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Characters / Ben 10: Ben Tennyson

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Benjamin Kirby "Ben" Tennyson/Ben 10
From left to right: in Ben 10, Alien Force, Omniverse and the reboot.
Voiced in English by: Tara Strong (as a preteen), Yuri Lowenthal (as a teenager) Other Languages

The Protagonist of the franchise. Initially a regular ten-year-old kid, Ben Tennyson happened to accidentally stumble upon the Omnitrix, a powerful watch-like alien device, which promptly attached to his wrist. After discovering that it allows him to turn into various alien creatures, each with their own set of powers, he quickly takes advantage of the situation by becoming a Super Hero, dealing with various human, alien, and supernatural threats. Though initially immature and unable to use his powers correctly, he gradually learns, eventually becoming a Living Legend and saving the universe several times.

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    All Series 
  • Adaptational Badass: Video game incarnations of the character tend to give him better hand-to-hand skills, which, while he has in the show, does not use very often. This is presumably to give at least some sort of attack for when the Omnitrix times out.
  • All-Loving Hero: For all the jerkassery he is capable of, Ben always does his best to help and save the people around him.
  • Ascended Fanboy: He was a big fan of superheroes as a whole long before he became one himself.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Hurting Gwen is a great way to get on his shit list.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: These originated from Ben's grandfather, Max, was passed down to Ben's father, Carl, and uncle, Frank, and inherited by him.
  • Birthday Buddies: Shares a birthday with Gwen that initially helped fueled their rivalry as kids.
  • Blood Knight: Especially when he was younger he loved to fight whenever he transformed. This still extends when he gets older as he's more subdued but still enjoys the thrill of fighting multiple aliens.
  • Book Dumb: Ben generally isn't portrayed as a very good student, though whether he actually is bad at it or just too lazy depends on the series.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Starting with Alien Force, Ben started learning some basic martial arts from Gwen, and apparently received basic Plumber training. As shown in "And Then There Were None", this is something all Bens (including No-Watch Ben) apparently have in common.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: It's hinted several times that Ben is smarter than his attitude would suggest; he has an almost photographic memory, shows resources to adapt when the Omnitrix gives him the wrong alien, and can get an extremely good grade when he is working seriously at school. Khyber even admitted at one point he was a "smart kid".
  • Brought Down to Badass: On occasions, Ben has been separated from the Omnitrix, unable to use it or merely staying in human form. His ten-year-old self was still shown to be quite good using high-tech weapons, and his teenage self has acceptable fighting skills, at one point displaying enough agility and reflexes to disarm Manny while still in human form.
  • Butt-Monkey: In the original series, often as a result of his own actions. It stopped in the UAF era, but for some reason, the writers decided to bring it back in Omniverse.
  • Character Catchphrase: "Going Hero" in the original series and "It's Hero Time!" Alien Force onwards. He also frequently says "Aw Man!" when a situation is bad or the Omnitrix gives him the wrong alien (usually Grey Matter).
  • Character Development: Throughout each series, Ben complains about his wrong transformations less over time. Downplayed as while he does get bummed out a little, he sucks it up and quickly composes himself to find some way to use what he's given. Ben eventually gets less picky about his aliens and hopes for anyone with an ability he's looking for in general, and not someone specific. Although Ben will absolutely complain if the Alien he gets is inappropriate for the situation.
  • The Chosen One: In the series finale of Ultimate Alien, Azmuth finally admits Ben is worthy and gives him the final version of the Omnitrix.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: One of his most defining traits from the beginning of the show; even before he got the Omnitrix, Ben had an almost obsessive desire to help people around him whenever he can, sometimes at his own expense. This is why he Jumped at the Call when he got the Omnitrix. Partially deconstructed in the Alien Force/Ultimate Alien era, where it's shown he takes it so far he is unable to sacrifice anyone (except himself), even if it means saving millions others. He will always try to find a better way if he can.
  • Civvie Spandex: Though he does call himself a superhero, Ben doesn't wear any special costume, instead merely using his regular clothes. Some of his aliens forms, on the other hand, wear costumes made from his clothes in the Original Series and Omniverse.
  • Color Motifs: No matter the series, Ben always sports an outfit that somehow incorporates green in it.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Initially more moron with badass moments, but he gets the badass part better as the story goes on.
  • Dead Guy Junior: In the Omniverse episode "Rook Tales", we learn that his paternal great-great-grandfather’s name was also Ben, implying that he may have been named after him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ben is often cracking jokes or delivering sarcasm during battle. He also regularly engages Gwen with Snark-to-Snark Combat during the original series, and soon with her and Kevin during Alien Force and Ultimate Alien, then moving on to Rook in Omniverse.
  • Depending on the Writer: Ben, especially from the third season of Alien Force onwards, is constantly zigzagging between being a narcissistic jerk and a responsible, inspiring hero. Each era of the show tends to lean toward one or the other, but how mature he acts in any given episode depends heavily on the needs of the plot.
