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Fanfic / Team 8

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The new team.note 

"There's a lot going on here that I don't understand. I'm used to not knowing things. But now I can't accept that. I don't understand how you can see yourself so differently than everyone else sees you. I don't understand why you... Why you seem to hate yourself. Something is not right. And I do not think that something is you, Hyuuga Hinata. I was an orphan. I don't really know what it's like to have a family, but I always wanted one. I always wondered what it would be like to have parents or a brother or sister. Maybe I had some idealized image of family, because I knew I'd never have one. Shino's parents seem kind of neat. But now I'm starting to wonder if I might have been better off in some ways."

Team 8 is a Naruto Fan Fic written by S'TarKan (known in some places as Viridian or Evil Author Lord). The story begins with Kurenai observing the newest class of genins the afternoon before the teams are assigned, and making note of Hinata's crush on Naruto (among other things). Because of this, she requests that Naruto be placed on her team, replacing Kiba as part of Kurenai’s plans to create a team specializing in reconnaissance.

This leads to a very different set of events and character interactions than in the canon series, such as an original story replacing the "Land of Waves" arc, among many others. With Naruto and Hinata on the same team, the fic is naturally a Naruto/Hinata pairing, but Shino and Kurenai also receive their fair share of attention, with Kurenai in particular receiving a more fleshed-out characterization. As the narrative continues, insidious details and distinctions from canon appear, indicating that the changes are more far-reaching and significant than they first appeared.

The resulting story has gained quite a following; as of 2021, it is currently the most popular Naruto Fan Fic on FanFiction.Net, garnering over twenty thousand favorites. The fic can be found on FanFiction.Net here. There is also a community-maintained eBook (and PDF) on GitHub.

Team 8 was last updated on April 23, 2015. Since then it has not been updated due to the author being in long treatment for health problems. As of June 12, 2020, the author still has plans to continue. The author maintains a blog and an active forum where he posts occasional word count updates, and is also involved in several other projects, such as Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past.

Of related interest is Snapped, a Team 8 AU also written by S'TarKan.

This fanfiction contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    A - C 
  • A Mother to Her Men: Kurenai is said to care for and talk about her genin more than some parents do their children. She is also a surrogate mother for Naruto and Hinata.
  • Abusive Parents: Hiashi is portrayed as one of these toward Hinata, with such admirable parental habits as physically abusing Hinata during "training exercises" or not allowing her to sleep until she masters a new technique.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Canon: Due to the author planning out the story in 2006, the story does not conform to later revelations (such as Itachi’s true allegiance).
  • Achievements in Ignorance: You're not supposed to be able to infuse shadow clones with a full personality, but no-one told Naruto. Not surprising since (in this alternate universe) Naruto's education is implied to have been sabotaged.
  • Action Girl: Hinata and Kurenai, most notably.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: The altered history of the fic makes Naruto and Hinata's life struggles significantly worse. The villagers are far more antagonistic to Naruto and there is even hinted to be a conspiracy against him, and Hinata's parental abuse is far worse. Consequently, both of them start out much more cynical and insecure than in canon. At separate points, they both even have suicidal thoughts.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In canon, Hiashi’s early personality is at worst a result of having to be a Clan Head who has to make unsavory choices. But even then, he has since Took a Level in Kindness after Neji lost to Naruto. Here, he’s way more antagonistic, at first towards Hinata, though there are hints that this attitude extents to Kurenai and Naruto.
    • Itachi here mainly takes after his initial personality that canon gives, as for example, he kills Kurenai in cold blood.
  • Adaptation Deviation:
    • In chapter 4, Naruto has been assigned by Kurenai the "basic" water-walking exercise, while Hinata and Shino are already on the tree-climbing exercise. In canon, it is clearly shown that the former is the more advanced chakra control exercise, as it requires expelling chakra and not just gathering it, and is taken after the tree-climbing exercise.
    • In chapter 21 (and in chapter 12 in reference to chapter 4), the Transformation Technique is classified as a genjutsu. In canon, it is a ninjutsu, not a genjutsu.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Hinata certainly is not.
    • After her Chunin exam, she pleads for Naruto to spare her cousin's life, even though Neji pummeled and nearly killed her. Naruto can't deny her; he does severely injure Neji, but also frees him from the Caged Bird Seal and orders him to be a better cousin.
    • She willingly agrees to everything that's asked in exchange for Tsunade healing Naruto — including six months of indentured service. Someone who knew Hinata better, instead of just seeing the Hyūga heiress, wouldn't have been surprised, of course.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The effects of this on Naruto's everyday life are taken up to eleven. Vendors who don't outright refuse him service instead overcharge him. He isn't allowed to open a bank account until his jonin-sensei intervenes and threatens the manager, and it's heavily implied he gained a reputation as a thief as well as a vandal from unscrupulous businessmen exploiting and exaggerating his prankster antics in order to dip into a fund set up to pay for any damages done by him. Then there's the academy therapist that intentionally gave him horrible advice, and the med-nins who don't want to treat him...
  • Aloof Big Brother: Neji is Hinata's aloof cousin and older brother-figure, as always. He starts to show a little more brotherly concern after Naruto beats the importance of it into him.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Amusingly, Shino's mom deliberately invokes this trope when Naruto and Hinata visit the Aburame household for the first time.
    Shino: [Embarrassed sighs]
    Misato: Shino… [In a dramatic voice but with mischief in her eyes] This is the first time you've brought friends home. I have a lot of time to make up for.
  • An Aesop: Kurenai likes to turn various mishaps into inpromptu lessons for her genin, asking them what they can take away from the experience.
    Kurenai: Well, I think it's safe to say that did not manifest as intended. Do you know why?
  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: Discussed. Kurenai tells a story about a girl who, as a Chunin, defeated a more experienced Jonin. When Shino's reply makes the assumption that the girl in the story was her, Kurenai reminds him that she didn't explicitly say so. Though, as Shino then points out, it's hard to believe that she would recall so many exact details about the fight if it had happened to someone else, which Kurenai acknowledges.
  • Anyone Can Die: S'TarKan officially claims this about his story, after he permanently kills off Kurenai.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • When Hinata declares that she's worthless because her father said so, Kurenai asks whom she spends more time with (Naruto) and whether he'd agree with her father. Cue Flashback to him saying "Hinata, you rock!" and one stunned-silent heiress.
    • She's on the receiving end of another one just before the Tsunade Retrieval mission and before Kurenai gets killed. "Hinata, you know what you did wrong, what good would it do to keep reminding you of it?" Innocuous enough, but considering what Hinata has been through her whole life, it made her entire world begin to unravel.
      It was such a simple question, but it stopped the Hyuuga girl in her tracks. What good did it do? What good did it do when her father berated her over and over for every mistake? What good did it do when he reminded her of her failures before every match with her sister? What good did it do to make sure she was always aware of what a failure she was?
      No good at all.
      Then why did he do it?
    • After visiting Hinata in the hospital, Naruto is furious with Kurenai and storms off to berate her — until she pops his bubble.
      Naruto: How could you even think of threatening to remove her from the team?
      Kurenai: Would you rather see Hinata removed from the team or dead?
      Naruto froze.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Part of Sasuke's characterization due to Naruto not being on Team 7. After getting a One-Hit KO from Naruto, he seems to tone that down somewhat.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Kurenai. In the original manga, she's given little characterization and mostly just serves as the one in charge of Team 8. Here, she's a major character with a troubled history who serves as both The Mentor and Team Mom to her students, especially Naruto and Hinata.
    • To a lesser degree, Iruka gets a greater presence as a father figure to Naruto, along with some other comedic events.
  • Author Avatar: Kurenai is considered as such, and the author suggests that she's his "mouthpiece".
  • Badass Adorable: Hinata is a petite, extremely meek girl who blushes whenever she receives a compliment (especially one from her crush), but she also can kick highly trained grown men's asses when sufficiently motivated and displays great skill in a variety of areas.
