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For correcting ZC examples, entries with explanations/context that still aren't enough, or other issues with bringing the page up to wiki standards.


Ingonyama: After reading over the Zero-Context Example page in more detail, I think I understand what the main problem is—that basically yes, you guys do want every trope explained no matter how obvious or redundant it seems, so that the casual reader or first-time troper can understand it without having read the requisite trope pages or encountered the works in question. While I am still not sure how to handle tropes which occur as story-wide examples, this helps me a great deal with a lot of the others, including the Character Tropes. (I am uncertain whether such detail is still required on a character sheet, but even if it isn't, one doesn't exist and I'm not sure if there's enough justification to make one, so.) That said, it seems that short of being given examples of how to fix particular entries, my best bet is to examine the trope pages in question to check what is specifically noted in its description and then address how that appears or is used in the fic's example.

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I do think it's important to note, however, that it seems as if a number of the commented-out examples are neither Zero Context nor actually in need of fixing per se, but that they were marked due to having originally contained an invoked tag and a YMMV trope. Since these have now all been removed, shouldn't those tropes be commented back in, as the rest of the example is not YMMV, nor does it lack proper context?


    A Tropes 
Ingonyama: Okay, here are the A's. And let me preface this by noting that I think Acrofatic should be dropped, as the examples of it in the fic are no different than what was seen from Po in the movies (anything already established should be assumed to continue unless otherwise contradicted or altered). Also, I have added Alas, Poor Villain back, since it is indeed something which the characters themselves feel, not just (some) readers, though I have included more details (originally from what was under the Dying Alone entry) to show how it exists in-story.

  • Accidental Kiss: Variation. During kung fu training in Chapter 25, Tai Lung moves to kiss Mei Ling's cheek (as a means of celebrating how well it is going, and to repay her for her compliments to him). At the last second she turns her head so he kisses her lips instead. Engineered by her, of course, as part of Operation: Jealousy to help him and Tigress get together.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Vachir. A character with very little characterization in the film, and shown to be a nasty, vindictive bully to the point the audience could actually root for Tai Lung to defeat him and escape, is here shown to have depth and motivation for the things he's done, and the Demonic Possession he undergoes which forces him to commit heinous acts against his will truly makes his suffering and self-loathing meaningful and sympathetic, including to the other characters. By the time Tigress fatally wounds him so that he is able to die as himself, he's changed to become a lot more likable, brave, and even noble in his own way. Seeing him apologize to Tai Lung for his Cold-Blooded Torture and get forgiven for it, as well as asking for and receiving a Mercy Kill, becomes a painful case of what could have been, once it's clear he and Tai Lung are Not So Different and could have been friends, if matters had turned out differently. In addition, while Tigress and Tai Lung are trapped on the ledge with him in Chorh-Gom and his story is shared, they end up showing Vachir he is not alone, promise to fulfill his Last Request, say they will make him Famed In-Story so people will know he died a hero, and there is a Meaningful Funeral afterward.
  • Almost Kiss: Tai Lung and Tigress are just about to kiss, while on the ledge in Chorh-Gom they've fallen onto, when they get interrupted by Crane, who had been searching for them, swooping in to the rescue. Played with in that this would not have been their First Kiss (in fact they've already had sex for the first time by this point), but it would have been a sign of them genuinely being in love based on the conversation which took place just before this.
  • Amazon Chaser: From the very first time he speaks to her in-story, while locked in his cell, Tai Lung states that Tigress's Action Girl nature, her mastery of kung fu (and teamwork leading the Furious Five), and the fact she nearly beat him at the Thread of Hope all result in deep admiration for her on his part...and as soon as the reader gets back into his POV, he makes it clear her challenging, powerful nature actually excites and arouses him. Luckily for him, All Amazons Want Hercules also applies to Tigress, so that the only real issues keeping them apart are her not wishing to get hurt by him and his trustworthiness.
  • Ancient Evil: Heian Chao, naturally. While not quite as old as most examples of the trope, he reveals himself to be over nine hundred years old when reflecting on how long he has been plotting his ascension to power, thanks to having unnaturally extended his lifespan via chi manipulation.
  • And I Must Scream: Although he was imprisoned by Oogway for over nine hundred years, this does not apply to Heian Chao, since his spirit was still free to wander even when his body wasn't (although he most certainly did scream during his initial imprisonment, and it's implied he didn't learn the soul-detaching technique right away). But it is absolutely played straight with Xiu, who (as a result of My Skull Runneth Over) ends up trapped insane and catatonic but fully aware within her own mind, a condition for which there seems to be no cure; and Vachir, who thanks to Demonic Possession finds himself carried along mentally while Chao puppeteers his body, unable to resist as the villain murders and mutilates countless innocents—as he describes it himself, "he had watched his own hands committing these foul deeds, wished he could weep—and screamed away endlessly behind his own face."
  • And This Is for...: During the fight with the Wu Sisters at Wu Dan, Po invokes this twice against Xiu, first striking a whip of water across her throat "for Tigress" (whom she'd badly injured in an earlier battle), then another across her diaphragm "for Zhuang", whom she'd killed.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Most of Mantis's memorial boats at the Ghost Festival were for male relatives (referencing the well-known behavior of female mantises eating the heads of the males after mating)... However, Tai Lung is not at all afraid of water, unless it is cold water...which is in fact an early indication of what he suffered during Vachir's Cold-Blooded Torture, no pun intended.
  • The Atoner:
    • It takes a little while, since when he first is offered the deal by Shifu, Tai Lung only considers accepting because he basically has no other options except going back to jail. But once he decides he doesn't want to give up on living, has a great deal of his anger and darkness purged in an acupuncture chi-session, is forced to face the truth of what he did to the people of the village, and is shown by Oogway's ghost the errors in his thinking that led to his rampage, the snow leopard is genuinely overcome with remorse. From then on, the rest of the story consists of him truly realizing more and more just how horrible his actions were, then doing everything he can to make amends and earn his redemption. Although he does become a true hero through his actions by the end, he also comes to understand he will be atoning for the rest of his life.
    • Jia, who falls under the "Assassin Wants to Quit" subtrope due to having been Forced into Evil by her sister. Although she wrongfully blames herself for their father's death, she is also guilty of the various criminal and murderous acts she performed as a Wu Sister. Thus her atonement can only be achieved by first breaking free via fatally injuring Xiu, then aiding the heroes against Chao, and finally earning a pardon. But even after this, she ends the story determined to travel the empire on a Redemption Quest, using her skills for good.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • After going for the first half of the story constantly arguing, lashing out, and snarking nastily at each other, Tai Lung finally has a moment where he shows he truly does love Tigress, and she returns the favor. While the latter is recovering from the injuries dealt her by the Wu Sisters, the snow leopard spends a month and a half taking care of her, and he starts this process by declaring to her (when she openly wonders why he's doing it), "Because, damnit, I care about you. Is that really so hard to believe?" Following this, Tai Lung has her childhood doll repaired, prepares her favorite foods for her with Po's help, reads to her their favorite stories from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, plays a song for her on his flute, and plays dominoes with her (a pastime already shown in Secrets of the Furious Five to have special meaning for Tigress, as it's how she bonded with Shifu as a cub). As a result, the chapter ends with her genuinely apologizing for accusing him of trying to kill Po in Yunxian, him admitting the truth about his connection with the Wu Sisters, and him being allowed to kiss her forehead.
