The Hidden Leaf Village
Team 7 (Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura Haruno, Kakashi Hatake) | Team 8 (Hinata Hyuga) | Team 10 | Team Guy | The Legendary Sannin | Hokages | The Uchiha Clan | Other Leaf Village Members (Danzo Shimura)
Other Great Villages
Hidden Sand Village (Gaara) | Hidden Mist Village | Hidden Cloud Village | Hidden Stone Village
Hidden Sound Village (Orochimaru, Kabuto Yakushi) | Akatsuki (Itachi Uchiha, Tobi, Pain/Nagato) | Madara Uchiha
Other Characters | Hebi/Taka | Tailed Beasts and Their Hosts | Otsutsuki Clan
Anime-Only Characters | Movie-Only Characters | Novel-Only Characters | Game-Only Characters | The New Era
Here be spoilers. Any thing that has not been aired on the free versionnote of Crunchyroll should be spoiler-tagged.
The main group of protagonists in the series.
The team initially consists of Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura under the primary leadership of Kakashi. The team disbands at the end of Part I, and then reforms sans Sasuke over the first two arcs of Part II with Sai as replacement Sasuke and Yamato as temporary commander. However Sasuke returns during the Fourth Shinobi World War (out of necessity) and Team 7 is reborn in previous form.
Honorary True Companions who stayed for an arc or two include Shikamaru, Killer Bee, the rest of the Konoha 11, their Jonin masters, and occasionally the Sannin as mentors to Team 7 also qualify.
Team 7 provides examples of:
- Animal-Motif Team: Each of the three original genin have been paired with the animal summon that the Sannin have been associated with. Naruto signed a contract with the toads under Jiraiya's tutelage and learned sage jutsu from the toads later in the series. Sasuke learned to summon and use several diverse jutsus involving snakes from Orochimaru in early Part II. After learning the truth of Itachi, Sasuke began using hawk summons, but retained the snake contract as well. Sakura is able to use slug summons being Tsunade's student.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura respectively.
- Chromatic Arrangement: Naruto - Yellow (or Orange), Sasuke - Blue, Sakura - Red (or Pink), Kakashi - Green.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief:
- At the beginning of the series: Naruto is the fighter specialized in close quarters, Sasuke is the mage, being a ninjutsu specialist and also the only one who can use elemental techniques and Sakura, who has no particular talent (aside from other characters claiming she is a genjutsu specialist, which would also qualify her for this role), is the thief who relies mostly on ninja tools and traps.
- By the end of the series: Sakura becomes the fighter, since her main offensive ability is her monstruous strength. Naruto is the mage who gains mastery over almost all possible elements (including kekkei genkai and the godlike Yin-Yang Release) and has nearly infinite chakra reserves. Sasuke's Mangekyo Sharingan, combined with his nimble fighting style and unique Rinnegan ability which allows him to switch places with any objects he looks at, makes him the thief.
- Freudian Trio: Naruto represents the Id as he was loud, impulsive, boastful, hyperactive, stubborn, instinctual, etc.; Sasuke the cool, collected, (seemingly) emotionless and logical Super Ego with Sakura falling into the middle as the Ego by default. Interesting in that Naruto and Sasuke gradually exchange their roles through the course of the story, while Sakura's role remains mostly the same.
- Generation Xerox:
- Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura trained under a Sannin over the Time Skip, learning their summons and part of the moveset, and furthering their personality comparisons. Sasuke/Orochimaru was the student who left to further his own power, Jiraiya/Naruto was the dedicated, dreamer friend who can't give them up, and Tsunade/Sakura the woman caught in the middle. Kakashi/Sarutobi was the master who put the most stock in the student who left and ultimately had to fight them later on after being promoted to Sixth Hokage candidate/Third Hokage.