  • Badass Crew: Team Eight.
  • Badass Teacher: Kurenai, Iruka, Gai, Kakashi, and Asuma. The first three also count as Cool Teachers, whereas the other two are more of Sink-or-Swim Mentors.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • In Chapter 4, Kurenai relates this trope to practices of misdirection and deception, explaining to her students that one is more likely to fall for a deception if the deceptee already believes the scenario to be even remotely possible.
    • In Chapter 18, Hinata uses a variant of this on Temari. Due to Temari's dismissive, superior attitude, and her only impression of Hinata being her losing badly to her cousin, she expectedly underestimated Hinata, and so fell for a simple clone technique.
    • In Chapter 21, Naruto uses one to convince Tsunade to return to Konoha.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Kurenai overcomes Tsukuyomi by working with the genjutsu rather than against it.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. While in the Forest of Death, Hinata's face is badly bruised. It remains that way for the rest of the chapter and at least a third of the next one until she gets healed.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't call Hinata weak in Naruto's company. Also, daring to seriously threaten or, worse, actually hurt his teammates will result in Naruto using the Kyuubi's chakra.
    • After she learns why the villagers hate Naruto, Hinata starts getting angry when she sees evidence of Naruto's mistreatment in the village.
    • Avoid any and all sexist remarks in Kurenai's presence. Also avoid being a dick to Naruto; she will scare the shit out of you.
    • Choji, of the Akimichi clan, masters of size-altering techniques that let them literally crush enemies, does not take kindly to his opponent in the Chunin exams calling him "fat". He does feel bad afterward, though, about breaking Yoroi's everything.
  • The Bet:
    • Naruto makes a wager with Tsunade: if she can't beat him with one finger, she'll return to Konoha. He wins by goading her into choking him, which takes several fingers.
    • Iruka, in disguise, does some betting on Naruto at the Chuunin exams, where the Hyuga elders derisively give him excellent odds. When Naruto wins, Iruka nearly bankrupts several of them, and ends up taking payment in assets instead of cash — including at least one business he'd rather not have.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Hinata is a victim of severe emotional abuse, with major self-esteem problems. She's gentle, kind, and refuses to speak ill of anyone, even her screwed up family. And if you threaten her teammates in her presence, she will smash in your face.
    • Naruto is known for being optimistic, resilient, and friendly, able to talk people down whom you wouldn't expect he could. He also claws Neji's face open for what he did to Hinata. Gets an immediate lampshade from Sakura.
      "I never knew Naruto could be so... brutal."
  • Big Brother Mentor: Iruka towards Naruto, obviously. Given that he is one of the few teachers in the academy who treated Naruto fairly, he is also one of the few male characters that Kurenai trusts.
  • The Big Guy: Naruto, despite being the shortest member of the team, thanks to his nearly unending stamina, chakra and use of shadow clones. His stated role in the team is muscle to hold off any attackers while the rest of the team escape. Also Rock Lee and/or Kiba, whenever they are around Team 8.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Hyūga in general, even more so than in canon. So far Hinata seems to be the only decent person out of all of them, although Neji eventually starts getting better with some persuasion.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • A Big Sister Instinct is shown at least twice in the story with the older sister jumping into the fray to protect a younger sibling: The first time is when Hinata moves to rescue Hanabi from a group of kidnappers; in a later arc, Temari fights desperately to get to Gaara to defend him during the Sand/Sound invasion.
    • Kurenai points out to Hinata that Naruto fully intends to avenge her fight against Neji in the Chuunin Exam Finals and that Shino would gladly pick up the slack if Naruto should fail.
  • Black-and-White Morality:
    • Mostly Played Straight thus far. Kurenai and Team 8 are portrayed as chiefly heroic, while the figures hindering them, like Hiashi and various village council members are portrayed as rather malevolent and insidious. The change is wrought about due to the initial unrevealed nail, which supposedly gives them secret motivations, but the antagonists thus far are shown to be mostly unsympathetic in their actions. Most antagonistic characters who Took a Level in Kindness received a slice of Humble Pie first.
    • Averted with the Sand Siblings. Gaara has identical characterization to his canon counterpart and is redeemed in a similar manner. His siblings, especially Temari, are shown to be caring and concerned for him, and mostly fight to protect him.
    • In particular, Itachi is said by the author to be a plain villain in this adaption, rather than being a Well-Intentioned Extremist as revealed later on in canon.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Talking through a broken nose is a laugh riot. Right, Orochimaru?
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Lee and Gai, of course.
  • Book Dumb: Deconstructed. Naruto's horrible grades at the Academy came less from genuine ineptitude and more from many of the instructors (except Iruka) actively trying to sabotage his progress. Under Kurenai's mentorship, he improves enough to be a serious contender for chuunin within a few short months.
  • Boom, Headshot!: One character is killed by a kunai to the forehead.
  • Break the Haughty: Sasuke and Neji. Time will tell if any other Hyūgas will get their turn.
  • Brick Joke: At chapter 4, Naruto uses his chakra pulse (see Chekhov's Skill below) for the first time. It's casually mentioned that among the effects, the wives of some village elders lost the cosmetic genjutsu they used to look younger. More than 16 chapters later, guess what happens when Naruto uses the pulse with Tsunade.
  • Broken Bird: Kurenai. It’s shown and remarked how much she was affected by the death of her teammates as well as other unsavory events in her past. As a result, her outlook on life can be quite cynical and pessimistic at times. However, in a subversion of how the trope usually plays when it comes to mentorship roles, she acts quite sympathetic and encouraging towards her students (although she still can be very stern when needed), and proves to be quite a good teacher and team leader despite her personal issues.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Some of the villagers towards Naruto. Sasuke can be forgiven for this, before the Chunin exams. After the Forest of Death, he no longer has an excuse.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Kurenai believes that as ninja become more experienced, they also become more eccentric to deal with the stress. Might Guy is the poster boy for this theory, but Kakashi and Jiraiya also fit.
  • Calling The Old Men Out:
  • Can't Catch Up: Discussed by Shino and his parents when they learn of the insane training regime that Naruto (and later Hinata) takes daily. In order to avert it, Shino gets training with a new fighting style and some cool new weapons.
  • Central Theme: Family. Kurenai, who lost her own team and parents, acts as something of a mother to her students, Naruto and Hinata in particular, because the former is an orphan and the latter only has an abusive family (although she did have a kind late mother). Shino, meanwhile, is often contrasted with them due to him having a loving and happy family. Iruka also often acts as a father figure to Naruto.
  • Chekhov's Classroom:
    • Subverted. Kurenai teaches the squad a jutsu to charge one's fist with electricity, and informs them of how useful it is against an enemy wearing steel. In the following chapter when the group are fighting three ninjas and one of them turns his skin into steel, you'd think Naruto would use this jutsu; instead, the Kyuubi's power is triggered and Naruto punches a hole through the guy's steel chest.
    • Played straight later in combination with the Chekhov's Gun of Naruto's electroshock alarm clock. Naruto uses the technique to wake Gaara and end his demon's rampage.
    • Back in the academy, a psychiatrist spoke individually to each of the students, saying the first time they kill someone while on a mission is the most difficult by far—except for Naruto, whom he coldly dismisses as a monster who will probably enjoy killing. This comes back to bite him in the ass hard when ANBU Black Ops show up and take him away for interrogation.
