Gordon: He couldn't possibly mean...
Cheetah Lee: Cats and Dogs?
Gordon: No, Bruce tried that one years ago.
Cheetah Lee: Dinosaurs and Laser-Penguins?
Gordon: They disarmed.
Cheetah Lee: So it must be Ninjas...
Gordon: ...and Pirates.
In fiction, pirates' most hated enemies usually seem to be ninjas, and vice-versa. The fact that real life Caribbean pirates and Japanese ninjas didn't even live in the same time period, much less the same hemisphere, is irrelevant thanks to the Rule of Cool. That being said the idea of a ninja/pirate matchup is not really that absurd; while they would have never met a stereotypical Caribbean pirate, ninjas did coexist in the same region and time period with a different stripe of pirate, the Wokou, and it is not out of the realm of possibility there were conflicts between the two profession. In fact, some bands of ninja actually operated as pirates themselves on the side. Go figure.
- This ad for Juicy Drop Pop has a pirate vs. ninja fight it out using said product.
- In the Samurai Champloo episode "Bogus Booty", Mugen (who isn't a stereotypical pirate but has done some "pirating") squares off against some ninjas.
- In One Piece, the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance must battle against the forces of the Beasts Pirates and the corrupted Wano government led by Orochi. On both sides of the conflict, there are pirates and ninjas facing off against each other.
- In this short 2011 film entitled simply, Pirates vs. Ninjas, a lone pirate and ninja battle over a chest of gold.
- Treachery and a Dead Man's Promise features pirates vs. time traveling ninjas.
- This animated short called Ninja vs. Pirate features a ninja vs. a pirate IN SPACE! (It crosses into Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot territory as well, as the pirate is a cyborg and his henchmen are robots.)
- Code Geass: Awesome of the Rebellion introduces a Pirate Geass and a Ninja Geass, used by Awesome and Zaber, respectively. Awesome specifically got the Pirate Geass because it was the only thing that could rival the Ninja Geass.
- An episode of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger has all three core members of Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger turn up, demanding their powers back. The episode is actually called Pirates vs Ninjas.
- Deadliest Warrior averted and defied this trope. While the aim was to solve rivalries like this, they didn't do this one, though both pirate and ninja were featured (Ninja vs. Spartan and Pirate vs. Knight: the Ninja lost, as it turns out the Spartan shield is truly something to behold — with the spear being none too shabby either — while the Pirate beat the Knight, as firearms gave a decisive advantage).
- The "Brown Islands" setting in the Discworld Roleplaying Game sets up the possibility of a pirate-ninja clash. Some flavor text in the second edition of the game features an angst-ridden ninja who has been assigned to infiltrate pirate society...
The problem was, his lengthy immersion in the attitudes of his new shipmates had caused him to develop doubts about the practicality of his previous training despite the fact that his upbringing and grasp of subtlety made him fully aware of the ludicrousness of his shipmates behaviour. So now, although he could both scream while hurling a throwing star and go Yah! while wielding a cutlass, he couldnt quite keep a straight face while doing either. He didnt fit in anywhere.
- As mentioned above, in Ninja Burger one of the obstacles is rival food delivery company Pirate Pizza.
- Pirates and Ninjas are two of the factions in Smash-Up, a card game where the players combine two decks representing a faction like "Aliens" or "Dinosaurs" and fight it out against another player's combination. So you could have Pirates and Tricksters vs. Ninjas and Aliens, or Pirates and Ninjas vs. Dinosaurs and Robots.
- The King of Fighters XI has B. Jenet, a Pirate girl vs. Mai Shuranui, a Ninja girl, which is quite possibly the hottest Cat Fight in gaming.
- AdventureQuest Worlds and DragonFable both have an ongoing conflict between Pirates and Ninjas... Amongst other supernatural things.
- Saints Row 2 has the "Fuzz" Activity, a side quest where you're a Cop on a reality TV show, and you have to stop randomly generated crimes. One of them is to "Break up the Fight of the Century," which when you arrive at the checkpoint turns out to be a gang of pirates fighting a gang of ninjas.
"Attention all cars, this is dispatch, we have Pirates vs Ninjas, repeat, Pirates vs Ninjas."
- On one quest in World of Warcraft ("Our Mortal Enemies") where you've infiltrated a pirate band, the pirates send you on a mission to attack their mortal enemies... ninjas!
