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Here be spoilers. Anything that has not been aired on the free versionnote  of Crunchyroll should be spoiler-tagged.


Orochimaru

Voiced by: Kujira (JP), Steve Blum (main series), Vic Mignogna (Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth) (EN), David Robles (Spain); Hecor Emmanuel Gómez (Latin-American Spanish, as a child); José Luis Reza Arenas (Latin-American Spanish, adult), Irina Índigo (Latin-American Spanish, in his Leaf Ninja disguise), Ricardo Brust (Latin-American Spanish, when impersonating the Fourth Kazekage), Peppino Capotondi (French)

Debut: Naruto Chapter 45 (Manga), Naruto Episode 27 (Anime)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/naruto__orochimaru.png

If you're not happy on what you have now… you can just find new things to find up. …You see, I also want to find who I really am. That's why I'm collecting a bit of everything.
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The Naruto series' first Big Bad, but he becomes an uneasy ally in Boruto as Mitsuki's parent, Orochimaru wants to be the most powerful shinobi who ever lived, and figures he can accomplish this by mastering every jutsu ever devised. However, a single human lifespan is far too short to learn every jutsu, so he also needs immortality as part of the bargain. To that end, Orochimaru has experimented with various scientific and magical methods of extending his own lifespan, but until he finds a perfect method, he opts to go with the riskier and less reliable Grand Theft Me method of immortality, switching his body for a younger one every few years. His desire to gain the body of an Uchiha (whose unique Sharingan would allow him to master jutsu much more quickly) is the driving force behind most of the events of the first series.

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Orochimaru was initially trained by the Third Hokage along with Jiraiya and Tsunade, and was the most naturally talented of the three. The Third initially hoped that Orochimaru would become his successor, but as Orochimaru's selfishness and lust for power grew and made him go off the deep end, that forced him to select one of Jiraiya's students instead. While in the village, Orochimaru experimented extensively on its inhabitants, including his own students, hoping to develop new routes to power. He applied for the position of Fourth Hokage, hoping it would give him more leeway in this department, and when he was turned down, decided the village had offered him all it could and defected... shortly after being exposed as a Serial Killer who had been abducting innocents, and pro ninja, for lethal experiments. His closest friend Jiraiya chased him down and tried to reason with him, but Orochimaru laughed in his face.

From there, Orochimaru joined the criminal organization Akatsuki and tried to steal the body of Itachi Uchiha, and when that failed, conquered the Land of Rice Fields to give him a base of operations for his activities and a ready supply of test subjects, changing its name to the Land of Sound in the process. Then, during the actual series, Orochimaru destroyed Sasuke's confidence during the Chuunin exams and tried to bait him into betraying the village with promises of new and unlimited power, tricked the Sand Village into attacking Konoha, and killed his old mentor the Third Hokage, desecrating the graves of the First and Second and sacrificing his own proteges to do so. He treats his followers like pawns and is unconcerned when they die.

Orochimaru's original intention was to take Sasuke's body by the end of the first series, but Konoha's interference during the Sasuke Retrieval arc forced him to switch with some random prisoner instead. Since he has to wait three years before he can switch again, he decides to train Sasuke during the Time Skip instead.

In Shippuden, Orochimaru's most recent body has all but given out on him, but he's still tough enough to tangle with Naruto's Four-tailed Fox form during the second arc. Later, Sasuke attacks him while he's bedridden. Orochimaru reveals his true form (a snake made out of a bunch of smaller snakes) and tries to take Sasuke's body by force, but is defeated offscreen. Fragments of his body are integrated into the bodies of both his right-hand man Kabuto and Sasuke himself. The portion of his body absorbed by Sasuke shows up in the fight with Itachi, where Sasuke, exhausted, lacks the chakra needed to suppress him. Orochimaru doesn't contribute much to the fight and is promptly flattened by Susanoo, the third technique of the Mangekyo Sharingan, trapping him in an endless dream state that cannot be undone or escaped from while also absorbing his body, effectively killing that part of him. Using Anko's Cursed Seal of Heaven and a chunk of Sage Mode Kabuto's flesh, Sasuke resurrects Orochimaru, who strips Kabuto of his One-Winged Angel and agrees to help Sasuke.

He later proves instrumental in driving the outcome of the war towards the Alliance's favor when he helps Sasuke resurrect the original four Hokage. When questioned why he's doing all this, Orochimaru notes that his way of trying to obtain everything was mistaken and from now on wants to see what Sasuke is going to do.

Years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Orochimaru and the rest of Team Taka go back to their regular hideout to continue their usual activities (to a degree, there are no signs of prisons, inhumane experiments, or sacrifices). Naruto and Konoha continue to keep an eye on him but its unclear how much they do to restrict his activities. He himself thinks he, Kabuto and Sasuke are allowed to be somewhat free so he could be used later in case a new big crisis like Madara would come and Konoha would need him and his strange unorthodox techniques. In Boruto he sends his laboratory grown child, Mitsuki, to be educated and trained as a Ninja in Konoha and to befriend Boruto Uzumaki for an unknown purpose.

