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Literature / Real Ultimate Power

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Hi, this book is all about ninjas, REAL NINJAS. This book is awesome. My name is Robert and I can't stop thinking about ninjas. These guys are cool; and by cool, I mean totally sweet.

Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book is a very dark and satirical book, by an unknown author going by the pseudonym of Robert Hamburger. It's based off the parody website of the same name.


Robert Hamburger loves ninjas, and considers them the epitome of awesomeness. Because they are so, totally sweet, he has to share his "knowledge" of the ways of the ninja with everyone, including their prowess at flipping out, killing people, and having sex. This is the intended purpose of this book.

However, in between the various discourses about ninja "facts," snippets of Robert's real life get disclosed, revealing the truth: that Robert is an extremely lonely and maladjusted teenager with a metric ton of personal issues, using his ninja fantasies as a form of escapism.


This book provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Robert's parents take this to insane extremes.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Other than ADHD, Robert has a variety of anger and identity issues that nobody in his life can help him work through.
  • Ass Shove: According to the book, the only reliable way to determine if someone is a ninja is to do this to them with a frozen carrot of all things, then observe their reaction.
  • Author Avatar: In-book, the stories featuring Roberq the little hippo.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The book ends with Robert running away with his dog, winding up someplace neither of them know where.
  • Covers Always Lie: As per the page quote above, which is not what the book is really about.
  • Covert Pervert: Robert's babysitter John, who got in trouble attempting to foist his adult baby fetish on others, and only babysits Robert because his family is apocalyptically cheap.
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  • Et Tu, Brute?: Robert feels chronically betrayed by friends who like him less than he feels they should. This comes to a head when he finds out John is babysitting someone else on the side.
  • Footnote Fever: The footnotes are mainly conversations between Robert and his parents, his babysitter, or his dog.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Robert talks like this, unless he's quoting someone who's cursing.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Robert's parents openly denigrate him and winnow away his self-worth. Often through the medium of uppercutting him, or trying to change their names so as to not associate with him.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: It's readily apparent Robert doesn't have much of a clue about most of the things he talks about, starting with ninjas.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: Played with, with all the "real" accounts of ninjas or people who have encountered ninjas.
  • Memetic Badass: invoked All ninjas, according to Robert.
  • The More You Know: Parodied: John the babysitter occasionally uses ninjas to try and teach Robert about philosophy or mathematics.
  • Musical Assassin: Ninjas are apparently so awesome they can make enemies explode just by strumming on guitars.
  • Pirates vs. Ninjas: The Trope Namer, as far as we can tell.
  • Precocious Crush: Robert has one on a mother of three, whom he expresses in the medium of movie scripts. When she spurns his attention, he expresses his falling-out in the form of a movie script.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ninjas and hippos. Ninjas solve their problems with super-violence, wail on guitars, and pork hot babes. Hippos take things as they come, and while they do party, are substantially more chill.
  • The Runaway: There are several "real" accounts of kids who ran away to become ninjas. The ending implies that Robert himself ran away from home with Francine.
  • Seppuku: Described. It involves swallowing a folded-up Frisbee.
  • Strangely Arousing: Robert brags about popping his first boner, obtained when he peeked on a woman changing her clothes and saw a fat orange cat licking itself.
  • Surprise Creepy: Again, this book is not actually about ninjas.
  • There Are No Therapists: Robert was on Ritalin at one point. Ultimately, nobody seems capable of giving him a sympathetic ear or worthwhile advice, or else Robert becomes alienated from him. And thus he runs away to an unknown fate.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: invoked Literal example: "Exhibit A: History Paper on Ritalin" vs. "Exhibit B: History Paper off Ritalin". Funnily enough, both are cases of Critical Research Failure.
  • Unbuilt Trope: While mostly remembered for its ninja jokes, the book may not be inaccurately described as a bathos-laden parody of social tragedy.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When they're not having sex, ninjas are constantly "flipping out and killing people".
  • Weak Sauce Weakness: A ninja's greatest weakness is apparently "super-scary ghost stories".
  • Wish Fulfillment: Robert's "knowledge" about ninjas mostly amounts to this.
  • X-Ray Vision: Ninjas have it. Given the kind of person Robert is, guess how he says they use it.
  • You Are What You Hate: Robert is utterly exasperated by kids who are overly-obsessed with singular fictional topics (like robots) to the point where they have difficulty behaving normally.
  • You Keep Using That Word: The glossary in the back clears up that Robert doesn't know what, among other things, Frenching actually entails.


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