    • Kurenai's explanation of how to realize one is in a genjutsu involves searching out discrepancies. This is how she manages to break Itachi's Tsukuyomi, by identifying that in a realistic scenario, beating Hinata to death would drive Naruto to relinquish control of the Kyuubi and let it take revenge.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Haku. In chapter 9, Team 7 (which includes Kiba in place of Naruto) explains the result of their mission in Wave Country. It's mentioned that Haku survived the fight with Zabuza and was brought back to Konoha with them. In chapter 12, Sakura is surprised to see Naruto escorted by a Chuunin proctor to the bathroom. Finally, in chapter 18, that same proctor is revealed to be Haku, who helps the Sandaime in the battle against Orochimaru, heavily affecting the outcome of the fight.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • In chapters 4 and 6, Kurenai is shown teaching some simple jutsu to her students. Given his enormous chakra reserves and poor chakra control, Naruto ends up supercharging the jutsu leading to hilarious effects. It turns out the supercharged versions become very useful later, particularly during the Chuunin exam and Orochimaru's invasion. The most relevant include:
      • A condensation jutsu used to gather little amounts of water from the surrounding atmosphere in order to accomplish menial tasks (like refilling a canteen). By supercharging it, Naruto creates a giant torrent of water that he uses to decimate Gaara's sand shield during their fight in chapter 17.
      • A brief chakra pulse used to cancel genjutsu; generally a short-range tactic, it's limited by the amount of chakra put into it. By supercharging it, Naruto creates the equivalent of a chakra EMP capable of covering the entire village and disrupting all kind of techniques beside genjutsu. In chapter 17, Naruto uses it to cancel the genjutsu that Kabuto puts on the stadium during the invasion to the village, but the pulse is so big it ends messing up other jutsu in the area, including those necessary for Orochimaru's plans.
    • In Chapter 13, Naruto has his first meeting with the Nine-Tails, who uses its chakra to break a seal placed on Naruto by Orochimaru. In Chapter 19, it is revealed that Naruto used the Nine-Tails chakra in his fight with Neji to break the Caged Bird Seal on Neji.
  • Childhood Brain Damage: Kurenai wonders if Gai was repeatedly dropped as a baby to explain his eccentric personality. She ultimately decides that a more realistic explanation is that the stronger a jonin is, the weirder they are (and worries that she will end up the same).
  • Colossus Climb: The fight between Naruto and Gaara during the Sand/Sound invasion eventually involves this. Given that he didn't sign the toad summoning scroll and can't call Gamabunta, when his opponent enters the Shukaku form, Naruto doesn't have any other option than to run up the giant tanuki demon in order to reach Gaara and awaken him.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Hanabi does. Loudly. Obnoxiously. Ungratefully.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Naruto, strangely enough. During the Forest of Death chūnin exam, the characters keep mentioning how they have no idea why Naruto brought X item but it sure came in handy; e.g., he brings multiple collapsible tents by himself, among other things. This is Hinata's influence. One way her poor self-esteem manifests is that she always makes sure she has any item that she might foreseeably need, within reason. Naruto notices this tendency (after he throws up during a training session, Hinata offers him a clean cloth and cup of tea from her thermos) and decides he should emulate it. Being Naruto, of course, he doesn't worry about the 'within reason' part.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • Defied by Kurenai. Team 8 was originally assembled to specialize in reconnaissance. Kurenai, however, chooses to switch Naruto in place of Kiba to provide a heavy combat specialist who can cover escapes.
    • Naruto, Shino, and Hinata are able to defeat an enemy jonin early on partially because he specialized more in stealth than in fighting.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: After Hinata perseveres against Neji beyond reasonable bounds and provokes him into trying to kill her, Kurenai gives her a stern talking to and accuses her of neglecting her teammates — then afterward, Kurenai makes her way to a bathroom and throws up.
    Cruel necessities, no matter how needful, were still cruel.
  • Cry into Chest: Naruto breaks down in sobs when hugging Hinata at Kurenai's funeral.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Naruto vs Sasuke. One punch, right in the jaw, and Sasuke is OUT. Sasuke had only deliberately and with malice aforethought slammed down on Naruto's Berserk Button regarding Hinata, immediately after Naruto had just watched Neji beat her half to death. Not a smart move. note 
  • Cute Bruiser: All of Team 8 eventually, but Naruto, a small friendly kid with intense taijutsu training, takes the cake.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: After Neji beats Hinata to a pulp and nearly kills her, Naruto internally plans to beat him until his hair bleeds.

    D - I 
  • Darker and Edgier: In a general sense, the altered history of the fic serves to make Naruto and Hinata's life struggles significantly worse, and both of them start out much more cynical and insecure than in canon. At separate points, they both even have suicidal thoughts.
  • Dead Fic: Has not been updated since April 2015, though updates on the author's website indicate it is still being worked on. As of October 22, 2018, the author still has plans to continue.
  • Dead Man Writing: Kurenai in her letters in Chapter 22.
  • Death by Adaptation: At present, Tazuna and Kurenai.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Prior to Chapter 20, if not for the fact that Naruto and Hinata are displayed as the two main characters, you could be forgiven for thinking that Kurenai is The Hero of this story. Much of the altered backstory and the changes the proverbial nail has wrought are thanks to her mentoring of Team 8, after all.
  • Deconstruction Fic: The entire story deconstructs many aspects, plot points, and characterizations of Naruto as a whole. Naruto's status as a pariah is the result of something more serious than a case of All of the Other Reindeer. The teaching methods of a Sink or Swim Mentor like Kakashi are shown to be vastly inferior when compared to the more involved methods of Kurenai and Gai. The abuse Hinata has to deal with at home (albeit much more severe than in canon) has horribly warped her sense of self-worth to the point where she would rather die in a pointless duel than lose and be considered a failure again. Even Naruto's canon style of dress is critiqued.
  • Designated Girl Fight: In addition to the two from the preliminaries, Hinata versus Temari during the Sand/Sound invasion stands out, in part because most of the previous group battles involving Team 8 to this point have been against fully male teams (so Hinata and Kurenai tend to fight men more often than not) and in part because of the intensity of the fight, as both combatants are desperately trying to defend someone.
  • Determinator: Deconstructed during Hinata's fight with Neji, where instead of showing how determined she is toward living up to her and Naruto's ninja way, Kurenai instead interprets Hinata's actions (i.e., fighting doggedly) as a failed suicide attempt, followed by a scene in the hospital where Hinata denounces her own existence and confirms Kurenai's suspicions.
    • Know When to Fold 'Em: Kurenai actually brings this up earlier when the team is just formed: don't keep fighting a losing battle that is, in the grand scheme of things, unimportant, especially if the only reason you're still fighting at all is pride.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Naruto's "unfortunate metaphors" would be this to anyone else.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?:
    • Naruto, did you just break Orochimaru's nose?
    • And did one of your clones get popped shortly afterward trying to give Sabaku no Gaara a noogie?
      He had no idea you could do that with sand, and it looked really painful.
  • Discriminate and Switch: Kurenai tries to give Naruto a lesson about sexism by asking him whether he'd prefer to face Shino or Hinata in a serious fight. Naruto selects Hinata, reasoning that while she's a capable fighter, she's gentle at heart and wouldn't pull out her deadliest attacks on a teammate. Kurenai then offers the choice between Sasuke and Sakura instead — and Naruto immediately chooses Sasuke, because he knows how violent and ill-tempered Sakura can be.
    Okay, he is being objective after all.
  • Disney Death: During the border patrol mission in chapter 7, Naruto and his team confront a trio of missing ninjas that kidnapped Konohamaru and Hanabi. Konohamaru tries to prevent Naruto from fighting them, telling him that they killed Iruka, which only contributes to Naruto's moment of Unstoppable Rage. Turns out later that Iruka was alive, just badly injured, and Naruto visits him in the hospital.
  • Diving Save: Naruto side-tackles Kiba out of the way and Hinata snatches up Akamaru before the two rescuees would be struck or maybe eaten by a giant snake.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: How Kakashi coped with his sensei dying. Even worse is that he offhandedly mentions no one really noticed, since it was right after the Kyuubi's attack. Keep in mind that Kakashi would have been fourteen.
  • Dual Wielding: Shino's mother uses (and teaches him) a "praying mantis" combat style using twin kamas.
  • Due to the Dead: Kakashi and Asuma make it quite clear that they will not tolerate any disrespect or disruption of Kurenai's funeral.
    Hiashi: Do you really think you can do that?
