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Manga / Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth

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Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth is a comical spinoff of Naruto written by Kenji Taira. note  As the title suggests, the manga focuses on Rock Lee, the Hot-Blooded Ninja who solves problems using only his fists. Joining him are the other members of Team Guy: Neji Hyūga, the serious, intelligent prodigy; Tenten, the Chinese weapons user; and Might Guy, Rock Lee's incredibly boisterous sensei. Together, they solve problems and fight evil ninjas in incredibly hot-blooded and awesome ways.

The manga is found in Saikyo Jump, the little brother to Shonen Jump that features similar shonen spinoff manga like Gourmet Gakuen Toriko, Chopperman!, and Dragon Ball SD. It also had a 51-episode anime adaptation, which premiered in Japan on April 3, 2012, replacing Bleach.


Those in the US who are interested can watch it on Crunchyroll or Hulu, where it's titled Naruto Spin-Off: Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals. There is also a Nintendo 3DS video game based off the series, Naruto SD Powerful Shippūden.

Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth contains incredibly youthful tropes, such as...

  • The Ace: Naruto is sometimes depicted as someone who's highly respected for his strength. Kakashi and Guy are also well-respected and talented jounins, both greatly admired by Team Guy.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Lee was just a side character in the original series with occasional arcs. Here he is the main character.
    • Believe itnote  or not, Naruto himself. In the manga he's more of a side character while in the anime he's pretty much been upgraded to main character status, even taking the role of Guy in some of the chapters adapted from the manga. Episode 3-A is a good example.
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  • Adaptational Villainy: Sasuke is treated with little sympathy in this series, and there is no redemption for him in the finale.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Almost everyone are noticeably weaker in this series to the point a kage-level character like Gaara in one episode is easily beaten by a random hooligan. Subverted in the final episode, which has Naruto, Sasuke, and Lee every bit as powerful as they were in the cannon series.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • Tenten gets more character development and screentime here than she does in Naruto. She essentially is the main heroine here. Chapters 6, 15, and 35 of the manga have her as the main focus.
    • There are a few stories that focus on the Akatsuki and explores their personalities and shenanigans more than the original series. Deidara in particular gets more development in the anime, since he helps out the heroes in the second half of his first appearance and, while not entirely all good-natured, in the episode with all the Akatsuki members.
    • The anime expands on the manga chapters to the point where some of them are quite different. Compare Chapter 16 and Episode 38, for instance.
  • Adapted Out: Only some of the manga's chapters have been adapted into the anime.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: In Episode 47-A, Kisame thinks his Empathic Sword Samehada is a dog until Tobi tells him at the end.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Inherited from the original source material (sans the Running Gag of Neji's apparent attraction to Hinata). As opposed to the original — which liked to pretend to veer away from this trope but maintained it via a myriad of implicit and explicit narrative sleights of hand until the manga finally ended and The Last: Naruto the Movie was released only a month afterwards — here the status quo is unabashedly frozen in a time capsule, exaggerated and Played for Laughs like everything else.
  • All There in the Manual: Lee pretty much just says to refer to the main series to learn about Sasuke's backstory, as there's not nearly enough time to tell it.
  • Animation Bump: The first half of the final episode has a clear case of very upgraded animation for the sake of the fighting scenes, though it's briefly dropped with some Stylistic Suck when it's lampshaded.
  • Anti-Villain: Deidara. Although he rivals Orochimaru in the first half of Episode 30, he eventually enjoys himself in the second half while helping the heroes set up a festival, even taking away his bomb so it doesn't destroy the festival as thanks.
  • Art Evolution: Not a drastic one, but the manga art gets less detailed as the series goes on. This is especially noticeable whenever characters are shown in profile or 3/4 view.
  • Art Shift:
    • Done rather literally in episode 1-B, where Naruto shifts to normal proportions and back when the narrator mentions he's the protagonist of the main show.
    • In Episode 48-A of the Anime, before leaving the village for a mission. Sai asks Lee (wearing an ANBU Uniform) whether he has a penis. Lee confidently replies in the alternative. During the exchange, the two shift from their chibi SD style to their original character design in the main Naruto: Shippuden series.
    • In Episode 22-A, Lee lets it slip to Guy and Kakashi that their teammates helped them do their summer assignments when it was explicitly forbidden and a change in art style ensues.
    • During the final episode, Naruto and Sasuke are briefly drawn in their non-Super-Deformed designs from Shippuden as well.
  • Ass Shove: The Thousand Years of Pain, Kakashi's ultimate attack. At one point, a mook straps sheet metal to his behind so he can block this. Might Guy, Lee, and Kakashi use their combined fingers to defeat him anyway.
    • In Chapter 6, Guy is in the wrong end of a massive blade swarm done by Tenten. In Chapter 10, Neji does it to Lee to crash into Shikamaru.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 5 and Episode 19 have stories based in the beach.
  • Big Brother Instinct
    • Neji takes his duty to look after his cousin Hinata very seriously.
    • Sister-wise, Temari is protective towards Gaara.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The manga ends at 39 chapters. '3-9' can also be read as 'san-kyu', or 'thank you'.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: What usually happens whenever someone asks Lee for advice outside of his expertise (Hinata asking for dating advice, Kankuro asking how to get closer to Gaara, etc.)