- They have a few similarities to the Team 7 under the Fourth Hokage - Naruto/Obito was the loud jokester who was looked down upon for having "lesser" abilities, the heart of the group; Sasuke/Kakashi was the serious "cool" guy, completely single-minded in his dedication and something of a prodigy; and Sakura/Rin was the cool guy's fangirl who didn't recognize the jokester's one-sided crush on her, had a bright demeanor, and was essentially the group's medic.
- It goes even further, as both teams consist of a Jinchuuriki, an Uchiha (who would eventually betray the Leaf Village) and an otherwise "normal" member (that is to say, they have no super special awesome legacy passed down for generations to inherit).
- And a third and fourth times by way of the Sage of Six Paths; Naruto and Sasuke are reincarnations of the Sage's two sons, Asura is the no-good fighter who inherited his father's legacy and ultimately fostered cooperation with other people while Indra is the genius fighter with special eyes who was able to take advantage of his genetic predisposition to power, and was able to do everything on his own. Two previous reincarnations were Hashirama and Madara.
- Team 7 itself get's "xeroxed" in the sequel, Boruto, with Team Konohamaru (Boruto, Sarada, and Mitsuki).
- Hair-Contrast Duo: Naruto, the blond, is the "good" one: hopeful, enthusiastic, naive and helpful while Sasuke is the black haired "bad" one: moody, testy, serious, cynical, often languishes in Wangst, with a Dark and Troubled Past.
- Never-Forgotten Skill:
- Teamwork. No matter how long it's been since they've seen each other or how wildly their individual skills and personalities have evolved and diverged, the trio can still work in sync like they've been rehearsing daily when they end up on the same side of a battle.
- When Naruto came back after the Time Skip, Naruto and Sakura were perfectly in sync against Kakashi, despite spending 2.5 years apart.
- During the battle with the Ten Tails they initiate the 'New Three-Way Deadlock' formation perfectly, and Naruto and Sasuke further combine Rasen-shuriken with Amaterasu and the Nine Tails Chakra Shroud with Susanoo - all this minutes after Sasuke decides to rejoin the group after being rogue for 3-4 years and only having seen Naruto and Sakura twice during that time.
- Ninja Brat: Naruto in particular, as he started the series as a bratty, immature, mischievous child who had failed the Ninja Academy graduation exam multiple times. Sakura and Sasuke both have their moments of immaturity in Part I as well.
- Only Mostly Dead: Each member of the original team 7 has nearly died or has died and was brought back. Sakura nearly died in her fight against Sasori, but was revived by Chiyo. Kakashi died protecting Choji from Pain and Nagato revived him. Naruto and Sasuke were nearly killed by Madara, while Sakura and Obito saved Naruto and Kabuto saved Sasuke.
- Poor Communication Kills: Despite the their teamwork, there are times when their not always on the same page and led to dire consequences, particularly Sasuke's Start of Darkness or the events of the Five Kage Summit Arc. It may as well be their Fatal Flaw.
- Protectorate: Most of the Team had come to see Naruto as this, despite his growing skill.
- Summon Magic: Frogs and toads for Naruto, Snakes and later Hawks for Sasuke, Slugs for Sakura, and Dogs for Kakashi.
- The Team: Unlike most ninja teams that are stable, the membership of Team 7 shifted around throughout the series.
- Initially the team was led by Jonin Token Adult and The Mentor Kakashi. Sasuke was Number Two and as the favored student who played Leader whenever Kakashi was absent or incapacitated. Loud mouthed Naruto's Kyuubi powers made him The Big Guy. Know-it-all Sakura was The Smart Guy and The Chick. From another perspective Naruto was The Hero who's positive attitude redeemed their foes, and Sasuke was his cool and aloof Lancer instead.