    Asuma: A few days ago, the two of us were fighting two of the most dangerous missing-nins in the world. We were out of position or too slow to save a valued comrade from being killed. Now here you are, someone she clearly despised, trying to make an ass of yourself and disrupt her funeral. How can we not?
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Kurenai is killed because she has just figured out and proven how to beat Itachi's Tsukuyomi.
  • Dynamic Entry:
    • Might Guy & Rock Lee still have a habit of doing this.
    • Shino kills a giant snake this way.
  • Elephant in the Living Room:
    • Hinata's Big, Screwed-Up Family. All of Team 8, the Third and Jiraiya know about it. Gai, Kakashi, Asuma and Iruka also seem to have an inkling. Not only can they not really talk about it publicly, but Hiashi has such powerful connections that he won't answer for his actions (something the Sandaime points out). They collectively decide to come up with plausible reasons for her not to be at her house or near her father.
    • To a lesser extent, Naruto and Gaara being jinchuuriki.
  • Enemy Mine: Team 8 and Team 7 against Orochimaru. Naruto and the Kyuubi breaking the Cursed Seal.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: For all his Blood Knight tendencies, Kisame seemed pretty shocked and disturbed when Itachi acted against their assigned orders and killed Kurenai in cold blood.
  • Exact Words:
    • Hinata assures her father that she didn't see Naruto use any special abilities to fight off a kidnapping attempt. Technically true, since she was knocked unconscious by that point.
    • Naruto wins his bet with Tsunade because strangling someone isn't the same as beating them with one finger.
  • Expy: Shino seems to be based on Spock. Misato and Shibi Aburame share traits with Spock's parents as well.
  • Eye Scream: Shino kills a giant snake by stabbing through its eyes to its brain.
  • For Want Of A Nail: The story’s premise. According to the author, the nail isn’t Kurenai requesting Naruto for Team 8, but some unspecified event in her backstory that led to the deaths of her old teammates, a recon-oriented team, which means that when she is offered a chance to form a new recon team, she decides to scout the class rather than simply take the students based on written reports. The author also directly indicates that Hiashi is more nasty than he would be in canon, due to the changed course of history.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Naruto is sanguine, Kurenai is choleric, Hinata is melancholic and Shino is phlegmatic.
  • Friendship Moment:
    • Hinata calming Naruto down after his first kill, Shino verbally tearing into his family for their treatment of Naruto, Naruto visiting Hinata in the hospital and Hinata and Shino comforting Naruto when he goes to pieces at Kurenai's funeral.
    • Naruto has one earlier, when he muses on how badly Hinata got hurt, and the stray thought of "no one does this to my friends" completely unhorses him.
  • Freudian Trio: Team 8's genin members make up a Freudian Trio.
    • The McCoy: Naruto is hotheaded and ruled mostly by his emotions.
    • The Kirk: Hinata is a moderating influence between her teammates.
    • The Spock: Shino runs entirely on logic and disparages people who base their decisions on emotion.
  • Genki Girl: Hilariously, Shino's mom appears to be at least a partial example.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Kurenai knows a small-scale genjutsu that gives her eyes a subtle glow. She often uses it to unnerve people, especially if they push her Berserk Buttons.
  • Glass Cannon: Hinata's eyes and reflexes make her quick to react to danger and any hit she lands with her Jyuuken has the potential to be a One-Hit Kill. However, her defenses and recovery time seem to be weaker than the rest of Team 8.
  • Good Parents: Shibi and Misato Aburame.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Invoked multiple times in chapter 18, as the story cuts from one fight scene to another just as one character is about to get mauled by his opponent and subverted just as often, as the character about to be injured reveals to still not be out of the fight.
  • Government Conspiracy: There is one going on inside the Leaf Village between the Hyūga Clan and many members of the Village Council, with the ringleaders seemingly being Hiashi and Danzo. Although their exact goals and motivations have not been clarified yet, it is heavily implied that they ordered the murder of Kurenai's former team and had been actively promoting hate against Naruto inside the village. Some characters, including the Hokage and Kurenai, are aware of its existence but have been unable to bring it down through legal means.
  • Graceful Loser: Chouji takes his defeat at Shino's hands during the Chuunin Exam very well, even giving him a bag of chips when all is said and done.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: A lot of it. Common expressions include "Ano", "Gomen," and "Arigato." The author gradually cuts back on this, and stops using these terms altogether by chapter 15.
  • Guile Hero:
    • In his spare time, Shino seems to be becoming one. Naruto even lampshades it:
      "No one wins an argument against him!"
    • Naruto himself has shades of this, such as manipulating Tsunade into returning to Konoha.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Excluding Hinata, the Main House Hyūgas always seem to be pissed off about something.
  • Half-Truth:
    • Shino's comment about what flowers would be appropriate for Neji's funeral is construed as a public death threat. It could be, but what he was talking about was Neji's funeral after Naruto rips him limb from limb.
    • This is also how Hinata managed to evade her father's questioning in regards to what Naruto did during the fight with the three Iwa shinobi after returning from the border patrol.
  • Happily Married: Appears to be the case for Shino's parents, despite or perhaps due to being very different.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Hinata is more than willing to be Tsunade's personal assistant for six months if it means Tsunade will return to the village to help Naruto and so that Hinata won't have to go back to her Big, Screwed-Up Family.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Some of Kurenai's lessons are quite harsh, such as teaching Naruto that some people will simply never accept him, regardless of what he does.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • Kurenai is killed because she has just figured out and proven how to beat Itachi's Tsukuyomi. Overlaps with Dying Moment of Awesome.
    • Hinted at among the Hyūga nobles watching the Chuunin Exam finals when Naruto blows open his own chakra points during his fight with Neji. It hasn't come to anything yet.
  • Head Desk: Genma starts banging his head against a wall when he realizes his efforts to prevent a genin from receiving outside help in the first test of the Chuunin Exam actually helped the genin cheat. He popped three of Naruto's clones, who had researched exam answers and were trying to signal Naruto with them. Neither Genma nor Naruto realised that dispelling them would give Naruto their memories.
  • Heal the Cutie: The fic takes what happened to Naruto and Hinata in canon, puts it at the forefront, and takes it up a notch. Naruto is shown to be significantly insecure about the Nine-Tails and the treatment from the villagers, while Hinata is borderline suicidal in her aspirations. Kurenai realizes that putting the two together on a team could set them both on a path to healing, and so she takes on Naruto. The fic then largely follows their journey together to heal and grow past their difficulties.
  • The Heart: Hinata has some traits of this. Despite her poor self-esteem issues (or maybe because of them), she is very gentle and kind, always willing to help other people. She tends to act as a conciliatory voice between the rather disparate personalities of her teammates. More importantly, she helps Naruto to overcome the Heroic B.S.O.D. mentioned below, she is the first person to point out to Shino that Naruto is actually a valuable teammate when the Aburame had initial doubts about his competence, and she even convinces Naruto of sparing Neji's life despite what he did to her.
  • Heroic BSoD: Naruto starts to have one of these after he makes his first kill, but Hinata helps him snap out of it before he gets too angsty.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation:
    • Hinata is especially plagued with feelings of self-doubt and inferiority, in large part thanks to her abusive father.
    • Occasionally, Naruto does this as well.
  • Humble Pie: Naruto serves it up to both Sasuke and Neji.
  • Humans Are Bastards/Humans Are Flawed: One of the running themes. Kurenai teaches Naruto that ignorance and cowardice will never be totally removed from the hearts of men, and some people will never accept him even if he becomes Hokage. That said, Naruto has nevertheless been able to change the minds of several in the village thus far, as Hiruzen had hoped.
    Hiruzen: The villagers look at the boy and see a reflection of their fears. The shinobi see a reflection of their loss. They won't see him as anything different until he can touch their hearts and make them see the truth. I think one day Naruto will prove himself to the village, and those who scorned him in the past will heartily regret their actions.
  • I Am a Monster:
    • One of the major reasons behind Naruto's Heroic B.S.O.D. mentioned above. Given that he was using the demon's chakra at that moment and it made him enjoy his opponent's fear while he strangled the man, he starts to believe and worry he's turning into the fox. Hinata and Kurenai help him to put things in perspective.