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: The manga in its entirety is based on a character making a dumb or wacky statement followed by an exasperated character scolding them.
    • Neji is pretty much the master of this. It's even incorporated into his Eight Trigrams 64 palms attack from the original series as the Eight Trigrams: 64 Tsukkomi and he tries to teach Hinata the ways of the tsukkomi in one episode. Of course, all of this technically is a subversion since Neji's The Comically Serious take on this makes him the boke.
    • While under the belief that the Akatsuki are a band of comedians, Lee's vision of them performing have Itachi and Kisame doing something similar. Oddly enough, the way the vision goes, Itachi seems to be the boke.
    • The Narrator was apparently part of one, and was the tsukkomi.
    • Episode 26-B gets really meta about this trope.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: Hironobu Kageyama (backed by Animetal USA):
    "Give Lee, give Lee, hashiri da ze..."note 
  • Bullying a Dragon: Hidan is all too eager to piss Pain off just so that he'll get bashed around by Shinra Tensei.
  • Butt-Monkey: Quite a few people apart from Lee himself and Naruto can not catch a break (though they'll get spared every now and then):
    • Neji, for starters, is always made to cross-dress against his will. Even he's aware of it.
    Why? Why is it always me?
    • Tsunade. In just her first appearance, she's crushed by enemies, knocked unconscious, and made bald. The rest of her appearances are less cruel to her (she tends to give out as much punishment as she takes), but they also tend to play up her legendary bad luck and gambling habits — The entire plots of Episodes 27-A and 40-A are caused because of it.
    • Yamato gets the short end of the stick in quite a few Funny Background Events in the anime.
    • Orochimaru, of all people. Every time he tries to infiltrate and attack Konoha, it usually ends with him nursing his injuries and cursing those meddling kids.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Mentioned by Tenten when she and Lee accidentally travel back in time in Chapter 37.
  • Call-Back:
    • During Episode 19, Guy recruits Tenten as a second commentator due to her being "in charge of punchlines". This is fresh off her Heroic BSoD in the previous episode, and she's still a bit bitter about it.
    • The girls realize that the recent food based episodes contributed to their weight gain in Episode 29-B, and Guy specifically flashbacks to the Beach Episode when Tsunade tells him that his training is likely too hard on them.
    • The fanservice failure of the first Hot Springs Episode is the motivation for the boys to peep in Episode 46.
    • Sasuke winning the popularity contest is given as the "reason" Lee's angry at him in the final episode.
  • The Cameo:
    • At the end of Episode 31-B, the Sound Four and Kimimaro (all of them supposed to be dead) show up to Orochimaru's birthday party.
    • Danzo appears in a flashback Sai has in Episode 48-A.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Tsunade thought it would be okay to let Lee have a sip of her Chakra Chateau, since it wasn't actually alcohol. One sniff of it later and he was in Drunken Fist mode.
  • Censor Box: Tsunade's face is covered by a censor box when the kids see her at the pool without her makeup.
  • Character Exaggeration: Neji goes from simply having Big Brother Instinct in the original series to being a Knight Templar Big Brother here. Neji explains that it's out of guilt for almost killing her during the Chunin Exams, but then again that doesn't explain his Crazy Jealous Guy antics.
  • Chivalrous Pervert:
    • Naruto and Lee. After Lee witnesses Naruto's Sexy Jutsu in Episode 1-B, Lee notes that he feels really excited. When Ino catches Lee and Naruto trying to peep on Sakura, and both proudly try to justify it. Konohamaru frequently joins in on their antics too.
    • When he shows up in Episode 46, Jiraiya naturally tops all three with his smooth yet perverted ways.
  • Chickification: In the original series, Sakura Zig-Zagged in and out of being an Action Girl and a major Faux Action Girl who didn't get many opportunities to fight but was still important as The Medic, and only had issues fighting Sasuke, her old teammate and the only guy she loves. Here, she's made into an absolute joke of a ninja, who becomes too terrified to fight back when surrounded by a group of supposedly tough ninja, so that Lee can repeatedly rescue her from danger.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: Juugo drops one in Episode 47-B during one of his rage fits.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Most of Lee's actions tend to be due to him not getting the message, as this is basically the plot of this series.
  • The Comically Serious: Part of the humor derived from the spinoff is that some characters remain completely unchanged from the original series despite the more lighthearted and comedic atmosphere of the spinoff. The most notable examples are Gaara, Kabuto, Itachi, Pain, Konan, Sasuke, and especially Neji.
  • Comic Trio: Tenten is generally the the Straight Man, while Lee is generally The Leader and Neji falls into the part of The Fool.
  • Confusion Fu: A lot of Lee's "new jutsus" are completely random and not quite ninja-like, which frequently throws his opponents and observers off.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The second ending contains a few chibified scenes from the series pre-timeskip.
    • In the third ending, some of the fight matchups are the same as they were in Shippuden — Sakura vs. Sasori, Shikamaru vs. Hidan, and Naruto vs. Pain.