- The team disbands at the end of Part I, and then reforms sans Sasuke over the first two arcs of Part II into a Five-Man Band. Having graduated form being trainees Naruto becomes The Hero proper. Sai as a replacement Sasuke is the new Lancer. Kakashi's versatility and years of experience make him The Smart Guy. Yamato's Woodstyle and severity fill The Big Guy role. Sakura remains The Chick, with a side helping of The Medic. By the Fourth Shinobi World War arc Sai is Demoted to Extra and Yamato is Put on a Bus. However Sasuke returns as a Sixth Ranger (out of necessity) and the Part I Team 7 is reborn with group dynamics mostly intact.
- Honorary True Companions who stayed for an arc or two include The Strategist Shikamaru, Boisterous Bruiser Might Guy, and Soul Brotha Killer Bee. The rest of the Konoha 11, their Jonin masters, and occasionally the Sannin as mentors to Team 7 also qualify.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: At first, to the extent that, during Kakashi's test, the very idea of the three working together to steal the bells never once occurred to them.
- Surrounded by Smart People: Naruto frequently finds himself this, as hardly anybody truly lets him forget it, especially in this group.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Honestly, if you are ever a comrade of Naruto's, you will end up becoming this at some point, but it will usually peter out after a while.
Members Joined After Time Skip
Yamato / Tenzou
Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (JP), Troy Baker (EN, episodes 34-229), Matthew Mercer (EN, episodes 230+), Francisco Javier Martínez (Spain), Jorge Ornelas (Latin America), Laurent Van Wetter (French)
Debut: Naruto Chapter 284 (Manga), Shippuden Episode 34 (Anime)
Real Name: Tenzou
A member of ANBU, and one of Kakashi's juniors, he is made the temporary Captain of Team 7 while Kakashi recovers in the hospital. As he serves as more of a unit leader than a mentor, Naruto and Sakura call him "taichou"("Captain" or "Commander" in the English manga) instead of "sensei." The name "Yamato" (which means "spear") is actually a code name given to him by Tsunade; his real name is Tenzou. He very much prefers to be called Yamato.
As a child, Yamato was one of sixty infants that Orochimaru injected with the DNA of the First Hokage, trying to replicate the First's unique abilities. Fifty-nine died, and Orochimaru was forced to flee the village before learning that one subject — Yamato — had survived. As a result, Yamato can use the First Hokage's Wood Style jutsu, although not with the First's level of ability.
Yamato is a friendly, easygoing person. He prefers diplomacy over using threats when it comes to running his team, but he's not afraid to scare Naruto into doing what he wants. He notes that he's less indulgent than Kakashi is, and says that Naruto and Sakura should not be treated as ninjas in training who need protection, but as ninjas who will eventually have to support Konoha. It's revealed that he was selected as Captain for more than his Wood Style abilities — he is the only person in the village capable of using Enclosed Hermitage: Return to Society, which, in turn, is the only technique strong enough to contain Naruto's four-tailed Fox state. He later helps Naruto with his training, helping to prevent the fox's chakra from becoming dominant.
Yamato becomes absent from the story after being kidnapped by a snake-induced Kabuto and his powers are used to unwillingly power up the rest of the White Zetsu Army. His own body is later used as a medium by Spiral Zetsu during the Fourth Shinobi World War. Eventually he's freed and after the war and epilogue, Yamato goes on to spend the rest of his life keeping watch over Orochimaru and his flunkies.
- The Artifact: Started off as Kakashi's substitute as leader of Team 7 and the genetic clone of the first, allowing him to keep the Kyuubi in check. When Kakashi returns to active duty, Yamato's role get demoted to Kakashi's assistant in training Naruto. And then Naruto got full control over Kyuubi's chakra, making Yamato's function completely redundant. As a result, he is immediately kidnapped.
- Beware the Nice Ones: "I like being nice and friendly, but I don't have any problems with ruling by fear either."
- Berserk Button: Doesn't exactly approve when Sakura is willing to lie to Naruto about certain things.
- Kakashi tends to comically take advantage of him for little things like paying for meals while Naruto's recklessness is often played against his caution.
- Try in Storm 3, where Naruto has raised his fist to him not once, but twice, and this lack of respect actually makes Yamato want to cry.