    • The friendship version of the trope applies to Tai Lung and Po. While the panda shows and states his caring for the snow leopard practically from day one, Tai Lung eventually is able to get over his anger over the Dragon Scroll and cease the insults and mockery enough to show he cares for Po as well. Sometimes this occurs as brief asides in his thoughts and statements, such as how he becomes more and more fond of the panda's cooking as the story progresses, or how he teases and plays around with Po during the Truth or Dare game (even going so far as to blow in his belly at one point). When the panda is near-fatally injured by Xiu at Yunxian, Tai Lung clearly panics and almost breaks down in tears, leading to him spending the whole trip back to the Valley carrying Po on his back and then also taking care of him during his recovery. While training Po in kung fu, he not only admits aloud that, even if he can't understand why, he does see the panda as his friend, he responds to Po's excitement over seeing some of his best moves with this thought: "it made Tai Lung all the more determined to prove himself...because he simply wanted to see that smile again, to be the panda's hero." By the time Tai Lung is defending Po from Heian Chao's attacks during the Final Battle, it's no surprise the two of them end up having this exchange:
      Tai Lung: You stay away from him! Nobody gets to beat up on the panda...except me.
      Po: Aww, big guy, I didn't know you cared.
      Tai Lung: Shut up.
  • Ax-Crazy: Xiu, in spades, is the Played for Drama version of this trope, since she is The Dragon to Heian Chao and the prime Psycho for Hire among the Wu Sisters. Her stated goal (both in what she wishes Chao to give her and her overall aim in life) is to become the best assassin in China, but she wishes this not for money but for infamy—she wishes to, in her own words, "become Mistress Death" (something which would well be literal, should Chao grant her his chi powers), with the ability to control whether everyone around her lives or dies. Multiple scenes throughout the story showcase her unhinged nature and sociopathy, ranging from the pleasure she takes in killing and nastily injuring others, to her obsessive need to kill Po and claim Tai Lung as hers, to her crazed laughter and various mental and/or emotional breakdowns. The best examples, however, would be her arguing with the voices in her head as she suffers bodily tremors; her continuing to wildly and furiously fight Tai Lung even when (thanks to handling the Golden Spear) burned flesh is sloughing off her paws; and her pleading for Chao to give her his chi powers even when she's bleeding on the ground from fatal injuries. It gets to the point that even Chun is horrified by her words and actions.

     B Tropes 
Ingonyama: And here's the B's!

  • Babies Ever After: At the end of the story, and after a time skip of a year, it's revealed that Tai Lung and Tigress have had twin cubs, a tiger-striped boy and a snow leopard girl. (Hardly surpising, considering how much activity the pair got up to earlier...)
  • Backstory:
    • As he is the protagonist of the story, Tai Lung is given more development this time around, ranging from more details of his personality, attitude, relationships, and actions as he grew up at the Jade Palace (and how he changed for the worse) to his history with the Wu Sisters, and eventually who his birth family was and why he was a Doorstop Baby.
    • Po's unknown past regarding his missing parents is explored (a different version than the canon backstory given in Kung Fu Panda 2, naturally), while the little revealed about Mei Ling in Secrets of the Furious Five is fleshed out via her relationship with the Wu Sisters and their shared father. Further details are also given on the Wu Sisters via Jia's sorrowful memories as to how she ended up an outlaw on the run, as well as Chun's memories of just how they knew Po's biological parents.
    • Vachir's history with the Anvil of Heaven and especially his time as a soldier fighting the Mongols is gone into in some depth, particularly as it relates to his loyalty to and friendship with Emperor Chen (which also requires some delving into his past), while new characters Zhuang and Xiulan get to reflect upon how they met and married as well as each of their connections to Tai Lung's rampage.
    • Chapter 38 is almost entirely devoted to revealing the full past history of Heian Chao, and this as well as Tai Lung's conversations with Oogway's ghost reveals a bit more about the turtle's past.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Occurs multiple times throughout the story—Tigress and Shifu face off back-to-back with the zombie Anvil of Heaven at Chorh-Gom, to stunning effect; Monkey and Mantis as well as Mei Ling and Jia take up the same positions against the hordes of the yaoguai during the Final Battle; Tai Lung and Po take on Heian Chao himself back-to-back atop one of the great statues in the Vault of Heroes (a very appropriate tactic, considering the battlefield has 360 degrees and he has the capability of flight); and in Backstory, Vachir and Emperor Chen are revealed to have taken on the Mongols completely surrounding them after having driven the Great Khan himself into retreat.
  • Badass Army: Two of these appear during the Final Battle, facing off against each other of course. Heian Chao summons the yaoguai, an army of seemingly-endless demons which appear to have unflagging stamina, supernatural strength, and invulnerability to anything but mystical kung fu weapons in addition to their fire magic. Meanwhile, Mantis uses the Urn of Whispering Warriors to summon the Warriors of Tenshu, an army of mystical shades Famed In-Story (and as described on the KFP Wiki) for defending a village of helpless potters from a different army of ravening demons, at the cost of their own lives.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The Bandit Inn, a "lost place" location cut from the first movie but depicted in Art of Kung Fu Panda, reappears here as a Wretched Hive of cutthroats, robbers, mercenaries, and other villainous sorts. Housed in a Saharan Shipwreck on an alkali flat, it is where Heian Chao goes to hire the Wu Sisters to begin putting his Evil Plan into action.
  • Bait-and-Switch: A number of chapter openings are misleading, usually in a Double Entendre fashion; in particular Chapter 24 and Chapter 31 mirror each other in both suggesting that Tigress and Tai Lung are involved in rather vigorous sexual activity when in actuality it's one of them not-so-gently treating the other's injuries. Chapter 23's opening turns out to be an Erotic Dream Tai Lung is having, while Chapter 22 misleads the reader into thinking the scene involves the actual characters before eventually revealing it's simply Po playing with the Furious Five's action figures. The way in which Shifu misleads Tai Lung as to what the nature of his new training will be is also an in-story version of this for Tai Lung, since the snow leopard believes he is about to be trained in a new and amazing weapon until it turns out to be...a hammer.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Xiu goes the entire story longing to be granted power over chi by Heian Chao, so as to be able to control life and death herself. But she really should have been more wary of accepting power from a dark chi master, as the end result is insanity due to the dark magic flooding and overwhelming her mind, followed by the draining of her own life force and finally being trapped, insane and catatonic, inside her own mind.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: To the surprise of no one due to the nature of their personalities (and the fact they start out as enemies), this is the sort of relationship Tai Lung and Tigress have for most of the story. Even when they aren't literally smacking, punching, or physically threatening each other, they're always sniping, snarking, and insulting one another—their very first interaction consists of an entire chapter of nothing but a fairly venomous and sarcastic debate that ends with Tigress literally attacking and pummeling Tai Lung. Tai Lung at least is able to admit his deeper feelings, both directly to her and to others such as Viper and Mantis, but Tigress refuses to admit it to herself until Heian Chao heightening everyone's emotions finally gets her to act on her desires.