    • When Gaara appears, his win against Lee in the Chunin Exams is usually referenced. Lee's somewhat gotten over this, but still challenges him in hopes of someday winning. Gaara finally accepts his challenge in the final chapter of the manga.
    • Temari's Curbstomp Battle against Tenten is noted in Episode 36-A.
    • Iruka and Ebisu blast themselves off with a nosebleed when aroused by the Sexy Jutsu for a bit too long in Episode 46.
    • Lee remembers his fight with Kimimaro when Jugo shows his abilities in Episode 47-B, which gets Jugo's attention.
    • In the final episode, Guy reminds Tsunade that Lee mistook her sake for water once.
    • Lee reminds Sasuke that he the only time he used his Sharingan's copying ability was to imperfectly copy his taijutsu, something Sasuke considers an embarrassment and Suigetsu finds hilarious.
    • While not exactly in continuity, in Chapter 27 Itachi delivers the same Badass Boast to Kisame that he did to Kabuto during the 4th Ninja World War.
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction: In Chapter 16 and/or Episode 38, when Rock Lee and Tenten (and Guy and Neji in the anime) needs to escape before the Akatsuki realizes they're spies, Lee accidentally knocks into Deidara causing him to drop his ready-to-explode bomb near Sasori. This eventually leads to the other members of the Akatsuki to accidentally attack each other which results into a fight among them, thus allowing the heroes the opportunity to escape.
  • Cool Pet: Episode 35-A focuses on Lee's team agreeing to look after most of the known pets of the cast. Despite not being included in the petsitting ensemble, Akamaru also shows up.
  • Covert Pervert:
    • Neji, full stop. There's his "thing" with Hinata, he uses his Byakugan to peek at Kakashi's Makeout books and there's times where he completely forgoes the "covert" part — when his mind is transferred into Sakura's body in Episode 23-A, the first thing he does is peek at Sakura's chest. In Chapter 36, he and Lee are blatantly undressing Kurenai in their minds.
    • Kabuto is a fan of the Makeout series.
    • Lampshaded in Episode 46, when the characters chosen for guarding the girls' bath are the series' closet perverts — Kakashi, Iruka, and Ebisu.
  • Cranial Eruption: In Episode 5, both Lee and Naruto invoke this on themselves to try to beat out each other in a height exam.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: We're stuck in a movie world, so let's rewrite the script to solve our problems! Unfortunately, the only thought in Lee's head when he's writing is Guy-sensei, so everybody turns into Guy clones whenever he does it.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Basically what causes Episode 20-B. A Rock Lee impostor named "Sock Lee" wreaks havoc on a mountain town that Team Gai happen to visit. They manage to lure him out by using Neji as bait, but then Tenten and Neji impostors show up.
  • Crowded Cast Shot: The whole village, yes that includes Ayame and Teuchi who are not even ninjas, appears to fight against Sasuke in the last episode.
  • Dancing Theme: The anime's first and fourth endings and second opening revolve around the characters dancing.
  • Dark Horse Victory: In Episode 40-A, who wins the Game of Life expy to get out of giving New Year's money to the kids? Shizune, who had not moved a single space until Tsunade was forced to switch with her!
  • Denser and Wackier: The entire series to the source material, since it focuses more on comedy. Not even Gaara is completely serious!
  • Don't Look at Me!: Neji at the end of ch. 1.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Episode 2 has one appear after Lee decides to force a kiss on Sakura.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Lee moves very quickly to make clones of himself, in order to emulate Naruto's Shadow Clone Jutsu. Then he does it in a bikini.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Lampshaded when Lee mistakes Hinata for Neji (despite her, uh, assets — not that they're very noticeable in chibi form); turns out that he really can't tell the Hyūga clan apart.
  • Dung Fu:
    • In the first couple of pages, Lee steps in a pile of crap and kicks an enemy ninja with it.
    • In a High School A.U. comic Sasuke beats Kiba with his shoe after stepping in Akamaru's poop, which Kiba had intended for Naruto.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Killer Bee and A have a brief cameo in a dream sequence and at a bar in Episode 27 before being the focus of Episode 44-B.
    • Sasuke has a few joke appearances throughout the series' run (which is lampshaded in Episode 32-B, where he somehow wins the popularity contest) before finally showing up in Episode 47-B with his team.
    • Deidara can be seen flying above the village in Episode 22 before being the main antagonist in Episode 30.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Thanks to the climax of the battle in Episode 36-A and Chapter 15, Tenten's nickname is... "The Breast Hammer".
  • Emergency Impersonation: Tenten is forced to act as Tsunade in Chapter 35. Of course, the real fun comes when she also has to carry out duties as Hokage.
  • Episode Title Card: Consist of Lee and Naruto showcasing their respective attacks. Episode 28 then adds Tenten and Neji doing the same.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In Episode 36-B of the anime, Orochimaru attends a speed-dating party with Team Lee's encouragement to try to gain citizenship into the Leaf village through marriage (so he can destroy it from the inside, of course). None of the women are terribly interested in him...until he unintentionally implies that he's the CEO of a major acquisitions firm, which prompts all the women at the party to flock around him and almost suffocate him. He's so overwhelmed and disgusted by this that he ends up pulling the plug on his own plot.