- By-the-Book Cop: Far less lenient about Naruto's Military Maverick tendencies than Kakashi, especially when it comes to his safety as the Nine-Tails' jinchuriki.
- The Captain: A temporary replacement for Kakashi, his true role is actually to look after Naruto.
- The Chew Toy: In the spin-off Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth, he is reduced to a Speechless Living Prop.
- Child Prodigy: Ties with Kakashi with being the youngest Chunin at 6.
- Combination Attack: Has one with Naruto which combines his Water Style Tearing Torrent with Naruto's Wind Style Rasengan.
- The Comically Serious: Most of the interaction between Bee & Naruto leaves him speechless.
- A Day in the Limelight: The Anime Special Kakashi Anbu Arc feature him a lot and his background is further expanded.
- Death Glare: His "ghoul eyes," although only Naruto seems to be scared by it.
- Demoted to Extra: Yamato's role and role has gotten smaller to the point where he gets Put on a Bus during the 4th World War and doesn't return until near the very end of the manga.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Along with water, this is a component of Wood Release, and its shown that Yamato is proficient in using these two individually.
- Effective Knockoff: Yamato acknowledges that his Wood release inherently belongs to the first and that he therefore cannot use it to the same extent, but he became a highly Elite Shinobi and famed wielder of the element all the same.
- Fate Worse than Death: So Yamato was abducted as a child and experimented upon by a creepy snake-themed Mad Scientist. He survives, goes on to become a fairly well-adjusted adult, only to be ultimately abducted yet again by another creepy snake-themed Mad Scientist (the protege of the first one, no less!). Oh and then it is strongly implied that after having vital information forcibly extracted from him, he will be used for endless experimentation again.
- Green Thumb: His use of the wood techniques, which also require him to be able to control water and earth as well.
- Making a Splash: Along with earth, this is a component of Wood Release, and its shown that Yamato is proficient in using these two individually.
- Meaningful Name: "Yamato" means "spear" in Japanese. "Tenzou" means "heavenly creation" and refers to things created by nature, which fits with his wood powers.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Yamato may be named after Yamato Takeru, a legendary prince of the Yamato dynasty who was believed to be the first ninja.
- Only Sane Man: The most rational and level-headed when the new Team 7 is formed.
- Satellite Character: Yamato was brought in as the substitute team leader of Team 7, was kidnapped as baby by Orochimaru and had his DNA manipulated to the point where he's the genetic clone of the First Hokage, and was a member of Anbu with Kakashi. On paper, all of that sounds like a lot of potential for a character. In reality, Yamato ended up being relegated to being Kakashi's assistant in training Naruto and being the Butt-Monkey.
- Sempai/Kōhai: Kakashi is his senpai, and he once brings up this fact when trying to get him to pay for a meal.
- Stern Teacher: Contrasts his approach with Kakashi's on a few occasions, such as threatening to throw Naruto, Sakura and Sai in a cage together unless they start working better as a team, and saying that if an injured Naruto is unable to keep up with them, they could leave him behind.
- The Stoic: Typically calm and levelheaded, although he can be disturbed by shocking developments.
- Straight Man: Towards Naruto and Bee's shenanigans.
- Superpowerful Genetics: He was the only child to accept and survive the First Hokage's cells in Orochimaru's experiments and the only one who can use his highly coveted Wood Style jutsu. That is until Danzo and Zetsu are introduced anyway.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He started to become more sensitive to the feelings of others.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Just like Anko, Yamato got incapacitated early into the war and isn't heard from in quite some time. It's eventually revealed that one of the Zetsu clones bonded to him as a power source, explaining how it was capable of creating such impressive wood constructs. He's released after Kaguya is defeated.
- While he's nowhere to be seen in the Distant Epilogue, he makes a cameo as a guest in Naruto and Hinata's wedding in The Last.