  • Big Bad: Heian Chao, the Ancient Evil Sorcerer and Kung-Fu Wizard who wishes to possess and control the chi of every person in the empire (and the empire itself), fulfills this role for the story. Xiu, eldest of the Wu Sisters, may be the character who gives the heroes the most personal trouble, but she is actually The Dragon and to some extent The Heavy. It is Chao who is behind all the schemes and plans the heroes must thwart, who personally hires the Sisters to kill Po and help corrupt Tai Lung back to The Dark Side, who possesses Vachir and Monkey in order to murder countless innocents and spread a Hate Plague over the Valley, and who directly taints the Pool of Sacred Tears so that he can control everyone in the Valley. He's also, of course, the Final Boss the heroes must face in the climactic ending battle.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • As is to be expected for the kung fu genre, a number of characters get to do this during the Final Battle or the lead-up to it—Mei Ling arrives with her throwing stars Just in Time to save Po from Xiu's dagger, Crane flies up to face Chao and prevent him from attacking Po or a badly-wounded Shifu, Jia stabs Xiu In the Back just as she's about to deal a killing blow to Tai Lung, the snow leopard himself comes to Po's rescue when he's trapped in ice and on the verge of surrendering to Chao's relentless attacks, and the panda gets to return the favor by catching Tai Lung after he's dropped from a great height. The biggest example, though, would be Mantis, who not only shows up to save Crane from Chao's final deathblow, but brings along the Urn of Whispering Warriors to unleash the Warriors of Tenshu and then act as their general in the battle which follows.
    • The arrival of Tigress at the trial is an unsuccessful attempt, since she isn't able to get through to Xiulan or the villagers, but Crane arriving Just in Time to literally cut the rope and save Tai Lung from being hanged more than makes up for it.
  • Big "WHAT?!": While several of these appear in the story as well, the most memorable (and clearest example of the trope) occurs in Chapter 10 as Tai Lung's reaction to the "weapon" Shifu wishes to train him in for his first lesson (a hammer to effect repairs, rather than the glorious kung fu training he was expecting). Another, and far more serious, example occurs when Tigress learns that Mantis has died (or so everyone thinks), and a third from Shifu when Mei Ling reveals at the trial that the snow leopard fur in evidence does in fact belong to Tai Lung.
  • Bits of Me Keep Passing Out: Tai Lung's nerve strike, which was already shown to cause temporary paralysis in the first movie, ends up being used in slapstick fashion when he employs it in a bit of revenge while training Po, resulting in the panda staggering about with flopping arms, then hopping on only one leg, before eventually collapsing. It then later gets successfully Played for Drama when Po uses it on Xiu during the fight at Wu Dan (and precipitates her Villainous Breakdown), with the result of the snow leopardess desperately crawling after him so as to keep attacking, sobbing and screaming in fury, until finally she too collapses.
  • Black Cloak: Heian Chao wears one, complete with hood to conceal his face, and in contrast to the red and brown cloak he wore when young and mortal. It's also notable for actually being made from shadows that he gathers with his chi powers, and it's strongly implied he does this not merely to intimidate or to hide his identity, but in order to protect himself from sunlight.
  • Black Magic: Chao's usage of chi energy hits every beat of the trope, since it generally makes him a master of Elemental Darkness, but in particular its source is a cross between The Dark Side and The Corruption, its cost is stealing others' Life Energy (though it also seems to be fueled at times by torture and suffering), and among its many effects are Demonic Possession, generating a Hate Plague, turning others into People Puppets, and raising the dead.
  • Break the Cutie:
  • Breaking the Bonds: During the first battle with the Wu Sisters at Yunxian, Tai Lung becomes trapped in the coils of a meteor hammer. His response is to flex his pecs and biceps to burst free of the cord, the show-off. Tigress wonders later if this is also how he broke free during their battle at the Thread of Hope in the first movie, but the snow leopard states the ropes just loosened when he struck the cliff face.
  • Breaking Speech: Being a manipulative and psychological sort of villain, Chao is fairly good at this, and manages to demoralize a few of his opponents long enough to gain an advantage over them. He in fact prefaces the entire Final Battle with a series of these against Viper (the supposed weakness of her compassionate heart), Crane (his intellect and how it failed to stop his schemes or figure out who was behind them), Monkey (his susceptibilty to Demonic Posession), and Tigress (her anger and resentment toward Shifu, which he uses to try and lure her into joining him at Tai Lung's side). He also employs Po's Mysterious Past against him, as well as how he was the one to inadvertently free Chao from his can. Sometimes, however, he only leaves himself open to a truly righteous Shut Up, Hannibal!—such as when Po gets his Heroic Second Wind, or earlier when Tai Lung, arrested for Shen Zhuang's murder, throws his We Can Rule Together sales pitch back in his face.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Po, regarding his parents, but mostly his father Bao. While he'd never believed himself to come from a glorious, heroic lineage, it nearly crushes him to learn that his father was a deserter from the army and that this, as well as an earthquake destroying their home, led both his parents to become highwaymen, bandits, and even murderers. It's Foreshadowed in Chapter 17, when Po decides to go fetch snacks for the Truth or Dare:
      Po: Don't worry, I'll leave some money down in the kitchen for the innkeeper. I may be a lotta things, but I ain't no thief.
    • Tai Lung learns more of just why Oogway would not give him the Dragon Scroll, why Shifu did not stand up for him, and why both of them chose to lock him away in Chorh-Gom without ever visiting or considering releasing him. He becomes rather disillusioned, too, and certainly gives them both the sharp edge of his tongue.
  • Bucket Booby-Trap: While reminiscing about his cubhood during a visit to Wu Dan, Tai Lung reveals he placed a bucket of washwater over his dormitory door so that it would fall on a snooty Imperial official doing a Jade Palace inspection. It also, somehow, ended up being used on Shifu.
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     C Tropes 
Ingonyama: C tropes!

  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • While it already occurred during their confrontation at the end of the first movie, Tai Lung continues (starting in the very first chapter!) to rail against Shifu for how he raised him to believe he would receive the Dragon Scroll, and for not standing up for him against Oogway; later arguments also criticize the overall manner of Shifu's parenting and the fact he never bothered to visit him in Chorh-Gom save for one time early on. The longer this continues, the less enraged and nasty Tai Lung becomes, instead turning more to pleading for understanding and despair at anything changing. To Shifu's credit, he not only manages to provide some good explanations and rationales, he admits to his grave errors, and the result is that he and the snow leopard finally reconcile about a third of the way through the story.
    • Early on in the story Tai Lung has it out with Oogway (who while a mentor was also a grandfather figure for him) over the whole refusal of the Dragon Scroll and everything which followed from it. While the snow leopard has less genuine cause to rail against the turtle, the latter does freely admit to having failed to explain himself well (or at all), and it's quite clear that getting to vent and release all the rage he never got to twenty years ago is cathartic for Tai Lung. The end result is that after another, far more penitent and understanding conversation with Oogway's ghost, the snow leopard is able to forgive and reconcile with him as well.
