Main series: MK1 (Part 1 | Part 2) | MK2 | MK3 | MK4 | Deadly Alliance | Deception | Armageddon | MK vs. DC Universe | MK9 | MKX | MK11
Spinoffs: Mythologies: Sub-Zero | Special Forces
Non-videogame: The Movie | Conquest | Defenders of the Realm
Individual Characters: Scorpion | Liu Kang | Raiden | Sub-Zero II | Shao Kahn
Spinoffs: Mythologies: Sub-Zero | Special Forces
Non-videogame: The Movie | Conquest | Defenders of the Realm
Individual Characters: Scorpion | Liu Kang | Raiden | Sub-Zero II | Shao Kahn
Spoilers for Mythologies will be unmarked
For tropes relating to Liu Kang, Raiden, Reptile, Goro, and Shang-Tsung, see Part 2.
- An Ice Person: Chinese Ninja Warrior with your HEART SO COLD!
- An Ice Suit: His leather ninja gear wouldn't protect him from the cold, if he wasn't naturally immune to that.
- Anti-Hero: Of the Nominal Hero and Only in It for the Money sort. Especially plays this to a hilt in Mythologies, which entirely focuses on him. This aspect of him seems to get a little bit better, but he still remains a Jerkass and gets killed by Scorpion.
- Badass Baritone: In MK9. His MK: Mythologies voice was more akin to Guttural Growler.
- Black Screen of Death: His Spine Rip Fatality in UMK3, as none of the fighters had animations in place that would make it feasible to show, as well as to mock the controversy the move causes in the original game.
- Bullying a Dragon: In 9, after Scorpion defeats Cyrax and Sektor in the tournament. Granted, Sub-Zero did (canonically) defeat Scorpion twice in Mythologies, but it's not a good idea to piss off the one hellspawn who seriously wants you dead.
- But Not Too Foreign: He was originally the son of an American woman and a Chinese man. Said father was also descended from the Cryomancer race, thus making the Sub-Zero brothers not fully human. 9 retcons this by showing the parents of both of the brothers in a region that is pretty clearly in East Asia. It also explicitly states that both Bi-Han and Kuai-Liang were abducted as children which contradicts the earlier backstory of the brothers having been born to an American woman with a sister and then later on being taken by their father to China.
- Canon Name: 9 reveals that his birth name is Bi-Han.
- Death by Irony: Somewhat. Scorpion claims his spine as a trophy after defeating him in battle, similar to how he died by his hand, but the actual killing was seemingly done by Scorpion's breathing hellfire upon him.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In Mythologies, he beats the tar out of all four of the elemental gods. Sub-Zero also has the chance to defeat Shinnok, which would put his total up to 5.
- Face Death with Dignity: In stark contrast to Scorpion, who essentially begged for his life before he killed him, Bi-Han was remarkably composed about meeting his death-by-hellfire at the former's hand. He only umbrage he seemed to take was when he found out that Scorpion was going to kill him for a crime he didn't commit, and pointed out this fact in vain before he was killed.
- Foreshadowing: Mythologies serves as one big build-up for his eventual fate as Noob Saibot.
- Harmless Freezing: His ice blasts deal rather weak damage, but they do set enemies up for devastating further attacks.
- Heel Realization: Raiden's words that darkness existed in his soul deeply troubles Sub-Zero. Too bad he didn't do much to change anything.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In the movie, he's pitted in a fight against Liu Kang. He seems to get the upper hand when he starts to freeze his surroundings and is rapidly cornering Liu Kang; unluckily for him, his chilling power backfires when Liu throws a bucket of water at him, which freezes, impales, and kills him.
- I Did What I Had to Do: His justification for killing Scorpion, and presumably, for every other murder he's likely had to commit. It is somewhat reasonable in Scorpion's case, as not killing him probably would have gotten Bi-Han killed by his own Grandmaster, given their clans' rivalry.Scorpion: You killed me in cold blood.Sub-Zero: I had no choice.Scorpion: You could have let me live!Sub-Zero: Then I would be the dead one.
- Insistent Terminology: Justified in that they're Chinese assassins, not ninjas, and he dislikes being called one."Let's get something straight here: I am not a ninja. I am Lin Kuei!"
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's rather coarse when seen alive in MK 9, but shows a softer side around Sareena and Kuai Liang's idolization of him would indicate this.
- Has a tendency to repeatedly show up during 9's story mode to get beaten up.
- The trailers for 9 and X show him fighting Scorpion and losing, getting killed gruesomely.
- Kill It with Ice: His preferred method of killing.
- Legacy Character: The codename "Sub-Zero" has been handed down from father to son (and from brother to brother) for years. He is the fifth to bear the name.
- Meaningful Name: While Chinese names are not usually hyphenated, "Bi-Han" has multiple translations depending on the characters used. These include "forced cold," referring to his obvious Cryomancer powers, "corrupted man" referring to the darkness Raiden sensed in him that led to his eventual downfall, and "avoid regret" describing his openly ruthless and uncaring personality as Noob Saibot.
- Mis-blamed: An In-Universe example: he (and, by extension, the Lin Kuei) wasn't the one who killed Scorpion's clan. It was Quan Chi.
- Nominal Hero: Bi-Han's motivation in life is about self-preservation (hence why handing the amulet to Quan Chi didn't invoke any sensation of transgression on his part when Raiden admonished him for it). He'll do some heroic things (like sparing Sareena) but in the end he's not someone who acts because it is the "right thing to do" (his brother is more keen on being the heroic type).
- Off with His Head!: His infamous "Spine Rip" Fatality, which involved ripping out the opponent's head and spinal cord from their shoulders. Ironically, this is how he dies in the original timeline.
- Only in It for the Money:
"I was just earning my living."
- He entered the MK1 tournament just to assassinate Shang Tsung and collect the large bounty on his head.
- He also tells Raiden in Mythologies that he was just earning his living after Quan Chi escapes with Shinnok's amulet.
- Palette Swap: Of Scorpion. Interestingly, he is not a mere Palette Swap of his own character in Mortal Kombat 9. If you choose Sub-Zero's alternate outfit, he also gains the voice samples of Bi-Han instead of Kuai Liang, which means the alternate outfit is Bi-Han.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Very devoted to the Lin Kuei.
- Retirony: In his MK1 ending, it's revealed that assassinating Shang Tsung would've been his last job for the Lin Kuei and he would retire from his dangerous job afterwards. Unfortunately, by canon, Scorpion puts the trope in full effect, and possibly by Retcon, Bi-Han is shown to be so devoted to the Lin Kuei that he wouldn't even think about retiring.
- The Rival: Of Scorpion.
- Ship Tease: In Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, there was a briefly hinted love interest between him and Sareena, which passed on to his brother in Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition.
- Slide Attack: His "Slide" move.
- Tragic Hero: Though "hero" is a bit of a stretch, seeing as he was an unrelenting assassin in life, unlike his little brother who was more compassive.
- Trickster Archetype: In Mythologies, Sub-Zero is noted to be the most clever and most skilled of all the Lin Kuei.
- Unexpected Character: Treated in-universe as this in his UMK3 ending.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Raiden chews a large bite of Cyromancer pie out of Sub-Zero when it turns out that he's supplied Quan Chi with the means of freeing Shinnok from his imprisonment in the Netherrealm.
- 0% Approval Rating: By the time of the eleventh game, it's expressed through character banter that no one, not even the worst villains, trust or like Kano.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Not a single female kombatant is charmed by him, and his lecherous comments often mutate into a more murderous statement afterwards.
- Abusive Parents: His ending in MKX shows him torturing and beating the crap out of his son as part of the Black Dragon initiation.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Averted. While he does many cowardly things to often save his skin, he is never going to stoop to this with his enemies or rivals.Shao Kahn: Beg my forgiveness.
Kano: Sorry mate, I don't grovel.
- And Show It to You: His infamous "Heart Rip" Fatality. He holds the heart up for everyone to see, including the victim in several games.
- The Special Forces. He's quite... "invested" in his rivalry with Sonyanote , and Jax is responsible for the metal plate on his face.
- The Red Dragon clan. They're a longtime enemy of Kano's Black Dragon Clan.
- Since he has an eye for Sonya and Cassie, he becomes this with Johnny Cage as well.
- Arms Dealer: The primary market for the Black Dragon's operations are in weapons dealing. Kano is always looking for buyers for his wares, regardless of how they'll be used. He frequently deals with Outworld customers and sells weapons to any party in the realm, even if they're in conflict with one another or intend to use them against Earthrealm.
- Asshole Victim: Given everything he'd done up to that point and that he was threatening to kill the younger Johnny Cage and prevent Cassie from being born, no one would fault Sonya for wiping him from existence by killing his younger self.
- Awesome Aussie: A brutal killer who comes from the land down under. 11 adds a significant amount of references to Australian slang and culture to his character.
- Badass Grandpa: In MKX. See Older Than They Look below.
- Badass Normal: Aside from a robotic eye and later an enhanced heart, he's nothing more than a human being with "a knack for survival".
- Bad Boss: In Special Forces. The other Black Dragon clansmen (barring the possibility of Jarek) are unquestionably loyal to Kano, who exploits them as distractions for Jax to deal with (and unlike Jarek, they might all be dead by Jax's hands, too).
- Benevolent Boss: A twisted example. Despite his backstabbing tendencies, Kano cultivates certain loyalty in his clan through charisma and profit. Kabal trusts his lies without a doubt in 11, and other Black Dragons are seen to be decently loyal to him throughout the series. Even when being badmouthed or facing inevitable mutiny, Kano hardly drops his jovial demeanor and tries to recruit his underlings back. The only thing that makes Kano lose his cool is the prospect of his subordinates attempting to usurp him.
