampshades the trope when at dinner with Tigress:
    "...he was convinced that someone out there, whether Chao or the gods, had it in for him, were offering him the chance at redemption, peace, love, and family only to swipe it away from him just when he believed he had everything he ever wanted, that he finally had a place to belong. It was too good to be true, it could not last..."
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: The Wuxi Finger Hold turns out to be a variation, since depending on the intent of the user it can either be a force for destruction (as Shifu claimed it was in the movie) or salvation (as when Po used it to take away Tai Lung's rage and insanity, purifying his soul and thus giving him the chance to change and redeem himself). The two are mutually exclusive, since the latter application also repaired the damage to the village...though it did free Heian Chao from Oogway's prison. The third film reveals the hold actually is a forced Ascent To A Higher Plane Of Existence (specifically, the Spirit Realm), but considering this doesn't match Shifu's claim that after using it there would only be a "mess" to clean up, it is still uncertain whether there is more than one version (or result). Unless Shifu was simply lying/exaggerating to scare Po, or didn't actually know what it could do...but that begs the question how Po did learn or figure out what it did by the third movie.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: A number of people, but most especially Po and Oogway, insist this is the case whenever Tai Lung is ready to disparage himself and believe he is only and always a villain...and in the end, they're right. This same appeal gets turned back on Po when he starts losing faith in himself thanks to what he learns about his family, and Mei Ling most definitely appeals to it in order to get Jia to finish her Heel–Face Turn.
  • You Are Not Alone: After going so long without anyone to love or support her, constantly under Xiu's thumb, Forced into Evil, and believing she has no worth or value because she will always be a hated assassin, Jia is told during the final battle by Mei Ling (who has finally learned who really killed their father) that she will stand by her and defend her from Xiu, Chao, the Emperor, and anyone else who tries to bring her down. It's this, along with Po's support, that finally pushes Jia to complete her Heel–Face Turn.
  • You Are Not Ready: Applies to both Tai Lung and Po, though stated specifically by Oogway as the reason he didn't tell Tai Lung sooner of his destiny. This was also what Oogway told Chao when he wanted the secrets of mastering chi so as to defeat the tyrannical emperor; naturally Chao didn't listen, and the rest was history.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Played with. Tai Lung eventually learns/remembers that he had saved a very young Tigress from the ruins of her quake-collapsed house, suggesting he and Tigress were always meant to be together and be there for each other, but Oogway later states that their romance is something Tai Lung did all on his own. So while there may be no accidents, the future is clearly not set in stone either.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: While no one actually stated the trope name aloud, let alone directly to Chao, Oogway did observe (as did Shifu in his thoughts) that the chi master could have been the best healer in the empire, perhaps even the world, had he stayed on the path of good, and that it was a shame he did not, respectively.
  • You Did the Right Thing: Variation. After Chao reveals that the Wuxi Finger Hold is what freed him, Po is distraught that doing the right thing by sparing Tai Lung's life and making it possible to redeem himself had awful, unforeseen consequences. Viper snaps the panda out of his Heroic BSoD by pointing out that he couldn't possibly have known what would happen, that saving Tai Lung was the right thing to do, and now he can help them get rid of Chao once and for all. So in this case justice absolutely was served, and the hero was satisfied by the rationale given.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Chao gives one of these when he realizes Po is a) still with the heroes instead of dead or sitting the Final Battle out on Wu Dan and b) the one who cleansed the Sacred Pool, thus breaking his power and ruining his final gambit. To say he is displeased is quite the understatement.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Xiu uses this tactic a lot on Tai Lung and Tigress (Is That the Best You Can Do? comes up, unsurprisingly), though at times, especially when she is angry or on the verge of losing, this degenerates into Trash Talk. Tai Lung eventually turns it back on her, and to a point so does Po to Jia.
  • You Fool!: Like his other usages of high-class language to suggest his elite education and arrogance, Heian Chao uses the word "fool" a great deal against his enemies, whether dismissing their ability to harm him/put a stop to his plans, because they are mortals far below his power level, or as mockery of their childish/pathetic ideals and stubborn refusal to bow to or join him. He also tends to use it a great deal during battles.