    • During the journey to Chorh-Gom, Tigress has it out with Shifu—her accusations ranging from how he treated her after adopting her from Bao Gu and for all the years thereafter, to his overall distant and emotionless nature, to how he didn't seem to even care Oogway chose Po over her, to how she was a Replacement Goldfish for Tai Lung (only for the snow leopard and to a lesser degree the giant panda to take her place in Shifu's heart). Unlike with Tai Lung where there were mistakes made on both sides, Shifu does not deny a word Tigress says, in fact coming close to a Heroic BSoD for a while. He begins trying to reach out to her again on their way back to the Valley, although it isn't until the very end of the story (and after Shifu nearly dies in the Final Battle) that they finally begin to reconcile.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Mei Ling just can't bring herself to tell Crane about her part in Operation: Jealousy to bring Tigress and Tai Lung together for a number of reasons (thinking he wouldn't approve, that he'd try to help and screw things up, that he'd just end up enraging Tigress if he tried). To a lesser degree, she also can't bring herself to tell him about her feelings for him, but Crane himself is far more tongue-tied about his years-long crush on her since their school days together (and thinks she's genuinely interested in the snow leopard). It takes more dire events developing to finally get both of them to open up.
  • Casting a Shadow: Chao's main Elemental Power, through the corruption of his chi, which manifests through the projection of inky waves and tentacles, black mist or fog, and Shadow Walking—which not only allows for Astral Projection and traveling great distances, but also Teleport Spamming during several battles. This also lends him a downplayed Weakened by the Light trait (closer to the literary Dracula's nature), and a far more debilitating case of Holy Burns Evil.
  • Catapult Nightmare: A guilt-ridden Tai Lung throws himself up off of the sleeping pallet in his cell near the beginning of the story, clutching his chest, soaked with sweat, and even running his paws shakily over his face. Having just awoken from a terrifying nightmare of his rampage, one he used to have repeatedly during his early years in Chorh-Gom which has returned to him now that he's truly aware of the magnitude of what he did, this is understandable.
  • Central Theme: The question the fic is truly about, and which runs through every major character and arc (although it's most clearly visible in Tai Lung's story) is this: "Is everyone capable, or worthy, of redemption? And can it be earned?" An obviously related theme is Forgiveness, and the nature and meaning of heroism are also explored.
  • Chekhov's Gun: While there are a number of seemingly insignificant things in the story, both major and minor, which turn out to be important later, the following are particularly notable:
    • The Golden Spear, introduced as part of Tai Lung's self-beration over his inability to ever truly atone ends up being a weapon he can wield after all, and the very one with which he kills Heian Chao.
    • The hammer Shifu gives Tai Lung as part of his first lesson in humility and redemption is used by Tai Lung as a distraction in the Final Battle.
    • The Urn of Whispering Warriors first appears (or rather, doesn't) when Tai Lung notices it gone from its pedestal and thinks he broke it during his battle with Shifu, only to learn Po broke it being a clutz, which leads the panda to recount its legend to try and calm the snow leopard down. It's eventually seen later, repaired by Zeng and the other palace messengers, just as shown in the credits for the first movie...which sets up for when Mantis brings it along so as to release the Warriors of Tenshu to fight Chao's yaoguai.
    • And there are multiple items found in Oogway's room: the mahjong set and accompanying painting which were gifts from Emperor Chen and set up for his appearance near the end of the story; the book of haiku which contains a riddle-poem about Tai Lung and Po (explained by Oogway in the final chapter); The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the set of dominoes which both figure into Tai Lung drawing closer to Tigress during her convalescence; and the nunchaku which Monkey ends up using during the Final Battle. Even the figure of Tai Lung and Oogway's naughty love letters turn up again, the former as part of Po's "playtime" where he tries to make the Five and Tai Lung get along, the latter as a Brick Joke during the snow leopard's final talk with Oogway.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The first thing that Tai Lung teaches Po when they begin kung fu training together is his paralyzing nerve strike technique; sure enough, the panda ends up using it very effectively against each of the Wu Sisters when he faces them on Wu Dan. Also, Tai Lung brags about his skill with lances and halberds on his first day of lessons with Shifu, as well as identifying such weapons as his favorites to Po; this is very useful when he carries the Golden Spear into battle against the yaoguai, and eventually kills Heian Chao with it.
  • The Chessmaster: Although Heian Chao takes an active role in various parts of the story, the majority of his Evil Plan consists of him manipulating characters and events in secret like the shadow he is—hiring the Wu Sisters to kill Po, divide the heroes, and eventually lure Tai Lung into joining them; using Demonic Possession on Vachir and Monkey so as to kill countless innocents and turn everyone (townsfolk and the rest of the Jade Palace crew alike) against Tai Lung, respectively; setting off a Hate Plague as well as influencing everyone into argumentativeness and chaos through his corrupt chi projected through a bit of Tai Lung's fur; luring him to Chorh-Gom for a kill-or-be-killed battle with Vachir that will push Tai Lung toward darkness no matter how it turns out; and eventually orchestrating a Frameup, a Kangaroo Court, and People Puppets used on the whole village via the tainted Pool of Sacred Tears to force the snow leopard into a Sadistic Choice that places his soul in the balance. And as is usually the case, Chao is brought down by certain characters not being as easily manipulated as he believed, and a few unforeseen developments.
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out: Shifu catches Tai Lung and Tigress in their bedroom after they've just had sex, and looks absolutely set to read them the riot act—for the bad timing, for doing it in a relatively public (read: loud) way, for what the people of the Valley would think, and more. But instead it turns out he thinks it's a wonderful, beautiful thing he absolutely approves of, and the anger was all an act to yank their chain. (And, it turns out, also a Secret Test of Character.)
  • Circle Of Extinction: Xiu and Tai Lung circle each other during the Final Battle, gradually spiraling inward with weapons drawn as each attempts to sway the other—Xiu taunting and threatening him with what Chao will do to him unless he surrenders and joins them, Tai Lung also seeking her surrender as well as the truth about his missing family. Chun and Tigress also circle one another with swords and fire wheels, but this is only to get into proper position with their weapons and so is without the monologuing. And Chao briefly circles Shifu during their battle, while continually mocking the panda with a "Reason You Suck" Speech he also hopes to break him.
  • Clear Their Name: Thanks to the Frameup which Chao and the Wu Sisters engineer against Tai Lung in the latter third of the story, Crane has to find the proof that he did not kill Zhuang while the snow leopard is on trial and being defended by Shifu and Mei Ling.
  • Cliffhanger: The endings of the following chapters either leave the reader hanging with the characters in great peril, or have dropped a major bomb of drama or plot development.
    • Chapter 13 ends with The Reveal that Heian Chao has hired the Wu Sisters to kill the Dragon Warrior.
    • Chapter 15 ends with Monkey becoming possessed by Heian Chao.
    • Chapter 17 ends with the first grisly murder by possessed Vachir and the announcement he's "coming for" Tai Lung.
    • Chapter 19 ends with Po fatally injured and Tai Lung desperate to save his life, only to be caught literally red-handed by Tigress and Monkey.