  • Destructive Savior: Ben tends to cause massive destruction anytime he practices his super-heroics.
  • Didn't Think This Through: A notable character trait of him at first, something that many enemies took advantage of.
  • Easily Impressed: Despite being the owner of quite possibly the most powerful tool in the universe (or multiverse... omniverse?), he can find himself awestruck and captivated by the most mundane of things. This gets downplayed in Alien Force and Ultimate Alien, but comes back in full force in Omniverse. For instance, in the Omniverse episode, "Third Time's the Charm", of all the magical sorcery he bears witness too, the thing that amazes him most is... a card trick.
  • Era-Specific Personality: Though his personality suffers from a huge case of Depending on the Writer, Ben can generally be divided into five main eras:
    • The original series portrayed him as a typical immature 10-year-old boy, a Bratty Half-Pint Idiot Hero to the letter but with a massive case of Chronic Hero Syndrome.
    • Alien Force's first two seasons matured him into a responsible leader with some Messianic Archetype tendencies. It also amplified his Chronic Hero Syndrome even further, to the point where he says he'll help out anyone in need — even a species bent on taking out all of humanity.
    • In season 3, he was regressed to act more like his younger, immature self... recklessness and inflated ego back in full force.
    • Ultimate Alien mostly moderates his competence and silliness, though the Cerebus Rollercoaster tone nearly has him go Knight Templar several times.
    • Omniverse dials down the immaturity somewhat and instead focuses more on the fact that he's been in this superhero business for years and thus knows the ups, downs, lefts, and rights, likely to contrast him with Rook's heavy training but small experience in the field (although he suffers from a massive case of Flanderization).
  • Future Badass: Ben 10,000 is an adult version of him who patrols the entire world, thus making mundane police obsolete.
  • Genius Bruiser: Relatively, and surprisingly for an Idiot Hero. He frequently manages feats of startling intelligence.
  • Healing Hands: With the Omnitrix's genetic-repair function. Lost during the Ultimate Alien era due to the Ultimatrix lacking this function. It's unknown if the new Omnitrix got the function again.
  • Henshin Hero: Completed with a green flash and a Transformation Sequence for each alien form.
  • How Do I Shot Web?:
    • Ben initially had a hard time learning how to use the Omnitrix by his own, even causing his first transformation by accident. In the original series, he was able to activate the transformations, but would easily pick up the wrong alien and couldn't decide when he would turn back to normal, forcing him to wait for the time limit to be reached. By the time of Alien Force, however, he has learned how to switch between aliens and turn back to normal of his own.
    • He has a difficult learning curve when he just obtains a new alien, such as with Cannonbolt. It was downplayed for Alien Force and Ultimate Alien, with Ben figuring out how to use most of the aliens rather fast (likely due to having similar powers to his original roster). Omniverse brings back the learning curve a bit, having problems with Bloxx and Gravattack at first (especially with the latter, due to the fact he had difficulties figuring out what Gravattack could do).
  • Idiot Hero: Depending on the Writer; over the course of the franchise, he has been variably portrayed as truly stupid, only perfectly capable of being smart but too immature to bother doing so most of the time or even sometimes as a borderline Cloudcuckoolander. That being said, he has enough moments of cleverness to make his Idiot Hero status a Downplayed Trope.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is immature, arrogant, can be quite a Jerkass at times, is not above using his powers for pranks and not unappreciating attention... but if people's lives are on the line, he will throw away everything to save them.
  • Keet: Again, Depending on the Writer, but he is typically depicted as skinnier than average, fairly hyperactive, and Kevin once referred to him as "kind of girly".
  • Kid Hero: He's a kid or teenager in every incarnation of the series, and the main hero.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Zig-Zagged; He tends to act like this sometimes and does get called out for his lack of thought. Other times he displays surprising cunning and a knack for outside-the-box thinking. Most importantly, he is good at adapting himself to the situation when the Omnitrix doesn't give him the form he intended to have.
  • Living Legend: Gradually becomes this over the course of the series. By Omniverse, his exploits form a chapter and a half of required reading at the Plumber's Academy.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Though not clearly specified, it's implied Ben's personality changes according to the form he has. Most of them only cause relatively minor effects (Big Chill is a bit more of a Deadpan Snarker, Spidermonkey is more excited, etc.), while others will lead to drastic change (Rath is a Hammy Leeroy Jenkins, Alien X has three personalities, and Ghostfreak can take over his mind if not careful). In "The Frogs of War", his new Incursean form Bullfrag has an outspoken attraction for Princess Attea, which he blames on the DNA.
  • Multiform Balance:
    • With over 1,000,000 potential aliens with various powers, he could handle any imaginable situation. Theoretically, anyway, thanks to the Omnitrix's tendency to be uncooperative and his own reliance on the Indy Ploy above planning.