- Bald of Evil: His appearance in MK3. The younger version of himself in 11 also has this appearance to contrast the more grizzled and bearded present self.
- Beard of Evil: In most of his appearances. Started as a 5 o'clock shadow (shaven clean in MK3), and became a full beard since MKvsDCU.
- Beat Still, My Heart: The heart still beats when he first rips it out of the body.
- Berserk Button: Little ever fazes Kano. Even defecting Black Dragons that threaten or beat the crap out of him doesn't make Kano lose his snarky demeanor. However, what truly does make Kano murderously angry is being confronted for leadership over his clan.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Has elbow blades in MKX, yet they appear to be mostly for show.
- Boring, but Practical: His Fatalities as a whole tend to lack the over-the-top spectacle of some of the other Kombatants, being simple, brutal, and sadistic.
- The Brute: Serves as this somewhat to Outworld, selling them weapons. He's a go-to-guy in terms of direct combat and weaponry.
- Bullying a Dragon:
- Sure, Kano. Go ahead and threaten Cassie in Sonya Blade's presence, while on her base and surrounded. That sounds like a great idea. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
- During his fight with Sonya in the movie, Kano says "Gimme a break" after getting caught in Sonya's signature leg grab. This proved to be a poor choice of words.
- Does it again in 11. Let's go ahead and remind Past!Sonya that Past!Johnny's murder would erase Cassie from existence, while she already has her boot pressed down on Past!Kano's neck. It's not like she isn't in prime position to simply draw a gun, barely have to move it to aim; and blow his past counterpart's brains out and kill them both at once. Worse for him, his threat about Cassie's Cessation of Existence is precisely what reminds her she can do this. This time, it comes back to fatally bite him.
- Carpet of Virility: Since Trevor Goddard's portrayal in the live-action film, Kano has usually been shown having a rather hairy chest.
- Censored for Comedy: A variant; as a Take That! to Australia's censorship laws prohibiting Mortal Kombat games from being sold there, Kano is the only character in 11 to have expletives bleeped in his intro dialogues.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He will take any offer that allows his own preservation. Sonya even calls Kabal out in a Mortal Kombat 11 intro for being dumb enough to believe him.Sonya: Who said I tortured you?
Kabal: Kano. He's got no reason to lie.
Sonya: Except, y'know, he's KANO!
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: His different Variations in MKX give his bionic eye and heart different colors. Cybernetic gives him his classic red eye, his Commando variation colors it yellow, and his Cut-Throat variation colors it blue.
- Combat Pragmatist: He brings a mingun to a fistfight in his attempt to kill Sonya and Cassie in 11.
- Composite Character: Notably, Kano's adoption of a cybernetic heart of sorts gives him a shared trait with Red Dragon enemy Hsu Hao, who also utilized a cybernetic heart.
- Counter Attack: The main thrust of his "Commando" fighting style in X, which allows him to catch-and-return enemy attacks with a range of grapples.
- Cyborg: Only insomuch as needing a synthetic eye that has also been outfitted with a heat-emitting beam (justified as the surgeon who gave it to him has a high proficiency in areas of technology). The rest of him is human. However, in Mortal Kombat X, a lot more of his body has been cybernetically enhanced, in particular, his heart and right ear. His robotic eye is also different due to a bad altercation with Kuai Liang about a decade prior. "Cybernetic" is even the name of one of his three Combat Variations. His younger self retains it in 11 and it can be customized with gear.
- Deadpan Snarker: He would give Johnny a run for his money in this department. At the end of the day, Kano rarely takes anything seriously despite his life of danger.
- Death by Pragmatism: Kano has the bright idea to kill young Johnny Cage so that both older Johnny and Cassie cease to exist, taking out three enemies at once. Unfortunately for him, Sonya exploits this idea as well and kills younger Kano, causing the old one to die as well.
- Did Not Do the Bloody Research: In Mortal Kombat 11, Kano uses a lot more Australian slang than before but occasionally Netherrealm misses the mark; such as referring to money with 'quid' (a British expression, a 'quid' is £1)
- Disney Villain Death: His fate in the Battle of Armageddon.
- Dirty Communists: His Kold War outfit in ''MKX' evokes the image of one by giving him a trench coat and Red Star capped beret.
- The Don: With the Black Dragon more or less having become The Mafia of the Mortal Kombat universe, Kano is this.
- Dual Wielding: His weapon style has him wielding a pair of Butterfly Knives.
- Electronic Eyes: His right eye was replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic following an unfortunate battle with Jax. It's customizable in 11 as part of the gear system.
- Excrement Statement: His Brutality win pose and an intro in 11 have him lazily urinating on the floor.
- Eye Beam:
- It took three games, but he finally showed he was capable of doing it, in Fatality form, and later as a special move from Deadly Alliance onwards.
- In the intro to Armageddon, he kills Stryker with one.
- Eye Scream: Jax disfigured his eye once, hence his metal plate. It happens again in Mortal Kombat X issue 9 when it's shown Sub-Zero froze his cybernetic eye and shattered it, forcing Kano to get an upgrade.Baraka: What happened to your eye?
Kano: Special Forces bastard took it.
Baraka:I'll take the other one!
- Evil Laugh: Though Kano frequently chuckles, he lets out an especially menacing laugh in one of his outros in 11.
- A Father to His Men: A VERY VERY low end version of this but while he is a complete sociopath who would subject his own son to a gruesome and sadistic torture to harden him, he doesn't take kindly to his fellow Black Dragons being harassed or killed. He especially seems to take a liking to Kabal, even if the feeling there isn't mutual.
- Faux Affably Evil: His casual demeanor towards his foes belies a nasty streak as wide as Outworld. For female fighters, it slips into perversion and feign admiration, even if it's clear he intends on killing them.
- Gatling Good: He attempts to gun down Sonya and Cassie with a minigun during the events of 11, and it nearly works, too.
- Giant Spider: Kano's Animality in MK3.
- Grievous Bottley Harm: One of his Fatalities in 11 has him chug a beer bottle in one, smash it against the opponent's head and drive the broken bottle into their neck so that blood spews out of it while Kano dances with their corpse.
- Guys Are Slobs: 11 plays up the trashy side of Kano's personality. He's seen relieving himself in one of his intros and Brutality victory animations, takes a big swig out of a beer bottle in several of his animations, and his arcade ending has him overlook cage matches between Sonya and Cassie while the two are dressed in skimpy clothing. His disgusting habits are negatively lampshaded by Kitana and Shang Tsung.
- Handwraps of Awesome: He often wears these.
- Honest John's Dealership: If one of his intros with Baraka is any indication, he's not above selling faulty weaponry.
- Happily Adopted: In the original arcade game, it mentioned in his origin that he was adopted by a rich Japanese woman and it doesn't appear that he holds any dislike for her.
- Hunk: Of the Aussie, villainous kind.
- I Fight for the Strongest Side: Subverted. One of his dialogues with Mileena in X suggests that he likes to align himself with the party that has the most advantage regardless of who it puts him up against (which explains why he's so ready to jump over to whatever invading force is visiting Earthrealm) but the reality is he'll play for any team that can line his wallet (hence why he's actually been selling weapons and consultation services to both Kotal Kahn and Kahn's enemy, Mileena, as regardless who comes out on top he'll be the one who profits from it).
- I Am the Noun: In one match intro, where Kabal announces his intent to assume leadership, Kano threateningly tells him he is the Black Dragon.
- Image Song: "Kano, Use Your Might" where the vocalist sings about how great Kano is, how she is on his side, and describes him as a fallen angel. Also doubles as "The Villain Sucks" Song.
- Irony: Kano was cut from MKII due to being unpopular. And he's now one of the most popular baddies in the franchise.
- Jerkass: Kano tends to be rather snide and selfish with any casual and affable moments being a cover for his nasty habits of greed and betrayal.
- Kick the Dog:
- Taunts Cassie's parents about her possible fate while she's kidnapped. Sonya actually has to hold Johnny Cage back from beating him up.
- In Story Mode, "Uncle Kano" threatens to visit Cassie. Johnny's the only reason Sonya doesn't straight-up murder his ass. You'd think he'd learn...
- Present Kano throws Past Sonya into a fighting ring without her gear, throws Past Johnny in there with her and orders them to fight to the death, then later abducts Past Johnny and threatens his and Cassie's lives while Sonya has Past Kano pinned by his neck. Three strikes and you're dead, Kano... ...know what? That was strike three.
- Killed Off for Real: Within the rules of Kronika's shenanigans, the current Kano undergoes a Critical Existence Failure after Sonya kills his past self and subsequently fades from existence.
- Knife Nut: In particular, the "Cutthroat" variation in Mortal Kombat X is centered around Kano's knife fighting skills. The knives are a customizable option through gear in 11, and he also has hidden blades in his boots.
- Large Ham: Rich Divizio has stated he played Kano as over-the-top as possible. Trevor Goddard's portrayal in the live-action film famously makes him a boastful character who loves grandstanding. Michael McConnohie doesn't do too bad in 9 either, although he's more toned down in MKX.
- Laser Blade: MK3 turned his knives into laser blades.
- Laser-Guided Karma: X finally ends with him behind bars after he and the other rebels are apprehended by the OIA (and it's fully canon) giving Sonya's grudge against him some true closure.
- And after years of being a thorn in everyone's side and being a constant threat to Sonya, Cassie and Johnny, Past!Sonya puts a bullet in Past!Kano's head in 11, causing the Present!Kano to fade from existence, forever.
- Loony Fan: If the comic book is anything to go by, he was a huge fan of Johnny Cage's movies before the first tournament. Johnny didn't take this well, especially after Kano picked a fight on the way there, and Kano's admiration ended quickly.
