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The Pilgrims

    Sun Wukong/Son Gokuu A.K.A. Monkey 

  • Adaptational Heroism: The original version of Sun Wukong kills wantonly as soon as he is not within the presence of the Tang monk. For instance, during a period when he was dismissed by the Tang Monk, he wiped out a group of hunters who killed many of his fellow monkeys. Popular adaptations had him sparing the hunters, as well as merely injuring minor antagonists instead of killing them as he did in the original, possibly due to Sanzang's deeds growing on him.
  • Almighty Janitor: Before he finally became a Buddha, his official job in Heaven was a stableboy, until he found out how unimportant the job was (i.e. the very lowest post in the hierarchy) and stormed off back to earth. As a side-effect, all Earthly horses love, fear, and admire him, because they can sense he was once a celestial groom.
  • Anti-Hero: Wukong was strong and smart enough to obtain immortality, a task most humans tend to fail. He was also very naive, to the point he didn't realize he was being discriminated against by the Celestial Kingdom because he was a monkey. His resulting wrath and destruction of Heaven led to his imprisonment, and the rest of the Journey is him learning humility and compassion.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: No matter who you are, he is a better fighter than you and will demonstrate if you say otherwise.
  • Berserk Button: One reliable way to piss him off is to call him Protector Of The Horse.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Yes, he's a monkey. He's also strong and skilled enough to fight off all the armies and generals of the Celestial Kingdom singlehandedly. There are maybe three or four beings in Heaven more powerful than he is.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Due to some notable adaptations in Japanese culture, it comes as no surprise that savvy readers of the on'yomi reading know that Sun Wukong is said as "Son Gokuu" in Japanese.
    • His title of Qitian Dasheng (Equaling Heaven Great Sage) is said in Japanese as "Seiten Taisei".
  • Blasphemous Boast: The title he gave himself, 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven', is meant as this, and it is not a boast made lightly.
  • Blood Knight: Occasionally there will be a circumstance that can be resolved peacefully/quickly via sneak attack but he will insist on a proper fight. Can also be seen in his fights. An example is when he was fighting Nezha, notable for being the first opponent comparable to him in power, in which he sends millions of weapons at Wukong, but Wukong simply "roars with laughter".
  • Born as an Adult: From a stone.
  • Breakout Character: Despite Triptaka technically being the protagonist, it's Son Wukong who everyone remembers. It helps that the first 7 chapters are basically all about how Son Wukong became so awesome, with Triptaka only being introduced in the 8th.
  • Cavalier Competitor: He approaches everything with the same laid back manner due to the fact that he thinks he can take any challenge on with ease. He's usually right.
    • Best seen with the competitions against the three taoist brothers. Cut his head off? He says it wasn't painful at all, just fun. Cut open his stomach? Good chance to check over all his entrails. Take a dip in boiling oil? Hasn't had a bath in a while! The opponents are all cheating? Just cheat the cheaters. But when Bajie causes him to lose one of the competitions, he gets pissed, and is willing to take it out on anyone he holds responsible.
  • Character Development: Journey to the West is as much about Son Wukong learning the value of kindness, humility and compassion as it is about him kicking demon-ass.
  • Chaste Hero: He was never interested in that type of things, even when he was a demon. Though he does flirt with the Iron Fan Princess (while disguised as her husband) and later pretends to be a harmless boy to lure a blood-sucking demoness, he always stops before going all the way through.
    • To be fair, he is a Single Specimen Species, so it may simply be a matter of there not being another Stone Monkey for him to mate with.
  • Complete Immortality: He used five different methods of obtaining immortality. As a result, not only is he The Ageless, but his body has been toughened to be nearly indestructible, and even if his body were to somehow be damaged, he feels little to no pain, can live without a head, and can grow a new one on the spot. Even if his soul is ripped from his body, it can still fight by itself and find a way to reunite with his body. His immortality is so perfect, that not even the special furnace made by the gods that was created for the purpose of being able to kill even gods and immortals could destroy him.