    • Chapter 26 ends with the delivery of Vachir's note and the demand that Tai Lung come and face him at Chorh-Gom.
    • Chapter 30 ends the climactic fight with Vachir with a quite literal example, as Tigress and Tai Lung fall off a crumbling pinnacle into the prison abyss.
    • Chapter 31 ends with The Reveal that Monkey (seemingly) killed Mantis.
    • Chapter 32 ends with Shifu catching Tai Lung and Tigress in bed together.
    • Chapter 34 ends with the town magistrate coming to the Jade Palace to report to Shifu that Tai Lung has been arrested and will soon be put on trial for the murder of Shen Zhuang.
    • Chapter 41 ends not only with Crane's life being saved from Chao, but The Reveal that Mantis is still alive.
    • Chapter 43 ends with the very real possibility that Shifu will die from the injuries he sustained from Chao.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: While the treatment the snow leopard received in the movie was already implied to be hardly the most humane, and hints are dropped in the story early on that it was far worse than Dream Works could show, it is eventually revealed that Commander Vachir inflicted this on Tai Lung at Chorh-Gom. The direct results aren't shown for the most part, but the implications are more than clear, with the rhino employing shaming, sleep deprivation, starvation, verbal abuse, pharmacological torture, and whipping on top of the cold and isolation already seen. Vachir claims this is done as punishment, both for the rampage and to make Tai Lung realize the magnitude of his sins and thus work to atone for them, but it's obvious he's also quite the sadist about it. Some of this was encouraged by Chao.
  • Come Alone:
    • Vachir admonishes Tai Lung to come to Chorh-Gom to face him alone in the note he has Zeng deliver, or else he will continue to keep brutally murdering innocents. In an interesting variation, he also suggests that choosing to do otherwise will result in one of Tai Lung's companions betraying him (something he knows is true, since it's actually Chao sending the note, and he has possessed both Vachir and Monkey). While Tai Lung tries to convince the others to obey (even though he knows he's being Lured into a Trap), they all end up coming along except for Po and Mei Ling.
    • Chun tells Po under flag of truce that he needs to come to Wu Dan alone, and stay there with the Wu Sisters until Chao has won and Tai Lung is under his control, or else they will kill Ping. From the way she delivers the message, it's clear the sisters expect Po to disobey, although it is Tigress and Viper overhearing his preparations to leave and the threat he's been given, respectively, that leads them to come along. Xiu in fact seems delighted they disobeyed, since it gives her a chance to fight and defeat them all.
  • Comic Role Play: Viper, as part of her attempts to teach Tai Lung how to romance Tigress, takes on the latter's role by portraying her with a ribbon-mask in order to help the snow leopard practice his wooing techniques. The results are entertaining, as much for the location where it occurs (in the bathhouse) and the fact Mei Ling gets to watch and listen in, as for how scarily good Viper is at imitating Tigress and for how pathetic Tai Lung is at it. (One reviewer described it as "this is Tai Lung's level zero.")
  • Connect the Deaths: After possessed Vachir starts killing people all over and around the Valley of Peace to both terrorize its citizens and force Tai Lung to come and face him, Crane starts marking a map with the locations of the murders to see if there's any pattern to them (since nothing about the victims generates one). It isn't until he's given assistance by the letter Zeng brings that he realizes the locations make a more subtle shape, a "lopsided" arrow that points to the northwest (i.e. toward Chorh-Gom—the author establishes the Valley as being in Hubei while the prison is in Mongolia).
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef
    • When Po is healing after his and Tai Lung's first encounter with the Wu Sisters, Tai Lung takes it upon himself to cook all of Po's meals, and it is revealed that between a mix of Men Can't Keep House and thinking such a thing unnecessary for a kung fu warrior, he only knows the "rudiments" of cooking...so that he has a great deal of trouble reading recipes and figuring out where anything is in the kitchen, and the "inventive" dishes he prepares make Po cough, choke, and speak with a hoarse rasp.
    • At the end of the story, when Po takes it upon himself to teach Tigress how to cook, she proves to be even worse—her dumplings explode, her bau buns "came out more like black volcanic rocks", her congee sticks to the pan and "fossilizes", and she even manages to burn a salad (because she left the bowl on top of the oven by mistake).
  • Crazy-Prepared: Even though the Jade Palace crew only knows for certain that it's Chao they'd be facing, when they go into the Final Battle they bring along the majority of the named and famous mystical weapons originally described on the KFP Wiki—which turns out to be quite prescient considering they also end up having to fight a summoned horde of spectral demons. Played with in the case of Mantis who brings along the Urn of Whispering Warriors, with its Sealed Army in a Can only because Oogway told him to, but he had no idea why or what it would be used for. The Wu Sisters are even better prepared for every scenario, since they not only carry multiple weapons each (the reader is shown Wind and Fire Wheels, daggers, garrotes, blowguns, throwing stars, meteor hammers, and fans, and there are likely even more), they are cross-trained and can thus use any weapon the others are carrying, no matter which ones they might lose or what opponent they'd be facing. And finally Tai Lung himself brings along the hammer Shifu gave him the first day of his new training, which provides a distraction to Chao at a key moment.
  • Cryptic Conversation: While it was already the case in the first movie, Oogway's ghost proves to be just as much a master of never saying what he means or fully revealing all that he knows when counseling Tai Lung. (Less so with Shifu, it seems; while some of this is stated outright to be due to Chao's influence over the Valley having been broken, the turtle generally seems to be more interested in making the snow leopard think and work things out for himself.) He also specifically tells Tai Lung that he must speak cryptically in order to prevent a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy; that he only wished to protect the snow leopard; that even being dead does not give him a clear and perfect understanding of the future; and that naming Chao would give him power (hence "someone is coming"). End result, a great deal of Vagueness Is Coming, Double Meanings, You Will Know What to Do, and what turns out to be Literal Metaphors. The snow leopard even lampshades this tendency by stating Oogway always Delighted in Riddles and wondering why he expected anything different.
    Tai Lung: Master...please, could you try, for once, to use a nice, direct, declarative sentence? Just for novelty's sake?


    D Tropes 
Ingonyama: D tropes! (And after realizing that a trope I originally listed as averted, Distressed Damsel, exists played straight as its opposite, Damsel out of Distress, I've placed the deleted entry under that trope instead.)

  • Damsel out of Distress: It's perfectly clear the ladies here can dish it out as good as the men can, even going to the point that while watching Tigress fighting during the final battle, Tai Lung vows he will do his best to never anger her. None of the ladies ever get captured or made helpless, and if so it isn't for long—Mei Ling gets locked in a cell but immediately picks the lock, and the one time Tigress ends up needing a rescue it's only after the Wu Sisters cheated and nearly killed her; even then Zhuang only chases them away to bring her back to the palace and she recovers just fine, fuming all the while. She certainly wasn't helpless at Chorh-Gom—Vachir didn't know what hit him.