- Finally makes a reappearance in Boruto. Turns out he spends most of his time monitoring Orochimaru to make sure he's not up to any more world threatening shenanigans.
Voiced by: Satoshi Hino (JP), Benjamin Diskin (EN, main series), Lucien Dodge (EN, Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth) Ángel Coomonte (Spain), Miguel Ángel Leal (Latin America), Maxime Donnay (French)
Debut: Naruto Chapter 281 (Manga), Shippuden Episode 32 (Anime)
Sai is... socially uninformed, to put it mildly. A ninja from the village of Konoha, pretty much all that is known about Sai is that he's a loner and that he has no family. He's a member of ANBU's Root Division, and first joins Team 7 in the second arc. "Sai", a type of three-pronged dagger, is probably a pseudonym, but who knows? Given Root's... special methods of training, it might even be his real name.
As one might expect from someone who isn't around people much, Sai doesn't exactly make the greatest of first impressions on his teammates. Indeed, his first actions are to question Naruto's manhood, call Sakura ugly, and diss their former teammate Sasuke. Naruto flatly states that he'll only put up with Sai for Sasuke's sake. He claims to have no personality whatsoever — being polite or assholish is just a front for him.
A talented artist, Sai claims to have drawn several thousand pictures in his life, but in keeping with his role as the hollow man, finds himself incapable of ever giving one a title. Sai uses his art in his jutsu. He has the ability to animate his drawings, creating creatures for attack or espionage, or generating clones out of ink.
It seems, however, that his purpose is more than just filling out Team 7. In reality, he was given the job by Danzo to assassinate Sasuke — a task which he's clearly unable to do. He has a change of heart and forms a genuine friendship with Naruto and Sakura, although he's very socially awkward (which is often Played for Laughs), though one time cause things to get a little dicey for Team 7 when it came to Sasuke and his unintended actions nearly led to things ending in disaster.
In the Fourth Shinobi World War, Sai was placed in the Ambush Division under Kankuro and alongside Omoi. The events of the war finally enable Sai to fully understand the concept of friendship. Two years later, Sai is selected to be part of the team to help rescue Hinata's sister and ultimately save the world.
Eventually, Sai goes on to marry Ino and in Boruto they have one son, Inojin Yamanaka.
- Advertised Extra: After his big introduction arc, being brought in as Sasuke's replacement and serving as Danzo's mole, you'd figure Sai would play a large role in the scheme of things? Save for one fight during the war arc he's been floating in the background.
- And I Must Scream: One of his techniques, named Sealing Technique: Stalking Predator Launch, consists of an animated drawing of a tiger which can attack the enemy and then go back in the drawing with him.
- Animal Motifs: Whenever he uses his art ninjutsu, Sai will most likely use lions.
- Art Attacker: As in the art he brings to life, attacks you.
- Art Initiates Life: His ability the Cartoon Beast Mimicry; with it he paints ink creatures to assist him in battles including: Lions and tigers for attacking and sealing, birds for transportation and aerial assaults, snakes for binding enemies, rats for tracking and even The Two Benevolent Kings for brute force.
- Author Tract: Sai serves as Kishimoto's mouthpiece about his own conception of art through his battle against the zombified Deidara and Sasori.
- Babies Ever After: With Ino. They have a son named Inojin in the epilogue.
- Bare Your Midriff: A rare male example. His outfit shows off his toned stomach.
- Berserk Button: When Deidara blows up his brother and threatens to do it again and again. Then he insults Sai's art. To say that Sai was pissed is an understatement.
- Big Brother Instinct: He has gradually been feeling this towards Naruto, which may explain why after watching Naruto get beat up by Karui over Sasuke's crimes, he lost faith in Sasuke being redeemable, and became pretty much supportive of the fact that Sasuke must be taken down.
- Big Brother Worship: As a child, Sai came to think of fellow Root member, Shin, as an older brother figure and greatly admired him.