  • Depending on the Writer: He ranges from a fully fledged Byronic Hero without a decent bone in his body to a bad-tempered Jerk with a Heart of Gold who only needed love and patience to truly grow up.
  • Detect Evil: His Gold Pupil Fire Eyes can detect any source of evil, no matter the disguise. Handy against several of the demons he and the group encounter on their journey west.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: A majority of his abilities come from decades of strenuous training and meticulous study. Unfortunately, they weren't necessarily packaged with wisdom.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Just after meeting the monk, Sun Wukong pretty effectively demonstrates his character when he beats a tiger's head in so hard that it literally explodes. "One strike caused its brain to burst out like ten thousand red petals of peach blossoms, and the teeth to fly out like so many pieces of white jade." Tripitaka does not react well.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The Handsome King of the Monkeys!
  • Exact Words: He doesn't like following Sanzang's orders so he gets around them with this trope. For example, Sanzang said "Never kill anyone." So when a group of greedy monks tried to kill them both to steal Sanzang's cossack, Monkey didn't kill them. Instead he fanned the flames of the fire they started to ensure their monastery burned down.
  • Folk Hero: In real life for bringing back Buddhist scriptures.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Monkey will sometimes forget about certain powers he has when said power would too quickly solve the current dilemma. His power to copy is the one most often not used, but one time he failed to see through a demon's disguise despite being able to see through disguises both before and after. This is presumably a result of the story being a compilation of various folk tales written over the course of several centuries, with the various authors adding or forgetting about certain powers along the way.
  • Good Is Not Nice: While he's supposed to be a devout Buddhist, he's still a jerk (which may or may not fuel some funny moments at best).
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to set him off and there's a hubris to match.
  • The Hero: For a given value of "hero" but he is the star of the work and the one doing the heavy lifting plot wise. He also becomes more heroic as the Journey continues, and even at the start of the story, he is motivated by concern for his monkey subjects.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: His (often mean-spirited) pranks are played for laughs, like convincing some bad guys that his, Pigsy, and Sandy's pee are elixirs of immortality.
  • Hot-Blooded: He has little patience and loves to dive head long in action.
  • Hypocrite: At one point, he revives a dead king, who has long since lost his kingdom to an evil spirit. Said king doesn't believe he's worthy of ruling anymore, and offers the throne to Wukong. Wukong proceeds to state that he would never want to be a king...this in spite of the fact that the first thing he ever does whenever he leaves the journey is to go back to his mountain and rule as king.
  • I Have Many Names: In order they are: Stone Monkey, Handsome Monkey King, Sun Wukong (Monkey Who Realizes Emptiness), Protector of the Horse, Great Sage Equaling Heaven, Sun Pilgrim, Buddha Victorious In Battle.
  • Immortality Seeker: He originally left the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit to become immortal.
  • Immortality Inducer: Has partaken multiple divine fruits and liquors when just one would grant this. Such then even Heaven's method of removing said immortality doesn't work.
  • Informed Attractiveness: He's constantly referred to as very handsome. Presumably this is by monkey standards.
  • It Amused Me: Half his actions are for his own amusement. The other half is bailing the group out of trouble.
  • Jerkass Gods: He is one, being quite arrogant in his behavior and a show-off with his powers. He also showcases just how the other gods in heaven can be rather mean, too.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: After much much character development he becomes a heroic character that is kind of a dick sometimes.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: Back when he was mortal he sought out immortality and only regretted it once; when he was trapped under that mountain.
  • Magic Knight: He's probably the second best fighter in Heaven after Erlang Shen, and has a plethora of magical powers that most immortals can't hope to even obtain, like the 72 Transformations.
  • Maniac Monkeys: Before being sealed away, he tried to take over Heaven and had the power of a Physical God.
  • Manly Tears: Sheds them for the first time after Tripitaka forgives him and takes him back in (the first time), and with some surprising-regularity later on when he gains a sense of compassion.
  • Mind over Matter: He is capable of telekinesis, and can make seemingly inanimate objects come to life.