    • Both Ben 10,000's have a variation of this. the original series/Omniverse version have the Master Control and the Ultimate Ben10K is able to use the powers of all his aliens without changing his human form.
  • New Superpower: Gains new alien transformations on a fairly regular basis.
  • Nice Guy: Apart from being a jerk sometimes, he's kind, forgiving, and can be polite to everyone even though sometimes people get on his bad side.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: He is a Kid Super Hero capable of Voluntary Shapeshifting into various Aliens. Alien Force also makes him a honorary member of the Plumbers and reveals he has some alien blood himself (though not enough to make him significantly different than a regular human).
  • One-Man Army:
    • Literally, as lampshaded in his dialogues with Alan:
      Alan: "I guess you're a monster too."
      Ben: "Technically, I'm a whole bunch of monsters."
    • Ben can only use one form at the time, but since most of his aliens are more than powerful enough to deal with entire armies it still counts.
    • In the Original Series, his future self had the Omnitrix's master control unlocked (which let him change into any alien at any moment) and was so effective a crime-fighter he patrolled the entire planet using XLR8, leaving all police and other heroes obsolete. When younger Ben unlocked the control in another episode of the same series, he was able to take on Vilgax and Kevin and fight them equally despite their Villain Team-Up. Azmuth unlocked the master control again in the season one finale of Alien Force so Ben could take on the Highbreed and their army of DNAliens.
  • Protagonist Title: Every title of the franchise has Ben 10 in it.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The question of why Ben took off the Omnitrix between the original series and Alien Force has never been answered, especially knowing Ben's Chronic Hero Syndrome would make him very unlikely to want a normal life over that of a hero. When and how this unfolded has been kept equally vague as well. According to Derrick J. Wyatt, the loss of Feedback was originally intended to be the reason Ben gave up heroics, but the story was changed as the network and much of the crew disliked that direction. Thus, the true reason is anyone's guess.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: He occasionally does this as a teenager, most commonly in Alien Force season 3 and Omniverse.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: As a kid, he was a rare heroic example, though his tendency to use his powers for selfish means is portrayed as one of his biggest flaws. It happens much less as a teenager, though he is still willing to do disobey orders if it overlaps with Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!.
  • Secret Identity: In the original series and Alien Force (along with Omniverse, albeit only in the flashback sequences featuring the 11 year old Ben). Interestingly, this is one of the few cases of this trope that completely averts Clark Kenting; Most people thought those aliens creatures were either unrelated to each other or all part of a common team, and no one would suspect it was actually a shapeshifting kid; however, someone did figure it out eventually, leading to his identity becoming public knowledge in Ultimate Alien.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: The kid who gained the powers of 10 alien heroes at 10 years old is named Ben Tennyson.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Ben gets his hair color and facial structures from his dad, but he inherited his green eyes from his mother.
  • Super Hero: He grows to become the world's greatest and most powerful hero, and in Omniverse he becomes very insistent on being referred to as a superhero rather than a cop. In a sense, each of his aliens can be seen as the "superhero" version of their respective species as well. Each of them are at peak physical condition, and Ben himself often seems to see his aliens as their own individual beings, giving them names and referring to them in the third person as if they're separate from himself.
  • Swiss-Army Hero: Ben has a form for a huge variety of situations, and can gain more via plot or planning to better handle the situation he's in.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Downplayed. Ben usually follows this principle and does his best to keep his enemies alive, but does not hesitate to kill the most heinous of them, such as Vilgax, Zs'Skayr, Aggregor, Malware, and Maltruant (although most of them come back anyway due to Joker Immunity). Interestingly, the Highbreed are alien Nazis bent on genocide, so killing them would be 100% acceptable, but Ben still aims to defeat them without killing them, even more so after realizing they were dying out, and he succeeds. Ultimate Alien really pushes how far he's willing to disregard this rule, first by his resolve to kill Ultimate Kevin, and later his threat to kill the Forever Knights if they don't stop hunting aliens. Ben affirms this view and elaborates on it in Omniverse; taking a life, human or alien, is a serious deal, and once you do so, there’s no going back.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He started out as an immature brat with a Hidden Heart of Gold and an overpowered weapon he barely had any control over. By the time of the Alien Force/Ultimate Alien era, he has become a Living Legend who can intimidate a Forever King into obeying him with just one Badass Boast.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • As a teenager, he has a fondness for smoothies and to a minor extent chili fries. Ironically, Omniverse reveals he hated smoothies as a preteen before he gained a taste for them with age.
    • In "A Jolt From the Past", when Rook asks whether they should go out for celebratory smoothies, Ben notes that smoothies are for the day time and chili fries are a night food.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: Mainly in Alien Force and Ultimate Alien, though it does pop up on occasion before or after, such as during "Of Predators and Prey, Part 2" in Omniverse, after transforming into Humungousaur for the first time after many attempts.