- Fire Emblem Gaiden released in 1992 averted this trope. One of the game's classes is the Ninja Based Dread Fighter, and yet all of the default characters, and Mooks of the class in the game are stereotypical pirates complete with eyepatches.
- A Google search reveals multiple Flash games on the theme.
- There is a game for Nintendo Wii called "Pirates Vs Ninjas Dodgeball".
- The first Tenchu game has a mission ('Destroy The Foreign Pirates' on USA and Europe version, 'Invasion Of The Southern Barbarian Pirates' on Japanese version) where your ninjas are to destroy a band of bloodthirsty pirates who sailed in from Europe.
- Atari's 1989 game Skull & Crossbones is the Ur-Example; it allowed the players to play as pirates fighting against ninjas.
- League of Legends usually uses this trope to hype on the announcements of certain Champions. So far they have 2 pirates, Gangplank and Miss Fortune (the latter is more like Pirate Hunter rather than true pirate, however) and 4 ninjas, Shen, Kennen, Akali and Zed (the last one is evil). While they do not interact much in the lore, there was once an event about the Noxus attacking Ionia, where the ninjas were stationed. Both Gangplank and Miss Fortune were included in the Noxus pool of champions, whereas the ninjas minus Zed (who wasn't announced yet when the event took place) were included in the Ionia pool of champions. The result: Ionia wins, thus the Ninjas win.
- Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior allows you to play as ninjas and pirates (out of 6 classes), so you could easily settle this debate with your friends.
- In the Scribblenauts games, spawning a pirate and a ninja close to each other will cause them to fight. In Scribblenauts Unlimited, this is required to get one of the starite shards.
- A Neopets Games Master Challenge used this exact theme. The Ninjas came out on top in the end.
- Splatoon had the Halloween 2015 American Splatfest themed after this. The event's introduction called out the sheer silliness of this "rivalry".
Callie: It's time to settle a rivalry as old as time itself!
Marie: Yeah! Wait... What?
- The third Fancy Pants Adventures game involves Fancy Pants Man fighting his way through a pirate ship, which eventually gets invaded by the pirates' sworn enemies, an army of miniature ninjas.
- Castle Crashers includes some Pirate Ninjas as enemies in one level.
- Likewise, the Borderlands 2 DLC campaign Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty also includes some Pirate Ninjas as enemies.
- A mission in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion capitalizes on this trope. One of the earliest missions of the Dark Brotherhood, a guild of assassins that specialize in stealth and who typically wear ninja-like skin-tight black garbs, is to sneak aboard a pirate ship and kill the captain.
- In PewDiePie's Tuber Simulator, a Pirate vs. Ninja themed event was held on early 2017 April, which had Pirates and Ninjas accessories for sale. Players can use the furniture and accessories to decorate their rooms.
- In Final Fantasy XIV, some of the Ninja job quests pit you against Limsa Lominsa's resident pirates. On one occasion, they've even picked up on some basic ninjutsu from a traitor, making them ninja pirates.
- Return of the Dark Sorcerer creates an Eastern RPG version with Moogles vs. Prinnies.
- Referenced in New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward: Throughout the game, Eliza auditions for various genre movies in detailed home-made costumes. She appears dressed as a ninja in Maple Drive, and after failing to get the part, reappears on the beach dressed as a pirate, where she says that "Pirates are cooler than ninjas, anyway".
- Ikemen Sengoku: Time-traveling astrophysics student-turned-ninja Sasuke's route has a climactic fight between him and mad pirate Motonari Mouri on the deck of his ship. Sasuke, being Sasuke, lampshades this:
Sasuke: I believe it's time to settle the fated battle between pirates and ninja once and for all — luckily, fate's on my side.
- This trope is a major plot point of How to Kill a Mockingbird, where Boo Radley's pirate crew has to battle armies of ninjas in order to uncover the secret to killing the mockingbird.
- The Order of the Stick: This comic references the Pirates Vs. Ninjas debate.
Haley: Ah, Ninja vs. Pirate, the age-old debate.
Belkar: And by "age-old" she means "showed up on the internet like two years ago, at most."
- Questionable Content has Pintsize (the AnthroPC—a PC/robot) steal Faye's panties and pretend he's an Underwear Ninja. Faye responds by sticking a bra 'round her head like a pirate eyepatch, thus becoming, in Pintsize's words, "A Bra Pirate! The nemesis of all Underwear Ninja." Marten's response? To paraphrase, "WTF?"