  • Monkey King Lite: The progenitor. He has everything from serious homages (Goku from Dragon Ball; who even has the same exact name as him) to parodies (a play during Love Hina).
  • Morphic Resonance: Wukong can use Taoist arts to perfectly change into many different animals — but if he tries to become a human, he can only change his head and must conceal his monkey body.
  • Munchkin: In the first seven chapters all his actions are about gaining things for himself: the most powers, the best weapon, the best armor, the greatest title, etc.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Monkey has a tendency to suddenly reveal often one-off powers or abilities without previous mention that conveniently solve the current problem. Lampeshaded a couple of times when his companions will express surprise and mention how in all the years they have been traveling together he never mentioned said power or skill.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: The reason the Buddha dropped a mountain on him is because the gods failed in outright destroying him. Even demonic weapons wield by powerful monsters bend and crack on his head after hitting him.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Monkey is only interested in joining the pilgrimage in the first place because it was join, or stay under the mountain for the rest of eternity. Afterwards, he comes along only in hopes of getting the Circlet of Headaches off his head. Eventually he comes to genuinely care about Tang Sanzang as a father figure that he loves and respects.
  • Not Quite Flight: His cloud jumping allows him to reach Heaven In a Single Bound or cross an ocean. Though he is capable of actual flight as well.
  • Number Two: The first disciple is the senior disciple which means he has authority over Pigsy and Sandy.
  • One-Man Army: In the first part of the story, Monkey takes on the entire military force of Heaven. He wins singlehandedly.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Due to wounded ego and bruised pride more than anything; life on earth was pretty sweet for him, he just got so arrogant he thought he should be a god as well.
  • Redemption Demotion: As the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, he was an unstoppable, invincible agent of mayhem who ran rings around Heaven's mightiest heroes and wrecked all their schemes to contain him through sheer bloody-mindedness. As the pilgrim Sun Wukong, he meets his match against evil demons on a regular basis and often needs to do some lateral thinking to beat them.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He has red-colored eyes since that little sojourn inside Lao Zi's kiln.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: He likes reminding people that he trashed Heaven.
  • Restraining Bolt: To be able to control him, Tripitaka tricked Monkey into putting on a magical headband so that he could cause Monkey intense headaches whenever he got up to mischief.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He's the handsome king of the monkeys, but that doesn't stop him from kicking copious amounts of butt. In fact, it's his subjects that tend not to do anything rather than the other way around.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Often uses his supernatural contacts to bail the group of trouble but just as often the trope is inverted: the person in question won't help the group because they know him.
  • Screw The Rules I Have Super Natural Powers: The Jade Emperor, Ruler of Heaven, will relax any kind of rule concerning him because of his tremendous power.
  • Self-Duplication: One of Monkey's signature moves has him pulling out a bunch of his hairs and blowing on them, resulting in each hair turning into a clone of him.
  • Simple Staff: The As-You-Will Gold-Banded Cudgel is by no means simple. It was once a pillar meant to measure the depths of ocean, and not only can it hit hard enough to take down gods, but it can extend to any length (from toothpick size to several hundred miles long) and provide Monkey with a bridge to heaven.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: At first when he was a mere monkey king that called himself "Great Sage Equalling Heaven". Skip 500 years and his reputation has caught up with his ego and lesser gods voluntarily call him "Great Sage".
  • Smug Super: Monkey is incredibly powerful, and unbelievably full of himself as a result.
  • Single Specimen Species: The one and only specimen of Stone Monkey.
  • Super Strength: His trademark Compliant Staff is really freakin' heavy, yet he said all other weapons were "too light".
  • Telescoping Staff: His Compliant Staff is both the original, the most famous, and one of the most extreme examples. He likes to shrink it to the size of a needle and store it in his ear when he's not bashing people's brains in with it.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Peaches. Pig snarks that he's "very skilled" when it comes to eating peaches.