    Orochimaru: What's wrong with the women in this village? All they care about is money, money, money! They're so shallow! It's ridiculous! I don't want any part of it!
  • Everyone Can See It: It is pointed out how well Shikamaru and Temari get along in Episode 36-A and Chapter 15. Lee and Tenten even use it as an attack against Temari when she is confronted by numerous pictures of the two together. Of course, several of the photos are obviously manipulated...
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Konan tries to present Akatsuki as having this dynamic in Chapter 16, even giving Lee and Tenten commentary origami flowers, but it becomes comically clear that the group's actual dynamic is Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Carrying on from the original series, it doesn't matter how well things are going, or what plan he uses to do it — Lee will never get with Sakura. Neither will Naruto.
    • The fact this trope is a Running Gag is lampshaded by Tenten when everyone at the dog cafe (which the girls wanted to go to score a potential guy) is kicked out for not having dogs.
  • Fanservice: While the art style and emphasis on comedy may mitigate the appeal, this Naruto-spin-off features the following:
  • One chapter of the manga features Guy's team traveling to an island inhabited by doppelgangers of Hinata with tanned skin dressed in hula outfits. Neji enjoyed it as part of his running gag. Given what series this is, it's also part of a Fan Disservice gag where they meet doppelgangers of Guy in the same outfit.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Rock Lee and Might Guy in bikinis. Tenten finds it is so horrifying that she tries to murder them.
    • Rock Lee and Might Guy version of Sexy: Boy on Boy Jutsu and Harem: Male Festival Jutsu Guy version.
    • In one episode, you can see Tenten and Sakura washing each other! However, they've transformed into clones of Guy.
    • Orochimaru disguised as a schoolgirl in the High School A.U. parody. He didn't even shave his legs!
  • Fartillery: Lee's Rasengan is really just him gathering up his fart as a ball.
  • Flanderization: Pretty much everyone gets certain aspects of their personalities exaggerated and become their only defining characters.
  • Flipping the Table: Neji flips the table when his habit of crossdressing in this series (thus hurting his chances at winning a "Mr. Leaf Village" contest) is pointed out in Episode 24-B.
  • Forgotten Birthday: The plot of Episode 31-B is kickstarted when Kabuto forgets Orochimaru's birthday. He makes it up to him in the end though.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Lee and Naruto have their souls switched for the whole of Episode 23 due to Ino's Mind Transfer Jutsu.
  • Friendly Rival: With Rock Lee being the main character of this series, being his amicable rival is the role Naruto serves. Gaara also fills this role, albeit a lot more aloof version than the former.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The "SD" in "Naruto SD" stands for "Sugoi Douryouku" (loosely translated as "Awesome Effort").
  • Gecko Ending: The manga ends with a rematch between Lee and Gaara, while the anime ends with Sasuke trying to destroy Konoha and Team Guy trying to plan a party for Tsunade.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Tenten is too depressed to be herself in the second half of Episode 18 after Orochimaru calls her the "president of punchlines".
    • The elder ninjas in Episode 40-A. It's implied that their students got their New Year's money, but their mentors are now broke as a consequence.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the final episode, Orochimaru of all people pulls this for Lee during Sasuke's attack! Then he does it again in the second half to the point that he just wants to look cool.
  • High School A.U.: An alternate universe of the characters at school is spoofed in the Konoha Academy chapter.
  • Hot-Blooded
    • Lee and Might Guy have both always been hot blooded, but is taken to eleven in this manga and anime.
    • Naruto, who is described by the narrator as being just as hot-blooded as the aforementioned two are.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Episode 31-A, a mixed bath (set up by Orochimaru) to boot! However, the kids find a way around it using their Transformation Jutsu...and all turn male with Tenten and Sakura covered up, much to the disappointment of the narrator.
    • Episode 46 plays it a bit straighter where the girls visit the hot springs and the guys try to spy on them.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Tenten berates Lee for bringing up things that don't exist in-universe (and breaks the fourth wall to do it), but then she pulls out a gun in order to start the Naruto vs. Lee race. Guns, of course, do not exist in this series either.
    • Lee in Chapter 9 claims that the Hyūga Clan members look too similar, family or not. Tenten points out that he and Guy look too similar as well, and they're not even related.
    • Despite proclaiming himself a ninja who couldn't use ninjutsu, Lee keeps insisting that he could via his gags.
  • Idiot Ball: Episode 25-B. It can be expected that Lee wouldn't think twice about opening a random giftnote  from Sakura. A case can be made with Neji not thinking too hard about a random gift from Tenten, since they're teammates (and the former has been subjected to heavy amounts of Flanderization), but being the Straight Man, Tenten really should suspect something about receiving a random gift, especially since it was allegedly from Naruto, someone she has little contact with on a day-to-day basis.
  • Idiot Crows: Crows calling out "aho!" show up at least Once an Episode. In Episode 29-B, they even pass by to censor how many kilos the kunoichi gained.
  • Idiot Hero: Every character is dumber in this spin-off than in the main series, but Rock Lee in particular.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Double Subverted. Lee ignores Tenten's fanservice... because he's distracted by Sakura's.