- Made of Evil: According to Noob Saibot and Cetrion, Kano is so evil his soul has decayed to become pitch black and void of light. It surprisingly unsettles him to hear it from Noob, but other intros have him broodingly claiming that it doesn't matter.
- Millionaire Playboy: He boasts to Shang Tsung he is the richest man in Earthrealm. Considering Kano can afford his cybernetic enhancements and a nuclear bomb, it's somewhat believable he is insanely rich.
- The Mafiya: His fight club in 11 is stated to be in Russia. Although none of the named Black Dragon members are stated to be Russian (with Kano himself being Australian), an interaction with Johnny Cage has Kano say they set up there for his fans. Something which Johnny can't help but admire.
- Moe Greene Special: How Sonya kills both Kanos off in 11, the older Kano being Ret Goned thanks to his younger self suffering this, complete with lovely view of the hole on both.
- Neck Lift: His Chokehold move.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
- In his MK3 ending, his attempt to replace Shao Kahn's tyranny with his own backfires when, after annihilating Kahn and his forces, he is unable to take control of all the souls and suffers a violent death for his troubles. He dies unaware that "he saved the world he tried to conquer", his actions creating a power vacuum that the good can fill.
- In the rebooted timeline, he ends up being responsible for Kabal joining Raiden's champions. Stubbornly believing that Kabal will drop his quest to redeem himself for the atrocities he committed as a Black Dragon and join Outworld, Kano takes Kabal's body after it is mauled and burned by Kintaro and has him revived through technology and Outworld sorcery. The sorcery grants Kabal super speed, and Kano's actions give Outworld a new enemy.
- In 11, after Past!Sonya defeats him, his modern self tries to pull a hostage gambit by threatening to kill a wounded Past!Johnny and reminding her that if he dies so does Cassie since she'll never be born. Once Sonya was clued into this she used it to her advantage, resulting in Sonya shooting Past!Kano in the head through his good eye. Subsequently killing his modern self as well.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis:
Johnny: Stay away from Cassie and Sonya.
- Cassie Cage will mock and degrade any of the other fighters, up to and including Shinnok. When she's up against Kano, she's as dead-serious as her mother.
- Even Johnny has little patience with Kano in 11.
Kano: Can't. I'm like a dog with a bone.
Johnny: You're gonna be a dog with a fist up its ass.
- Nuke 'em: He wiped out over half of Kintaro's besieging forces with a handheld device that launched a nuclear scaled blast.
- Older Than They Look: He's 60 come the events of MKX (as he was 35 during the first tournament). Despite still fitting the Trope, he clearly hasn't aged as well as Sonya or Cage, although in 11 his present self is rather youthful-looking.
- Only in It for the Money: His reason for joining Shang Tsung's tournament and for siding with Outworld and selling stuff for them.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: There are a few interactions where he drops his attitude and snark to actually consider what his opponent says. Best seen in one interaction with Noob, who is Made of Evil, says that Kano has no light within his greed-blackened soul. Kano is taken aback by this.
- Pet the Dog:
- In 9, he's the one who saves Kabal (his former Black Dragon cohort) from dying and surgically implants him with his mask and breathing apparatus after Kintaro roasted him alive.
- When he heard of Kabal's apparent demise at the hands of Mavado, it is said that he would have most likely hounded the Red Dragon leader and had his head if not for his post in Outworld as the leader of Shao Kahn's armies. Kabal had long since forsaken the ways of the Black Dragon at that point though.
- In his arcade ending in 11, he lets Kronika go after defeating her. Considering most other characters kill her and easily take control of her hourglass afterward, there's no real reason for him to do this.
- He reacts negatively to Erron Black telling Kano that he killed a fellow Black Dragon member, Kobra, to his face.
- Playing Both Sides: Combines with War for Fun and Profit. According to his Mortal Kombat X bio, Kano has taken the role of technical adviser and weapons supplier to Kotal Kahn after Mileena was deposed as Outworld empress but also gives Mileena's rebel armies the exact same support in their campaign to reclaim her throne. Prior to that he had also been involved in moving guns into Outworld to fuel regional conflicts around the realm.
- Psycho for Hire: He likes to get paid huge amounts of money, but also loves the killing.
- The Quisling: Basically, he's willing to sell out all of humanity.
- Race Lift: After Trevor Goddard's portrayal in the movie, he was changed from American-Japanese descent in the games to Australian.
- Reduced to Ratburgers: One of his mid-fight taunts in 11 has him stab a lizard that was crawling nearby and munch on it for a bit."Nice bit of tack, huh?"
- Ripple Effect Indicator: Just like Johnny Cage's example below, when his past self takes a notable injury in 11, the damage appears on the future self too. Unfortunately for Kano, a bullet blowing out half one's brain is decidedly more fatal than a bullet grazing the cheek, and Future Kano Dissolves into dust for it.
- Rolling Attack: The Cannonball attack, in which he tosses himself at the opponent while keeping arms and legs folded into his body.
- Sore Loser: Even though a past encounter with Kuai Liang ends in a stalemate with the man fleeing, Kano is incredibly sore over the fight still ending in Kuai's favor. He hasn't gotten over it in the present, where he moans he would have won with his new cybernetics.
- Shout-Out: He quotes one of his movie lines in his intro dialogue against Sonya."Hello, baby. Did you miss me?"
- Sigil Spam: In Deadly Alliance and Armageddon, the back of his vest sports the emblem of the Black Dragon clan.
- Slasher Smile: In his 11 fatality as he is beating his opponent's head in, it switches to a POV shot from the victim's perspective before the final blow. Kano has a wide and manic grin across his face.
- Stance System:
- Straw Nihilist: A few interactions in 11 say that he lives his villainous life without regret because he doesn't think being noble or heroic matter in the end.
- Tattooed Crook: In MK vs. DC, he has a tattoo of the Black Dragon emblem on his left bicep; but the trope was employed in full force since 9, where he has both upper arms and chest tattooed.
- Too Dumb to Live: He holds Past!Johnny hostage in order to stop Sonya from killing him, not a bad idea. He then reminds her that if he kills Johnny, then Cassie will have never been born because Johnny will be dead in the present. It takes Sonya about 10 seconds to piece together how to kill him.
- Took a Level in Badass: Ingame, he gets a huge one compared to his debut. In the first Mortal Kombat, he had two special moves (since everyone was almost the same in terms of normal attacks, it's the special moves that are the deciding factor), his iconic cannonball and knife toss attacks. And they both carried heavy drawbacks. The cannonball required a 360 motion with the joystick that was rather clumsy to do and doing the knife toss relied on a strange back and worth wiggle (improvements to this were made in the home versions). To top it off, his knives looked intimidating but did the least amount of damage for a normal projectile (Sub-Zero and Scorpion's did less but more than made up for it with special properties). After being brought back in MK3, Kano becomes a lot more versatile with his different cannonball attacks and melee moves. Plus his attacks became more damaging compared to most other Kombatants. Later games would give and take away his laser eye, but he's certainly much better than his first incarnation.
- Trademark Favorite Food: According to Richard Divizio (the actor who portrayed Kano in all of the titles using digitized actors), Kano enjoys White Castle hamburgers (it's probable that this is Divizio's favorite meal as well).
- Troll: While Kano has shown these traits before, 11 made it a huge part of his personality along with a penchant for Black Comedy, seen in his intro dialogue and the "Last Dance" fatality, where he dances with his opponent's corpse.
- Unwitting Pawn: Realizes this and more during his mirror match in X.
- Use Your Head: Kano has a hard noggin that he uses to inflict massive damage to his opponent and is even able to smash heads by headbutting people. Having a metal-plated eye probably helps, too.
- Victory Is Boring: His arcade ladder in Mortal Kombat 11 depicts him sparing Kronika for her powers over time, and for a while, he enjoys things like subjecting Cassie and Sonya to cage matches against each other. He eventually comes to recognize this as monotonous and seemingly gives up his powers to resume his original thrillseeking way of life.
- Vocal Evolution: His younger and older selves in '11' have notably different inflections, with his older self sounding much more grizzled and weathered.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Has had more than a few costumes, particularly in the live-action film, MKX and MK11 that either have him go shirtless or wear a vest to expose his chest.
Johnny Cage (Jonathan "John" Carlton)
- Action Dad: He's the father of Cassie Cage, one of the new characters in X.
- Agent Peacock: Downplayed, but in 9, he proclaims that he's "so pretty!" after a win, and in 11, his younger self carries a compact mirror and gets his Berserk Button pressed when he gets grazed in the cheek by a bullet.
- Amazon Chaser: By 11, Johnny tells his younger self that Sonya is the "real deal".
- Ambidextrous Sprite: Played with in X. In his normal win pose, he pulls out a marker and autographs an 8x10 of himself, tossing it to his foe. Which hand he writes with is based on which way he's facing. He has separate scenes for writing (the "Cage" portion of "To My Biggest Fan! CAGE") with his right and left; either way, his handwriting is perfectly fine.
- Amicable Exes: With Sonya. It appears that it's only on his part and only whenever Cassie is concerned. Becomes this for real at the end of X, with Sonya actually warming up to him.
- And You Thought It Was a Game:
- He starts Mortal Kombat 9 thinking the whole tournament is just elaborate role-play.
- In the movie, he had no idea what the stakes were in the tournament. He just thought it was a competition to show off his skills and prove that it wasn't wire tricks and stuntmen. By the time he realizes that it's a lot more than just an ordinary tournament, it's far too late for him to back out.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: He thinks the Outworld warriors are just people in really nice costumes and not interdimensional monsters, yet his reason for participating in Mortal Kombat is because people accuse him of being a fraud who can only look good through movie magic when he wants to show them all his superhuman abilities are entirely his own.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Sonya's 11 tower ending had him be recruited for her "God Squad". But only because Cassie insisted. And because she missed him... but only a little. Don't tell him about that last part though.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Johnny's main defining character trait is his overwhelmingly large ego, tempered by an equally sharp tongue and razor wit. And while it's mostly justified, given he's the new Earthrealm Champion by MK X, it hasn't won him many friends. His daughter Cassie, Jacqui Briggs, and Tak are among the few who seem to like him.
