Ask a Ninja is a Web Original series that takes a look at the image of the Ninja in popular culture. It was created by Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine in November 2005. Since then, it has gone on to win several Vloggie awards and released several DVDs and books.
The premise borrows from the Strong Bad Emails, and the creators name it in particular as one of their influences... though there's a distinctly ninja spin on it. There's no shortage of words that have the prefix "ninja-", and the Ninja will sometimes answer questions in a way the question wasn't meant to be answered.
You can find Ask a Ninja right here.
This work provides examples of:
- Affably Evil: The Ninja.Thanks for your question! I look forward to killing you soon!
- Ambiguously Jewish: The Ninja's grandmother.
- Ambiguous Syntax:Tracy: As a professional fantasy writer, I would like to know, what kind of fantasies do ninjas enjoy?Ninja: How did you make a profession out of imagining you can write? That's a pretty sweet gig!
- Awesome, but Impractical: The "Omni-" episodes answer a lot of different questions, which provides more variety than, say, a five-minute explanation on how to make a gui. However, the Ninja runs into a Traveling Salesman problem because he kills everyone who asks a question that he answers... and the "Omni-" episodes answer questions from a lot of different people.
- Ax-Crazy: And he looks forward to killing us soon!
- Badass Santa: Santa is a ninja and that is the explanation to how he goes to every house in the world over night. However because of the ninja code he is also...
- Bad Santa: The Ninja says Santa kills children who see him which makes his clothes red.
- Blood Knight: Oh yes.
- Blunt "Yes":Lzrdkng: Sometimes you seem to barely know what your are [sic] talking about.... Is this because a ninja can talk faster than he thinks?Ninja: Uuuum... yeah.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded EggsQ: Have you ever done any of the following: A. Ride on the wing of a 747. B. Use a boiling hot burrito as a weapon. C. Fight with an alien.A: Yes. All of them at the same time.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The Ninja himself; you often wonder what goes on in his head.
- Discriminate and Switch: The Black Friday episode, he brings Al Thompson to explain black Friday and is reprimanded for choosing him because he's a shopping addict.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first episode was much more slow paced, with very little cutting, and the ninja being more ominous and stoic. In the second episode, the pace amped up more and the show became wackier like today. Also, initially the Ninja just wore a black t-shirt and a mask that was also a black t-shirt, but by episode 17 he had upgraded to a full ninja outfit.
- Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: The premise of the show.
- Full-Frontal Assault: mentioned in "Buying A Gui"Ninja: [Dark matter] is the strongest, blackest sewing material I've found, but it's also 90% theoretical, so you're gonna want to use a lot of it, because, uh, you know, you want the gui to actually exist. Nothing undercuts an assassination like showing up naked! Little ninja sword dangling.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band:Madeline: If you were going to start a rock band what would you name it?Ninja: I've always wanted to name a band "Your Grandma". Just because I think it would be fun to say "Man, I went to see Your Grandma last night. Your Grandma rocks!"
- Grammar NaziQuestion: Are ninjas good at grammer? [sic]
- Ice-Cream KoanQuestion: If a ninja kills a man in the forest and there's no one else there, does he make a sound?
Answer: If a ninja does anything, anywhere, he doesn't make a sound. And if he does make a sound, it's probably going to be the last sound you ever hear.
- Improvised Weapon: Many examples; Gift cards, playing cards (sorry, working cards), folded flags, a boiling hot burrito, two cowboy hats and a walnut... Ninjas have a saying, "if you can't kill it with paper you cannot kill it with steel".
- The Ninja once told a story about killing a demon who could only be killed with kindness. "I killed him with a hug and a free appetizer coupon at Chili's."
- Killed Mid-Sentence: "Can a ninja kill me before I finish this-" "Yes."
- Large Ham - Skewered with kunai and pelted with shuriken, the Ninja is indeed a Large Ham.
- Lost in Transmission: This episode, explaining how to kill a ninja.
- Mathematician's Answer: "I'm a ninja."
- Major General Song: Modern Major Ninja.
- "Did not see the song coming, did ya? Well it's here, and it's here to stay."