    • Eventually, both Neji and Sakura realize that they could stand to be better and nicer people, similar to their canon counterparts.
  • Identical Stranger: Naruto bears a passing resemblance to the dead son of an innkeeper.
  • I'd Tell You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You: Jiraiya rather misses the boat on this one when he's not careful enough about Naruto's parentage. So he just makes it clear that Kurenai must not reveal it to anyone else.
    Jiraiya: Me and my big mouth. Congratulations, you've stumbled across another S-class secret. If this gets out, half the hidden villages will be sending assassination teams within the week. But you won't have to worry about that because I'll kill you myself.
  • I Hit You, You Hit The Ground: Chuunin Exam preliminary battles. Naruto hits Sasuke out of the Chuunin Exam. Sasuke hits the ground with a broken jaw.
  • I'm Standing Right Here:
    • Played for Drama. Hiashi Hyūga very plainly speaks of Hinata's weakness and uselessness to Kurenai when he entrusts her to train her as a ninja. Hinata is standing a few feet away when he does.
    • Downplayed later on when Hiashi is badmouthing Hinata to Tsunade, with Hinata in the next room - and very much able to hear them. As soon as he's gone, Tsunade calls him an idiot.
  • I Need A Drink: When Tsunade finds out that Hinata is practically the perfect medical student, she pulls out a bottle.
    Tsunade: I'm going to kill Jiraiya.
    Shizune: What did he do?
    Tsunade: It's karma. I made fun of him one too many times when we met up after he started teaching Minato fuinjutsu... I laughed at how perturbed he was to realise that he was teaching someone who would surpass him. Now it's going to happen to me. Eventually, anyway.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Though several of the Chuunin Exam matches are different, some match-ups are the same as in Canon: Tenten vs. Temari, Hinata vs. Neji, Sakura vs. Ino, and Lee vs. Gaara in the prelims, and Naruto vs. Neji and Temari vs. Shikamaru in the finals. The actions in many of this match-ups change due to the altered circumstances, however... On the other hand, Shikamaru's finals match goes much the same as in canon, and still ends with him taking advantage of holes in the ground that Naruto made earlier even if the cause of the holes is different.
    • Even though Sarutobi doesn't die in the invasion in the altered timeline, Jiraiya still gets sent to bring back Tsunade and takes Naruto with him.
    • Even though Itachi and Kisame's confrontation with the jounin goes differently and Sasuke isn't visiting Kakashi in the hospital, Sasuke still overhears that Itachi stopped by, goes after him, and inadvertently saves Naruto by distracting Itachi.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Naruto was just asking for an equipment check when he suggested that Hinata "use your eyes to check me out?" Even when she goes bright red, he clarifies his request but still doesn't recognise the problem.
  • Iron Lady: As a jounin and team leader, Kurenai carries herself as one. She has to, given the chauvinistic mentality of some of the people around her (like a weapon shopkeeper in one of the first chapters).
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: When Shino deconstructs Naruto's personality traits and deduces that he's the host of the nine-tailed fox demon, the thing that really gets under Naruto's skin is that Shino's bugs fed off his chakra until they were full and Naruto didn't even notice. Naruto even goes so far as to declare that he's cheating.
  • I Thought Everyone Could Do That: Inverted and subverted when Tsunade meets with Hiashi Hyuga about Hinata's medical training. He suggests that she instead take an apprentice with natural skill in the field. Tsunade claims that she is intentionally taking Hinata because of her lack of natural ability, so that she can accurately assess the effectiveness of the training program. The truth, meanwhile, is that Tsunade knows very well that Hinata is ridiculously skilled, and will soon be Talented, but Trained.
    Tsunade: Hinata's efforts to learn medical jutsu, no matter how fruitless, will give me a yardstick with which to calibrate the training times for the actual program. If I used someone who actually possessed any talent, it would skew all of the results.
    Tsunade: Now that the idiot is gone, I can tell you my real expectations.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Shino does not take well to Naruto being referred to as an "it" by his clansmen.
  • It Never Gets Any Easier: On the eve of Kurenai's funeral, Naruto asks Jiraiya if losing people close to you eventually becomes easier.
    Jiraiya: Not even a little. And if it ever does, then I don’t want to know you.

    J - R 
  • Jack of All Stats: Shino. He has no trouble at all keeping up with the rest of his team but lacks Naruto's stamina. He's physically stronger than Hinata, has a longer reach than both of them and recovers faster but he doesn't react as fast as she or Naruto do. Kurenai combines this and her genjutsu moveset as the team's Kung-Fu Wizard.
  • Jerkass: As mentioned before, most members of the Hyūga clan fall into this, including Neji, Hanabi and especially Hiashi. The members of Team 7 are initially portrayed as this as well.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Similar to canon, Kiba can be very brash, arrogant and belligerent. He nevertheless is loyal to his teammates and cares about them, despite the ocassional squabbles.
  • Kick the Dog / What the Hell, Hero?:
    • While is still in the air whether or not Sasuke will go the same path as in canon, some of his actions can be interpreted as either one of these tropes. Namely, his killing of one of the Sound team in the Forest of Death after receiving the cursed seal from Orochimaru, and his mocking of Hinata to Naruto's face during the preliminaries.
    • Narrowly subverted during Kurenai's funeral. Naruto becomes an emotionally distraught mess, so Hinata rushes to his side without thinking (or even acknowledging the Death Glare her father is giving her). This pisses off Hiashi. Shino then comforts the grieving Naruto. This pisses off Hiashi further. He's about to haul away an also-grieving Hinata when Asuma and Kakashi appear on either side of him; their reaction to Hiashi's intentions is summed up as 'One step further and I will Chidori you right in the face, then teach the entire village how to Chidori you right in the face'.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: An interesting case in which there's good karma and bad karma dosings involved. The majority of Konoha shuns Naruto for being the host of the Nine-Tailed Fox and as a result, the betting odds for the Chuunin Exams have their ratio heavily skewed against Naruto. When Naruto starts winning every fight that comes his way, all of the townsfolk that shunned him are screwed out of a lot of money and Iruka, who always believed in Naruto from the beginning and always bet on him, gets not only a fortune in bet earnings but also the chance to bankrupt a lot of Hyūga clansmen.
  • Layman's Terms: Naruto tends to be confused by Shino’s speech patterns, requiring someone (usually Kurenai) to translate for him. Eventually, an exasperated Shino starts doing the translation himself.
  • Left for Dead: Iruka, with Konohamaru fully believing he was dead.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: The battle between Shino and Chouji during the Chunin exams is impeccably civil.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • A non-combat variation occurs when Jiraiya drops his pervert facade after Kurenai asks him to take her seriously.
    • In combat, any time Hinata, Lee, or Naruto decide to ditch their weights, duck.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: The battle between Orochimaru and the Third Hokage ends with both forced to remove an arm, the former to avoid being frozen solid and the latter to stop the spread of poison.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Thanks to the supplemental training in taijutsu he is taking with Gai and Rock Lee, Naruto gradually turns into an example. This is especially evident during his fight with Gaara in the Chunin Exams. He not only manages to outrun the other jinchuuriki's sand defenses, but hits him so hard that Gaara ends up with a concussion. And that's not taking into account the Kyuubi chakra, which not only increases his speed even more, but also gives him enough strength to punch through metal.
  • Like a Son to Me: Kurenai says she would be proud to call Hinata her daughter. In her will.
  • Little Miss Badass: Hinata, regardless of what she thinks.
    • Lady of War: And she's working up to this, as far as Naruto's concerned.
  • Local Hangout: Ichiraku Ramen. Kurenai sometimes takes the team to Moritake's (her favorite restaurant) when she wants to talk about something serious.
  • Loophole Abuse: Misato, Shino's mother, knows a secret fighting style involving kama which she was instructed to not teach to anyone outside the Hidden Mist Village. Since Shino was actually born there, she sees no harm in passing it down to him.