  • Incest Subtext
  • Interactive Narrator: The previews for Episodes 9 and 33. Orochimaru also gives the camera a dirty look in Episode 7 when the narrator mentions the Viewer Gender Confusion that sometimes comes up with him.
    • At times the cast has full on conversations with him, and then it's taken Up to Eleven in Episode 33B where the narrator comes down sick and Rock Lee replaces him. He's so annoying that most of the cast ends up tracking down the narrator's vacation spot in order to bring him back.
  • Insistent Terminology: Lee keeps referring to his skits as genjutsu.
  • In-Universe Marketing: There is an entire chapter dedicated to advertising Naruto SD Powerful Shippūden.
  • Kissing Cousins: Strongly implied that Neji has feelings towards Hinata.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Averted in Part A of the anime's finale. Even as Sasuke appears to attack the village, complete with a dark and gritty atmosphere, the silliness still remains, even with a stylistic suck.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Neji is overly protective of his cousin Hinata, leading to many crowning moments of funny. One example is Neji constantly kicking everyone who accidentally wrongs Hinata, mostly Naruto and Lee, into space.
  • Korean Pop Music:
    • Discussed in Episode 2 when Lee is looking for tips on how to be cool. He, Tenten and Neji dress up as members of Not!AKB48 and fantasize over fictional K-pop idols.
    • In Episode 14, they sort of formed a group called KHG48.
    • Might Guy does the "butt dance" from KARA's "Mister" in Episode 6.
    • The first ending theme song "Twinkle Twinkle" is sung by the Korean girl group SECRET.
  • Long Title
    • The full title of the anime is "Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full Power Ninden"note .
    • The English anime title: "Naruto Spin-Off: Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals"
    • The 4th ending theme, "Icha Icha Chucchu Cappy Cappy Love Love Suri Suri Doki Doki" by Happy Birthday, which is the name of a Japanese girl group.
  • Love Potion: Actually a love scroll that causes anyone who reads it to fall in Love at First Sight in Chapter 22. Tenten falls for Lee, Neji for Hinata, Sai for Sakura, Ino for Choji, and Shikamaru for Temari. Oh, and Yamato falls for a tree.
  • Luminescent Blush: Characters often blush and go full red, usually due to perverted reasons. This includes:
    • In Episode 15, when Kabuto reads a bit of the new volume of the Makeout series.
    • Neji in Episode 21-B after using his Byakugan on the Makeout Tactics movie VHS.
    • Neji's reaction to being asked by Hinata to be her pet (in reality, dressing him up like a dog).
  • Man in a Bikini: Rock Lee and Might Guy sport bikinis at one point. Neji does too, in Episode 25.
  • Meaningful Name: Discussed in Chapter 18.
    Lee: You can tell a lot about the people in this village by their names, huh? (...) In that case what do our names say about us?
    Guy: That's a tough one...
    Tenten: No matter how you slice it, both of your names speak volumes!
  • Mistaken Confession: When Team Guy confront the (disguised) Kabuto and Orochimaru, Orochimaru assumes they've been made and dramatically reveals himself, complimenting his enemies for finding him. Turns out, Kabuto was smuggling porn in his suitcase.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In Episode 40, Neji spends the whole episode interacting with Naruto in order to judge if he'd be a good match for Hinata. This ends up being the result.
    Hinata: I swear, I won't lose to you!
    Neji: Huuhh?!
  • Mundane Utility
    • At one point, when dueling Guy, Lee uses the Konoha Snack Takoyaki Flavor move (literally taking out a bag of snacks). Neji and Kakashi have to use their respective ocular powers to fully comprehend the snack's flavor and texture. It's that good.
    • In Episode 11, Kakashi uses his Sharingan to forge Konohamaru's handwriting.
    • Episode 12 has Kakashi and Guy trying to get the kids to stop doing this when they begin to use their ninja abilities for simple tasks.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Up to Eleven in Neji and Hinata's relationship as Neji froths at the idea of his cousin being romantically involved... although it's clearly implied that Neji has his own personal reasons why he doesn't let anyone get close to Hinata.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: In Episode 23 Lee in the body of Naruto uses the Transformation technique to turn into Sakura and does a “Monroe Jutsu” Cut to the real Sakura who shivers in revulsion.
  • Never Win the Lottery: What kickstarts the plot of 27-A. Tsunade hits the jackpot in the lottery and promises to take Team Guy to a five-star sushi bar. As is usual for this show, (and her luck) she finds out that she actually had the wrong number when she goes to collect her winnings. To make matters worse, Lee invites Naruto, Sakura and Konohamaru to join them, making it almost impossible for her to back out.
    Tsunade: That's so stupid! This isn't supposed to be a gag anime!
    Narrator: Um, that's exactly what this is.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Lee's eyebrows run on Rule of Funny.
  • Nice Girl: Tenten, tsukkomi tendencies aside, is a genuinely caring girl, and Hinata is still the nicest girl around, just like in the main series.
  • No Fourth Wall: Characters, especially Tenten, regularly lean on and demolish the fourth wall.