- Ascended Extra: Years before MKX, if you told MK fans that Johnny Cage would be the new champion of Earthrealm, you would be called a liar. Yet, here we are. Even if Johnny was a part of the original MK, he was always portrayed as the Butt-Monkey to one of Earthrealm's finest warriors. While the new timeline has been very generous to him, unfortunately most of his friends got killed as a result.
- Ascended Glitch: In the first game, a glitch allowed Johnny to perform his decapitation fatality uppercut multiple times, knocking off at least 2 heads of his opponent. It was kept (and the ante upped by guaranteeing three heads were sent flying) for 2 and Trilogy, but dropped ever since.
- It does come back in a Breaking the Fourth Wall way in Mortal Kombat 11; at first it seems he's just going to do his regular deadly uppercut (which does shatter his victim's jaw, to his credit) before a director offscreen yells cut. Cue him getting more and more frustrated as he performs the move twice more (for a total of three like the MK2 and Trilogy versions) before tossing the opponent's now decapitated head at the camera and breaking it.
- Back for the Dead: His eventual fate in Annihilation, courtesy of Shao Kahn.
- Back from the Dead: Constantly in the original timeline. Lampshaded when, prior to joining the battle against the Deadly Alliance, he was (unwillingly) starting to film Mortal Kombat: The Death of Johnny Cage, in which he was repeatedly killed and brought back to life. Finally subverted in 9, as he manages to survive a plot where most of the major characters die. Played straight when he is almost close to death in X and is saved thanks to Raiden and Sonya's efforts at meddling with Quan Chi's necromancy.
- Badass Boast: From the story mode of 9:Johnny Cage: Fans think my moves are all wire work and special effects. Truth is... I am the special effects.
- Badass in a Nice Suit:
- Prior to the events in Deadly Alliance, he arrives on Shang Tsung's Island dressed in a tux via parachute. He also has one as an alternate in 4, Deadly Alliance and Armageddon.
- In 9, he comes to the first tournament wearing a tuxedo with a loosened bow tie that also serves as his alternate.
- Badass in Distress: Towards the end of Mortal Kombat X, he's captured by Shinnok and D'Vorah, and spends the rest of the game in a cocoon with maggots slowly eating his face. It takes Cassie beating them both down to save him.
- Berserk Button:
Mileena: The failed actor.
- In the first movie. Goro should not have crushed those $500 pair of shades. That, and killing off Johnny's friend.
- MKX implies he's sensitive to remarks about his movie career.
Johnny Cage: I'm gonna take my awards and shove 'em through your skull!
Mileena: Touchy, aren't we?
- In 11, his younger self snaps when he gets grazed by a bullet and it leaves a gash on his cheek.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Sure, Cage may seem like a wisecracking goofball, but disregard him at your own peril. And mellowed out he may be in X, but threaten his loved ones and he'll gain a new Super Mode and No-Sell an Elder God's attacks and then wipe the floor with him!Johnny Cage: Mr. Briggs, I presume.
Jax: You always gotta be a fool?
Johnny Cage: Alright. Let's get serious.
- Big Damn Heroes: The first chapter of MKX has him not only beat up Sub-Zero and Scorpion, but he also manages to not only No-Sell Shinnok's amulet and save Sonya, but also beat up said fallen Elder God and help Raiden seal him away in his own amulet! And people wonder how he's the new Champion of Earthrealm...
- Bond One-Liner: Johnny pieces one together after beating Kano at the end of his chapter in MK9, although he's a little unsure about it.Johnny Cage: Throw that on your...barbie...shrimp... (Shrug)
- Born Lucky:
- While other combatants can justify their special powers with reasons going from Training from Hell or being Physical Gods, sorcerers or Ninjas/McNinjas; Johnny Cage has no background for how he got his energy blasts, he's simply naturally gifted.
- In 9, it's revealed that he is descended from a Mediterranean warrior cult who bred fighters for the gods. Yet, despite that, it is made even more obvious how his powers are so natural; Johnny initially is in disbelief about the whole Mortal Kombat and other realms thing, and yet he doesn't mention or see his powers as being equally unbelievable. Also, the whole reason he's there is because of people calling him out and saying he's all flash with no substance. He insists that his energy powers are legit and will prove it at the Mortal Kombat tournament... yet thinks nothing of them in spite of that.
- Box Office Bomb: In-Universe. His film debut, Ninja Mime, which also doubles as an Old Shame. Even Cyrax hates the film and wants his money back. Ninja Mime is a Cult Classic in France though.
- Brainwashed: To serve Onaga in Deception.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Corrupted under the Blood Code in the MKX comics thanks to Jacqui.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Johnny can summon a stunt double in Mortal Kombat 11 (and not just a shadow clone like he did in the "Stunt Double" variation in X but an actual lookalike) to attack or hold his opponent down, can accidentally bump into a boom mic between rounds, and his first Fatality has him try to knock his opponent's head off with his classic uppercut Fatality but it goes wrong, resulting in the director calling for a retake. He tries two more times (like his hidden "Triple Uppercut" Fatality from II) before his opponent's head gets stuck on his hand and he throws the decapitated head towards the camera out of frustration.
- Broken Win/Loss Streak: With Kitana, apparently.Kitana: "I have bested you before."Johnny Cage: "I was being nice, those... ten times."
- Butt-Monkey: Rendered as such after II, likely as punishment for his actor (Daniel Pesina) advertising a rival game, BloodStorm, while in full costume. Even the dev team doesn't take him seriously. Finally seems to be outgrowing this as of X.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Blames Sonya's job for their divorce.
- Captain Ersatz: Started as one of Jean-Claude Van Damme in the first game, being directly modelled on his appearance in Bloodsport, complete with the Split Punch. This has largely disappeared in subsequent games.
- Casting a Shadow: Johnny's Stunt Double variation has him able to use some of his moves in a safe distance, and keeping him away from trouble. However, the shadow "stunt doubles" or "mimics" as the game refers to them are yellow instead of his usual green.
- The Casanova: While his luck with other kombatants is low, Cage is capable of getting women, if one dialogue with Kano is any indication:Kano: "If it's tail ya want, I can get that."
Johnny: "Johnny Cage doesn't pay for it, Kano!"
Kano: "A scruple?! Note the date and time."
- Casanova Wannabe:
"I'm taking you down, I'm taking you down, I'm taking you out, I'm taking you out, and [approaches Sonya] I'm taking you out... for dinner."
- Towards Sonya in the first chapter of 9:
Johnny: (smirking) "My green magic, your green outfit...?"
- Johnny also flirts with Jade during their pre-fight banter in MK 11:
Jade: (smirks back and chuckles) "By the gods, no."
Johnny: Your loss, sweetheart.
- Kitana, too, is much less impressed.
Frost: "Do not even think it Johnny Cage."
- Add Frost to his list of would-be "Konquests," though she isn't as kind about it as Jade:
Johnny: (smirking) "Admit it, you know it's crossed your mind."
Frost: "I am NOT interested."
Johnny: You thinking what I'm thinking?
- Not even Elder Gods are immune:
Cetrion: That you are a vapid, arrogant child?
Johnny: Don't let that stop you.
- The Champion: In the comics, Kotal Kahn refers to him as Raiden's, effectively replacing the late Liu Kang.
- Character Development: He's introduced in 9 as an insufferable, showboating and self-aggrandizing movie star, and over the course of the game, turns out to be a surprisingly loyal friend, and the conscience of the team. The sequel takes it up a notch and reveals him to be a doting and loving father, a supportive mentor to an entire generation of heroes, and a visibly more mature guy overall, a very far cry from the shallow Hollywood caricature of the old games.
- Based on his ending in 11, after defeating Shinnok, he had returned to Hollywood, obviously having Cassie with Sonya during that time, but soon spiraled out of control and hit rock bottom. In order to be a be a better father to Cassie, he cleaned up his act and became the man she looked up to by X. Past!Johnny lampshades this as he could remove this part of his history in his ending, but he would never be the man that Present!Johnny is without the hardships.
- The Charmer: Mediates successfully with Kotal Kahn to defuse a tense standoff in the comics.
- Chronically Killed Actor: In the most literal way possible.
- Combat Pragmatist: In the movie, he realizes that going toe to toe with Goro would be suicide, so he uses strategy to outmaneuver him. Then there's his Groin Attack.
- Cool Old Guy: He's 54 in Mortal Kombat X (as he was 29 for the first tournament), so this qualifies. He's pretty easygoing and always ready with the witty repartee, and a supportive mentor to the next generation.
- Cool Shades:
- While they were always part of his character, with official art always depicting him wearing shades, he only started wearing them during fights from Trilogy onwards.
- In the first movie, he values them more than any worldly possession. Then Goro broke them, and the rest is history:
- In his 9 victory pose, his shades break in half. No problem: he just takes out a brand new pair and puts them on!
- In 11, his shades are customizable via gear and evidently come with a self destruct mechanism as seen in one of his brutalities.
- Cool Teacher: Helps in training Cassie, Jacqui, Takeda and Kung Jin in MKX.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Looks every bit of a muggle, and acts like a jerkass, but he can hold his own against all kinds of enemies, including Tarkatans, cyborgs, physical gods, sorcerers, etc.
- A Day in the Limelight:
- In the rebooted timeline, he's the focus of the first chapter of both games.