- Bishōnen: Like Sasuke before him, Sakura and Ino comment that Sai is quite pretty.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Temporarily during Shikamaru Hiden, having fallen under the thrall of Gengo. Quite fittingly, his main drawing he uses to bind Shikamaru and prisoners with is a massive snake—like Sasuke's main summons for the early part of Shippuden.
- Brutal Honesty: At first on account of his lack of social skills. Eventually, just out of genuine concern for his friends, though as a result he can't predict whether his words will hurt others, and many problems are created or solved because Sai, unlike the other teenage protagonists, doesn't pussyfoot around delicate issues like "The promise your best friend made to you when he was twelve is killing him inside" or "Sasuke is too dangerous to be left alive."
- Butt-Monkey: In Filler, having No Social Skills made him good comedy material, sometimes getting beaten for an insensitive statement.
- Character Development: Sai gradually becomes more sensitive to others and learns about the depths of emotions and bonds.
- Chubby Chaser: Played with, in an Episode of Boruto he suggests using Chocho as an art model for the students, calling her "the most beautiful girl of the class", ironically his wife Ino is very fit.
- The Comically Serious: Zigzagged between this and Deadpan Snarker. He can't fully understand humor due to his emotionless nature and lack of socialization, so it's hard to tell whether he's using Brutal Honesty, is snarking, or is genuinely confused or serious.
- Cool Sword: Specializes in long-ranged combat with his ninjutsu but is no slouch in taijutsu and swordfighting.
- Curtains Match the Windows: One of the few characters to have black hair and black eyes.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: His sealing jutsu is this in the anime.
- Deadpan Snarker: His only reaction to Konohamaru's "reverse" version of the Sexy Jutsu? "Ah. So that's me." More deadpan than snarker, other than insulting Naruto a few times early on.
- Defrosting Ice King: Becomes nicer and attempts to understand the feelings of others after his first mission with Naruto and Sakura.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: He has very pale skin and is viewed by the others as being disturbing at first.
- Emotion Suppression: Being a member of a special ANBU branch, Sai has undergone a training that removed his emotions. It also left him with No Social Skills.
- Good Parents: Sai has developed strong parenting skills, being the one who's reprimanding Naruto for not holding back enough when he tried to counter Boruto's shadow clone with his own.
- Hates Being Alone: Gengo reveals he hides an intense fear of being abandoned by his friends. Also, his greatest fear is that Naruto and Sakura prefer Sasuke over him.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: While he doesn't use it as much, Sai always carries a tanto.
- Honorifics: Uses them on Naruto and Sakura at first, despite being quite rude to them in most other regards, but drops them when trying to become friends with them.
- Horse of a Different Color: His ability to surf on flying ink birds makes him one of the few flyers in the series.
- Innocently Insensitive: Post-Character Development, he tries to become better friends with Naruto and Sakura, but genuinely thinks "ugly" is a good idea for a nickname, and that people always need to hear the truth.
- Irony: Sai, during the Five Kage Summit Arc, believes himself to be the Only Sane Man when it comes to Sasuke. But after seeing how he made things worse, it's clear that he is the most out of touch when it comes to the situation.
- Jack of All Stats: According to the databook, his skill levels in the various aspects of being a ninja are actually not far from one another. They all range between 3 and 4 (inclusive) out of a maximum score of 5. This makes his skill set really balanced when compared to the majority of other characters in the franchise.
- Jerkass: At his beginnings, justified by No Social Skills. It progressively fades away with time, but Sai remains the one willing to bluntly tell the unpleasant truths.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Sai may have been introduced as an insensitive douchebag, but he did make one valid point: Sasuke did abandon Konoha and his friends. He went to be a student of Orochimaru's willingly. So, Sai's verbal insults about Sasuke, while harsh to hear (especially from Naruto and Sakura's point-of-view), were not wrong.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: What he becomes after his first mission with Naruto and Sakura. He's still brutally honest, but it's more innocent than out of sugary malice.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Really shows in the Five Kage Summit arc concerning to Team 7's relations with Sasuke, See Irony.