    • Taken to its extreme in Episode 26-B, where Team Guy hosts a test to see who would become one of their "ninja pals"...and all of the applicants were made up of one-shot villains from the last two seasons because according to Lee they assumed that the show wouldn't last longer than that. Cue Tenten telling him to at least leave some of the fourth wall intact...and then asking why do the guest characters even know that in the first place.
    • At one point, the Narrator even offers to tell the punchlines himself.
    • In the final chapter of the manga, Tenten berates the writer for solely relying on the overused kancho gag and fart jokes, while even the other characters acknowledge it as their last chance to go all-out.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Episode 48-A, "Yamato's Solo Mission". Despite being referred to several times, Yamato barely appeared at all (it was more of a Day in the Limelight for Sai).
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Neji, who is supposed to be stoic. Turtle costume, Byaku-sharingan, Royal Tsukkomi, etc.
    • Tenten. In Episode 13, she lampshades how ridiculous Lee's use of Octopuffs while stuffing her face with them. She also gets just as fired up in her rivalry against Temari.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain
    • Lampshaded in Episode 46. When the gang runs into Orochimaru at an open bath, Lee notes he has become a bumbling villain throughout the show. However, he also notes that it's near the end of the series, so he's bound to try something seriously evil. As it turns out, Orochimaru and Kabuto really were just there on vacation, and are now justifiably terrified.
    • In Episode 48, Orochimaru uses his virus to turn everyone in the Leaf Village into Orochi-zombies. Team Guy figures out that there's actually no way to stop the virus. However, the virus mutates the long-suffering Kabuto...
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Lee reminds Sasuke that the only time he was shown using his Sharingan's copying ability was to imperfectly memorize his taijutsu during his match against Gaara. Sasuke is visibly annoyed at being reminded of this, and Suigetsu finds it hilarious.
  • One of the Boys: The basis of Episode 3-B. Tenten realizes that Lee and Neji see her as a fellow guy instead of a girl. Unlike other examples, she doesn't mind this: what she minds is that the guys are pretty lax as to what they consider acceptable to do in her presence (to the point where they start taking off their clothes to wipe their sweat in front of her). This is explored when she gives up and decides to dress up like a boy since they can only see her as one. Lee states that he's confused as to why she'd want be constantly protected and treated as a liabilitynote  when he and Neji only see her like that because they see her as an equal to them.
  • Only Sane Man
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Orochimaru takes the brunt of Sasuke's Kirin for this reason. To him, he's the only one who can destroy the Leaf, and no one else.
  • Over Protective Dad: Sakura's father, who gets so worked up about the prospect of Sakura sneaking off for romantic time with Sasuke in Chapter 25 that Naruto taps into his Fox chakra and Lee pops open five of the Eight Gates.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise
    • Orochimaru and Kabuto don rather weak disguises twice in Episode 7. It becomes a Running Gag to the point the kids actually realize it's them sometimes (though still fall for it anyway).
    • Guy in Episode 12 (even lampshaded by Kakashi) wears a disguise that fools no one.
    • Some of the boys dress up as dogs to accompany the girls, Kiba, and Akamaru to the dog cafe, only to run into Kisame. He questions some of the methods they use in the dog park, but is otherwise fooled.
    • Lee, Naruto and Sakura's Dad all disguise themselves as Sasuke in Chapter 25 of the manga. Despite their obvious distinguishing features, Sakura is still fooled.
    • When investigating Akatsuki in Chapter 16, Lee and Tenten disguise themselves in an Akatsuki cloak and are mistaken for Tobi — who had yet to officially join the group.
  • Piggyback Cute: In Episode 35-B, after Hinata gets injured from a car chase, Naruto carries her this way when he takes her to the hospital, much to her delight.
  • Playing Sick: Lee and Naruto pretend to be sick in Episode 32-A so Sakura can treat them.
  • Poor Communication Kills: After Lee overhears Guy saying that the only good ninjas are those who do ninjutsu, Lee decides to fake ninjutsu in an effort to please him. Another person was actually telling Guy this; Guy quickly beat him up for speaking such heresy.
  • Power Copying: A recurring joke is that Lee does his best to imitate other ninjutsu:
    • He replicates Gaara's Sand Funeral by squeezing himself around the enemy or spinning his eyebrows around to make a Rasensuriken.
    • He uses his eyebrows to imitate Shikamaru's Shadow Sewing.
    • Hilariously subverted when he tricks Sasuke into cross-dressing in a bikini with him when Sasuke is using his Sharingan to copy his moves in a fight.
  • Power Perversion Potential: "Konoha's Perverted Wind!".
  • Pretty Boy: Neji, thanks to his long hair and soft looks, is considered to be pretty, to the point where they think Gaara (yes, THAT Gaara!) fell in love with him in drag.
  • Pungeon Master: Sakura's dad. His puns are so terrible that they make Naruto and Lee cringe, and his idea of a "cool line" is bad enough to cause a snowstorm to happen in the middle of summer.
  • Reaction Shot: Poor Tenten. As the Only Sane Man, she gets subject to this one a lot.
  • Recurring Extra: Strangely, it's Yamato who usually appears with small to no speaking lines. Lampshaded in Chapter 13, when he breaks the fourth wall to tell the reader to look for him as a Funny Background Event in every anime episode.
  • Running Gag:
    • Lee imitating other people's ninjutsu.