  • You Got Spunk: Although Tai Lung is no longer a villain, his status as an Amazon Chaser (as well as Deadpan Snarker, Grumpy Bear, and Good Is Not Nice) and Tigress being a fierce Action Girl causes the snow leopard to greatly admire her spirit (particularly in how she almost beat him at the Thread of Hope, and still continues to stand up to him). As might be expected, when he actually expresses this to her aloud, he means it as a compliment but she takes it as condescension.
  • You Have Failed Me: Lampshaded and averted. Chun wonders why Chao is okay with the Sisters failing to kill Po at Yunxian, until Chao reveals he's surprisingly patient for an insane Big Bad. However, he later does consider pulling this, as does Xiu, although the latter borders on You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
  • You Have to Believe Me!:
    • Although he isn't quite as unhinged, desperate, or vague as most characters are in such a scenario, when Shifu tries at Tai Lung's trial to convince the people of the Valley of Heian Chao's existence and powers, he does end up making the mistake of invoking the trope by insisting they simply must trust and believe him. In his defense, he doesn't really have any way to get proof, time is rather of the essence (the snow leopard is already in the hangman's noose!), and the villagers won't exactly give him time to explain carefully or in more detail since they're all under More Than Mind Control Demonic Possession at the time. So naturally he fails.
    • Subverted. Jia appeals to Mei Ling during the final battle regarding their father's murder, and thanks to being able to provide careful, step-by-step analysis of how the evidence matches up with her claims (in the middle of combat, no less), she is successful. Although the fact she had fifteen years to think (or rather, brood) about the situation and what she'd say to Mei if she ever had her where she would listen to her, and that by this point Mei was already doubtful enough to be half-convinced, certainly helped.
  • You Just Told Me: Used in humorous fashion early on when Tigress is made to admit to her deep and abiding distrust for Tai Lung by Shifu. Humorous because Tigress acts as if she genuinely thinks anyone couldn't figure out her desire to flay the snow leopard or at least give him a tongue-lashing.
  • You Keep Telling Yourself That: An interesting variation, since the characters involved are a former villain (Big Bad turned The Atoner) and a former hero (Inspector Javert who is Jumping Off the Slippery Slope thanks to Demonic Possession into He Who Fights Monsters). At Chorh-Gom, when Vachir tries taunting Tai Lung that they are Not So Different (and that Tai Lung will always be a hated villain), the snow leopard furiously goes into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, denying it via Punctuated Pounding. The rhino's response is to sneer that he's only fooling himself and can't ever really change. While he is in no position to judge thanks to all the murders he's committed to lure Tai Lung into his clutches and the fact it's actually Chao saying these things gives his argument even less merit, there's enough truth in his words (either when it comes to the people of the Valley or the snow leopard's own guilty conscience) to give Tai Lung pause. It's certainly true that while most of what Vachir has done is in reaction to Tai Lung, the snow leopard is the one who chose villainy as his reaction to Shifu and Oogway's decisions.
    Vachir: Awww, ya made it sound all so noble too, tough guy. I'm really proud of ya. Maybe, if ya keep sayin' it long enough, ya might actually manage to convince somebody besides yourself.
  • You Killed My Father: Mei Ling's motivation in pursuing the Wu Sisters. Turns out his killer wasn't the one she thought it was, but in the end she gets her Revenge...albeit indirectly through enabling Jia's Heel–Face Turn.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: When the Wu Sisters attack the Jade Palace to try and kill Po while the others are away at Chorh-Gom, Mei Ling keeps Xiu and Chun from getting through and ganging up on the panda by blocking the stairs to the arena and bunkhouse. She doesn't die in doing so, thankfully, although she does injure her leg, but her actions make it so Po only has to face Jia. (Not that she was actually interested in fighting him at that point.)
  • You Watch Too Much X: Po's thought regarding Viper, when she decides to use the "Truth or Dare" game to help Tai Lung and Tigress hook up. A rare example where the genre in question is not that of the work it appears in. (In this case, that she was "reading too many romance novels".)

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