His hobby is creating techniques.
Favorite words: "destroy" and "chaos"

    open/close all folders 

    A - G 
  • The Ace: A talented shinobi since he was a child, with his skills growing ever since. Developed into an amazing scientist.
  • Affably Evil: In Naruto Gaiden, he chats politely with Sasuke and Naruto, like they're old friends visiting for tea.
  • Agent Peacock: Word of God says that Orochimaru was made flamboyant for him to have a "powerful aura" as a villain.
  • All Your Powers Combined: After he's revived by Sasuke, during the Fourth Great Ninja War, he absorbs his senjutsu chakra from Kabuto, and along with it the all the kekkei genkai's Kabuto has amassed in his body: Sakon and Ukon's unnamed cells manipulation, Kimimaro's Dead Bone Pulse and Jugo's passive ability to absorb natural energy, along with Karin's Uzumaki lifeforce. Soon after, he uses his Living Corpse Reincarnation on a White Zetsu, and gains Wood Release. Although so far all of them fall under Informed Attribute, since he's never shown using either.
  • Ambiguous Gender: In the Seventh Hokage Gaiden. His current host's gender is ambiguous due to its youthful appearance and the fact that he's neatly combed his bangs and tied his hair into a ponytail.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Orochimaru's ambition to have eternal life which results in his research in forbidden jutsu and experimentation that drove him away from the village which is pretty much the reason why he turned into the Big Bad. He mocked the idea of becoming Fourth Hokage and helping the village prosper as those things would become meaningless in the grand scheme of time in his mind.
  • Animal Eyes: He has yellow irises with vertically slitted pupils, just one of his snake features.
  • Animalistic Abomination: His true form is a bizarre snake-demon after decades' worth of experimenting on himself and acquiring the Power of the White Snake.
  • Animal Motifs: Orochimaru has always been associated with snakes. Lots and lots of snakes.
  • Arch-Enemy: Orochimaru seems to make it his life's work to earn the hatred of a significant portion of the cast, from Anko Mitarashi and Hiruzen Sarutobi, to Jiraiya and Tsunade, and is probably this to the Leaf as a whole given his goal is to wipe it from the face of the Earth and that he topped its Most Wanted List.
  • Asshole Victim: He's one of the few characters in the series to die more than once (particularly painfully), and he deserves it for what he's done.
  • Assimilation Backfire: When Orochimaru tried to steal Sasuke's body, Sasuke reversed the process and absorbed him instead.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Even before he went all crazy, he was apparently very snake-like. A picture taken of him, Tsunade, and Jiraiya when they were all young showed that yes, Orochimaru always looked like that.
  • Ax-Crazy: Not as blatant as Hidan or Deidara, but he definitely is abnormal.
  • Back from the Dead: With a little help from Sasuke and Juugo. Was anyone surprised?
  • Badass Bookworm: He is a mad scientist, after all, as well as a legendary soldier, assassin and spy and war hero.
  • Badass Teacher: He taught Anko Mitarashi (and the other members of Team Orochimaru), Kabuto Yakushi, and Sasuke Uchiha.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Pitted the Sound Trio against Sasuke so he could test the latter's power and potential, knowing that Sasuke might cripple or even kill them; sacrificed two of them (and an unknown third) to summon the former Hokages as his enslaved zombie warriors; shrugs off the death of his most fanatical, devoted and powerful follower; teaches his underlings to not give a shit about each other (to the point of potentially killing each other for tactical advantages) gave the Curse Seal to Anko when she was his student, which very nearly killed her; implied to perform all kinds of horrid experiments on his own men, though most of his victims seem to be prisoners.
    • Averted with Taka by the time of Boruto, given how they are all still working for him and Orochimaru mellowing out.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: He is this at the end of Part I: Sasuke goes to Orochimaru willingly, just as the latter had planned.
  • Big Bad: His efforts to destroy Konoha and acquire Sasuke's body make him the main antagonist of Part I.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: With Akatsuki and Danzo for Shippuden, but fast was thrown under the bus.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He became one in Part 2. In Part 1 he's was too strong for any of the heroes to defeat, forcing the Third Hokage to sacrifice himself to save the village (which doesn't even kill him entirely). But later it's revealed that he lost to Itachi in the past while trying to claim his body, and in most of the battles after that, he's defeated easily or forced to retreat. This is partly because he wasn't at full strength when he fights, but it shows that he's lost much of his original threat. This was worst when he fought against Itachi (while fighting Sasuke) in the manga, and was defeated in merely a few pages. By the time he's resurrected, the main characters are so far out of his league that he's content to just observe what happens.
  • Blow You Away: One of the two elemental ninjutsu he's used in the series was wind style.