    • Lee's habit of using skits in the anime.
    • Neji being Dragged into Drag by Lee during his skits, complete with him asking himself why he keeps letting Lee do this.
    • Neji's strong, ahem, feelings regarding Hinata.
    • Whenever Team Guy participates in something, Murphy's Law will always, always, always be in effect, and it doesn't just extend to them; usually when they try to help someone they end up doing a lot more hurting (both figuratively and literally) than helping.
    • The Akatsuki members using their most powerful attacks on each other and blowing up whatever location they're in.
    • Whenever Sasuke is brought up in the manga, it's followed by a very slapdash explanation as to why he defected from Konoha.
  • Rule of Funny: Every time Lee fakes someone else's technique.
  • Schizo Tech: Always lampshaded.
    Tenten: Wait, do we even have electricity and gas in this world?
  • Sentai: Lee and the gang try to use the sentai genre to show Iruka's disobedient students the meaning of "friendship and effort, in order to achieve victory" in Episode 22. In the end, the kids end up learning how to Tsukkomi like Tenten, Ino and Sakura.
  • Serial Escalation: After Lee sees Naruto prove himself to be better than Kakashi, he decides that he should strive to be better than Guy. So when Guy suggests running 500 laps around the village for training, Lee argues that they should run 500,000,000. Then 500,000,001. Then 500,000,002, and so on.
  • Serious Business: Whether it's Lee trying to share an umbrella with Sakura or the adults not wanting to give out New Year gifts, everything is taken as if it's a major thing.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Lee instinctively tries to kill Obito when he and Tenten are sent back in time.
  • She's Got Legs: According to Lee, girls having long legs is what drives a man.
  • Sick and Wrong: Naruto and Tenten say that about a certain technique in Chapter 8, although Sai and Neji have no reaction to the same scene.
  • Shipper on Deck
    • Tenten and Lee are Naruto/Hinata shippers, while Neji is not. He's as Flanderized here as in most NaruHina fics (albeit with comedic intentions). Konohamaru isn't so much a shipper as much as he just likes to taunt people, such as by transforming into Sasuke in front of Sakura or into Sakura in front of Lee and Naruto.
    • In Episode 18, thanks to advice from Shikamaru, Neji and Lee attempt to hook up Tenten with Orochimaru.
    • Episode 36-A shows Rock Lee and Guy as Shikamaru/Temari shippers.
    Guy: You are in the springtime of your youths!
    • Taken to its extremes in Episode 50-B, where Lee attempts to hook up Tsunade with the Raikage.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Female characters are not immune to being victims of comical violence.
  • Smashing Watermelons: The kids wanted to smash watermelons in the second half of Episode 19, but Guy turns it into a training exercise so he can have the watermelon for himself.
  • Spinoff: Of Naruto.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Played for Laughs. When asked what the movie is lacking, Hinata summarizes a plot about a shy girl (her) and her love (Naruto), but the ways she uses to make her fall in love with her (such as breaking into his house to leave a present and watching him at night from the street) move the premise to a horror flick that includes a Yandere smile. She remains oblivious to this until Tenten lampshades it to her.
  • Straight Man: Tenten plays the role of the sensible character 99% of the time, and in the anime Deidara of all people fills this in Akatsuki.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Episode 21-B has Orochimaru use the same tactic Lee used in his ghost story during the first half (finding an overdue videotape of the Makeout Tactics movie). The narrator gets angry at him for reusing a joke.
  • Super-Deformed: The main art style uses the chibi style.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: Depressing endings or endings that don't work out occur so often at the end of every episode, Tenten lampshades it in Episode 47.
    Tenten: Can't we have an happy ending just once?!
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Naruto and Konohamaru's open-pervert technique for taking out closet-perverts Iruka and Ebisu in Chapter 20 is to pretend to be flirty female students.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: Lee accidentally touches Sakura's chest in Chapter 2. It goes as well as you would think.
  • Think of the Censors!:
    • Tsunade about the Chakra Chateau in Episode 51-B.
    Tsunade: This is chakra, not alcohol. The PTA can't complain about this one!
    Naruto: What's a PTA?
    • In Episode 47-B Juugo drops a Cluster Bleep-Bomb prompting Tenten to worry about it being too much for TV.
    Juugo: I'm gonna [bleep] your [bleep] up and shove it up your [bleep]!
    Tenten: [horrified] That was, like, every single word you can't say on air!
  • Third Act Stupidity: Episode 38. While the entire Akatsuki Organization is unaware of Lee's spying, Pain wants to see the "new recruit"'s abilities. Deidara, to open a chance for them to escape, offers to fight. Might Guy then steps in as a new spy and takes up fighting Lee, and believing this is his chance to use a smoke bomb, Deidara readies a bomb, only to be hit and have the read-to-explode bomb land near Sasori. Sasori, in anger, tries to attack using a puppet, only to trip Kakuzu, Kisame, and Konan with his Chakra strings. After tripping them, Kakuzu proceeds to attack Sasori with his Tentacle Punch but Sasori dodges it and hits Hidan and Pain in their faces instead, and it all goes to hell, with every member of the Akatsuki fighting each other (save for Hidan), thus allowing the heroes to escape. It goes more-or-less the same in Chapter 16, save that Deidara is as oblivious as the rest of the Akatsuki members, and Guy doesn't intervene.