  • Translator Microbes: According to Word of God, this is the reason he is able to communicate with most alien species he meets and be understandable even in alien forms that should logically not be able to talk human language. Some of them however, like Sixsix or Wildmutt, possess a language too complex or bizarre to be translated.
  • True Companions: Himself, Gwen and Grandpa Max in the original. Himself, Gwen and Kevin in Alien Force and Ultimate Alien. Himself and Rook in Omniverse.
  • The Unchosen One: He wasn't supposed to receive the Omnitrix (his grandpa was) and its creator initially considered him unworthy of such a powerful tool. He decided to be a hero anyway.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: In the original series, Ben's entire fighting style revolved around this. His typical response to a threat was to use one of his strength-based aliens, such as Four Arms and Diamondhead, and simply rush at the bad guys to beat them senseless. From Alien Force onwards, he is more tactical with his aliens and takes martial arts lessons to minimize his reliance on the Omnitrix. Nevertheless, Ben remains the least skilled hand-to-hand fighter of the main cast, and his regression after Alien Force season 3 causes his skill level to heavily vary from episode to episode.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting/Combo Platter Powers: His main ability provided by the Omnitrix is to turn into various alien creatures, each one with its own set of powers. He started out limited to ten forms (hence his surname), only to get more and more as the story goes on. By now, he is assumed to possess more than seventy forms. His future self has 10,000 alien forms unlocked, and according to Azmuth, the maximum unlockable alien forms in the Alien Force era was of more than one million.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Partially justified in that being the wearer of the Omnitrix automatically makes him the target of every alien psycho trying to get it for nefarious purpose, but even without taking this in account, Ben almost systematically ends up in places with aliens, mutants, sorcerers and other strange things are happening.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Ben suffers from Chronic Hero Syndrome; he trusts people and always tries to give second chances, even during Kevin's sociopathic stage in the old show. When he drops this and resolves to kill Ultimate Kevin in Ultimate Alien, Grandpa Max himself notes that it's a sign of just how bad things have gotten.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Gwen gives him a pep talk that amounts to this after he loses the Omnitrix.
    Gwen: What about all those times you saved Grandpa? Or me? Or lots of other people when you weren't an alien? You're still a hero, even if you can't go hero!
  • You Are Not Alone:
    • In Alien Force, Grandpa Max tells him that Ben cannot go about being a hero alone, and that he needs to put together a team.
    • This is eventually defied in the episode "Of Predators And Prey: Part 1", where Ben dumps Rook as a partner. To make matters worse, he gets captured by Khyber in the end. Then it's revealed that Ben and Rook planned this all along and only pretended to argue with one another (although Rook didn't catch that part when he went into his "The Reason You Suck" Speech).

    Original Series

  • Aesop Amnesia: No matter how many times he learns it, Ben will never remember to think before acting and stop being so arrogant and/or selfish. It's even lampshaded in Destroy All Aliens:
    Ben: "I've learned my lesson."
    Gwen: "You'll forget it again, but at least you learned it..."
  • Bratty Half-Pint: He's a hero at heart, but Ben is undeniably bratty and immature all across the original series. The majority of lessons he learns as a kid have to do with not being so selfish and entitled.
  • Character Development: Not super emphasized thanks to his constant Aesop Amnesia, as he was still a bit of a butthead from beginning to end, but Ben at the start of the series is abhorrently selfish and focused entirely on inflating his own ego, even if he'll inevitably do the right thing to save others. Once he starts realizing the hard way that there can be some major consequences for some of his actions, he starts reining it in and learning that maybe he needed to think about more than just himself. By Alien Force, however, he definitely developed into more of a mature hero.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Averted; despite his strong will to help and protect people, Ben would use his powers for personal gain on amusement at any moment (getting revenge on bullies, cheating at games, even once stealing video games), though this often led to the worst possible result, and he draws a line at doing anything that would actually hurt/kill people.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: His heroics were rarely if ever recognized or acknowledged even by those in on the Masquerade. Later averted in the sequels.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • While Ben initially has no problems rebelling against society alongside Kevin in the latter's debut episode, he immediately objects to Kevin's train heist idea, knowing that it would kill hundreds of people. While Ben has no problems with using the Omnitrix to annoy people or benefit himself, it's evident that he would never use it to take a life.
    • When the Mud Alien bride's evil family in "Big Fat Alien Wedding" moves to ruin it all so humanity and their race can continue fighting, Ben gets notably more irritated and serious than normal. Especially after the bride gets slapped by her own mother to keep her down.
  • Flanderization:
    • He underwent this when he appeared in an Ultimate Alien episode through the fact that he was somehow even less well behaved than he was back in the Original Series.