  • Body Surf: He developed a jutsu called Living Corpse Reincarnation, which lets him transfer his soul into a host body. He's used it a grand total of four times, though the third attempt was turned against him by Sasuke.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: When Orochimaru had the Third Hokage cornered with a kunai and instead of just SLICING HIS HEAD OFF like any smart person, decided to do a huge elaborate drama in which he summoned the Third Hokage's own teachers to kill him, resulting in Orochimaru losing the use of his arms.
  • Breath Weapon: Notably unique use of this trope involving launching snakes, swords and even himself from his throat.
  • Broken Ace: His love for obtaining every jutsu sent him into a downward spiral of crime, leading to him defecting the Leaf and transforming into a complete sociopath. The bonds he had with his teammates, teacher, and the village were irrevocably damaged. By the start and end of the series, Orochimaru was a wanted Missing-Nin.
  • Broken Pedestal: To the Leaf, once a respected member of the Sannin, now a world class criminal who runs everyone's lives for his experiments. He does his share to defeat Obito and Madara, however, claiming he can't let his precious laboratory (meaning, the world) get destroyed.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The 3rd did this, which remained for the majority of Part 1. He got his powers back only to be sealed away twice. He later fixed this by cutting open the death god's stomach, which restored his arms.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Orochimaru's debut in Shippuden consisted of him deliberately antagonizing Naruto over Sasuke's defection, which resulted in Naruto drawing on so much of Kurama's chakra that he lapsed into the Version 2 chakra cloak and almost nuked Orochimaru with a Tailed Beast Ball.
  • Came Back Strong: His new body after being revived yet again is mostly composed of Hashirama's cells, being a Zetsu clone. One benefit is that his Edo Tensei is powerful enough to restrain even the Second Hokage at near-full strength.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Clearly recognizes certain potential, and won't kill those who are outright useful to him or his goals, even if frustrated and in a You Have Failed Me mood. He also believes that this also applies to him as the primary reason he's allowed to be a Karma Houdini.
  • Cavalry of the Dead: During the 4th Shinobi World War, aiding Sasuke's wish to end the war he uses the Edo Tensei revived Hokages to assist the Shinobi Allied Forces against the overwhelming Ten Tails.
  • Character Development: His new watchword. After some humbling losses at the hands of Itachi and Sasuke, he admits that while in the past he wanted to "be the wind that made the windmill move", he finds it more interesting to see where Sasuke's path takes him. When Tsunade observes a change in his attitude, he reasons that everyone changes, and that if they don't they die, presenting Jiraiya as an example of this.
  • The Chessmaster: He sets out long laid plans that involve using others to ultimately get what he wants. However, it often results in some huge hitches due to unexpected actions.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: In his entire life Orochimaru managed to betray: the Leaf Village (along with a personal betrayal of both his teammates and his mentor); his own student Anko; Akatsuki; the Fourth Kazekage and the entire Hidden Sand Village in generally. And this is not to mention many of his subordinates which he used to perform all kinds of horrid experiments to achieve immortality.
  • Complexity Addiction: Quite a bit of his plans are way more complicated than they have any reason to be for the goal he wants. For example, his primary goal in the series is immortality. Near the end of the original series, his Cursed Seals turned out to be Soul Jars. Which means he had the means of immortality for decades. Instead he kept on experimenting trying to find a different, more complex resolution to the problem he already answered.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: He sometimes slips into this when he describes why he's seeking immortality.
  • Cool Sword: The Kusanagi which is said to be able to pierce nearly anything as well as extend and float and attack independently of Orochimaru with a special jutsu. Interestingly, it is a straight sword in the anime like it was supposed to be in the legend but is a katana in the manga because Every Japanese Sword Is a Katana.
  • The Corrupter: He excels at this, most of his pupils are insane and twisted due to his influence. He only partially succeeded with Sasuke (enough to make him leave the Leaf, but not sufficiently to make him his pawn).
  • Crazy-Prepared: His Curse Seals turn out to be Soul Jars. All of them. Not only can he use them to resurrect himself — though he needs outside help for this — but they even double as Sinister Surveillance, since he can see and hear everything all of the victims do all the time, allowing him to remain up-to-date with the plot. Presumably, this only works when he is Only Mostly Dead and not when he is alive and kicking. Sasuke even brought him Back from the Dead explicitly to help him get to the heart of the Kudzu Plot by resurrecting all four past Hokage.
  • Creepy Child: Young Orochimaru wasn't evil yet, but he was rather disturbing to look at.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Orochimaru became bedridden after his arms were sealed by the Third Hokage, and eventually he gets progressively weaker and more sickly when he has not transferred his mind to a new body every three years. Sasuke takes advantage of this, and defeats him in his sickly state.