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja:
- According to the doctor, pirates and ninjas originally became rivals because the ninjas thought it would be funny.
- The McNinja clan of ninja got its start when a pirate band attacked Ireland in winter and the villagers counterattacked using frozen four-leaf clovers as shuriken. A ninja who happened to witness this decided they had potential and trained them.
- The "Ninjas vs. Pirates" wallpaper from the Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures download page is a uniquely Amberish take on the subject. There's actually a funny story behind it...
- Saudi Arabia and Somalia's fight in Scandinavia and the World, considering that Somalia is a pirate, and Saudi Arabia is a 'ninja'note
- Subverted in 70-Seas, the ragtag crew of Privateers includes a ninja, ten-year old Nikol Mimagi. Who has some disagreements with the others, particularly concerning Honor Before Reason (or just a child rebelling against adoptive parent, considering her age and how Serra tends to treat her), but she doesn't particularly have anything against pirates.
- Charby the Vampirate has decimated the local ninjas in Kellwood, though he hasn't properly been a pirate for a few hundred years he does still talk like one during fights.
- In Girl Genius Captain Hawkins' recovering Sky Pirates end up fighting a group of Smoke Knights over possession of Tarvek. The fight ends when they are forced to team up against Martellus' spark hound knights and his personal assassin when that group interrupts their fight looking to kill Tarvek.
- Death Battle features a match-up between Sanji the pirate cook from One Piece and Rock Lee from Manga/Naruto, over a plate of curry that Sanji made and Lee criticized. Sanji wins.
- The Trope Maker is Real Ultimate Power, which pitched the concept as a parody movie script. It soon took on a life of its own, now appearing in vastly varying media.
- Wikipedia has a page about the phenomenon, discussing the debate over "who would win."
- Know Your Meme also has a page about it, describing its origins.
- Pirates versus Ninja by MonkeySeed on DeviantArt has chibi pirates and ninjas fighting it out.
- The epic AlternateHistory.com timeline Look to the West, having established much earlier that Russian adventurism in Japan has led to Nindzhyas in the Tsar's service, naturally has them fight in the Crimea. And since the Turks have conscripted Barbary pirates from the recently reconquered Algiers...
- The Darkness of Stupid Mario Brothers invokes this trope on purpose by recruiting Pirates against Ganondorf's Ninjas.
- Averted in PurpleEyesWTF's video Pirates and/or Ninjas. Despite heated debate in a crossover between Naruto from LittleKuriboh's Ninjabridge series and Luffy from the video author's show None Piece, the characters come to terms with each other in a way only a video made by PurpleEyesWTF can.
- Several episodes of the web series Ask a Ninja reference the pirate/ninja feud.
- In a Fourth-Wall Mail Slot segment of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries "Q&A" (#6 with Fitz), the final question was "pirates, or ninjas?" Lizzie and Fitz end up having a friendly argument about who would win in a fight. See it here.
- In the Ninja the Mission Force episode "The Clones of Bruce", Bruce hires pirates (ancient enemies of the Ninja) to smuggle a piece of the map to Ninja Island. At the end of the episode, Bruce sends out one of his minions — Pirate Ninja — to kill Cheetah Lee.
Pirate Ninja: Yes.
Cheetah Lee: I don't think you can be both.
Pirate Ninja: Bigot! I will kill you for trying to make me choose sides.
- An episode of the animated TV series is named after this trope. The Mega Weapon resurrects the pirates that the flying ship "Destiny's Bounty" used to belong to, and they start attacking Ninjago City. The ninjas (along with Nya in the Samurai X mech) manage to stop them and send them to jail.
- The sixth season, Skybound, uses this theme again with the Sky Pirates variation. The ninjas' main opponent is Nadakhan, who is captain of "Misfortune's Keep" and a wish-granting Djinn.
- The Wokou (East Asian pirates) mentioned above show this trope could be Truth in Television to a certain extent. However, Wokou would hardly have been the primary enemies of ninja; they were spies and assassins, not privateers, so conflict between the two professions would probably not have been common. Not to mention that some ninja moonlighted as Wokou, so the whole "you can't be both idea" is just straight-up fiction.
- The direct action conservationist group Sea Shepherd have been called pirates by whalers, and they actually fly a flag with crossed trident and crook under a skull. On the other hand, Sea Shepherd has described some Japanese security guards being "dressed like ninjas".