  • Darker and Edgier: The fic definitely has a tonal shift from the first movie (and interestingly, one which to some degree ended up reflected in the second and third movies, too). Some of this stems from the simple fact the plot addresses the full details of what Tai Lung did during his rampage and what happened to him in Chorh-Gom, and his subsequent coming-to-terms with his own villainy in order to atone. However, the story also introduces assassins, a murderous Inspector Javert who ends up going Serial Killer (leading to plenty of gruesome bodies and death scenes), and plenty of less-than-pleasant accurate details of ancient Chinese society. And that's all before you get to the Big Bad being a shadow mage capable of Demonic Possession, Hate Plagues, People Puppets, Necromancy, and more. Despite the seriousness and upped stakes, however, the story does end on a genuinely happy note.
  • Deader Than Dead: As might be surmised based on him being a nine-hundred-plus-years-old Kung-Fu Wizard who, thanks to his saturation in chi and unlocking various dark powers, has cheated death again and again, Heian Chao has to be disposed of in a manner far more thorough and final than simple death. Not only is he skewered by the Golden Spear, which is itself an artifact that Only the Pure of Heart can safely touch, but it gets "charged" with the holy chi inside Oogway's staff. A surefire way to guarantee all the dark chi he absorbed for centuries will be released and none remains to sustain him, and that his soul will finally go on to the Afterlife, but the physical results...overdone chicken doesn't begin to describe it. Lampshaded by both Po and Oogway.
  • Deadly Hug: Thanks to Xiu's Frameup, Mei Ling, Xu Mei, and the rest of China believe that the cause of Wu Xuan's death was a stabbing In the Back during a loving embrace—courtesy of Jia.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Although several deceased characters come back as ghosts to speak with the living, the most consistent is Oogway, who not only seeks to reconcile with Tai Lung and aid in his redemption but also act as a Spirit Advisor during the conflict with Heian Chao. He also appears to Shifu to pass on Chao's Backstory and offer guidance on how to defeat him, and helps save and heal Mantis as well as provide him with mystical advice.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Almost everything that comes out of Tai Lung's mouth is bitter, cynical, sarcastic, and caustic, especially if he's talking to Shifu, Oogway, or Tigress. (One might wonder if the snow leopard thought this was scroll 1,001...) While this does soften somewhat as the story progresses, it's clear that Tai Lung will always retain a certain smartass, Brutal Honesty nature. As just one example among many, one of the first things he says to Shifu, after the red panda visits him in his cell following the Final Battle from the first movie and claims he wants to help, is:
    Tai Lung: Oh, really? Is that why you're here? To come and kiss my wounds and make them all better?
  • Death Is Dramatic:
    • Played straight with Zhuang—his death is the centerpiece of one of the darkest chapters in the fic, is treated with intense grief and seriousness by all involved, allows him to have a final railing against his killer, and in fact leads to the story's Darkest Hour thanks to all the ramifications (a trial, a near-execution for Tai Lung, dark chi corruption sweeping across the Valley, and the snow leopard coming this close to falling back into evil). Of note, however, is that this involves a relatively minor character.
    • Subverted with Shifu, who at first seems to receive the spectacle, sorrow, and meaningful final words one would expect for a character as important as he is, only for all of this to be undone when Mantis succeeds in saving his life.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • Variation. The first time Po appears in the story, it's clear he has already forgiven Tai Lung after their battle from the first movie and, if he doesn't consider him a friend, he'd certainly like him to be—in fact he makes the offer right at the end of the second chapter. For the snow leopard, however, the process is a lot more slowgoing than usual, and while he is in fact surprised and moved by Po's reaching out to him, it requires a great deal of soul-searching, understanding the panda truly does care about him and want to help him redeem himself, and facing off against genuine enemies at his side before he will accept. Once it finally kicks in, though, they're Bash Brothers and Vitriolic Best Buds for life.
    • Played straight with Jia and Po, after he defeats the former at Wu Dan. While she had already been treating him as a Worthy Opponent at worst prior to this, and did have her connection to his past to motivate her, it isn't until he overcomes all the Wu Sisters that the panda comes to trust and believe in her enough to offer hope of redemption and a possible friendship. And while she isn't able to take him up on it at the time thanks to her sisters (and the need to resolve things with Mei Ling), during the Final Battle she is able to change sides and aid in the defeat of Heian Chao, which gets her forgiven by most of the Jade Palace crew.
  • Demonic Possession: Yet another dark power of Heian Chao's is the ability to take over the minds and bodies of others. How much he can control the individual seems to vary depending on how much he requires them to do, whether he is attempting to conceal that he has done so, and how much he has to work to overcome the character's willpower to take up residence; having one's senses already compromised appears to make it much easier (Monkey was already drunk from the Ghost Festival), as does if the person in question is in any way willing or believes they can make use of his powers for their own ends. The longer he is in possession, however, the more likely it seems to become that the host's mind/soul will lose all ability to resist and be left trapped as a helpless witness in their own mind. The reader gets a front-row seat for the horror of the experience when it happens to Vachir; it mostly happens off-screen to Monkey, although some detail is filled in when the reader is later able to get his POV after he's freed.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: When Tai Lung is imagining the arguments Shifu will make against him and Tigress becoming a couple after he discovers them in bed together, he supplies "You don't have my permission to court her" twice, and then after listing several other items, adds, "Did I mention you don't have my permission?"
  • Despair Event Horizon: Tai Lung comes very close to crossing the line that would destroy his last remaining sense of hope. Naturally it's at the end of the second act, the fic's Darkest Hour, and it's absolutely understandable: despite how hard Shifu, Mei Ling, and even Tigress have worked to convince the magistrate and the rest of the village of his innocence, he ends up convicted of killing Zhuang and it appears he's about to be hanged, which aside from the obvious also means his soul and chi would fall into Chao's clutches. To make matters worse, his only means of escape, to break free and go on another rampage, would also leave him vulnerable to Chao, and the fact he would have to resort to this (and so prove everyone right about him being irredeemable) is itself another thing to make him fall into despair.
  • Detect Evil: When everyone in town is under the influence of Chao's dark chi, Yi is able to detect the presence of evil as "too-big shadows" or "having black clothes on".
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: Thanks to Tai Lung having been voiced by Ian McShane (who is British and quite often plays a mean one), it's a given that British slang would be applied to his dialogue to make it seem saltier and regional without including language that is inappropriate or (too) anachronistic. Not only does the usual "bloody" appear, so do "bollocks", "wanker", "git", and "arse", although Tai Lung also drops a few F-bombs and "shit"s as warranted.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: During the Final Battle, Heian Chao mocks Shifu for being overconfident and foolish enough to think he could defeat his kung fu all by himself, let alone his mystical abilities. Shifu naturally isn't even fazed, though it helps that he didn't intend to defeat him alone, simply keep him occupied/wear him down until the others could arrive.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: In the fic's setting, high-level kung fu masters can manipulate chi so as to create and/or control various Elemental Powers (although these are the Chinese elements, of course, not Western) based on the year of their birth. Shifu's elemental power is revealed to be Earth (to explain how he was able to control/shatter the piece of stone porch that Tai Lung hurled at him in the movie), and he is shown capable of levitating, breaking, riding, and otherwise controlling boulders, stalactites, and segments of earth and stone with little trouble. Fitting, for one as stubborn and hard-headed as he.