  • Deal with the Devil: Offers one to Tsunade and Sasuke; Tsunade turns him down, while Sasuke managed to scam him, albeit with some difficulty. Other deals probably didn't turn out so well for anyone but him.
  • Death Is Cheap: Don't even get us started.
  • Demoted to Extra: Was once the main villain of the entire series, then the time skip happened and suddenly Akatsuki took over everything. Post time skip, he was prominent for one relatively short arc (and one filler arc in the anime) and then gets defeated by Sasuke and doesn't appear again for ages. Worse is the fact that in the grand scheme of things his biggest contribution to the plot was just getting Sasuke to defect from Konoha. His actions have almost no role in the overarching myth arc of the series, beyond foreshadowing the Rinnegan.
  • Determinator: Not even getting his arms sealed, having his Body Surf jutsu reversed on him, or being sealed for all eternity can keep him down.
  • Devour the Dragon: He was planning on doing this to Sasuke, but it got turned around on him.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He cuts open the stomach of the Shinigami in order to break the rules of Edo Tensei.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Part 1 ended on a note that he would still be the Big Bad of Part 2, or at least a villain driving much of the storyline. Nope; he gets dealt with pretty quickly, and while he does return, he's not nearly as big of a threat as he was in his prime.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Can disappear through walls and trees, an ability of earth users in Naruto.
  • The Dreaded: In Part 1, and still in Part 2 if to a lesser extent.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Twice, in an incredibly awkward manner both times. The first time, shortly into Shippuden, Sasuke attacks him, deciding he's not useful anymore. Orochimaru tries to use his Grand Theft Me no Jutsu on Sasuke, only for Sasuke to turn it back on him. Much later, during Sasuke's fight with Itachi, Sasuke runs out of chakra, which frees Orochimaru... only for Itachi to seal him in a permanent, inescapable genjutsu before he can do anything. It's later revealed that he can be resurrected as long as his Cursed Seals are still around.
  • Easily Forgiven: As of Naruto Gaiden, Orochimaru is still kicking around and still experimenting. And for all that, Naruto and Sasuke simply treat him closer to an annoyance than a despised foe. Despite a novel stating that he regards himself as having been "tamed," willing now to help the shinobi world in exchange for his life and some freedom, his appearances in Boruto show that Orochimaru is still going strong with violating basic human rights- including being the cause for his son's rampant mental and emotional issues while creating numerous clones and still doing horrible things to them, but the heroes seem to not care because the subjects are clones. He is allowed free range for some reason, simply because he pays lip service while willingly being babysat by Yamato and he even comments Naruto should know him well enough to understand exactly what he's doing. Naruto, for his part, isn't fine with it and makes his discontent known, but makes no actual effort to stop him. They even let him visit Konoha in order to attend a parent-teacher meeting and Naruto talks to him like they're old friends who haven't seen each other in awhile instead of what's basically a ninja Josef Mengele.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Ever since he was a child, his had unnaturally pale skin and lank black hair.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • He agrees to help Sasuke Uchiha find the answers he is looking for only because he is too weak to attempt his Grand Theft Me Jutsu.
    • And in Naruto Gaiden, he agrees to help Naruto and Sasuke track down his former student and test subject, Shin Uchiha.
  • Energy Absorption: He can also absorb chakra through physical contact. Although Orochimaru is shown absorbing only his own chakra from Kabuto Yakushi, so it's unclear if he can absorb all of a target's chakra if he so chooses.
  • Evil Former Friend: To Jiraiya.
  • Evil Genius: To Akatsuki alongside Sasori and Tobi and to the Sound Village.
  • Evil Is Petty: So, why did he kill the Third Hokage and try to wipe Konoha off the map? Basically because he was butthurt that he didn't get picked for Fourth Hokage fifteen years previous. Or because he saw peace as stagnant, or because he had a lingering bond to the village that he wanted to sever. He is intentionally vague and contradictory about his motives.
  • Evil Laugh: He loves this.
  • Evil Mentor: To Sasuke, and implicitly to nearly all of his named underlings. But mostly to Kabuto.
  • Evil Overlord: Ruled the Land of Sound with an iron fist, until Sasuke kills him.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: He genuinely wants Mitsuki to find a better path than he did and tests him until he determines Mitsuki will pick his own path.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: His Japanese voice is rather hoarse.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Tries to find the meaning of existence by constantly experimenting on himself and his subjects so he can discover even more jutsu techniques.