- By Mortal Kombat 11, he's the focus of Chapter 6.
- Dead Guy Puppet: One of his Fatalities in MK11 involves him shoving his arm into his opponent's body and tearing off their torso. And then he starts using it in a ventriloquist act, complete with a Dramatic Spotlight!"Opponent": What did you do, Johnny?
Johnny: Just what you asked!
"Opponent": Not what I meant by "the splits"!
(Crowd boos Johnny and throws tomatoes at him, with one of them hitting the corpse)
- Deadpan Snarker: Seems to be this at first, in tone with his movie self, as seen in MK9. And 25 years later, he still got it.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In his finest hour, Johnny Cage defeated Shinnok.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: The first chapter in X hints at this as he takes an intented killshot from Shinnok to protect Sonya and comes out unscathed, all while glowing his usual green. His immediate reaction quickly tells that he was clearly not expecting to come away standing.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Because of his crass personality, a lot of his allies don't believe that he defeated Shinnok.Kitana: So you were to defeat Shinnok?
Johnny: What is with people!? Is it so hard to believe!?
- Embarrassing Nickname: His intro dialogue with his Daughter in Mortal Kombat 11Johnny Cage:Grandma Carlton told you my secret?
Cassie Cage:(chuckle) Johnny Pee-Pants?
Johnny Cage:I had one accident. ONE!
- Everyone Has Standards:Johnny Cage: What's that on your fa— OHHHHH!
Johnny Cage: ...That's just really fucked up, man.
D'Vorah: Why not come closer?
- And despite his penchant for hitting on women, even he draws the line at Mileena (in MK X) and D'Vorah and Scarlet in MK 11. In Mileena's case, it's because she's part Tarkatan and a cannibal, whereas D'Vorah and Scarlet both creep him out.
Johnny: You are not sucking my face like Mileena's!
D'Vorah: Johnny Cage, afraid of a kiss?
- Establishing Character Moment: In 9, he spends his first few fights goofing off, preening and grandstanding, hitting on Sonya, and generally making an ass of himself... but is horrified when Shang Tsung demands he "finish" a fallen opponent.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Dips into this from time to time.
- Armageddon tries to take the "fake" part out, by having him being the first of the heroes to see Shinnok back into the scene, and then rallying the band of heroes for the final battle. His (non-canonical) ending states that he gained superior strength and dexterity, but more important, a new insight into his existence. With the help of Shaolin masters, he renounced his superficial former life and became enlightened.
- Subverted in the alternate timeline. The first time is in MKX's Story mode, where he defeated Shinnok by sending his amulet to Raiden so he can have the fallen Elder God sealed in and the second time in the MKX prequel comics, where he succesfully defuses a tense standoff with Kotal Kahn, with the latter even respectfully calling him 'champion'.
- Fanservice with a Smile: He's always been shirtless and smiling since the original Mortal Kombat.
- The Fighting Narcissist: A rare heroic example. In brief, he's full of himself, cocky and arrogant, but he really is THAT good a fighter, and he's possibly the game's most moral, selfless hero. And he is undoubtedly one of the good guys.
- Fighting with Chucks: In Deadly Alliance, Deception and Armageddon.
- Flipping the Bird: His first Fatality in 11 ends with him discreetly flipping off the camera as he chucks his opponent's decapitated head towards it.
- The Friend Nobody Likes:
Sub-Zero: You approach me as a foe...
- Zig-Zagged. His part in saving the world on more than one occasion means he enjoys a fair deal of respect, especially from the younger generation of heroes and particularly Cassie who adores him. However, his boisterous personality and penchant for lame jokes and puns at the expense of others tends to earn him a lot of flak in Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X. This is particularly prevalent in MKX. Skarlet lampshades this in 11. However, by the time of X and 11, this mainly seems to apply to intros due to Rule of Funny since Johnny is noticably Older and Wiser and doesn't really behave obnoxiously or invite derision from his allies in the story mode.
Johnny: Nah, I'm just outta ice cubes.
Sub-Zero: At times, I regret our alliance.Raiden: You followed me.
Johnny: You need me here!
Raiden: Has anyone agreed with that statement?!Skarlet: I will have your ancient power.
Johnny: Not what I call it, but, uh... okay.
Skarlet: No one will miss you, Cage.
Johnny: Come on, do you really like Future Johnny better?
- In 11, nobody - not even himself - likes his past self, dues to being Johnny Cage at his worst, pre- Character Development point. Future Johnny's reaction to his younger self boasting about sleeping with Sonya loud enough for her, Jacqui, Cass and everyone else in the room to hear is to unleash a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to try and teach him a bit of humility.
Jacqui: Name someone who doesn't.
- Full-Name Basis: He screams "JOHNNY CAGE!" after winning a round or winning a Test Your Might/Strike/Sight minigame.
- Gallows Humor: After being stabbed by the revenant Jax as he lies bleeding out when Sonya tells him he'll be ok.Johnny: I don't know. I think blood is supposed to be on the inside.
- Good Parents: Cassie adores him, and surprisingly, he turns out to be possibly the best dad in the MK-verse by a long shot. Only Jax even comes close.
- Groin Attack:
- His "Split Punch" signature attack, a special move where he does the splits and plants his fist directly into his opponent's crotch. It wouldn't work on Sonya in the first game or on Kitana, Jade and Mileena in the second game, probably because of the common misconception that women somehow wouldn't be harmed by it. It also couldn't be used on bosses either. Later games remove those limitations and now it affects women and bosses just fine.
- One of his Fatalities in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is a series of punches to the stones, ending with one last punch that hits so hard, the victim's legs pop off of their torso.
- Also, the first part of his X-Ray move in Mortal Kombat 9 is a three-punch combo to the groin. Ouch.
- It also has a Brutality version in MKX, wherein it either pops the victim's head off, or causes their eyes to pop out.
- And then there's his memorable use of the move on Goro in the movie.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: His Torso Rip fatality.
- In Shaolin Monks, he has a fatality where he will punch the opponent in the groin several times, mugs for the camera, punches the groin for a bit like a speed bag, and then does one final monster punch that pulverises the entire pelvic region, effectively cutting the unlucky victim in half.
- His Stunt Double variation in X has a Brutality that does the same with the Shadow Kick.
- 11 brings back the torso rip, now with a decidedly comedic twist, as mentioned under Dead Guy Puppet above.
- Has a Type: In MK 11, Johnny admits there's two types of women he likes: blondes (like Sonya) and he likes Edenians. In one of his pre-fight banters with Jade, Johnny makes it clear that he's interested. A separate one has him tell Jade that he once dated a beauty queen who looked exactly like her. And, if you use Johnny to fight Kotal Khan, he'll ask Kotal if he knows whether Jade has any sisters.
- Guile Hero: For all his goofiness, Cage is smarter than he looks: his defeat of Goro in The Movie was reliant almost entirely on cunning tactical maneuvering, as he lures the Shokan to a cliff and ambushes him, knocking him to his doom.
- The Heart: Believe it or not. Cage may be a pompous ass, but he's genuinely a nice guy underneath, and of all the heroes he's the one that fights for the good guys just because it's the right thing to do. He also may love to kick ass, but he's horrified when asked to kill his defeated opponent by Shang Tsung. During the course of the Story Mode in MK9, he pretty much becomes the team's moral center. Becomes even more notable in MKX when paired with the stricter Sonya, keeping her from giving into her desire to kill Kano so that they can get info out of him and getting her to talk to Cassie less as a commander and more like a mother in spite of them having already split up on bad terms.
- The Hero: Takes up the position in the flashbacks of Mortal Kombat X to the point where he's singlehandedly responsible for Shinnok's defeat.
- Heroic Willpower: Even more than Sonya. This guy spent last quarter of X wrapped up in a cocoon with maggots trying to eat him alive... and his sanity was still intact after all of it. Seriously.
- Hidden Depths: Johnny was always insufferably arrogant but consistently proved himself a decent person when push came to shove. A large part of his Character Development involves him blunting his arrogance while emphasizing his more heroic qualities.
- There are hints that all his years in the film industry have made him business savvy in 11.
- Humble Pie: Johnny's Tower Ending in 11 vaguely hints to a key moment post-Shinnok that truly changed Johnny from the Hollywood glory hound to the true Champion of Earthrealm and supportive father/father figure he was in X and onward.
- Hunk: Sure, he may be egotistical, but you can't deny his good looks.
- I Hate Past Me: Has shades of this when he runs into his younger self in 11. Johnny is fully aware of what an egotistical asshole he used to be and the older and far more mature Cage Senior is incredibly frustrated with his younger self's Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy attitude. He even refers to his younger self as his evil twin.
- Insane Troll Logic: He is flabbergasted how Shao Kahn is not a Shokan (to Shao's annoyed bewilderment), even claiming to lose sleep over it.
- I'll Take That as a Compliment: This exchange between Johnny and Sonya in the first film:Sonya: [after Johnny tells her that he is facing Goro] Oh, I can't believe this! You are the most egotistical, self-deluded person I have ever met!
Johnny: Yeah, well you forgot good-looking.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: During Jax's chapter in 9, Johnny, Raiden, and Jax find themselves stuck at the Kombat Armory, when he probes Jax's relationship with Sonya.note Johnny, being himself, makes his intentions with Sonya a little less than subtle. This prompts Jax to challenge Johnny to a fight right there and then. However, afterwards, he brushes it off later and even good-naturedly jokes about it after they find Sonya. By the time of MKX, he has mellowed out almost to the point of being a straight up Nice Guy.
- Jerkass Realization: Outright admits to how much of a ass he has been while chewing out his younger self.Past!Johnny: Dad always said, "Hungry people eat lunch, humble people serve it."
Present!Johnny: Dad was an asshole! Hollywood made us an even bigger one!