    • Amazingly, Omniverse placed this even further by flanderizing him again. While he always was immature and obnoxious back in the original series, Omniverse flanderizes the younger, original series era Ben (who is presented as being 11 years old in the flashback sequences) through taking his immature, bumbling, and obnoxious Idiot Hero traits and exaggerating them.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Though initially in awe of his future self Ben 10,000, he later calls him on being a Jerkass. Ben 10,000, meanwhile, has a case of I Hate Past Me.
  • Jumped at the Call: He provides the page's quote. Ben loves possessing the Omnitrix and acting as a hero, both because of the thrill of adventure and because it allows him to help people.
  • Kid Hero: Despite the fact that he is only 10/11 years old, he is a hero who saves the world with the use of a powerful device.
  • Madness Mantra: He gets one in Secret of the Omnitrix after Gwen "dies".
    "It should've been me! It should've been me!"
  • The Pig-Pen: He states with pride in the episode "Big Tick" that he hasn't showered for 4 days, and in "A Change of Face" is shown to neglect washing his socks.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the red to Gwen's blue. His impulsive "punch first" mindset contrasts with Gwen's Book Smart cautiousness.
  • A Rotten Time to Revert: In Classic Continuity, the Omnitrix automatically reverts Ben to human form after a certain length of time, so Ben turning back to normal at the most inconvenient time is practically a Running Gag; common reversion times include while swimming deep underwater, flying at high altitude, or in the middle of an intense battle.
  • Survivor Guilt: Ben suffers from this briefly in Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix after he thinks that Gwen was killed after being grabbed by an wild Florauna. Don't worry, she got better.
  • This Loser Is You: The show does everything it can to portray him as immature, unlucky, unpopular at school, and generally not bright or talented, especially compared to his much more precocious cousin Gwen. Fortunately, it is toned down in the sequels (although it comes back a bit in Omniverse, but it's nowhere near the same level than in the original series).
  • Mundane Utility: Early in his career, he tends to abuse his powers for petty means like pranking his bullies and searching cereal boxes for toys. As he gets older, he naturally grows out of this.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: This happens to the younger, original series era Ben (who is 11 years old) in Omniverse, whose obnoxious Bratty Half-Pint characterizations are exaggerated compared to how he was back in the original series (when he was 10).
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He has a fear of clowns in "A Last Laugh". He got over it in one of the coolest ways imaginable. Unfortunately, this fear relapsed in Omniverse.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Played with in one episode. He is reluctant to fight Rojo's gang when he finds out they are girls because "heroes don't hit girls". Later in the episode, Gwen tries to take advantage of this by hitting him. He has no problem hitting back because he is not in hero form at this point.

    UAF (Alien Force and Ultimate Alien)

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Exaggerated in season 3 of Alien Force, where he goes from a mature Humble Hero during the Highbreed invasion to an arrogant, narcissistic headcase. In Ultimate Alien he also lets his newfound fame go to his head. A special case in that there is no Reset Button — his narcissism becomes an on-and-off part of his personality for the rest of the show.
  • Back from the Dead: In The Enemy of My Frenemy, his soul is offered up with every living being in Ledgerdomain, with Charmcaster trying to resurrect her father Spellbinder, who is eventually revived and while he is initially happy to be reunited with his daughter, he soon becomes disappointed in her for the price she paid to bring him back and willingly offers himself in exchange for the return of the souls, which is granted.
  • Badass Boast: Delivers a quite epic one to the Forever Knights. It scares them into leaving:
    "Maybe you have forgotten something: I'm Ben Tennyson, wielder of the most powerful weapon in the universe. I stopped the Highbreed invasion, I defeated Vilgax in hand-to-hand combat, and I've beaten the Forever Knights more times than I can count. Here's what's going to happen: you're going to release these prisoners, you're going to crawl back to wherever you came from, and you're going to stop hunting down aliens because if you don't, I promise, you'll regret it for the rest of your very short lives."
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Even though he sometimes acts a bit egocentric and immature, Ben is still a nice, kind-hearted, and deeply altruistic guy. But anger him and you will regret it. This is especially visible in Ultimate Alien, where it's shown at several points that Ben, when pushed too far, can become downright brutal. The whole point of the show seemed to have Ben struggling to not become a Knight Templar.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: When his identity is outed by Jimmy in Ultimate Alien. While it does mean he no longer has to live a double life nor hide things from people, it does also bring a large amount of pressure and unforeseen troubles. Near the end of the first season, Ben admits he wishes he had his anonymity back.
  • Combat Medic: One of the Omnitrix's lesser known powers, revealed in Alien Force, is its ability to repair the damaged DNA of other creatures near its owner. Ben used this to turn the DNAliens back into full human beings, and he also eventually used it on the Highbreed themselves to repair the damage they'd caused by centuries of inbreeding.
  • Cool Car: The DX Mark 10, a green sports car similar to Kevin's car first seen in Alien Swarm. He starts using it in Ultimate Alien as a birthday gift from Kevin.