    Orochimaru: I want to obtain all the techniques and gain a true understanding of everything in this world. The first one to mix blue and yellow called the new color "green". I want to do something similar to that. If blue is the chakra, then yellow is the seal, and green is the technique… Just as there is no end to the variety of colors, there are so many thousands… tens of thousands of techniques in the world as well. But in order to obtain every possible technique and truth, it would require an eternity. Only one who understands everything after spending such time on this can be fittingly called the Ultimate Being.
  • Evil vs. Evil: He's a former member of Akatsuki. They want him dead and vice versa. He even keeps Sasuke from trying to kill his former teammates, in the hopes that they will kill off a few more members for him.
  • Expendable Clone: Has an entire laboratory devoted to cloning including clones growing jars. Indeed, all of Orochimaru's horrible experimentation in the Gaiden arc seem to be completely ignored solely because he's doing it to his own clones.
  • Face Stealer: Stole the face of a Grass genin before the second task of the chunin exam.
  • Facial Markings: Born with unnaturally pale skin and purple marks around his eyes.
  • Fallen Hero: Despite his claims to the contrary, his flashbacks establish that while he was always creepy, Orochimaru was, once upon a time, a genuine hero, or at least an Anti hero. Watching everyone around him die caused him to become obsessed with obtaining immortality, first for the entire village, and eventually just for himself. Orochimaru would rather bite out his own tongue than admit this of course.
  • For Science!: His primary motivation was to find the origin of ninjutsu. To do that, he needed immortality, and the Rinnegan. Too bad that in order to achieve it he needed to experiment on human beings.
  • For the Evulz: When the Third Hokage presses him for his motives beyond revenge, the only other reason Orochimaru gives ... is that he was bored.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Orochimaru reveals to his former sensei, the Third Hokage, that he invented a technique called Living Corpse Reincarnation to let him transfer his soul into a different body at least once every three years. As expected, the Third Hokage is horrified by this revelation when Orochimaru shows him the true face of his host's body which comes off as completely unfamiliar to him.
  • Four Is Death: Sasuke was going to be the fourth body Orochimaru claimed before Sasuke thwarted Orochimaru and killed him, and before that, was going to be the fourth body Orochimaru had, including his original, before the Sound Four took too long and Orochimaru had to transfer prematurely.
  • From a Single Cell: Orochimaru comes back at least twice from his Curse Mark thanks to his chakra stocked there. It's also heavily implied that the snakes that make up his true form can also have this use.
  • Funny Background Event: In the anime adaptation of the events leading up to Naruto's and Hinata's wedding, Orochimaru can be seen running around in the background in numerous scenes, going completely unnoticed despite his notoriety, passing as a waitress and running through a field while laughing maniacally as Lee talked to Iruka-sensei.
  • Generation Xerox: He has passed on his villainy and high amounts of creepy very well, if his proteges Kabuto, Sasuke and any self-respecting Sound shinobi are any indication. Also applies to his sons in the Boruto series, but they seem to have mainly inherited his looks and better qualities.
  • The Gift: He, one of the legendary Sannin, who knows a humongous amount of techniques, killed the Third Hokage and is functionally immortal.
  • A God Am I: Orochimaru's self-stated goal is to learn all ninjutsu and discover their origin, which led him to covet the Uchiha Clan's Sharingan and later the power of the Sage of Six Paths. His efforts to obtain this power spur much of the conflict in Part I, as to this end he attempted to attain Sage Mode — developing the Cursed Seals in the process; and developed an incorrect hypothesis that the Sage's Rinnegan could be attained by reuniting the Sage's bloodlines, the Senju and Uchiha clans. To do so, he figured out how to transfer his soul into a host body and experimented to see if it was possible to transplant Hashirama Senju's cellsnote  into others, succeeding with Yamato and Danzo. His efforts to acquire an Uchiha as a host, however, have continually backfired and gotten him killed twice.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Orochimaru's training of Sasuke ends up with this. Orochimaru wanted to make Sasuke as strong as he possibly could so that he could have a perfect vessel. They agreed on the first part but differed on the second, and it turns out Sasuke is much better trained than Orochimaru believed... which doesn't work out well for him.
  • Good Parents: He seems to be a genuinely loving parent towards his two sons, stating he thinks of them as perfect, despite being clones. He even wants his younger son to find a different and better path than himself and allowes him to stay in the Leaf village when asked.
  • Grand Theft Me: When his current body begins to rot, he does this to an unwitting victim. It gets used against him by Sasuke, who sublimates him and uses his powers until he gets removed by Itachi. After he's revived and releases the Hokages from the Death God's belly, he takes the body of a Zetsu.
  • Green Thumb: After possessing a White Zetsu clone.