  • Time Travel: Chapter 37 has Tenten and Rock Lee being sent back in time, meeting Kakashi, Obito, Guy, Rin, Minato, and Kushina. Despite being warned by Tenten not to meddle or history could be changed forever, Lee immediately attacks Obito, saying he has a feeling the world would be better off without him, with a flash-forward to the Fourth Shinobi War.
  • Tomboy: Tenten has some masculine traits. So much that she wins the "Mr. Leaf Village" contest. This trope is also the focus of Episode 3-B.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Lee and Guy display this many times in the series.
    • When Tenten and Temari are about to use their strongest attacks against each other, Lee and Guy cross their arms over their shoulders, calling it their barrier, and jump in between the attack while still insisting they are using a barrier.
    • Many times in the series Lee makes Tenten and Sakura angry by making the exact same mistake he made in earlier episodes.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: In Chapter 16 and Episode 38, Itachi, Kisame, Pain, and Konan — all rather smart characters in the main series — don't realize Lee and Tenten aren't Tobi right off the bat.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Episode 38, Deidara attempts to cover for Lee and Tenten instead of just killing them when he catches them snooping around Akatsuki's hideout.
  • Totem Pole Trench: One of the disguises Orochimaru and Kabuto usesin Episode 7-A has them disguised as a shinobi visiting countries with Orochimaru on top.
  • Troll: In the second opening for the show, Naruto gives Rock Lee the "Thousand Years of Death" for laughs.
  • Tsundere
    • Sakura, as usual.
    • Karin is lampshaded to be one by Neji due to her cold/warm nature towards Sasuke.
    • Episode 38 implies that Konan of all people is one when she offers Lee/Tenten paper flowers and grumbles that she is only welcoming them.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Happens to Orochimaru and Kabuto when they were defeated in Episode 21. They even make a Pokémon reference as they were blasting off.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Played for Laughs. Every time Hinata appears, expect something bad to happen either to her, or others.
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: Lee tries to do this in Episode 12-B after seeing Naruto share his with Sakura.
  • The Unreveal: Kakashi finally removes his mask in this series, but his chibi nature makes the point moot. We do, however, get an explanation for why he wears the mask: so nobody can see his nosebleeds while reading porn. He does say that that's a joke in the next panel, though.
  • Villain Decay: With zany scheme after zany scheme, suffering the brunt of the punishment and even joining in on Lee's skits (and incorrectly calling them 'genjutsu' just like Lee), to say that Orochimaru's terrifying reputation in the main series has been hit hard by the spin-off's comedy would be an understatement. Kabuto lampshades it at one pointnote .
    "Why don't you realize that if you act like you did in the main series, you could defeat Lee any time you wanted to?"
  • The Voiceless: Yamato gets no lines in the anime, to the point where it's lampshaded in Episode 40-A.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: Discussed in Chapter 17/Episode 37 when Guy temporarily becomes the Hokage in chapter and passes some unorthodox decrees. It's eventually subverted. The people of Konoha think it's this, when it's just Guy being his usual eccentric self.
  • Wham Episode: Part-A of the finale focuses on Sasuke attacking the Leaf Village.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Characters dressing up as the opposite gender happens once per episode. Usually it's Neji.
    • Neji and Lee in Episodes 1 (dressed as a daughter/mother) and 2 (dressed as members of Not!AKB48).
    • In Episode 28-B Neji finally has enough and tries to give this up, but Hinata unintentionally convinces him to go back to going along with Lee's skits.
    • Kabuto becomes prone to crossdressing. Neji seems to sympathize with him.
  • Worthy Opponent: Lee is seen as a worthy opponent for Orochimaru who admits he has fun matching wits with him
  • Writing Around Trademarks
    • Lee, Neji, and Tenten dress up as 'Idols', despite the uniform they wear being exactly like the one for AKB48.
    • In Episode 25-B, Lee reminds Neji of the time when they watched Charleston's Angels. He also reminds them of the time they watched a 'space station anime' that was Captain Harlock in all but name.
    • In Episode 29-A, Lee imagines everyone playing Mariko Kart.
    • Lampshaded in Episode 31-A when Lee and Orochimaru attempt a karaoke duel, and it's stopped by the powers that be to prevent a lawsuit.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Lee's attempts at winning Sakura's heart. Wasn't quite as bad when he convinced Hinata to try the same thing on Naruto, but still went badly. Lampshaded, of course, by Tenten.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: At the end of the Episode 51, Yamato announces the next episode called "Captain Yamato and Graduation Day", and "Captain Yamato's First Day of School". He explains to the viewers that he since he spent so long not speaking for the whole show, he has a lot of catching up to do, and that the episode was the perfect time to make up for all of it, and then Lee reminds him that the show has already ended, meaning that there would be no more new episodes.
  • You Meddling Kids: Orochimaru complains about Team Guy putting hurdles in his attempts to attack Konoha.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Though more of an Orochimaru virus plague, Episode 48-B has characters acting zombie-like.


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