  • Famed In-Story: To the alien underground in Alien Force, then amongst humans as well in Ultimate Alien.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Played straight in the first two seasons of Alien Force. This was by far the era where Ben was the smartest, with almost all of his immaturity and recklessness from the original series removed. After his ego trip in the third season, it's zigzagged for the rest of the show, but Ultimate Alien mostly leans toward the idea that he is indeed intelligent.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: 1/4 Anodite, although he doesn't have the powers of such. Anodites don't have DNA, so genetically, he and Gwen are full human.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: In Ultimate Alien, thanks to Harrangue's campaign against him. Though only with most adults; teens and younger kids (and a few adults) seem to think he's absolutely awesome.
  • Hidden Depths: In Ultimate Alien, it is suggested that the whole Idiot Hero act and constant one-liners as a kid were a coping mechanism so he could deal with having to make life-and-death decisions on a more or less daily basis.
  • I Hate Past Me: "Hate"'s a strong word, but teen Ben found his 10-year-old self to be quite annoying.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He's cited as being obnoxious since they ended the Highbreed invasion, which is a fairly understandable reason to feel cocky (which he even brings up); however, he doesn't claim sole credit for the victory, saying that they deserve to enjoy their success. Despite this, he's regarded by Gwen and Kevin as being naught but an arrogant douche.
  • The Kirk: To Kevin's McCoy and Gwen's Spock. Ben tends to temper his impulses with more rational thinking as he's gotten older.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Despite being the world's greatest superhero by Ultimate Alien, he initially idolizes Captain Nemesis. It doesn't end well.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Ultimate Alien!Ben 10,000 gives Ben all of his locked aliens that he'd used up to that point along with some new ones in the middle of Ultimate Alien's second season. He also brought back Swampfire and Way Big after the two were eroded into dust by Eon.
  • Older and Wiser: Early Alien Force Ben in particular is significantly smarter and wiser than his 10 years old counterpart. He is still a kid at heart, but he actually listens to advice, accepts others' help, thinks before acting and rarely suffers Aesop Amnesia. He goes through a major regression in the third season, but by Ultimate Alien it's (mostly) safe to say he's come a long way.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Near the end of Ultimate Alien Season 1, Kevin absorbs Ben's Ultimatrix energy in a last-ditch effort to stop Aggregor, and promptly goes Ax-Crazy again. After failing to stop him several times, Ben, known for his Chronic Hero Syndrome and being a Wide-Eyed Idealist, decides outright that Kevin is too far gone to be saved and must be put down. While Grandpa Max remarks he'd do the same, he still notes that things must be really bad if Ben's willing to go that far and not try to reason with him or find a way to cure him first.
      Ben: I've had fun, but I always told myself that when the situation got serious, so would I.
      Max: I'm not going to argue with you, Ben. I just wanted to make sure you'd really thought about this.
      Ben: I have, Grandpa. I'm sorry about what's going to happen to Kevin. Really, I am. But this isn't kid stuff anymore. Playtime's over.
    • Also, Ben has a habit of calling out his Alien names upon transformation. If he doesn't, Ben's done playing.
  • Pride: Deconstructed. By the first season finale of Ultimate Alien, he outright states that he's grown tired of what comes along with his fame. In fact, the constant pestering due to his fame and the time it took up was revealed to be a major factor for his relationship with Julie taking a big hit.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Ben tries to invoke this when trying out a lamb smoothie. But Gwen and Kevin point out meat smoothies are just baby food.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Kevin's red, and the red to Gwen's blue. He's generally portrayed as the middle ground between Kevin's aggressiveness and Gwen's logic and rationale.
  • Superdickery: Season 3 of Alien Force had a whole episode with the Plumber's Helpers attempting to stop an apparently psychotic Ben from killing them and Max while they were trapped on a space station. Of course, it turns out he was just acting like he had gone rogue as part of a test pulled out by Max for the Helpers, but Ben was still scarily good at acting evil.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: In season 3 of Alien Force, Ben regains many of the reckless Idiot Hero qualities that defined him in the original series — most notably, his love for strength-based aliens and his tendency to punch first and ask questions later, traits that were openly defied in the first two seasons. He gains more control over these impulses by Ultimate Alien, but he never completely returns to how he was during the Highbreed arc.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: To an even greater extent than Took a Level in Dumbass. In the third season of Alien Force, he starts acting narcissistic and cocky again due to letting his hero status getting the best of him, and this has a major effect on his relationships for the rest of the series. He gets better over time, but his relapses into jerk territory never quite escape him.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: He's developed a habit of calling out his alien names every time he transforms. He explains in "Prisoner Number 775 is Missing" that he does so because he believes it strikes fear into his enemies.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • In "In Charm's Way," after Kevin spends the entire episode being a Jerkass to Gwen, believing that she hasn't even been trying to find a way to fix his most recent mutation, Ben chews him out over it, calling him a "giant rock-faced jerk" and not only informing him that Gwen has in fact been spending every spare moment since the accident occurred trying to find a cure for him, but also criticizing him for just automatically assuming that Gwen wasn't trying to help him in the first place.