    H - P 
  • Handicapped Badass: At one point he lost both his arms to the Reaper Death Seal and still managed to put up a fight against Jiraiya and Tsunade.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: He aligns himself with Sasuke during the Fourth Shinobi World War. Sasuke has decided to aid the United Shinobi front, and Orochimaru goes along with him. Ultimately it seems to be more like a Face Neutral Turn than any real change to his character; none of his actual opinions or ultimate goals seem to have changed, but he has no particular reason to want the world to be destroyed or to end up in a Lotus-Eater Machine, so he has no objections to aiding Sasuke in preventing this. His treatment of his created son and willingness to assist both Sasuke and Naruto long after the war implies that he's closer to Face.
  • Healing Factor: Can regenerate most damage by vomiting a new body out of his mouth. Sasuke was able to do this as well after absorbing him, but lost the ability after Itachi extracted Orochimaru from him.
  • Hellish Pupils: Golden eyes with slitted snake-like pupils, to be exact.
  • Hero Killer: Peaked with his assassination of the Third Hokage.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain:
    • A flashback of a conversation he had with Sasuke implies that he is this; Sasuke tells Orochimaru that he knows the reason he gave for trying to destroy the Leaf Village was a lie, and asks why he really did it. The story cuts back to the present before we see Orochimaru's answer, so his true agenda is still unknown.
    • While the motives for his experimentation with Senju cells and obsession with attaining Sasuke as a host remained a mystery for most of the series, It was eventually revealed through Kabuto that Orochimaru was trying to attain the power of the Sage of Six Paths: the Rinnegan.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Frequently. He betrayed Akatsuki by trying to take Itachi's body, only for the latter to curb stomp him and Akatsuki to put him on their death list. He drew out his fight with Sarutobi to torment him, which gave Sarutobi time to fall back on his suicide jutsu and cost Oro his arms. And he corrupted Sasuke only to be betrayed and curb stomped by him when the time came to steal his body. He tried to get Sasuke's body years earlier too and if Kabuto hadn't convinced him to choose someone else (as Sasuke was taking too much time to arrive), he may have even died.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The sheer amount of shit he did to himself eventually made him into one of these, able to turn his legs into a snake tail; shed his body to grow a new one; reattach severed body parts, including reconnecting his upper and lower bodies; stretch his limbs, neck, and tongue, and throw up snakes. His real appearance is something to be seen.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Sasuke was dying, and Karin said a chakra she didn't recognize was next to him, Orochimaru said they better hurry because "some creep who slithered out from under some rock somewhere is doing who-knows-what to Sasuke-kun"... perfectly describing himself and his weird fixation on Sasuke throughout the entirety of the series.
  • Immortality Seeker: It initially was to wait until his parents reincarnated, but eventually it devolved into becoming the perfect being.
  • Implacable Man: It takes a legendary technique to finally seal him away, and it is revealed that even THAT didn't kill him. He will not die!
  • Inferred Survival: Orochimaru was absorbed by Sasuke at one point, but it was speculated by many fans he was merely suppressed and waiting for an opportunity to re-emerge. He did, and was immediately killed, but the appearance of a white snake trying to flee the battlefield hinted it wasn't so clean cut. Turns out Orochimaru's consciousness can hide in any of his cursed seals, so he came back again.
  • Informed Ability: Supposedly he was the strongest of the Sannin at one point. Considering what we've seen Jiraiya and Tsunade pull off, even after they've supposedly lost their edge due to age and lack of practice, this is a somewhat dubious claim. It might be justified, since whenever he fight in the series, he was either in weak host or was rejected by the body he inhabited, or both.
  • Ironic Hell: He wanted to live forever and now he will, it's just that he's also stuck in an eternal illusion. He was set free by Sasuke.
  • Irony: Orochimaru, arguably one of the grossest characters in the whole series, is grossed out by bugs.
  • It Amused Me: Gives a quote for this to the Third Hokage before they begin to fight.
  • It's All About Me: Orochimaru may well be the most selfish character of the whole story. Outside of the Uchiha clan.
  • Joker Immunity: The guy just won't stay dead or sealed, even if he can be Put on a Bus for quite long periods.
  • Karma Houdini: As of the end of Part II and The Last, he gets away scot-free in the ending! In Naruto Gaiden, which takes place at least 15 years after the end of the war, he's shown to still be free and lounging about in his hideout, doing what he wants to some extent (supposedly he's kept under observation, but it's slipshod at best, and it's entirely unclear how much of the new limits to how far his experiments go nowadays are under pressure or self-imposed). Plus he has an even younger body than he had in Part II. Word of God even confirmed that Orochimaru gained immortality later on. So far he's the biggest Karma Houdini in the series, bar none.
  • Killing Intent: His is so strong that it can induce visions of their gruesome death into weaker opponents (Sakura and Sasuke in part 1), or paralyse even experienced one (Kakashi).
  • Knight of Cerebus: While Zabuza was intimidating, Orochimaru brings the first present death of a main protagonist, helps send The Lancer into serious Sanity Slippage and was playing for keeps.
  • Large Ham: Orochimaru chews more than a bit of scenery.
  • Lean and Mean: Not as buff as the rest of the Akatsuki.
  • Looks Like Cesare: A reason why people were wary of him before his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Mad Scientist: Tries to discover ninjutsu and immortality through experimentation on his subjects and victims.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • He plays on literally everyone's emotions. Tricked the entire Sand village into a war with Konoha by murdering and impersonating their leader.
    • The most twisted example is how he pretened to care about Kimimaro, and the poor guy didn't even know this. He saved Kimimaro from a Fate Worse than Death, just so he could experiment on his body
  • Master of Disguise: A very gruesome example, since he tears off the faces of his victims to wear over his body. In fact, his usual face is actually a mask worn over his host, only worn out of Shape Shifter Guilt Trip as well as maintaining his identity.
  • More Than Mind Control: How he gets most of his followers.
  • Motive Decay: Pointed out in-universe by Sasuke. His stated goal is to attain true immortality and learn the truth behind ninjutsu, but by the series proper he's devolved into conducting cruel experiments on people, few of which really have anything to do with his goals.
  • Necromancer: One of three, the other two being Kabuto and the Second Hokage. They all used the same technique too: Impure World Resurrection.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: In regards to anyone.
  • Not So Above It All: In Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding, he can be seen getting drunk at a bar. And, assuming the anime special is canon, he's revealed to have entomophobia.note 
  • Obviously Evil: Just look at him: pale skin, snake eyes, snake tongue, snake body... The guy has "evil" written all over him and that's before his motives are even revealed.
  • Oh, Crap!: This is his face when he realizes that Itachi pierced him with a sword Totsuka.
  • Orochi: Turns into one when Sasuke is weakened enough to unseal him, only to be sealed again by Itachi. Currently provides the page picture.
  • Out of Focus: Suffers from this in Part II's climax.
  • Overly Long Tongue: Weaponized of course.
  • Parental Substitute: He was one to Kabuto, being despite everything, the closest thing he had to a father.
  • Poisonous Person: His true form has poisonous blood which will vaporize and become airborn.
  • Post-Mortem Comeback: He rematarialized during the fight between the Uchiha brothers, after getting sealed within Sasuke. They were both rough from fighting each other so he was in a prime position to take one of their bodies. Except Itachi just finsihed the job by sealing him a second time. This comeback also sets up his eventual resurrection by Sasuke using Anko's Cursed Seal.
  • Power Copying: Orochimaru desires the ability to obtain any technique, and for that he needs the Sharingan and the Rinnegan.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He seems made a few lessons in this after his rebirth. He helps stop Obito and Madara on the basis that if the world's destroyed, he won't be able to continue his experiments. He also cows to Naruto and Sasuke's wishes long after the war ends, behaving himself as he knows they can kill him. He may even be regaining some of his past better self in the process.