- Past!Johnny goes through one himself, albeit in more understated fashion after his Sonya saves his life, both thanking her as well as sincerely apologizing for being the way he was.
- Kangaroos Represent Australia: He turns into one to kick his opponent off screen as an Animality in MK Trilogy.
- Kill Steal: Interrupts Kung Lao before he can finish off Goro in Shaolin Monks, then he throws his fist in the air in celebration.
- Large Ham: Expected from an actor, of action movies no less.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: whilst fighting a brainwashed Jacqui in the comics:Johnny: All righty. Glasses on... (Shadow Kicks Jacqui) ... gloves off.
- Made of Iron: Johnny has proven to be a glutton for punishment on multiple occasions. Most notable in 11, where Past Johnny is forced to fight Past Sonya, but takes it in stride, orders Sonya to beat the shit out of him and refuses to take a dive, all because he knows Kano better than to be even the slightest bit fair with them.
- Meaningful Name: It's probably more than coincidence that Kage in Japanese means shadow and Johnny Cage is the master of many "shadow" techniques himself.
- The Merch: As of 11, Johnny Cage now sports an action figure of himself on his person he whips out for brutalities and a win pose.note
- Mr. Fanservice: He's an action movie star who's always been bare-chested. Slightly averted in X, where he spends the game dressed either in a military uniform or pants and a hoodie and has his face chewed up by D'Vorah's maggots. However, his bare-chested primary costume from 9 is an unlockable, and he answers the door for Sonya in the MKX comics in nothing but a towel. Enough said.
- Nice Guy: By the time of 11, he has become one. The older Johnny has completely mellowed out to the point that he and Sonya have got back together and he has zero moments during story mode where his ego gets in the way and remains a supportive and loving husband and father. In fact, he takes it upon himself to teach his own younger self some manners and humility.
- The Nicknamer: Constantly in the pre-battle dialogues in Mortal Kombat X, usually via an insulting movie reference. He clearly knows everyone's names, and will sometimes even address them properly, he just enjoys being a comical ass at the expense of his opponent—in other words, it's completely in character.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: While he can joke with him occasionally, Johnny takes on an uncharacteristically threatening tone when faced with Kano, warning him with grave seriousness to stay away from his family in X and 11. An attitude that not even Shao Kahn receives.
- Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: Despite being put through the wringer during the events of Mortal Kombat 9, Johnny does eventually hook up with Sonya, as evidenced by their daughter Cassie Cage appearing in MKX. They were married for a while, but divorced some time before that game began due to Sonya being Married to the Job. 11 has them back together, only for Sonya to die in the first chapter in a Heroic Sacrifice. Past!Sonya's chapter implies they can still end up together after she saves Past!Johnny's life.
- Off with His Head!:
- His classic Fatality, in which Cage delivers a savage uppercut that tears his opponent's head off.
- The intro of MK9 inverts this: he's shown decapitated.
- Oh, Crap!: When against Jason and with good reason.Ohh... freak.
- Older Sidekick: To his daughter in MK11 and he is completely cool with it.
- The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: Every interaction with Johnny and Kano have them trading insults with each other, but Johnny respects the fact that Kano has a showman's instinct for his "fans" by situating a fight club in Russia.
- Papa Wolf: Joins Sonya in Outworld to rescue Cassie in the MKX comics and has to be restrained by Sonya from throttling Kano after he makes a snide jab about her fate.
- Person as Verb: Tried this with himself in Shaolin Monks and MK9. "You just got Caged!"
- Plucky Comic Relief: Unquestionably fills this role for the series.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: Comes out full force with Mortal Kombat X. It's only natural for an actor with superpowers. Of note is his first Fataility, where he reenacts Jack Torrance's break in with his enemy's chest and his bare hands. "Heeeeeeere's Johnny!"
- Power Incontinence: His ending in 9. His body begins to emit large, destructive bursts of energy in uncontrollable spasms, and neither Raiden nor Nightwolf are able to soothe them. Eventually, Raiden takes Johnny Cage to Seido to control his powers, which will result in him becoming more powerful than humanly imaginable.
- The Power of Love: In Mortal Kombat X it's theorized that his Super Mode is powered by the desire to protect a loved one, hence why he can't use it on command.
- Precision F-Strike: Originally, he didn't swear much. In XL, however, he has a few rare intro quotes against Leatherface and Triborg where he lets a few f-bombs fly. By 11, he more liberally incorporates swearing into his dialogue.Against Triborg: "Is it mechanically possible for you to fuck yourself?"Against Leatherface: "Dude, that's just really fucked up."
- Pungeon Master: In the Movie, he is particularly prone to Incredibly Lame Puns, to the point that he's basically the comic relief of the film. Possibly referenced with his intros in Mortal Kombat X, with some of them involving puns.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: His squad in MKX consists of two Special Forces operatives (one of them being his daughter with Sonya), a Shirai Ryu ninja and a Shaolin archer. He has his work cut out for him. And as Jacqui points out, Team S-F was his idea.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's quite laidback and approachable with the kids, contrasting Sonya's more hardline approach.
- Red Herring Shirt:
- Johnny Cage survives the events of Mortal Kombat 9. Keep in mind that in every form of media he's been in (the films, the games and even In-Universe in a role he refused to take part in), he dies in some form or fashion.
- In MKX, he comes close to dying in the finale, but ultimately pulls through.
- Mortal Kombat 11 does this to both Johnny Cages. Present!Johnny is shot in the legs at the end of Chapter 6 and is taken out of commission for the remainder of the story. Past!Johnny is often held at gunpoint obviously risking Cassie's life as well. He is also out of commission for the remainder of the story after being rescued.
- Ripple Effect Indicator: In 11, younger Johnny gets grazed in the face by a bullet, causing pain and a scar to show up on older Johnny's cheek in the exact same spot
- The Rival: Of Goro. Becomes canon after the movie.
- Running Gag: Johnny is the victim of three gags in MK 11.
Scorpion: "The answer is, "No."Johnny: (enthused) "But you'd be co-starring with yours truly!"
- The main one is that hardly anyone can believe he (of all people) defeated Shinnok. In most cases, Johnny brushes it off with good humor, or a sarcastic retort. But when even Kitana says it, Johnny becomes exasperated and asks: "Is it really THAT HARD to believe??" to which, Kitana replies, "Yes."
- MK 11 also reveals that he's attracted to Edenian women, by having him hit on both Kitana and Jade. Both shoot him down with the exact same line: "By the gods, no."
- He also tries to get the others to act in his films, but each of them turns him down either because they say his films suck, or simply because they'd have to put up with him.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: His alts. in 4, Deadly Alliance, Armageddon, and 9.
- Ship Tease: Especially in the first movie, towards Sonya. In MK9, he tries to conquer her. As Mortal Kombat X shows, he succeeded in wooing Sonya, as their daughter is a playable character.
- Shotoclone: He has it all: a projectile (Plasmic Bolt), an anti-air uppercut (Green Shadow Uppercut) and a straight attack (His Shadow Kicks).
(to Ermac): "The mummy returns."
- His MKX fatality has him pulling the "Heeeeeeeere's JOHNNY!" line from The Shining, except instead of through a busted door it's through his enemy's torso.
- When he faces off against the Alien, he says "IT'S GAME OVER, MAN!"
Johnny Cage 1: Is this for real?
- One of his quotes when he's in a match against himself
Johnny Cage 2: How many of us are there?
Johnny Cage 1: "There can be only one!"
- Shut Up, Hannibal!:
- In an intro against Shinnok, Johnny cuts him off and tells him to shut up when Shinnok is asserting a threat at him.
- In the comics, Johnny himself is on the receiving end of this when Jacqui (under the Blood Code) cold-cocks him mid-sentence.
- Silver Fox: Jacqui seems to think so, much to Cassie's chagrin. To be fair, he is pretty good-looking for a man in his fifties.
- Situational Damage Attack: All the way through the series, Johnny Cage can use his notorious Nut Punch. Until MK9, this attack had no effect on female fighters, possibly due to the erroneous assumption that groin attacks aren't painful to women.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Johnny trades verbal jabs with nearly the entire cast, usually because he's the one who starts it. Most try to ignore his comments, but ex-wife and his daughter won't hesitate to return "fire".Johnny: (at Sonya) "Talk to me."Sonya: (ties her hair back) "You'd have to shut up first."Johnny: "You're right. Fighting it is."
- Spam Attack: In his "Fisticuffs" variation in X, he can infinitely perform his variation's unique string ("The One-Two") by continuing the string input (b+1, 2, 1, 2...).
- Spanner in the Works: Shinnok's plans in X didn't take him into consideration. When Shinnok escapes his prison, he's much more savvy and takes Johnny with him to suffer some Cold-Blooded Torture.
- Speed Echoes: Several of his Shadow moves have this effect.
- Stacy's Mom: A rare male example, as mentioned during one of Jacqui and Cassie's intro dialogues in MKX.Cassie: Don't speak to me ever.
Jacqui: I just said your dad's kinda hot.
Cassie: Stop it!
- Stance System:
- Stronger with Age: In MK 11, his older version is significantly tougher than his younger one.
- Taking the Bullet: In X, he saves Sonya from being attacked by Shinnok by jumping in front of her. He then proceeds to kick Shinnok's ass.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Canonically six feet tall, and one of the series' poster boys for male fanservice.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Thanks to the pre-fight banter system of X, we find out that he's also not above sassing everyone he comes across, either with smartmouthed comebacks or just plain getting on their nerves. Watching a rundown of his exchanges could be summed up as "Johnny Cage is a dick to the Mortal Kombat universe." Turned up to 11 in... well, 11 as we don't just have the older Johnny Cage, but we now have dialogue featuring the younger Johnny Cage.