  • True Sight: He can see through any disguise, illusion, or transformation.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Was originally an earnest, if mischievous, monkey who genuinely wanted to better himself and the lives of his people until he grew increasingly mad and egotistical with each new addition to his powers.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Pigsy. He's like the elder brother that gives the younger a wedgie and then a hug.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: 72 Earthly ones due to his Enlightenment Super Power.
  • Weaksauce Weakness:
    • Despite being almost almighty on earth or air, he sucks at underwater battles, and is forced to rely on Pigsy and Sandy to fight against water-bound enemies.
    • The magical eyes he gains after being locked in Lao Zi's crucible make him vulnerable to smoke.
  • The Worf Effect: The prologue has him fighting off the entire celestial host by himself, and even a combination of some of the most powerful deities couldn't hold him for long. He was only permanently subdued by the direct intervention of the Buddha himself, considered in-story to be the most powerful being in the cosmos, but 500 years later and being released from his imprisonment, Wukong can never seem to instantly defeat the most random Monster of the Week.
  • Whale Egg: What do you suppose would happen to a boulder, as old as creation, that had absorbed "the truth of heaven," "the beauty of Earth," "the power of the sun," "the mystery of the moon," and then magic mushrooms and orchids started growing on it? Well apparently it gestates a stone egg that hatches into a special type of monkey. Who'd have guessed?
  • Would Hit a Girl: He threatens and even fights female demons, he rarely kills them (except for Gold Horn and Silver Horn's mother), and during the Spider Women act he refuses to attack the seven unarmed demonesses as his role as a Blood Knight prefers a proper fight.
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    Xuanzang, Sanzang/Genjou Sanzou, Tang Sanzang/Tou Sanzou or Sanzang Fashi/Sanzou Houshi A.K.A. Tripitaka 

  • Actual Pacifist: Being a super-dedicated monk, he refuses to fight; this is generally the case in adaptations as well, but there are exceptions (see Adaptational Badass below).
  • Adaptational Badass: A small number of incarnations of himself via some of the adaptations show him to engage in combat in some form of another (especially in a small amount of video games with him being playable). Being in that he can't really kill with his way of fighting, it fits him very well and doesn't make him any less badass.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Popular adaptations, especially the 1996 and 2002 Hong Kong adaptations, portrayed him as a wise and merciful master and downplayed his naiveness and hypocrisy; a reversal from his original portrayal in the novel.
  • Adaptational Wimp: There are stories of the historical event that pre-dates Journey to the West and in these stories he is much more competent. His weakness here is to better show off Wukong.
  • The Atoner: It's not brought up often but he's atoning for something in his previous life as the Golden Cicada, one of the Buddha's disciples. He disagreed with Buddha (or at least ignored his teachings) and so he was demoted to a lesser soul and reborn in China.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Many of these due to his many titles....from Chinese pinyin to Japanese on'yomi:
    • Xuanzang Sanzang = Genjou Sanzou
    • Tang Sanzang = Tou Sanzou
    • Sanzang Fashi = Sanzou Houshi
  • Bishōnen: His beauty is frequently commented on, and he's generally portrayed by women in stage productions.
  • Celibate Hero: Despite women lining up to have sex with him he staunchly refuses because he's a monk.
  • Chick Magnet: Every female they encounter, whether human or demon, desires him. The only exception is Guanyin.
  • Cowardly Lion: Despite all his moaning and crying, he never considers giving up on his journey.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His father was murdered by a bandit and his mother taken away while pregnant with him. After giving birth to Xuanzang, she put him in a basket and floated it down a river so the bandit can't find him. Luckily, a monk rescue him and he was raised in his temple. He did get revenge later and reunited with his mother. Then his mother hanged herself out of shame.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Possibly the oldest extant example. His primary purpose is to be kidnapped every two minutes so Sun Wukong can get all badass while rescuing him.
  • Determinator: Fourteen years of constant travel through demonic areas to fetch the scriptures despite many incentives to stop.
  • Distressed Dude: He is captured in most of the arcs concerning the Journey. Not only a pacifist but completely untrained in magic or fighting, thus he cannot defend himself.