  • Love Epiphany: Hinata realizes that what she feels for Naruto is not merely admiration or a crush while watching over him after the battle with Orochimaru in the Forest of Death.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Kurenai believes this is what happened to her original team. The details are expounded on chapter 22.
  • Mama Bear: Kurenai is mildly disturbed to realize that she would put the safety of Naruto, Hinata and Shino above the village, if it came down to that. Exemplified in her talk with Jiraiya, which can best be summed up as: "Don't you DARE corrupt my kids."
  • Master of Illusion: Kurenai, of course. Unlike the manga, she's shown actually being able to kick ass with it. To the point of being able to dispel the Tsukuyomi while under its effects.
  • Meaningful Funeral: Kurenai receives one in chapter 21.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Kurenai, except that she's not an old man.
  • Mind Rape: Genjutsu in general, with Tsukuyomi being the crowner.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • After the team shows remarkable skill, not to mention a fair bit of luck, in taking down a spy who stole documents from the Hokage, Hinata's father confronts her, demands that she use a similar crippling technique on her little sister, then when she hesitates, he accuses her of talking up her own contribution, and sets out to teach her a lesson about advanced Jyuuken techniques. All night long. Cue scene change to Shino's family, who have similarly heard about the incident, praise his efforts and skills and tell him how proud they are.
    • In Chapter 11, following their dinner with the Aburame Clan and Shibi apologizing to Naruto on behalf of their clan, Naruto and Hinata play a game of tag that leads to their first encounter with Gaara.
  • Moral Myopia: During their battle at the Chuunin Exam, Kiba and Akamaru use Gatsuuga on Shino... and when Kiba sees his partner was wounded?
    Kiba: You Bastard!! You hurt Akamaru!
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Shadow clones. Good for supply gathering, gardening, and making take-out runs. Of course, this was sort of a given, as Naruto's first solution to any problem seems to be 'throw a bunch of clones at it'.
    • Shino's kikai bugs are also highly versatile. It's not just devouring enemies' chakra, or even just tagging and tracking; he can also use them to weaken the load-bearing timbers of a house for demolition, or clear pests from a garden.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Spoofed in chapter 14. Naruto and Kurenai have a very serious talk regarding the Kyuubi. Given the seriousness of the matter involved, Naruto decides for once in his life to be silent. Cut to a scene of Iruka suddenly getting shivers, reacting as if a major violation of the Universe's laws was happening.
  • Mythology Gag: Hinata faints when Naruto returns from training with Jiraiya. Of course, this time it is less because she is a Shrinking Violet and more because she sees him naked in the shower via the Byakugan.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Despite Hinata's increased training and confidence, Neji still beats her within an inch of her life in the Chuunin Exam preliminaries. It's actually worse than canon, with Hinata's poor self-esteem leading her to push herself beyond reasonable bounds.
    • In payback for the above, although it's not a complete Curb-Stomp Battle, Naruto brutalises Neji when they meet in the finals, finishing up by ripping Neji's face open when he's already virtually unconscious. He actually had a more generous motive than it appears; that strike disrupted and removed the Caged Bird Seal that held Neji in slavery.
      Sakura: I never thought Naruto could be so... brutal.
    • To a lesser extent, Naruto's first sparring sessions with Lee and Gai, with the latter having Naruto describe it as 'knowing what a pachinko ball feels like'.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Shino invokes this in a positive way during his confrontation with the rest of his clan:
      Bataru Aburame: He's still a damn demon!
      Shino Aburame: No. He's the demon's jailor. We, of all people should understand that what someone holds inside themselves is not the sum total of their being. I've dealt with that issue among my peers, as I am sure each of you have done at some point. Many cannot look beyond our allies. The presence of kikai bugs hosted within our bodies makes it impossible for many to relate to us in any meaningful way. But just because I have two colonies of kikai doesn't mean I am a kikai… just as Uzumaki Naruto containing the Kyuubi no Kitsune doesn't mean he is the demon.
    • Naruto has a moment like this at the end of his fight with Gaara, but not only in relation to the similarity between him and his opponent, but also in the similarity between Gaara and Hinata. Basically, Naruto realizes both Gaara and Hinata were raised to believe their existence was worthless and meaningless. This revelation upsets him so much that he vows to fix it.
    • An external observation, but Kurenai realizes after a couple hours with Naruto that he has just as many self-esteem issues as Hinata. The revelation leaves her quite aggravated.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: Shino's kamas are hidden in his sleeves.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Played with by Maito Gai, of all people; although his speeches about the Power of Youth and generally overreacting to anything are part of his character, he is also aware that people tend to zone out when he's making those speeches and is not above using it to his advantage.
  • Oblivious to Love: Naruto to Hinata, even more so than in canon. It's remarked on and justified several times, but considering they spend every day together here, it's astonishing. Even Shino lampshades it. Justified by both Naruto's stunted emotional development keeping him from noticing the subtle cues ("How would he ever have had a chance to learn what love is?") and Hinata's lack of self-esteem and shyness keeping her from being more forward. Kurenai finally spits it out for Naruto in her letter to him in chapter 22.
  • Odd Friendship: Naruto and Shino eventually become good friends despite how different their personalities are. Naruto and Lee may count as an example too.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Invoked word for word (internally) when Naruto realises that the first stage of the Chunin exam is asking for math.
    • Shino, upon learning that Jiraiya has offered Naruto the summoning contract for toads (which are voracious insectivores). Because of his reaction and concerns about them potentially eating Shino, Naruto does not sign the contract. Only time will tell how this will affect his future battles.
    • Temari is terrified for Gaara's life during this version of his fight with Naruto in the forest outside the village.
    • Tsunade realises that her conversation with Hiashi, where Tsunade pretended to believe that Hinata is mediocre in order to trick Hiashi into accepting Hinata's apprenticeship, was overheard, crushing Hinata's spirits. Fortunately, she's able to clear the air.
      Tsunade: Now that the idiot is gone, I can tell you my real expectations.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Shino is the only member of the team who's not maladjusted in any way that matters.
    • The more humorous variant is also employed, with Naruto of all people being cast in the role whenever he interacts with Lee and/or Gai.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: When he's informed that his mother will soon be unavailable for their early morning training sessions, Shino at first asks why, but is quickly persuaded that he doesn't want to know.
  • Passing the Torch: In chapter 22, Gai presents Naruto with the turtle summoning contract and Naruto accepts.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: At the end of their fight, Naruto grabs the already beaten and defenseless Neji by the collar of his shirt and claws at his face with the Kyuubi chakra. Although he does get called on it, most spectators of the fight think it was done in retaliation for Neji almost killing Hinata during the preliminaries, so they don't really make a ruckus about it. The trope is actually subverted when the real reasons behind Naruto's actions are revealed later.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Sasuke actually gets one in Chapter 20, by clearly stating he doesn't want to let Itachi kill anyone else if he can help it.
    • Temari realizing that for once, she's not terrified of Gaara; she's terrified for Gaara.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Kurenai works very hard to avert this with her team. For instance, she tries to steer Naruto towards opening up more to his teammates, and works hard to get Shino to understand she's not favoring Naruto over the others by having him train with Gai's team.
    • Played for Laughs when Iruka comes into possession of a female underwear store, and asks the manager to keep it as their little secret. She apparently misunderstood, and responds by renaming the business from Pandora's Secret to Iruka's Secret.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Orochimaru refuses to attack the team in chapter 21 as fighting them and two sannin with only one arm would be too difficult. He still laments being unable to corrupt Tsunade though.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    Neji: That's impossible.
    Naruto: Just as impossible as fighting against fate. Just as impossible as fighting a Jyuuken user hand to hand.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • During the above-listed Heroic B.S.O.D., Naruto recounts the advice he received from an academy psychologist regarding making his first kill. Hinata does not take this well.
      Naruto: Well, he told me he didn’t think I’d have any problems at all... like I’m some monster that would probably enjoy killing.