    R - W 
  • Retcon: Orochimaru was presumably the one in charge when Tsunade's brother Nawaki died. He was there to meet her when she arrived. In the first part of Naruto, he's shown giving a callous response that Tsunade throws back at him later: All living things that have form must perish eventually. Later, during his death scene, it is one of several events shown in a montage and instead he's obviously clearly upset as he hands Tsunade the pendant. Obviously, the latter is more sympathetic as it's part of a sequence showing how twisted he became over time instead of the original portrayal of always being a twisted monster.
    • Which actually makes sense in series as well: having become a monster, it's likely that both he and Tsunade have gone out the way to forget that he ever did her any favours.
  • Sadist: He is a power-hungry psychopath but he clearly likes making people suffer along the way. He also seems to enjoy making a mockery of other peoples' beliefs and values, for example by how much his horrific actions freak other people out, as well as manipulating others to fight and die for him; in addition, his stated reason for trying to start another global war was "peace is boring". He also once lost the use of arms because he dragged a fight out for too long- because he was trying to make his opponent, his mentor the Third Hokage, psychologically suffer before losing.
  • Satanic Archetype: Snakes are considered Satanic, Orochimaru is incredibly sinister for most of the series and has unhealthy interest young boys who he can transfer his body into to avoid aging. He does mellow out at the end of the series but was still one of the most devilish figures of the series. Not to mention that he acts as a corruptive and temper figure for many characters, particularly Sasuke and Anko.
  • Scaled Up: His true form is a serpentine monster made up of smaller snakes.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: By the time of Naruto Gaiden, Orochimaru, international terrorist extraordinaire, is still up to his usual business to a ambiguous extent. Naruto, 7th Hokage, is not only fully aware of this, but knows where Orochimaru's base is and hasn't got word one to say about Orochimaru's activities until a rogue experiment that slipped his leash shows up in Konoha and he immediately drops the subject after being assured that it was indeed rogue and not following Orochimaru's orders. It's implied in a novel that Orochimaru's semi-freedom was not Naruto's decision alone, but a practical resolution reached by the ninja authorities of the world after Orochimaru's knowledge and abilities proved instrumental in saving the world. In return for no longer causing suffering and mayhem, and being available to use his skills should a great threat arise again, he is allowed some measure of freedom and mercy. Orochimaru himself, humbled by his defeats and perhaps even regretful of some of his choices, seems to find this an acceptable arrangement.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: His final fate. Note that the can is not even material. Then Sasuke opens the can...
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: As seen in the image above, Orochimaru's usual attire consists of a tan and dark green robe plus a pale purple rope belt (shimenawa).
  • Serial Killer: Before his formal defection, he had been abducting an unknown number of victims and performing gruesome, typically fatal experiments on them- this included ANBU, Jounin, Chuunin, innocent civilians, teenage children (including his own pupil), and sixty newborn babies of whom only one- Yamato- ultimately survived.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Sage of Six Paths himself debunked Oro's hypothesis on how to get the Rinnegan by revealing that it's not combining Uchiha and Senju DNA that awakens the Rinnegan, but combining the chakras of his sons Indra and Asura, who are periodically reincarnated into the Uchiha and Senju clans respectively. Ergo, if Orochimaru had succeeded in possessing Itachi he would been unable to achieve his goal.
  • Sinister Surveillance: His Cursed Seals let him spy on everyone who has one, letting his see and hear whatever they do. They seem to only serve this function when he is "dead", though.
  • Sissy Villain: Orochimaru first appears disguised as a woman, at one point used another woman's body as a vessel, and in his least freaky times speaks with a feminine speech pattern. And this is before you factor in his obsession with young Uchiha men and the giant purple butt bow. However, he is a very formidable opponent who, despite being killed twice, is still around in one form or another.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Was this in Akatsuki.
  • Smug Snake: Naturally. Though, he remains a high-functioning type, straddling the line between this and Magnificent Bastard. Its arguably the smugness itself that is what gets in his way.
  • Snake Person: Can take this shape giving himself tremendous speed.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: When investigating the source of Juugo's clan's power, Orochimaru discovered the Ryūchi Cave and became the pupil of the White Snake Sage. While he was unable to attain Snake Sage Mode, he acquired the Power of the White Snake and the ability to summon snakes at will.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Occasionally draws out "s"-sounds in a hiss in the manga, seemingly more often when he's trying to appear threatening. In the anime, this tendency is mostly dropped, as his raspy tenor gets his snakelike qualities across just as well without it.
  • The Sociopath: Should be pretty obvious by this point of the page.
  • Soul Jar: Orochimaru set up the Cursed Seals to function as these in case anything happened to him.
  • Spanner in the Works: He was this to the Akatsuki which is why he was marked for death by them.
  • The Spymaster: He has a huge intel network that allows him to maintain control of less powerful villages or nations.
  • Stupid Evil: Although he enough clever and skilled he tends to pick up the Villain Ball because of this trope. Case in point: he manages to persuade the Kazekage to help him invade Konoha... and then randomly decides to kill him anyway.