- Team Dad: While the older generation of Kombatants tend to find Johnny obnoxious, the new Special Forces members in MKX get along with him rather well, better than with the stricter Sonya Blade.
- That Came Out Wrong: One of his pre-fight intros in 11 presumably has his younger self try and compliment Cassie... in a way that made it sound like he was hitting on her. Cass does not appreciate this, and Johnny is quick to explain that no, he does not want to flirt with his adult daughter.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Johnny dies in Mortal Kombat 3, temporarily resurrected in Trilogy (meaning that he's dead again at the end), resurrected in Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat: Deception reveals that he doesn't survive the events of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and the aftermath of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, dies in the second Mortal Kombat movie, and even rejects a role in the movie "The Death of Johnny Cage" in Deadly Alliance (even lampshading that he was tired of starring in roles where he died and came back to life again). Surprisingly, given his track record, he survives the events of Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X!
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: In 9, he's shown to be against killing his enemies, refusing to kill Baraka after defeating him in the tournament. He even lampshades one of the most well-known concepts of this game - Fatalities - in that scene; when Shang Tsung tells him to "Finish him" after winning during the story, he says, "Finish him? Heh. Yeah right."
- The Time Traveler's Dilemma: His Tower Ending in 11 puts younger Johnny up against this, realizing the events that made him a better person in the future won't happen without him suffering the bad with the good. He thus opts to follow the same path...mostly.
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Gains a Super Mode when he saves Sonya from Shinnok. That results in him glowing with shadow energy, allowing him to No-Sell Shinnok's attacks!
- Took a Level in Badass: After learning that his bloodline originates from a Mediterranean tribe of warriors who were infused with the power of the gods, he takes fighting a lot more seriously after he learns to control it.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Apart from the occasional quip, he seems to have mellowed out significantly by the time of X, and while he still has a bit of an ego, it's not as big as it was in previous games. By the time of 11, his mellowing out is complete since Sonya had reconciled with him and Cassie.
- Turns Red: Literally in MKX. Going into critical health turns all his shadow moves red and gives them a damage boost. Doubles as a Desperation Attack.
- Unfazed Everyman: During his chapter in 9's story mode. Also doubles as the Audience Surrogate for those new to the series, as he's just as out-of-the-loop as newcomers probably will be.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: In the reboot, he has the dynamic with Jax. Despite what appears to be disgust (and the occassional beatdown) from Jax to Johnny, the latter never takes it personally. The 'best buds' part doesn't truly hit home until Jax's ending, though, where he is shown as the one person Johnny trusts to protect the life of his daughter, after he pays him a visit in the hospital.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: His default outfit in most games and available as an alternate if not his standard outfit. Though he starts 9 with a tuxedo, he quickly goes shirtless, and remains like this through the rest of the game.
- Will They or Won't They?: In regards to Sonya, he does. Too bad it didn't last.
- Working with the Ex: He divorced from Sonya at some point. Doesn't stop him from stepping up with her in Earthrealm's defense.
- You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: He's pleased as punch any time that Sonya calls him by his first name as it means that she still clearly cares a lot about him. His reaction each time only makes him that much more endearing.
- You Fight Like a Cow: At least in X, he constantly taunts his opponents. Bad puns, movie references...whatever insult is handy.
- Absolute Cleavage: Her default attire in 9 manages to pull this off with a bulletproof vest.
- Absurd Phobia: MX11 reveals that she gets freaked out over having papercuts, of all things. Her daughter Cassie is not pleased to find out that she shares this particular fear with her mother.
- Sonya: Sorry, Cass. Must be genetic.
- Action Mom: She's a badass Special Forces soldier, and stays that way even after giving birth to Cassie.
- Action Girl: The first one in the series and consistently a tough fighter. She actually manages to make it through the events of 9 alive.
- Amicable Exes: She finally warms up to Johnny after Cassie kicks Shinnok's ass in MKX. To the point that they basically get back together by the time 11 rolls around.
- Arch-Enemy: To Kano, since he killed one of Sonya's partners before the series started.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: In her 11 tower ending, defeating Kronika promoted her from Major to goddess, as the protector of Earthrealm. She soon realized however she cannot do it alone, so she turned her friends and family to gods as well as part of her "God Squad": Cassie, Jax, and Jacqui. Oh, and Johnny too.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: She's promoted to Major and given field command of the Special Forces after Jax's death in MK9. In MKX, she is a General and she still can throw down with the best of them.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Her concern comes to the fore whenever Johnny or Cassie's life is at stake.
- Badass Bookworm: One mirror match dialogue in 11 implies she has an interest in marine biology, with one of them coming from a timeline where she actually fulfilled that dream.
- Badass in Distress: Spending the Outworld tournament chained up did nothing to reduce her badassitude.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Her alternate in Deadly Alliance and Armageddon has her wear a military dress uniform.
- Bare Your Midriff: Every game has at least one outfit with her abs on display.
- The Baroness: Her Kold War costume in MKX invokes the look of a classic Russian Sexpot villainess.
- Berserk Button: If her fight dialogue with Jax in X is an indication, she does not ever want to be called "Mrs. Cage."
- Big Damn Heroes: shares this with Raiden in saving Johnny's life from Quan Chi.
- Biker Babe: In her Arcade Ladder ending from 9.
- To serve Onaga in Deception.
- In Malibu Comics' non-canon Mortal Kombat series, Sonya was kidnapped and hypnotized by Reptile into marrying Shao Kahn.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Corrupted by the Blood Code by Cassie in the MKX comics.
- Braids of Action: Cammy would be proud of the single long braid Sonya rocks in both the comics and the game proper.
- Colonel Badass: In the MKX comics.
- Combat Stilettos: One alternate outfit in Deadly Alliance features this.
- Counter Attack: Her "Covert Ops" variation in Mortal Kombat X has a lot of parry moves that let her intercept opponent attacks. As an interesting twist, the parries have different attacks that can be branched out of them once you catch an opponent's attack, giving you varied responses once you've intercepted their offense.
- A Day in the Limelight:
- Da Chief: She commands the Special Forces' Earthrrealm Strategic Defense.
- Did You Just Kill Cthulhu?: Heavily implied in her '11' tower ending. After defeating Kronika and becoming a goddess, she realized she needs help in governing Earthrealm for eternity, but soon found out that in order to make a new god, an old one must be killed first in order to make room, so she searched for the oldest one, a god worshipped in a realm with an unpronounceable name, and killed it. It didn't help that the imagery used was that of a planet-sized squid monster.
- Disappeared Dad: According to 9, she's been searching for her MIA father, although she fears that he might already be dead. In her Arcade Ladder ending, she encounters a ghost claiming to be that of her father, but it's unknown if the apparition is real or if it's an aftereffect of her PTSD in the aftermath of the battle with Shao Kahn.
- Despair Event Horizon: In her Arcade Ladder Ending in 9 she almost falls into this after the deaths of her friends and companions. Fortunately, an apparition claiming to be her father helped pull her out of it and encourage her not to give up. (This is later proven non-cannon, given the events of X.)
- Divorce Is Temporary: By the time of Mortal Kombat 11 she is very happily back with Johnny again.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty:
- Her intro dialogues shows this to her (ironically) sergeant:Sonya Blade: Sergeant...
Cassie Cage: Damn it, Mom! I'm Cassie!
Sonya Blade: Right now, you're just a disrespectful soldier.
- And again to the Tarkatan in 11.Sonya: How do I earn your respect?
Baraka: Beat me unmercifully.
Sonya: Drill Sergeant Blade reporting.
- Her intro dialogues shows this to her (ironically) sergeant:
- Dual Wielding: In Deadly Alliance and Armageddon, she could use a pair of kali sticks in battle.
- Death Glare: Whenever Johnny is in the room making wise cracks and witty remarks, she directs them at him.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: At least Johnny would like to think so.
- Family Versus Career: In MKX. Career won, which is the cause of much of the familial strife with her ex husband and daughter.Johnny: There was a time when you cared more about your family than your job... General.
- In Mortal Kombat 11 she has reconciled the two options. She is very close with her daughter again and she's back together with Johnny.
- Fanservice: Her shirt and pants tearing in exactly the right places.
- Fanservice Pack: In the original, she was played by a dancer. In 3, she was played by a Playboy model. This trope is most prevalent in 9, since she manages Absolute Cleavage with a bulletproof vest.
- First-Name Basis: Hardly anyone refers to her using her last name and when not this, she usually goes for a Full-Name Basis.
- Four-Star Badass: As of MKX, she's been promoted to General.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Not drastic as most examples, but Sonya is very much aware that Cassie prefers to be with Johnny than her. This may be the source of her animosity towards Johnny during the MK X storyline.
- Green Thumb: In her friendship in Ultimate MK3, Sonya would salute and flowers would grow all over the floor.
- Groin Attack: Sonya gets in on the act by stepping on Quan Chi's Netherrealm nethers in her chapter of the Mortal Kombat X story to detain him while Raiden undoes the revenant spell.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Her fate in the Battle of Armageddon. (It is not known who did it to her.)
- Heroic Willpower: Here's the situation: You're tied up, hanging by a hook over The Dead Pool, with Sheeva watching you, and her boss has signed your death warrant, so it's clear what's likely going to happen here soon... And you still haven't lost your Deadpan Snarker attitude. ("What is it with you Shokan and underground cesspools?") Yeah, she definitely qualifies for this.
- Hotter and Sexier: She has a much more revealing outfit in MK9 than in previous games. Inverted by MKX.
- I Did What I Had to Do: A dilemma she faces in MKX. As a General Commander of the Special Forces is a demanding and rigid career, repelling Outworld enemies at bay and protecting Earthrealm's safety, she sacrificed being a family woman and time spent raising her daughter, a decision she isn't happy with, but ultimately satisfied.Sonya: "I gave up my daughter's childhood to make her world safe. That was the right thing to do."