  • Disney Death: Although it doesn't occur at the end, Mantis is seemingly killed during the climactic battle at Chorh-Gom—punched with crushing force by a possessed Monkey, then thrown into the abyss. He doesn't get a Premature Eulogy, though he does have a cairn raised in his honor...only for him to show up alive during the Final Battle thanks to the intervention and healing of Oogway.
  • Don't Do Anything I Wouldn't Do: At the end of the story, Mantis is stated to have given Crane a bit of advice as he goes on the road with Mei Ling and Jia. Unsurprisingly for a Covert Pervert like the insect (and speaking to a Nice Guy and Extreme Doormat like Crane), it consists of the Stock Phrase "Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!:
    • As expected, Tai Lung reacts rather poorly to being shown sympathy, concern, and caring, whether snarling and growling at those who express it, actually lashing out at them physically, or simply denying them verbally. Right from the very start, he actually tells Po to shut up and practically lunges at him when the panda dares to compare their lives and say he understands how he feels and what he's gone through, and it takes him until Yunxian before he can accept Po's friendship for what it is. Even with Viper, the most compassionate and kind-hearted of the Five, Tai Lung responds to her observation as to how hurt he's been by life with the Stock Phrase, "I don't want, or need, your pity."
    • Ironically, Tigress displays the same attitude toward Tai Lung, when he attempts to show sympathy to her for how Shifu treated her growing up after she confronts the red panda about it, though this may also be a result of her partially blaming him for Shifu's distance and harshness.
  • Doorstopper: While not quite War and Peace, the fic certainly makes quite the lengthy novel—at over 600,000 words on Fan Fiction Dot Net, it's been calculated by readers as coming out to over 1000 pages if printed, a thick and heavy volume indeed.
  • The Dragon:
    • Xiu, the eldest Wu Sister, acts as Heian Chao's top enforcer and the character he can most rely on to do his dirty work. As both a consummate planner, schemer, and manipulator and a sophisticated, skilled fighter, she is able to challenge not only Tai Lung but also Po, Viper, and even Tigress, and overcoming her is not only a way for each of them to prove various truths (Po's having Took a Level in Badass, Tai Lung becoming a genuine hero, Tigress learning to control her temper and think rather than just act), it's necessary to save other characters placed in danger, to get revenge, and to even learn more about Chao, let alone get close to him. She's also the last named villainous character the heroes have to bring down before Chao.
    • Vachir is another high-ranking servant of the Big Bad, and while as a Pawn he is more of a Fake Boss, it can't be denied he fills the "ferocious fighter who leaves the heavy thinking to his boss" role, and it's only by facing him down and breaking the power Chao employs through him that the heroes are even able to figure out who and what they're truly up against, let alone get close to him. And despite the fact he's not doing it by his own will he's the villain with the highest body count in the story and who presents the greatest physical threat.
  • Devour the Dragon: When Chao is in danger of losing to Po and Tai Lung, and has nearly drained his reserves of chi, Xiu offers herself to him, wishing to share in his power as he'd promised her so that she can bring down the heroes in his stead. Interestingly, at first it appears Chao's action is a mutually beneficial one, since it not only bolsters him but heals Xiu, but when it turns out her mortal mind can't handle the influx of power, Chao proceeds to drain her to death (while claiming regret at doing so, though how truthful he's being here is debatable). Fortunately, a thrown shield from Po (the Shield of Fire Monkey Pass, no less) severs the connection that is making this possible. As a result, Xiu is rendered comatose while Chao is hurled to the ceiling.
  • Drop the Hammer: Downplayed example, and even subverted to a certain extent—during the Final Battle, Tai Lung uses a very particular hammer as a weapon but it's just a regular construction hammer, and he only uses it as a distraction at a key moment.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: During the scene with Po's action figures, the panda has 'Tai Lung' trick 'Tigress' into declaring her love for him by switching positions in the argument ("Yes" for "No" in whether she would marry him).
  • Duel to the Death: Thanks to him having escaped Chorh-Gom (and killed most members of the rhino's family during his rampage), Vachir declares Tai Lung must give him satisfaction by battling him until one of them is dead. After having been badly defeated and humiliated at Wu Dan, Xiu pursues the heroes underneath the Jade Palace so as to get her revenge on Po, not even caring at that point about the money or what Chao promised her, requiring Tai Lung in turn to put an end to her so as to save his friend. And of course, both he and Po must slay Chao himself if they hope to keep the Valley and the empire safe from his shadowy conquest.
  • Dying as Yourself: After being forced to undergo horrific Demonic Possession and watch as his body is made to kill and mutilate innocent after innocent in order to lure Tai Lung into either death or corruption, Vachir is finally freed from Chao's control by a fatal sword wound from Tigress. Because he doesn't die right away, however, he in fact ends up having to ask for a Mercy Kill to prevent Chao from retaking him, and ensure he will die as himself. And when his request is granted, he gets to have some very meaningful Last Words and Go Out with a Smile.
    He spoke, his voice having lost all the menace, contempt, and hatred it had borne for so long, now a soft whisper which breathed relief, wonder, and an odd gentleness. "Gods...I can't believe it. You did it...you actually did it..."
  • Dying Clue: After he is fatally stabbed by Xiu (inhabited by Chao so as to appear as Tai Lung), Zhuang is able to leave behind a message on a piece of his shirt to identify his killer, in his own blood since he Couldn't Find a Brush. Unlike most examples, it was neither incomplete, cryptic, nor lacking knowledge—simply hidden and misplaced for a while.


    E Tropes 
Ingonyama: E tropes! Evil Gloating is a trope with so many examples throughout the story I felt it's better to just delete it, as it's something you generally expect villains to do anyway.

  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The whole point of the story; it's really the only way to justify giving a former villain whom many consider irredeemable everything he ever wanted (save the Dragon Scroll) without making him feel like a Karma Houdini at the same time. The characters in fact all get put through the wringer—Tai Lung having to truly face both the depth of his sins and the PTSD of his twenty years of horrific torture, Po learning the truth of his parentage, Tigress coming to terms with Shifu, Crane overcoming his painful insecurities, Monkey getting put through Demonic Possession that leads him to believe he killed his best friend Mantis, Vachir being forced to murder and mutilate scores of innocents before mercifully being put out of his misery, Jia having to overcome her tragic backstory, and all of them facing enemies from the depths of shadow and Hell threatening all of China. But thankfully, despite all of this and several new minor characters suffering and even dying, everything works out just fine in the end for those who make it through, and the setting as a whole.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: Tigress speaks the Stock Phrase of the trope name during the raising of the Thread of Hope—with the easy way being Tai Lung giving in to going out on ropes above a thousand-foot drop to properly separate and extend the bridge planks, and the hard way being...the same thing, only forcibly compelled by her. Amusingly, a similar choice is offered when it comes to Tai Lung's redemption, with it being an open question which way is harder—attempting it while dealing with Tigress's harsh and distrustful treatment of him, or trying to get her to ease up, befriend him, or even fall in love with him at the same time as he atones.