      Kevin: She... she never told me.
      Ben: Should she have had to?
    • In "Hit 'em Where They Live", Ben chastises Gwen for letting Zombozo's alliance kidnap his mother, Sandra when she was supposed to protect her. Conversely, Kevin calls out on Ben's callousness when Gwen regrets failing to protect her aunt. Afterwards, Ben backs down and apologizes to Gwen for his harsh behavior.


  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In "Showdown, Part 2", Ben is finally able to transform into Feedback again, five years after Malware destroyed the form.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Ben has always suffered from a tendency to forget the lessons he's learned, but a few instances in Omniverse stand out even by his standards. He forgets a lot for someone who had been deemed worthy of the new Omnitrix by Azmuth in the Ultimate Alien finale.
    • An example would be in the episode "Something Zombozo This Way Comes", where not only does Ben forget he already overcame his fear of clowns in the Original Series, but the episode ends with him falling into it again and he doesn't even overcome it a second time.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: He doubts the existence of Chupacabras in "T.G.I.S.", even though his Universe includes not only aliens, but also magic, mad scientists, mutants and he has himself been in alternate universes at least twice at this point.
  • Badass Boast: Ben loves giving these in this iteration.
    • In "So Long and Thanks for the Smoothies":
      Ben: Three against one? I love those kinds of odds.
    • In "A Fistful of Brains":
      Ben (as Ditto): Three against one? No problem at all when that one is Ben Tennyson.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: He and Kai have this dynamic every single time she appears. No matter how ludicrously obvious their romantic tension is, or how many people point it out (and nearly everyone does), they spend almost all their time bickering instead of just admitting it.
  • Big Brother Mentor: This is his position toward Rook in Omniverse in the sense he is The Leader and the more experienced of the two. Although he is still reluctant to admit it, he also serves as one to his dimensional counterpart Ben 23.
  • Can't Take Criticism: When Rook called him out for his attitude, Ben in response challenges him to a fight, only to be declined.
  • Chick Magnet: Lampshaded in "Rules of Engagement":
    Julie: "Just how many girls are in your life?"
    Ben: "At this point, I haven't got a clue!"
  • Cool Bike: The Tenn-Speed, which he built as Jury Rigg using parts from Rook's truck.
  • Create Your Own Villain: "A New Dawn" has Ben's transformations inspire a young Vilgax to develop an interest in obtaining the Omnitrix, meaning Ben was just as responsible for his Arch-Enemy as Vilgax was for Ben.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Ben’s newest Omnitrix uses a touch screen interface rather than a dial like the previous models. This throws Ben off as he’s so used to the previous control scheme that he still hasn’t figure out how to work the new one which frequently causes him to pick the wrong alien. His habit of slapping it to transform also throws it off, as he’s basically hitting multiple buttons simultaneously when he does it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When teamed up with Rook, which leads to Hilarity Ensues since Rook Does Not Understand Sarcasm.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Toward Rook; lampshaded by Rath:
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • He uses the term "monsters" to describe the citizens of Anur Transyl because they resemble actual movie monsters, though apologizes and stops using "Sludgepuppy" when he's told that it's a racial slur to Lenopans.
    • Despite how less mature he's become, he calls out and expresses annoyance with his Universe 23 counterpart for actually being even less mature with his Omnitrix and fame. In fact, when Ben does interact with him, his less than favorable qualities are toned down.
  • Famed In-Story: By the time of Omniverse, there is a chapter and a half of required study about him at the Plumber Academy.
  • Flanderization: Thanks to the Denser and Wackier tone of Omniverse, several of Ben's traits are played up to a much greater extent than any previous series.
    • His general attitude from having Seen It All is exaggerated in several ways, most likely to contrast him with the Well-Trained, but Inexperienced Rook. This ranges from his Genre Savviness and unfazed reactions to even the most bizarre situations, as well as his inability to handle criticism due to being an accomplished leader. The cockiness he's gained from all his achievements is also flanderized, often claiming he's saved the universe "at least a billion times".
    • His tendency to charge in with no plan and simply adapt as he goes is often exaggerated in Omniverse. Much of this is due to the Omnitrix's own flanderized habit of constantly giving Ben the wrong alien.
    • Because of the series' greater focus on comedy, his Butt-Monkey status from the original series is brought back to boot and exaggerated as well. Both 11- and 16-year-old Ben are regularly made the butt of jokes, usually based on Ben's ego, impulsiveness, cluelessness about certain subjects, or just general misfortune.