      Hinata: That’s bullshit! [sudden horrified pause, claps both hands over her mouth]
    • Although his language is generally coarser, Naruto drops his first actual F bomb on Neji in chapter 19 (although it may be more of an F mine, since it's in the middle of a prepared speech).
    • Jiraiya drops the second F bomb of the fic in chapter 21, where he tells Naruto to train hard so he can someday beat Itachi, Kurenai's killer.
  • Properly Paranoid: When she hears about the stipulation for the tenth question of the Chuunin Examnote , Hinata suspects it was put in there specifically to sabotage Naruto's progress as a ninja. It wasn't, but she is correct in assuming that people in high places are plotting against Naruto.
  • Protectorate: Kurenai selects Naruto for the role of the heavy hitter of the team in order to protect his teammates in case something goes awry during a recon mission. Given that Hinata and Shino turn out to be his very first real friends, Naruto takes that obligation to heart.
  • Punched Across the Room: This is the conclusion of Naruto's match against Sasuke. As soon as they're told to begin, Naruto crosses the room in a blur, breaking Sasuke's jaw in one punch and landing him over three metres away, unconscious.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • In Chapter 20 Kurenai does the impossible and succeeds in dispelling Itachi's Tsukuyomi. The fact that she was able to pull such an act results in Itachi killing her on the spot.
    • A more humorous example happens in the next chapter, which is appropriately named for this trope. Tsunade does manage to beat Naruto in their duel. But she lost the bet that she would do so with only one finger when she opted to wring his neck.
  • The Quiet One: Shino. Him surprising Naruto by speaking quickly becomes a Running Gag.
  • A Rare Sentence: Lampshaded in that it was something he never thought he would say:
    Naruto: [to Rock Lee] Have you forgotten what Gai-sensei said?!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Naruto and Shino, respectively.
    • Also, Lee and Naruto, in a rare case of Naruto being the blue oni.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Chapter 24, Naruto asks Hinata to be his girlfriend, and she agrees. And then the story went on hiatus.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Sarutobi. Said almost literally.
  • The Rival: Played with in the relationship between Team 8 and Team 7. Though they are not enemies in the proper sense, at the beginning of the story they can't stand each other (in part thanks to the already present animosity between Naruto and Sasuke). However, as the story progresses and especially after the events of the Forest of Death, the members of each team start to understand (and in some cases, even respect) the members of the other team. They aren’t yet on the friendliest of terms, but at least they are more civil towards each other. One has to wonder how things will proceed between them now that Naruto has said to Sasuke that Team 8 also plans to hunt down Itachi because of what he did to Kurenai.
  • Running Gag:
    • "Lee!!" "Gai-sensei!!"
    • Naruto's ruminations on spoiled milk.
    • Although he's only done it twice, Naruto's slightly disturbing but surprisingly accurate metaphors.
    • Kunai appearing in Kurenai's hand when she gets angry.

    S - Z 
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Shino's parents have this dynamic.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: As head of the Hyūga, Hiashi has and exploits this.
  • Scrubbing Off the Trauma: Naruto is seen scrubbing his hands practically raw when coping with killing his first enemy and thinking he's a monster.
  • Self-Deprecation: Naruto demonstrates being more than willing to sometimes crack a joke at his own expense. More often than not, this ends up having a Dude, Not Funny! effect on his teammates.
    Naruto: Send themnote  my grades from the Academy. Let them know they were scared of the 'dead last' in his class.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Kurenai tells the Sandaime it'd be a miracle if the way the villagers have treated Naruto doesn't result in this.
  • Serious Business: The protocol of respect and proper behavior in the Hyūga clan. Hiashi is even willing to separate Hinata from a distraught Naruto during Kurenai's funeral just so he doesn't look bad. Thankfully, Kakashi and Asuma won't have any of this, and let him know quite clearly. Threateningly.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Shino. Exaggerated by his father, Shibi.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Used (sometimes word for word) by Naruto whenever Jiraiya teases him about his relationship with Hinata.
  • Ship Tease: Obviously, there is a fair amount of it between Naruto and Hinata, but Shikamaru/Temari and Iruka/Kurenai also receive a few scenes of this.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • There's Kurenai, Shino, Ayame, Sakura, and Jiraiya, all for NaruHina. It says something when even the local Eldritch Abomination thinks they're a decent enough match. (Although, its exact words are "Perhaps you'd make good breeding stock.")
    • Shino's mother appears to be partly teasing and partly serious about how well Shino gets along with Tenten.
    • Naruto teases Iruka about getting a visit from Kurenai while the former is in the hospital after trying to stop the kidnapping of Hanabi and Konohamaru.
      Naruto: All right, Iruka-sensei!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lines from The Matrix and Star Wars are occasionally added almost word for word. These are not quotations by the characters, of course, but nice little stealth references.
    • A shout-out to Morpheus of The Matrix from chapter 3:
      Kurenai: Very good, both of you. Adaptation, Improvisation. But your weaknesses are not your techniques.
    • The title of chapter 11, "My Dinner with Aburame," is a Literary Allusion Title to My Dinner with Andre.
    • In chapter 11, Naruto says Never Tell Me the Odds! word for word.
    • A significant one to The Terminator during Naruto's fight with Neji:
      "There is no fate but what we make."
    • It's worth noting that Gai refers to the boss of the turtle summons as the Friend of All Children.
    • Also, the high-level turtle summons referred to as The Four on account of their refusal to be summoned separate from each other and their "occidental names that are ridiculous and difficult to pronounce".
    • All of the turtle summons appear to be shout outs. So far, aside from the above mentioned Friend of All Children and the Four, we've seen Squirtle, Genji, and Clothahump.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Hinata has too many self-esteem issues to truly qualify, but she is slowly getting there. Besides her many moments of combat prowess, the best example might be when she is interrogated by Hiashi about Naruto using the Kyuubi’s chakra during the border patrol mission. Despite being utterly terrified of her father, Hinata deduces he wants that information for nefarious purposes, so she decides, much to her own surprise, to not reveal anything, claiming she didn’t see what happened (technically true, but she was told all about it afterward, so she could have answered his questions if she'd wanted to). The deception works and a frustrated Hiashi dismisses her.
  • Sinister Scythe: Misato dual wields a pair of kama and eventually, so does Shino.
  • Sixth Ranger: Neji and/or Sasuke have a similar role when Team 7 and/or Team Gai act in tandem with Team 8, given how distant and aloof they act towards their teammates.
  • Sleep Cute:
    • Happens accidentally with Naruto and Hinata; Hinata can't keep her eyes open and nods off, her head against Naruto's shoulder, while Naruto is too panicked to move an inch because of this. It actually makes Shino laugh.
    • Happens again in the Forest of Death, when Hinata falls asleep on Naruto's shoulder after he's left comatose during the fight with Orochimaru.
  • The Smart Guy:
    • Shino. He, among other things, figures out Naruto is the Nine-tails Jinchuuriki all by himself.
    • Kiba and Sasuke also refer to Sakura as “the brain” of their team.
  • So Proud of You: Kurenai admits that she might have put unfair pressure on Naruto, but tells him that he lived up to all of it. In her will, unfortunately. But she was always a supportive and caring Parental Substitute while alive, too.
  • Spanner in the Works: Naruto becomes this in chapter 17 and 18. During the invasion to Konoha, Kurenai orders Naruto to use his chakra pulse (see Chekhov's Skill above) to remove the genjutsu that Kabuto put on the stadium. Naruto creates such a giant pulse that it covers the entire village with impressive results: By pure accident, the pulse ends up not only dispelling the genjutsu but making Orochimaru's plan fall to pieces. The nature of this trope is even pointed out by S'TarKan in his Author's Notes regarding said chapter.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: At present, Haku, Hayate and Hiruzen Sarutobi.