- Hot Scientist: Has aspires to become just like Cap'n Horatio Turbot to be a marine biologist if she doesn't graduated from a military academy.
- Sonya blade 1:You graduate from the academy?Sonya blade 2:Nope. Got my degree in marine biology.Sonya blade 1:That was my dream.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Like Kano, Sonya's model in the 3D games resemble her actresses in the movies. From Deadly Alliance to Armageddon, she takes after Sandra Hess, whereas in Mortal Kombat 9, she takes a lot after Bridgette Wilson-Sampras. This tradition even carries on into Mortal Kombat 11, where she takes after her newest voice actress, Ronda Rousey.
- Irony: She's the Jerkass of the heroes in MKX, taking over for Johnny who was the biggest example of this (especially in MK9).
- Kiss of Death:
- Her main fatality; it comes in fiery, crushing, poisonous, and slicing varieties. In a variant on the trope, she blows her kisses at her foes.
- From Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance to Mortal Kombat 9, she was given a short-ranged stun move where she blows pink dust into the opponent's face the same way.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Whenever she shouts "Kombat Time!" in Defenders of the Realm'.
- Lonely at the Top: By the time she's a Colonel, she and Johnny are divorced, and her relationship with Cassie is strained.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Her energy rings are either supernatural (one of the MK3 guidebooks states it's her focused chi) or one of her weapons (MK9 onwards had her equipped with wrist bands that visibly shoot lasers, which are customizable as a gear option in 11).
- Majorly Awesome: Her rank during Shinnok's invasion of Earthrealm.
- Mama Bear:
- In issue 9 of Mortal Kombat X, she leads an expedition into Outworld to rescue Cassie.
- Kano threatens to harm Cassie if Sonya does not negotiate with him. Sonya ends up almost strangling him to death, before Johnny steps in and tells her not to go through with it.
- Married to the Job: What cost her her marriage to Johnny and earned Cassie's resentnent. One particular example is seen in the MKX comics, in which she chose to rescue Kenshi rather than attend Cassie's birthday party.
- Missing Mom: Becomes this to Cassie due to her job. Johnny calls her out on this.
- Murderous Thighs:
- One of her fatalities was a leg scissor hold that literally cut the opponent in half.
- The movie has a more restrained version of the leg scissor, which merely broke her opponent's neck.
- Ms. Fanservice: She's stunningly beautiful, never visibly ages, and all of her outfits either reveal or accentuate her athletic physique. This came to a head in 9, and was dialed back for X, where her default costume is a military outfit showing very little skin.
- My Greatest Failure: Sees choosing her job over spending time with her daughter as this. She even admits this to Johnny in the comics.Sonya: "All I know for certain is if we fail, if we don't save her, then I gave up all those years for nothing. I never knew my own daughter, and she never knew how much her mother cares."
- Neck Snap: A move from 4. She also uses a variant with her legs to break Kano's neck in the first movie.
- Nice Hat: Usually present in her military-themed outfits.
- No Flow in CGI: Her ponytail in Mortal Kombat 4.
- Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: Despite being put through the wringer during the events of 9, she does eventually get together with Johnny Cage, as evidenced by their daughter Cassie Cage appearing in Mortal Kombat X. They reconcile by 11 only for her to perform a Heroic Sacrifice in the opening chapter. Her past self's chapter leaves hope for their relationship to still happen and survive this time around.
- Off with His Head!: She does this to Kintaro while under the Blood Code. With her bare hands.
- Her second Fatality in 9 has her pop off her opponent's head with a garrote and both of her finishers in X involve decapitation (for the first a drone blows off their head with a grenade and the second she garrotes their head off then feeds it to her drone's machine gun before taking it as a trophy on her belt).
- Older Than They Look: She's 51 in MKX (as she was 26 during the first tournament), but you really can't tell.
- Painted-On Pants: Her earlier appearances.
- Rage Breaking Point: In MKX's story, Sonya intends to beat Kano into submission and get him to reveal the whereabouts of Shinnok's amulet, but when he makes the mistake of threatening Cassie's life, she throws caution (and the plan) to the wind and nearly kills him had not Johnny interfered.
- Rank Up: Several are mentioned in the various pieces of Mortal Kombat X. First, in the time of the Netherrealm War (before the prequel comics and the main story of the game), she's Majorly Awesome. Second, after the war but before the main story of the game, she's a Colonel Badass. Third, by the time of the main story of the game proper, she's a Four-Star Badass who is also a Frontline General.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: She's the red To Jax's blue in general and the blue to Johnny's red in MK9. In MKX however, the red and blue between her and Johnny Cage switches.
- Relative Button:
- We get this gem between Sonya and Jax:Sonya: Mr. Briggs.
Jax: Mrs. Cage.
Sonya: You're gonna pay for that.
- Also between her and Geras. Not that she'll admit it openly.Geras: I will kill Johnny Cage.
Sonya: Do it. He's a pain in the ass.
Geras: You bluff poorly, Sonya Blade.
- We get this gem between Sonya and Jax:
- Rescue Romance: Her relationship with Johnny starts after they both took turns saving each others' lives: He saved her from Shinnok and then she returned the favor against Quan-Chi. Past! Sonya starts warming up to Past!Johnny after he took a bullet trying to defend her and she saved his life against both Kanos.
- The Rival: With Frost, although neither of them has ever given a reason. The rivalry is given a small nod in MKX in her pre-battle dialogue with Sub-ZeroSonya: Why no female Lin-Kuei?
Sub-Zero: There are, Frost chief among them.
Sonya: I'll kick her ass next.
- Sadistic Choice: She is given one in her X arcade ending where, in a dream, Kano gives her the choice between Cassie or Jax. She chooses the former and wakes up to Johnny Cage, who tells her that Jax was killed by an assassin's bullet. (Exactly how canon this ending is has not yet been revealed.)
- Her signature move starts with her doing a backflip, grabbing the opponent between her legs, and throwing them.
- In both 4 and 9 she has a fatality where she does a handstand and tears the opponent in half with her legs.
- She's Got Legs: As we can see in the first movie, and in her alternate outfit in 9.
- Ship Tease:
- The Smurfette Principle: She was the only female character in the original game. She is also the only surviving woman at the end of the story mode in MK9.
- So Proud of You: Both the older and younger versions of Sonya make it known they're proud of Cassie.
- Spam Attack: Her Bicycle Kick move.
- Stance System:
- Statuesque Stunner: Her official bio has her at 5'10".
- Stripperiffic: Her costumes tend to show her chest and midriff and emphasize her legs, but she dresses somewhat more modest than the other women. Subverted in MKX.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Shown to be cold and judgmental towards most people but has a soft spot for the people that she cares about.
- Super Cute Super Powers: She has a Kiss of Death fatality where she blows a kiss at her opponent. Sometimes the kiss takes the form of a floating fireball, but other games has it be a little pink heart that flitters towards the opponent, and once it hits, the enemy explodes bloodily.
- Tank-Top Tomboy: She wears some variation on a tank top, muscle shirt, or some kind of vest similar to either in each game.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With her ex. With a healthy dose of Belligerent Sexual Tension and hints of lingering affection
- The Protagonist: The first and only female main character to be featured and one of the few female characters to appear in almost every Mortal Kombat game.
- Thicker Than Water: Sonya is named after one of Ed Boon's sisters, as he confirms in a video interview in the special edition of Deception.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Her "Demolition" variation in X is focused around grenades. She can toss frag or stun grenades and when she runs out, she can summon a drone who is able to supply her with more. The drone itself is also able to toss grenades (with the Enhanced version) and she has a back roll that lets her drop grenades on wakeup.
- Tomboy: The way she dresses seem to suggest this.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: More often than not since 3.
- Took a Level in Badass: Happens gamewise, when she first debuted she may be the worst character in gameplay and certainly the worst to use against Goro. The only move she had that really worked on him was her energy rings and that move was clumsy to do in the arcade (you had to hold punch and then make your joystick motion). After being brought back for MK3 and the games after, she gained a number of special moves that eliminated the previous gaps in her gameplay and her character was generally made faster.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Dear God, with the way she treats both Johnny and Cassie in MKX, it appears she took several. You'd think she was an understudy for General Ross or Colonel Moore with her degree of jerkass-ness.Sonya: (upon finding out that Kano is hiding in the camp) Kenshi, continue with Li Mei. I'm going to the refugee camp. Gotta get to him before he finds a way out.
Johnny: I'll come with.
Sonya: Go get an update on camp security from Colonel Flagg.
Sonya: Because then you won't be here.
- Took A Levelin Kindness: Her older self loses all of her hostility towards Johnny and strictness towards Cassie after the events of X. 11 has her warmly congratulate her daughter while promoting her and smile proudly as Johnny throws in a congratulatory hug; and she's openly affectionate towards her husband.
- Tsundere: In her interactions with Johnny, as part of the Ship Tease. Better seen in the movie, where she mostly acts annoyed at him, but Everyone Can See It.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: She's had some quite different outfits from time to time.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: When Johnny gets stabbed and is on the brink of death, her reaction and subsequent beatdown of Quan Chi speaks volumes.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Sonya can morph into an hawk to finish her opponents as her Animality in MK3.
- Will They or Won't They?: In regards to her hooking up with Johnny, she does. And they get divorced down the line.
- Working with the Ex: She divorced from Johnny at some point. As much as he pisses her off (A LOT), it doesn't stop her from stepping up with him in Earthrealm's defense.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: During her rooftop battle with Kano in 3, Sonya feigned defeat in order to lure him to the edge of the building and throw him off of it.