  • Expy: He's the only main character based on a historical figure: Xuanzang, a scholar who really did make an overland journey from China to India and back to China again, sometimes through warring states, over the course of 17 years, and he made this journey mostly alone.
  • The Face: He does all the talking with muggles etc. because he is a courteous monk and his companions are scary-looking (and in Wukong and Bajie's cases, very rude and more so for the former) demons.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: He is the most knowledgeable Buddhist scholar in all of China, accomplished poet and well-versed in court-etiquette.
  • Historical Downgrade: In some ways the historical Xuanzang is more impressive than his fictional counterpart. Sure, he didn't have any supernatural allies or enemies, but he defied a travel ban by the Emperor in order to go to India. He also decided to go to India on his own, because he thought the then-current translations of Buddhist scripture were poor and wanted to look at the Sanskrit originals.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: The reason why he was sent on the pilgrimage in the first place...but also the reason why he gets into so much trouble, as A: he's too "pure" to resist even the most obvious deceptions or traps when they are framed as helping someone, and B: his purity draws swarms of monsters that hope to consume that purity and increase their own power.
  • The Leader: He's supposed to be this (Charismatic type to be exact) but he spends too much time kidnapped to do any real leading. They rarely listen to him anyways.
  • The Load: Tripitaka not only constantly gets into trouble, he frequently diverts his disciples from their quest to pursue other minor goals, refuses to heed their advice, and places restrictions on their actions that make them harder pressed to go about their tasks. He also has absolutely no skills at all that let him contribute anything of worth when they get in trouble.
  • Nice Guy: He's the picture of Buddhist values and is thus completely selfless and courteous.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: No woman, be she human or demon, can arouse him. No matter how beautiful or willing she may be, she cannot distract him from his mission.
  • Non-Action Guy: He prays and preaches. That's about it.
  • Stupid Good: Tripitaka takes "goodness" to levels of life-threatening stupidity on more than one occasion. His disciples call him on this often, but he never listens to them.
  • Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious: Literally, as he's so infused with holy power that eating even a single bite of his flesh will extend a demon's lifespan. Female demons find him sexually attractive as well.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: He can sit perfectly still for up to three years and he's very proud of this fact. It only came in handy that one time the group was challenged to a meditation duel.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Being a Buddhist monk, one of his vows is not killing anything ever. His companions think this is ridiculous. It's either out of his belief itself or fear of laws.

    Zhu Wuneng/Cho Go'nou or Zhu Bajie/Cho Hakkai A.K.A. Pigsy 

  • Adaptational Heroism: Kind of. The original Pigsy was originally a demon who eats humans just like Sandy did. Popular adaptations tend to omit this detail.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: At one point, the group's path is blocked by a huge mountain of rotten fruit. His solution? Turning into a colossal pig and eating the way through the thing. In the same chapter he also explains that he excels at transforming into "large" forms, but his appetite grows with his size.
  • Big Eater: When the quest is over, the still-too-crude Pigsy is offered the existence as a lesser god; "Cleaner of the Heavenly Altar", which means eating all of the food that is offered to Buddha for the rest of time. He thinks this is the best job ever, though apparently becoming a lesser god somehow lessened his gigantic appetite.
  • Bilingual Bonus: His names from Chinese pinyin to Japanese on'yomi:
    • Zhu Bajie = Cho Hakkai
    • Zhu Wuneng = Cho Go'nou
    • Marshall Tianpeng = Marshall Tenpou (His name during his time in heaven)
  • Butt-Monkey: Other demons often think of making hams out of him, and Sun Wukong loves to prank him.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Pigsy really likes the ladies — in fact, he was thrown out of heaven for trying to make off with a celestial maiden — but his efforts at wooing them are poor to say the least. Some adaptations of him seem to also give him a more romantic approach on things.
  • Carpet of Virility: His name as a wild monster is Zhu Ganglie (Strong-Maned Pig), suggesting a boar-like appearence. Averted in most depictions where he's more pig-like and thus hairless.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the novel both he and Sha Wujing are met by Guanyin earlier and informed of Tripitaka.