  • Take a Third Option: In a cutscene from Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution that shows how he joined the Akatsuki, Orochimaru is confronted by Sasori and Pain's Deva Path. After being beaten by Sasori, he vomits out a new body and flat out attempts to steal Pain's Rinnegan, therefore bypassing having to steal an Uchiha body, mature its Sharingan, and implant Hashirama's cells. Naturally, it doesn't work.
  • This Cannot Be!: Word for word a few times but the most memorable during his Villainous Breakdown when he only and could that pronounce this.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In his backstory - see "Used To Be A Sweet Kid".
  • Too Powerful to Live: The only way to get rid of him was to seal him. And it had to be done twice to actually work. He's technically still alive. And now he's at large again, albeit weaker than before and lacking his former drive to cause mayhem.
  • Tragic Villain: The loss of his parents hit Orochimaru hard. He believed that if he lived long enough, he would be able to meet their reincarnations, hence his pursuit for immortality. Originally he desired to find immortality for the entire village, but war made him cynical, and he gradually descended into madness, losing sight of his original goal.
  • Truly Single Parent: Mitsuki's side chapter reveals Orochimaru cloned Mitsuki and at least one elder brother known only as Log from himself.
  • Übermensch: Tries to change the world through war, but Tobi beat him to it. He also abandoned the village largely because he rejected its ideals and values.
  • The Unfettered: Orochimaru is willing to do anything to attain immortality and discover the truth behind ninjutsu.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Downplayed. He was certainly nowhere near as evil as a child, and had a couple of sweet moments, but even Sarutobi admitted that even back then Oro had "eyes full of malice and ambition". He ignored this because it was a time of war and someone like that might be needed; that, and he was too proud of him to admit it.
  • Villain Ball: He is far too arrogant and sadistic for his own good and he has been guilty of Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? since as far back as the Chuunin Exam arc, which ultimately cost him his arms. Furthermore, he's prone to doing things that are counter-productive to his goals purely because he can; this is best shown when he kills the Kazekage... after the Kazekage had agreed to help him attack Konoha.
  • Villainous Breakdown: It happened twice:
    • The first time it happened when Third Hokage deprived him of the possibility to use his hands. Orochimaru fell into a rage and began yelling at his former Sensei to he return his hand.
    • The second time it happened when he tries to grab the body Sasuke, but Sasuke turn it back on him. Before Sasuke killed him, Orochimaru only could shout about how this could not happen to him and that he is invincible.
  • Villain Decay: He's impressive in Part 1, but much less so in Part 2, essentially because his host body is too weak and has started to reject him. By the end of the series, Sakura has surpassed Tsunade and thus Orochimaru by extension, while Naruto and Sasuke are so completely out of his league that one suspects that the biggest reason why Konoha allowed him to become a Karma Houdini is because he was no longer a genuine threat to them — if he ever turned hostile again, any member of Team 7 could and would obliterate him right off the face of the planet by themselves, immortality be damned.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Kabuto. He seems to legitimately like him and lets him get away with a lot more snark than his other subordinates.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: To Sasuke where he isn't just interested in the hero's potential but wants his body too (no, not like that). It's later revealed that Orochimaru tried to do the same thing to Sasuke's elder brother, Itachi. But he apparently stopped after he received an asskicking by him.
  • War Is Glorious: Expresses this belief in the Chuunin Exam/Konoha Invasion arcs. Or rather, he expresses the belief that "peace is boring".
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Is afraid of bugs, at least based on the animé adaptation of Konoha Hiden where's it's naturally played for laughs.
  • We Have Reserves: He sacrifices the squad of teenage ninja (minus Dosu, who was already dead) he had infiltrate the Chuunin Exams in order to use their bodies to resurrect the deceased Hokages, just to help him win one fight. One of the resurrections even ends up failing and kills its component ninja anyway. Beforehand, Orochimaru even flat-out admitted to Kakashi that he considers all of his subordinates without special worth to be nothing but worthless pawns.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Nowhere to be seen after the great war; the character's final on-panel appearance shows him being freed from Mugen Tsukuyomi along with Kabuto, Suigetsu, Jugo and Karin. He's apparently a Karma Houdini.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He called out the Second Hokage for creating Edo Tensei, as well as for revealing it to the world.
  • Wild Card: Following his second resurrection, Orochimaru pledges to support Sasuke regardless of whether he chooses to destroy or protect Konoha. Sasuke ultimately chooses the latter option.
  • The Worf Effect: At the start of Part II he was quickly killed off by Sasuke to show off how strong Sasuke had gotten.
  • Worf Had the Flu: When he loses, this is usually because of this. Save for when the 3rd Hokage sealed his arms and later when Itachi sealed him entirely. And he's still around, even after all that, and is more powerful than ever.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Orochimaru had no problem getting into a physical fight with Tsunade.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Once proposed to kill Yahiko, Nagato, and Konan when they were children, although he viewed it as a Mercy Kill since "a miserable life is all that awaits them". He has actually murdered many, many children though (For Science!), including infants and his own pupils/minions, and has made several attempts to kill others. He also attempts to kill an unconscious Naruto during his battle with his former teammates.

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