- Love Informant: He tried to be this in the Five Kage Summit arc, with disastrous results.
- Loose Lips: Something of a Fatal Flaw of his at times, best demonstrated when it almost got Sakura killed at Sasuke's hand during the Five Kage Summit arc.
- Mind Rape: Being put under Gengo's genjutsu is eventually shown to have inflicted elements of this on him, with Sai's inner self having retreated deep within his psyche, thoroughly traumatized. It takes Ino diving into his mind to release and save him.
- Mr. Fanservice: Skimpily dressed and has been acknowledged as being handsome In-Universe by both Sakura and Ino.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When he realized that he might have inadvertently helped push Sakura into not only attempting to fool Naruto with her infamous fake love confession to get him to abandon the chase for Sasuke, but also into trying to take down Sasuke all by herself, an action that would've surely cost Sakura her life, by bluntly telling her how much she and Sasuke make Naruto suffer, not realizing how desperate and rash she can be in her protectiveness of Naruto. It's why he lampshades it by telling Naruto about what really happened, along with explaining how it is also his fault in a way.Sai: (Flashback of Sai talking to a distraught-ed and tearing Sakura) It's obvious Sasuke's making Naruto suffer, but I think you may be too.
Sai: (In the present) Even though it was not my intent, I pushed Sakura toward this action. It's partly my fault. So I had to tell you.
- My Greatest Failure: In the anime, he consider his actions during the Five Kage Summit arc to be this, since he believes that the fallout of those actions could've been avoided if he had found another way to resolve the issue, like a true friend.
- Mysterious Past: We only know that he's been in the ANBU for a long time and he's got a dead brother.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The entire Five Kage Summit arc, on Naruto's end, was made worse by Sai's lackluster understanding of his team and emotions, which led to Sakura attempting a suicide mission to take down Sasuke after ditching her entourage, after making her infamous fake love confession to Naruto. All because he told her how Naruto felt about her, along with how Sai believes that both she and Sasuke make Naruto suffer, while she wasn't exactly in the best emotional state after hearing how Sasuke had gone on a international crime spree. Needless to say from his saddened expression as he recalls that conversation, he realized not only he was being far too blunt, but also how he was misreading all the signs.
- No Social Skills: In line with the emotion suppression he went through, after breaking away from Root's teachings, Sai primarily interacts with others and tries to befriend them through literal by the book methods, having been researching ways to make friends.
- Not So Stoic: The part where Sasuke, in their first meeting, gives him a Death Glare that proves terrifying even for Sai.
- Official Couple: With Ino.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Technically not his real one, but he prefers going by it.
- Only One Name: Unlike his comrades, Sai has no last name. As an adult, however, he takes his wife's last name to become Sai Yamanaka.
- Only Sane Man: On the subject of Sasuke. Having no past relationship with him, and while expressing anger towards him for how his actions had made Naruto suffer, he is (or at least he believes to be) much more rational about what actions should be taken toward Sasuke than Naruto or Sakura, and is quick to point out when the two are sticking their necks out too far for him, though his bluntness and lacking understating of emotions can make things more complicated than they already are, something even he admitted to.
- Opposites Attract: Again, with Ino. He's an Emotionless Boy that lacks social skills, while she's highly emotional and socially savvy.
- Out of Focus: After his big introductory arc, in which he became the new official member of Team 7, Sai hasn't had much to do at all. This is even more noticeable in the anime during filler arcs, where Sai either stands in the background or doesn't appear at all.
- Paper Talisman: He can create paper bombs by the dozen by painting them.
- Parental Abandonment: No idea what happened to his folks.
- The Quiet One: Sai doesn't like to talk a lot.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Noted for being both good looking and eerie.
- Rei Ayanami Expy: No Social Skills — check. Pale-skinned — check. Mysterious Past — check.