  • Genre Savvy: As Ben has had years of hero work by this point, he's very familiar with the tropes associated with his universe and adventures. It's to the point where he uses terms like "Big Bad", and in "Rad Monster Party", he knows that his friends are being kidnapped and refers to it as a "horror movie trope". This trait is another one that contrasts him with Rook, whose Genre Blindness gets them into trouble on more than a few occasions.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Despite his Flanderization, Ben does have his moments. He can think up winning strategies on the fly and is quite knowledgeable about his alien forms (knowing Ditto's species' name and home planet, for example, despite never having been shown meeting one of his species and learning their name that way, as happened previously with his alien's species names).
    • He is also familiar with Einstein's Theory of Relativity, specifically about the part of gravity affecting the speed of light (though he claims to have learned it from Sumo Slammers).
  • Informed Flaw: He's apparently afraid of peacocks. No peacock appears in the iteration however, so it's never actually shown.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Ben is honestly shocked when he learns that "Sludgepuppy" is a racial slur. This is because, despite having Lenopan family members, nobody said anything.
    • Toes the line between this and Noble Bigot when, despite Rook telling him how wrong it is, he constantly refers to the residence of Anur Transyl as "monsters".
  • It Has Been an Honor: In "The Final Countdown", when it looked like they would die on the base via explosion, Rook tells this to Ben proudly. Ben just responds with a smile of his own.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: He says that the college Gwen goes to, Friedkin University, is a creepy place and says that this is awesome, saying he's gonna go there. Amusingly, this episode comes right after his fear of clowns returns. He also liked Anur Transyl, saying that a town composed of monsters is cool.
  • Oblivious to Love: Completely fails to notice any of Ester's romantic advances on him. Rayona notes that he has no knowledge of earthling courting rituals.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When it comes to Malware or, to a lesser extent, Vilgax, Ben is not his usual immature or jokey self. With Vilgax he acts more like his more serious personality during the AF/UA seasons. With Malware, he freezes up and is audibly terrified.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the red to Rook's blue, with his headstrong and freestyle nature contrasting with Rook's by-the-books formality.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend:
    • No matter how many times Rook points it out, he constantly refuses to acknowledge Ester has the hots for him and that their relationship is more than Just Friends.
    • Also had this reaction when people (notably Rook and Chadwick) make references to the Belligerent Sexual Tension between him and Kai.
  • Sole Survivor: In "So Long and Thanks for All the Smoothies", he's technically the only survivor of the Pre-Annihilarrgh universe. Afterward, it's often easy to forget that the only way for Ben to fix The End of the World as We Know It situation is by recreating the universe, and not by reversing time to prevent the Annihilarrgh detonation from going off.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: As with every series, his maturity heavily depends on the needs of the plot, but after Ultimate Alien leaned toward a more balanced and levelheaded personality, Omniverse tends to lean more toward his arrogant and bumbling traits from Alien Force season 3. Depending on the Writer, he's either a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass or just plain stupid.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: To an extent. There are episodes in Omniverse where 16-year-old Ben can be a bigger jerk than he ever was in the third season of Alien Force, such as taking credit for one of Rook's ideas, inexplicably treating Jimmy Jones like The Load, mocking his enemies, or being generally uncaring of the damages he causes in inhabited areas. His Chronic Hero Syndrome also tends to be very toned down compared to the previous iterations. In the Galactic Monster story arc, he shows little concern about taking care of Zs'Skayr and is even going to leave Anur Transyl with him still on the run.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: It's zig-zagged, but he's genuinely appreciative of Gwen and is almost regretful of his past brattiness when his mind was swapped with his 11-year-old self in "Ben Again". His sheer politeness and constant apologies for his behavior unnerve 11-year-old Gwen, who initially thinks he's just messing around with her, and when he tells her that he misses her she thinks she's died rather than that she just moved out of town.
  • Trauma Button: Mentioning Feedback is this to him. When Rook brings it up in "Showdown Part 1", he immediately becomes closed off and tries to change the subject.
    Rook: I did notice one omission in your files that peaked my curiosity.
    Ben: Ask me anything. I’m an open book.
    Rook: Tell me about Feedback.
    Ben: (eyes widen in shock before he suddenly grows serious, looking away) That book’s closed.
  • Unwanted Harem:
    • He gains one over the course of Omniverse to compensate for the fact that the writers decided to end the relationship between him and Julie in this series. At least four women develop feelings for Ben. Whether Julie is still part of the harem or not is yet to be seen, but they're still considered friends based on how her one Omniverse appearance went.
    • Comes to a boil in "The Most Dangerous Game Show" when every girl Ben knows is summoned to compete for his love. Even when all his relatives are sent away, there's a crowd of women fighting for him even when some of them never expressed any interest in him and a few are already in committed relationships.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He has absolutely zero scruples over busting out Cannonbolt, Terraspin, and then Gravattack on Attea and Eighteight in "Vilgax Must Croak".