- Master of Disguise:Ricardo, Portugal: Can a ninja be a supermarket cashier?Ninja: Are you kidding? We are masters of disguise! I have hidden behind the nametag of a supermarket cashier. "Hello, my name is PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE!"
- MetaphorgottenNinja: A ninja is not a one trick pony, we are an infinite trick pony. And it's not regular pony hair, it's like little snakes. And it's not even a real pony, it's a ninja inside a pony. And then we sneak out one of the oversized ears and we punch you while you're feeding the pony bacon. Ponies love bacon, not a lot of people know that
- Motor Mouth: The Ninja
- Murder the Hypotenuse:Charles: There's a girl in my school that I like, but she's dating someone else. Do you have any ninja tips to win her over...Ninja: Absolutely. First thing you wanna do is-Charles: ...without killing the guy that she's dating?Ninja: Didn't see that one. I didn't read that part. Magic tricks?
- Ninja: Well, duh.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Episode 47 is built on this.
- Noodle Implements:Jeff: What do you think of this?Ninja: This is it? That's the whole thing? You just made that last night, didn't you? The glue's not even dry! Is that fish still alive? That is disrespectful use of glitter!
- Noodle Incident/Logic Bomb: "The day after I was born, I had to take a 5000 question pass-or-die test! It took me three times."
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: See Signature Style.
- One Steve Limit: Throughly averted in "Omnijeff", where the Ninja only answered questions from fans named Jeff.
- Perfectly Cromulent Word - Anything that has a "ninja-" prefix. Bet you didn't know "ninja-" could be a prefix, too, didn't you?
- "Kickassery! That is a real word! You can look it up in the dicinjiary. If you can find it."
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Minja! Ninja so small they can throw a shuriken, and then jump on the shuriken, so they can punch you in the face while the shuriken hits you in the throat!
- Rapid-Fire Comedy: Very much so.
- Serious Business - The creators reported they make roughly US$100,000 per month.
- Shout-Out: To the equally funny Dr. McNinja webcomic, when he recieves a letter saying, "I heard that if I light myself on fire, ninjas can't get me." The response was a sarcastic "Yes" and as an aside, the ninja whispered into a voice recorder, "Don't bother killing Robert, he's taking care of that himself."
- Shrouded in Myth/Memetic Badass: Played for Laughs. Ninja often makes ridiculously hyperbolic statements about himself and other ninjas. He also claims that Chuck Norris is an ally of them.
- Signature Style: The videos are shot with a series of rapid, abrupt cuts and shifts of angle and position on the Ninja's part. This is explained in one video as being because ninja and other badguys are constantly trying to kill the Ninja while filming, so they have to piece together the videos from interrupted takes.Ninja: "Otherwise the show would be nothing but a series of thrilling fight scenes, and nobody wants to see that!"
- Strongly Worded Letter: This question in Episode 17, "Ninja Omnibus".Q: What is the best way to begin a strongly worded message to a retailer who has wronged you?A: "I'm a ninja."
- Suspiciously Specific DenialQ: "Do ninjas ever get lonely?"A: "You mean are there nights when I sit alone in a cave, eating Cheez-Whiz out of a can, naming my weapons and making little costumes for them, so we can put on big elaborate productions of Puccini operas? (beat) No, I don't know what you're talking about. (beat) I've got friends."
- Tastes Like Chicken: Inverted in Episode 61.Q: "What do souls taste like?"A: "Anti-chicken."
- Weird Trade Union: Ninjas don't employ rabid squirrels because they're unionized and too expensive. Unfortunately, zombie chipmunks have proven to be a poor substitute.
- What Could Have Been: Ask a Ninja was originally supposed to be an animated show about two Ninjas living in Orange County.
- Who Dares?:Jeff: WHO DARES LOOK FORWARD TO KILLING ME SOON?Ninja: Uh, that would be me. I thought I was pretty clear about that. I made a t-shirt and everything.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The Ninja hates robots. They have no splatter, aren't fun to kill, and electrocute him as he stabs them.
- With Catlike Tread: In "Buying a Gui", the Ninja advises that a travel Boggle set is a horrible idea.Ninja: *cthunk, cthunk, cthunk* It gives you away! Plus it's just a dumb game.
Thank you for reading this page, and I look forward to killing you soon!