- Restraining Bolt: Has a seal on his tongue that prevents him from revealing any information about Danzo, though this disappears after said character's death.
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: He can go toe-to-toe with S-Class criminals twice his age but needs a book that tells him how act tactfully and politely. This is explained as part of his training in Root, which kills emotions and empathy.
- Secret-Keeper: For an unspecified length of time between his introductory arc and the aftermath of the Pain Arc, Sai knew about how Naruto had feelings for Sakura, but didn't feel as though he could tell her. However, Sai, knowing how hard Naruto was pushing himself for the sake of his promise to Sakura, decided to break his silence. Though, due to his lack of emotion experience and disregard for subtlety, it backfires spectacularly.
- Sempai/Kōhai: Considers Kakashi a senpai, as well as a nameless older member of Root.
- Shipper on Deck:
- Subverted. He tells Sakura how Naruto feels about her; however, he also points out that Naruto's feelings for both Sakura and Sasuke cause him a lot of emotional pain.
- Played Straight in The Last and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. In the former, he teases Naruto about his love for Hinata and later, with Sakura and Shikamaru, smiles as Naruto and Hinata share a very tender moment. In the latter, after Sai overhears a conversation between Ino, Tenten, Sakura and Hinata, he thinks that Naruto is a lucky guy to have Hinata because she's close to him and cares about him.
- Ship Tease: He called Ino "gorgeous" once, although he actually intended to mean the opposite. He is married to her in the epilogue.
- The Smart Guy: In regards to Sasuke, Sai is a lot more objective and realistic.
- Smoke Out: Sai is very skilled with the body flicker technique, having an ink variant.
- Socially Awkward Hero: When trying to form new bonds with others.
- Stepford Smiler: Smiles to please those he interacts with despite being emotionless.
- The Stoic: Due to years of suppressing his emotions, Sai is remarkably nonchalant and deadpan for most of his interactions, be they incredibly awkward, intense, or embarrassing.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Sai can be a blunt jerk one minute, and surprisingly sweet the next.
- Took a Level in Badass: During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Sai's skills had increased to the point where he could defeat Deidara and Sasori at the same time, leaving them to be sealed. Two years after the War, his skills proved great enough to defeat multitudes of Toneri's puppets with ease.
- Took a Level in Kindness: After his first mission with Naruto and Sakura, Sai takes a real interest and understanding people's feelings.
- Took the Wife's Name: His wife Ino was the sole successor of her clan, which led to him taking on Yamanaka as a last name in their marriage. It probably 'helps' that Sai doesn't remember his original last (or first) name, due to his former Root training.
- A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Telling Sakura that Naruto had feelings for her led to Sakura making her infamous fake love confession to Naruto and, when that utterly failed to work, attempting a suicide mission to take down Sasuke after ditching her entourage.
- Unreliable Expositor: What he was when he told Sakura about Naruto's feelings for her and how he believes that Sasuke and Sakura made Naruto suffer, after explaining how much of a novice he is when it comes to the team and emotions. It's only after Sakura's infamous fake love confession attempt and he learns how she may attempt a suicidal mission to deal with Sasuke out of all-consuming guilt and shame, that he realizes he made a terrible mistake in judgement and made a real mess of things, due to his well-meaning yet unintended blunt misinterpretation of the situation at hand, which is also why he told Naruto through a clone.
- Weapon of Choice: To be able to execute his Super Beast Imitation Drawing technique, Sai carries around a specialized custom scroll to draw on, the scroll's roller has compartments for Sai's ink brush and to hold a supply of ink.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He calls out Sakura for having Naruto promise to bring back Sasuke for her and expecting him to keep working at it, when Naruto has feelings for her and his feelings for both her and Sasuke were causing him a lot of emotional pain. Sai compares the binding of this promise to his own abuse at the hands of Root/Danzo. Though this backfired and ended up putting Sakura, and possibly Kakashi, in danger of being killed by Sasuke.