  • Elemental Powers: He claims that his rake can summon flames when hold upward and gusts of wind when swung down. At one point he also turns himself in cold light-beams to run away from Sun Wukong.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Rice, noodles, dough, rotten fruit, people... anything will do.
  • Fat Best Friend: To Monkey. Their banter is the meat of the various formula plots.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Justified, his weapon is a muckrack one would normally use for working the fields, but was created from special metal and numerous gods for the purpose of being a weapon.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Has the tendency to be much bolder around weakened or defeated opponents. He even hits the corpse of an enemy Sun Wukong just brought in.
  • The Lancer: He's the second disciple, the most likely to fight next to Monkey, and is lazy.
  • Lovable Coward: He'll often run away from powerful enemies. Sometimes, the only reason he can't beat his current opponent is that he gets too scared to keep on fighting.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Pigsy just wants to go back to Heaven, he doesn't care about the scriptures at all. Being turned into something more attractive than his current humanoid pig-monster shape would also be nice. Like Wukong, he comes to genuinely care about Tripitaka as a surrogate father, maybe even moreso due to his immature nature.
  • Perverted Pig: Zhu Bajie has a tendency to lust after pretty women.
  • Pig Man: This is part of his punishment; he was better looking back in Heaven.
  • Pungeon Master: He tends to indulge in silly and childish humor now and then. Best
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Monkey. They constantly give each other grief on the journey but are still fellow Buddhists.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Unlike Monkey, he can only perform 36 transformations, but he mentions that he's really good at turning into "large" things, ranging from elephants to hills.
  • Warrior Poet: In some adaptations of his portrayal, especially due to his life in the human realm, as a pig or not he's said to be VERY poetic (the 1996 and 1998 Hong Kong adaptations show this off too well). Must be due to him despite being a bit of a casanova he also has quite a few romantic thoughts, possibly tying into his tragic time in heaven.
  • Weapon of Choice: A steel nine-toothed rake (Jiuchidingpa), which is a precious, deadly weapon, and don't try to suggest otherwise. The first time he uses it against Sun Wukong, he gets an entire poem describing how the rake was forged and how powerful it is.
  • The Worf Effect: When first introduced, Pigsy battles better against Monkey than many of the gods did during Monkey's war against heaven. Later on, he's usually swiftly beaten so that Monkey can then beat the creature who beat up Pigsy. In his defense, he can often fight several demons on equal ground, but they either run away or call for help.

    Sha Wujing/Sha Gojou A.K.A. Sandy 

  • The Atoner: Though all three disciples are nominally working for their atonement, Sandy seems to be the only one who actually cares about making himself a better person.
  • Berserk Button: Normally rather pacific and calm, he becomes furious upon seeing his identical look-alike among the fellowship of the Fake Sun Wukong and immediately cuts him down.
  • The Big Guy: Though often mistakenly portrayed as a Kappa, the original source material depicts Sandy as a kind of river-dwelling Oni. In either case, he's the tallest of the disciples, though he's much more the thoughtful type than the bruiser type.
  • Bilingual Bonus: His name in Japanese on'yomi is said as "Sha Gojou". His title during his previous time in heaven was the Juanlian Dajiang/Kenren Taishou (Rolling Curtain Great General). However, the conflicts with the Japanese writing systems caused the "jing/jou" character to be written quite often with different hanzi/kanji used.
  • Blade on a Stick: His weapon of choice is the famous monk spade/moon fang spade, sometimes depicted as a simple crescent-blade on a stick, but this is truer for later adaptations. In the original text it's a jewel-adorned staff known as the Zhangyaobaozhang (Monster-subduing Precious Rod). A possible explanation is that the Monk Spade is also known as "Zen Rod" (chanzhang).