  • Emotionless Girl: Wu Chun appears to have no emotions most of the time, or when she does have them she expresses them in subdued, calm, no-nonsense fashion. While never clearly stated, it's implied this is because of her mother's rigid and exacting teaching in the ways of the assassin, being of that profession at all, and as a means of coping with the world and its ills. The few times the reader gets in her head, she can be seen to feel just fine for the most part, instead simply being very good at concealing her emotions for the sake of cool manipulation, objectivity, or wry, quiet humor.
  • Engineered Heroics: Early on in the story, Tai Lung considers creating a situaton (with Po's help, no less) where he can demonstrate to Tigress and the citizens of the Valley that he has changed and can redeem himself by performing some feat of heroism. Luckily he realizes the dangers of this and opts out.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Per usual, the very first scene in which Xiulan appears—wherein she sees what seems to be Tai Lung about to play with her daughter, hurriedly pulls her out of reach, and gives the snow leopard the mother of all Death Glares—establishes instantly the cow's hatred and resentment toward him thanks to his actions during the rampage, as well as her Mama Bear tendencies. It also includes a flashback from Tai Lung's POV to explain the source of those motivations and why she will be an emotional and moral antagonist to him for most of the story.
    • Zhuang's introductory scene consists of him dismissing the previous foreman who had mistreated Tai Lung as a blowhard no one likes or will miss, offering the snow leopard his friendship, and opining that people need to move on and eventually learn to forgive him, thus establishing his kindness, open-mindedness, and willingess to put himself on the line for others, even (or especially) when they are rejected by many; his conversation with Tai Lung at the Ghost Festival makes this even more clear.
    • Heian Chao's very first scene, even without revealing his name or species, employs plenty of stylistic flourishes, figurative language, and other narrative tricks to get across what a chilling, disturbing villain he will be, and especially how his presence or influence will always make the story darker and more serious.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: When Mei Ling (already established as attending the Li Dai Academy with Crane in Secrets of the Furious Five) first appears in the story (and reveals her familial connection with the Wu Sisters), it's also revealed that the assassin trio went to the academy with them as well. While all of their personalities seem to have been the same then as now, simply intensified in the cases of Xiu and Chun, Crane and Mei erroneously believe that Jia has become as villainous as her sisters; her actions, it is eventually revealed, have occurred under duress.
  • Expy: The Wu Sisters start out as clear and deliberate homages in attitude and personality to Ozai's Angels, with Xiu standing in for Azula, Chun as Mai, and Jia as Ty Lee, save for the fact they are siblings. After this they develop and go off in their own direction, although they do drop a lot of familiar lines.
  • Eye Scream: When possessed Vachir imprisons and tortures Chang and his wife, the former is eventually discovered by Zhuang to have had his eyes brutally attacked to the point blood is pouring down from apparently empty sockets. It's never made clear what exactly caused the injuries (although Vachir did carry a serrated knife), but as of the end of the story, he's permanently blind.


    F Tropes 
Ingonyama: F tropes!

  • Face Palm: When Po reacts to Tai Lung accepting Shifu's offer by cheering, whooping, and dancing around while chanting Tai's name, both the snow leopard and red panda put their paws to their foreheads in the exact same gesture. Similarly, both Monkey and Mantis slap their foreheads when they realize, too late, that they could have gotten Tai Lung to teach them his nerve strike during the Truth or Dare game. Tigress also performs the "pinching the bridge of the nose" version when she learns Po fought the Wu Sisters by throwing apples at them, as does Tai Lung when, while training with him, Po eagerly speaks of being "blinded by awesomeness" and "oozin' bodacity."
  • Falsely Reformed Villain: In an inversion from the usual, a large portion of the Valley's townsfolk (particularly Xiulan and Fu Xiao), as well as Monkey and Tigress for a good part of the story, believe that Tai Lung's attempts to redeem himself and become a hero are simply an elaborate scheme to mislead everyone into a false sense of security while he plots to take the Dragon Scroll again or some other nefarious plan. The snow leopard is genuine in his efforts, but Heian Chao was counting on people believing otherwise.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Every single one of the innocents killed by possessed Vachir is mutilated, eviscerated, castrated, or otherwise bloodily savaged in gruesome ways (including Chang's six-year-old son). Vachir himself gets impaled in the abdomen and spews out dark chi in lieu of blood, as does Zhuang (who is specifically noted to be holding his innards in with one hand), and each of the original class of kung fu masters at the Jade Palace are killed in similarly horrific ways, either by Chao or by each other (slicing the jugular, eye impalement, and smashing the nose back into the brain, among others). Finally Chao himself not only gets impaled, but burned to a crisp, and the reader is treated to a fairly detailed description of his skull and brains being exposed in the process.
  • Feathered Fiend: Heian Chao is an Amur falcon, and not only is he near human-sized like most of the cast, his raptor's beak and talons (as well as his shriek) are emphasized for their deadliness and predatory nature. And his absorption of dark chi has caused him to swell in size and muscle mass beyond what he normally should possess, making him far more roc-like. This is oddly fitting considering what the protagonist's species is (and the fact he's the Big Bad).
  • Final Battle: Covering four enormous chapters, the story's climax pits Chao and all his remaining forces (which includes the surprise appearance of the yaoguai) against all of the heroes (including Mantis and the Warriors of Tenshu). Several subplots are resolved in the process (particularly Mei Ling's desire for vengeance and Jia's allegiance), plenty of Foreshadowing and Chekhov's Guns are addressed, there's a large battle portion while Po and Tai Lung engage the Big Bad directly, and there are several Big Damn Heroes, Diabolus ex Machina, and Leave Him to Me moments as well as other twists before good finally triumphs over evil.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Interestingly, not what you'd expect, since by the time Po and Tai Lung fight alongside each other on the same battlefield (let alone the Final Battle), they've already become friends. Instead it is Jia coming in to stab Xiu In the Back (and thus save Tai Lung's life), and the fact she then joins the heroes in facing Chao's forces (complete with Back-to-Back Badasses with Mei), that establishes a friendship between her and her former enemies among the Jade Palace crew.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: While Tai Lung had been pursuing and falling in love with Tigress almost from the start, it is while he is taking care of her injuries and helping her recover after her fight with the Wu Sisters that Tigress finally admits she is falling for Tai Lung; seeing a tough (and previously villainous) character show his tender side in this way has quite an effect, it seems. The reverse takes place when Tai Lung is taking care of the injured Po after Yunxian and thus comes to finally admit a friendship with the panda.
  • Friendship Moment
    • Jia shows caring and concern to Po despite their being enemies in how she only half-heartedly fights him (once she learns it was his father they made a promise to years ago, to look in on and help take care of his son), eventually stepping in to prevent Xiu from killing Ping, and later offering to tell him the full story about his parents if he will surrender to the sisters. Po later returns the favor by offering her hope of redemption and defending her to the other kung fu warriors.
    • Tai Lung apologizes to Viper for inadvertently dismissing her fighting abilities, once he learns of one of her past legends; he also hugs Crane for saving him from hanging, and Zhuang for helping rescue Tigress from the Wu Sisters.
    • The ultimate in Friendship Moments, though, comes when Zhuang leaves a message as his dying act to prove Tai Lung innocent of his murder, and the snow leopard in turn offers his widow to help take care of and raise their daughter.
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