  • Stations of the Canon: Although there are major differences from canon (including the removal of the Land of Waves arc), the fanfic still has many significant events and arcs from Part 1, such as the Chuunin Exams, the Invasion of Konoha, and the Search for Tsunade (albeit distinctly modified). However, the story is to go down the road towards ultimate defiance; the initial nail in question is set well before the anime opens, and will eventually causes the narrative to part with established canon altogether. Granted, this is largely because the fic itself was fully outlined before posting, and so contradicts many subsequent plot points and revelations made in canon.
  • The Stoic: Shino, of course.
    • Not So Stoic: He yells for medics after Hinata's brutal beatdown by Neji. He soon followed that with the most fierce display of Tranquil Fury in the story.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Naruto gets all starry-eyed over the explosive tags sold by Tenten's father. He's also ecstatic upon discovering that trees can explode, despite being caught in the blast radius because he was the one who made it blow up with an overcharged electric attack. Kurenai, by contrast, is not pleased.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: Haku gleefully throws his body in front of Orochimaru's blade to protect the Hokage rather than try to block it or throw it off course. It gets subverted because the Third Hokage won't have any of it.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality:
    • Shino, as the story goes along. Stoic, logical, quiet, at one point, not quite used to human contact outside of his family and will fuck you up proper if you hurt his friends.
    • According to Misato, Shibi is as well.
  • Take That!:
    • There's one against Sasuke and Sakura when Naruto is contemplating Hinata and Shino learning his secret shortly after their first mission outside the village. Sakura didn't learn about Kurama until after the timeskip, while Sasuke acknowledged Kurama's presence during their fight at the end of Part I.
      "His teammates would have to have been extremely dense or self-centered for him to be able to conceal his differences for much longer".
    • A more obvious one happens in Chapter 8, after Naruto has killed two people in the previous battle.
      "Naruto did not sleep well that night. Of course, that was like saying Sasuke was a little stuck up or that Sakura was slightly enamored of him."
      "In other words, a massive understatement."
  • Taking You with Me: Exploited by Kurenai to defeat Itachi's tsukuyomi. She knows that if the village ever turned against Naruto as her recurring waking nightmare shows, then he would eventually unleash the Kyuubi's full power on them all. By turning the horror around into a scene of justice triumphing, and squashing Itachi's illusory presence like a bug for good measure, she's able to break out.
  • Team Chef: Hinata. Overlaps with Supreme Chef and Chef of Iron, Type 1.
  • Team Dad: The Hokage, especially to Naruto.
  • Team Mom: As the Jonin instructor of Team 8, Kurenai naturally fills this role, and she's the closest thing to a mother figure that Naruto and Hinata have. Guess how Naruto reacts after she's murdered?
  • Tempting Fate: Good news, Kurenai, you won't have to take your own life to preserve your dignity.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In chapter 3, Naruto tries to compliment Hinata on how she's worried about doing her fair share of the work a D-rank mission where they do housework for an injured homeowner and not avoiding it altogether like he believes other girls would. With each word out of his mouth, he fails harder, and harder, and harder.
  • There Are No Therapists: The one that's actually mentioned turns out to be an asshole, making this a moot point. Kurenai, on the other hand, makes an adequate stand-in.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Naruto after his first kill. Hinata and Kurenai snap him out of it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The entirety of Team 8. All three of them are way above where they were in canon at this point in the story.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Sakura overhears Naruto talking to Lee about how mean she is, as opposed to Sasuke calling her annoying, and resolves to become a better person. Like in canon, Neji also does a Heel–Face Turn after fighting Naruto, and receiving a far more savage beatdown.
  • Training from Hell:
    • Naruto starts working out with Guy and Lee to improve his taijutsu skills. Later in full effect when Naruto trains with them 3 times a day while Hinata is in hospital after the Preliminaries. Especially when Gai himself spars with Naruto.
    • Eventually, Team 7 demands this from Kakashi in light of Team 8's successes.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • Shino after Neji cruelly demolishes Hinata in the Chuunin Exam preliminaries:
      Shino: What variety of flowers would be appropriate?
      Tenten: What?
      Shino: For your teammate’s funeral.
    • Also this, after Naruto returns the favor to Neji in the finals:
      Shino: We are establishing a precedent regarding acceptable behavior towards allies and team members. To that end, we propose to demonstrate a willingness to use any and all means to obtain an equitable response, ranging from coercion, influence, and tactical intelligence, to, as needed, extreme levels of physical violence.
    • His reaction to the WHAM event in Chapter 20, while said in a cold but level tone, is enough to send chills down an eavesdropping Sasuke's spine.
    • Before the confrontation of his clan's elders, he tells his father just what he thinks of the air of passive-aggression and hatred toward Naruto; it's described as the Aburame equivalent of screaming himself hoarse and setting all their houses on fire.
      • Hinata also invokes this in Snapped. Didn't do her as much good as it does for Shino, but it was still pretty awesome.
  • Trap Master: Shino notes that Sakura appears to have a talent for setting up effective traps.
  • Trash Talk: Shino winces when he observes Sasuke telling Naruto before their match that, "I hope you put up a better fight than your pathetic teammate," internally reflecting that that kind of psychological warfare is valid in many circumstances, but that he wouldn't recommend it in this case. Sure enough, Naruto is incensed enough to draw on a little of the Kyuubi's chakra, speeding him up enough to cross the arena and break Sasuke's jaw the moment they're told to begin.
  • True Companions: One of the core elements of the story is seeing the members of the eponymous team turn into this as time goes on. Especially in the case of Naruto and Hinata, as the team eventually becomes their main solace, due to their horrible childhoods and the team being the closest thing they have to a real family.
  • Try Not to Die:
    • Anko's standard encouragement for the Forest of Death section of the Chuunin exam.
    • Naruto receives this advice from the Kyuubi before it uses its chakra to dispel the seal Orochimaru placed on him.
  • Twitchy Eye: The primary way of gauging Shino's mood is the position of his eyebrows.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Hinata puts herself through the wringer to rescue Hanabi, her younger sister, from a trio of missing nins that kidnapped her. Hanabi is not impressed.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Naruto using the Nine-tails chakra for the first time.
    • Also implied when Kurenai explains the situation with Hinata and her Big, Screwed-Up Family to Jiraiya: She wouldn't put it past Hiashi to arrange Hinata's death, possibly via Make It Look Like an Accident; if that were to happen, Naruto (and most likely Shino) will retaliate, consequences be damned.
      Jiraiya: It's that serious?
    • Kurenai also turns an illusory Naruto's unstoppable rage against Itachi in the middle of his Tsukuyomi to escape it, using the knowledge that if the village ever murdered her and his friends — especially Hinata — in front of him, Naruto would fully surrender to the Kyuubi and let it destroy them all.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Hinata may not be his girlfriend but one way to get her to stop fretting over her own flaws is to endanger Naruto in any way.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 20. Not only does Itachi arrive in search of Naruto, but he kills Kurenai in the process.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kurenai to Hinata, regarding her suicidal motives in her fight with Neji, believing that she didn't care how her team would react if she died.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Naruto's reliance on his Kage Bunshin is remarked on. It's not his only technique but it is the most convenient.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Most of the interactions that Kurenai has with Hinata are aimed at Hinata realizing that, regardless of what her father or her family thinks of her, she does have worth.
    Kurenai: Would Naruto agree with your father? And given how much time you spend with each other, who would you say has the more accurate estimation of your ability?
  • You Are Not Alone: Naruto has this revelation during Kurenai's funeral. After bottling up his emotions for most of the day, he finally breaks down and starts crying. It doesn't pass much time before Hinata and Shino appear at his side to comfort him.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • Naruto's standard tactic, as usual. Special mention goes to the final stretch in the Forest of Death, the team realizes that there are probably several traps and opponents between them and the castle and stealth may not get them far. But then Naruto realizes, "We don't have to conceal that we were here, we just have to make it impossible for anyone to pick us out before we reach the finish line." Cue Kage Bunshin.
    • In the Sound and Sand invasion, Naruto spends 30 Kage Bunshin to disable a Sound jonin.