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: His appearance in modern productions is incredibly inconsistent, so most dress him in blue or green to identify him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Compared to the antics of Sun Wukong (causing havoc anywhere he goes, with trashing Heaven a la "Stone Cold" Steve Austin being the final straw for Buddha) and Zhu Bajie (making inappropriate sexual advances towards the Moon Goddess) which landed them their punishment, Sha Wujing was banished from heaven and transfigured into a demon simply because he accidentally broke a precious crystal goblet belonging to the Queen Mother of the West.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the novel both he and Zhu Bajie are met by Guanyin earlier and informed of Tripitaka.
  • Genius Bruiser: Comes off as this depending on the adaptations. He was this in the original book as well, likely to make up for his lack of stronger powers.
  • Gentle Giant: Described as the tallest and biggest of the three disciples, he's also the less troublesome and the one who's genuinely looking for redemption.
  • Idiot Ball: Shares this with Sanzang at times as well as with Bajie, often causing Wukong to bail them out of tough situations; though the 1996 and 1998 Hong Kong adaptations drive the point home in that he literally Took a Level in Dumbass as a part of his divine punishment.
  • Making a Splash: In some adaptations of him he has water powers, especially if he's playable in a video game.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Sandy just wants to be let back into heaven but just like his two elder "brothers", he comes to care for Tang Sanzang too, though more as a friend rather than a father-figure.
  • Only Sane Man: Compared to the compassionate-to-fault Tang Sanzang, mischievous trickster Monkey and the obtuse glutton Pigsy, Sandy comes off as more reasonable. To the point that when Sun Wukong is sent away after the Lady White Bones accident, he specifically asks Sandy to watch over Xuanzang while he's away.
  • Out of Focus: Sandy is usually a secondary character in all the stories, usually because he's tasked by Sun Wukong to protect Tripitaka during battles.
  • The Quiet One: Sandy rarely has much to say, but is often the most practical and philosophical of the group.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Sandy's main advantage over his more powerful brothers is that he's the group's best swimmer, being a river demon and all. So when there's a water-based enemy to fight, he's usually called upon, but even then he's not always effective.
  • To Serve Man: He ate people during his days as a demon.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Wears a macabre rosary made from the skulls of some holymen he killed and ate during his retinue as a monster. Since these skulls floated on the water, he decided to make them into a rosary to entertain himself.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Has this, but rarely uses it. Justified, as he states that he only knows 18 transformations compared to Monkey and Pigsy.
  • The Worf Effect: When he first appeared, he was good enough to fight Pigsy to a draw. Later on, he's described as the weakest of the three. The only times where he defeats a named demon in combat is because it is either a clone in disguise or he's helped by Sun Wukong.

    Yu Lung/The Dragon-Horse 

  • The Atoner: Unlike Pigsy and Sandy, he was punished for a serious reason (namely, he rebelled against his father and burnt his sacred treasures).
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: At one point he turns into a beautiful, big-breasted woman to slay a demon who already took out Sandy and Pigsy. Alas, he fails.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Invokes this on the half-drunk Yellow Robed Monster by turning into a woman to distract him with servings of wine and a sexy dance before stealing his sword and using it against him. Unfortunately, the Monster is more than a match for him and the Horse is injured as a result.
  • Out of Focus: Even the original author seems to forget he exists more often than not. Yu Lung's big character moment is when he first appears and eats Tripitaka's horse, then has to turn into a replacement horse. After that, he's in the background until they reach the end of the Journey and he can turn back into a dragon and fly off home. This turned out very badly for him. The Other Wiki calls him "the horse" or "the dragon prince", insists there are four main characters, and didn't have a page on him until quite recently (and even then, he's only referred over there as the "White Dragon Horse"). Ninja Sentai Kakuranger claims that there are only four main characters, and that their fifth is a totally original creation. Most local theatre productions of the story leave him out entirely.
  • Solid Gold Poop: As he states, his urine alone is so special that if a single drop falls in a river all the fishes inside will turn into dragons, and could turn even the most common grass into a miracolous mushroom.
  • Team Pet: The role he's often relegated to; the horse. He does, however, takes matters in his own hands (or at least tries to) when Tripitaka's in danger and all the disciples are out of commission.
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