Chaotic is a Danish trading card game (TCG) turned animated series that broadcasted on 4Kids TV and later on Cartoon Network and Jetix.
In the show, Tom Majors and his friend Kazdan Kalinkas enjoy the mildly popular Chaotic TCG as a recreation. Kaz, being the one with the glasses, always tells Tom of his adventures in Perim and his matches in Chaotic. Tom usually dismisses such stories as a fanboyism — that is, until he receives a mysterious password after one online match. He enters it into his Chaotic tie-in device called a scanner and is transported to the pocket dimension "Chaotic". Here players gather to play in the eight Dromes (seven official Battle Dromes run by the powerful and enigmatic Codemasters and a Beta Drome for practicing and anything-goes battles), where they transform into the creatures from the game and defeat each other in combat. It turns out that when you port to Chaotic, you also leave behind a version of yourself on Earth to go about normal life. As if all that weren't enough, you can also port into the actual world of the card game, Perim. There players can use their scanners to scan locations, creatures and items, gaining the ability to use them in the game. Tom makes some new friends, Sarah and Peyton, as well new enemies, Klay and Krystella. Along the way the characters manage to get wrapped up in some dangerous adventures.
The real-life card game seems to take place separate from the TV series, with no humans turning up and featuring only the high fantasy world of Perim.
In Perim the four Tribes are at a centuries-long war that sought to find the Cothica, the supreme and ultimate power in all of Perim, as well as seek to retribution on the Tribe(s) that they blame for its disappearance. As the game has progressed into M'arrillian Invasion, the fifth forgotten Tribe, the M'arrilians, was released from its imprisonment behind the Doors of Deepmines and is now wreaking havoc across all of Perim in order turn it into one big ocean. The process of oceanification is done by practically melting the ice caps of Perim. One year later, Secrets of the Lost City begins. The four high muges of Perim — Najarin, Enre-hep, Kopond, and Lore — perform a ritual that raises Kaizeph, the levitating lost city of elements, from the depths of Lake Ken-i-po. The city becomes a new hub of activity for the Tribes. Over in the dig sites of the City of Kehn-Sep, the creatures have finally uncovered the Cothica Tablet. Though the tablet answers many long-debated questions, apparently not everyone likes the answers.
The Chaotic TV series ran for three seasons from 2006 to 2010, after which the show was canceled and the card game discontinued. It seemed like the series was dead until a tweet from the show's creator, Bryan Gannon, revealed that there were plans to revive the series. In a later interview he confirmed that they were planning on rebroadcasting the original series to gage interest, and also bringing back the online game. If the series does well, they plan on rereleasing the cards and releasing the previously unreleased Fire and Stone deck. A mobile game is also in the works. The first season can be watched legally on Amazon Prime.
Now has a character sheet.
This show provides examples of:
- Action Girl:
- Almost every female creature put into the spotlight by the show, including Laarina, Intress, and Takinom, to name a few.
- When we see Sara in her first dome battle, it's one of the most intense fights in the series.
- Advertised Extra: Lore, the Danian High Muge, is featured on an image promoting the series (seen above) despite barely being in the show itself. Presumably he's on there because Sarah's a Danian player.
- Aesop Amnesia: There is the episode where the gang befriends a new Tom, lavishing all of old Tom's previous positive attention on him. Fed up, old Tom wagers their friendship on a match. He wins, but his friends call him on it telling him that they'll be friends with whomever they choose. Simple enough, but it becomes jarring once you recognize that the unfortunate implication that his friends weren't actually treating him like their friend. In another episode the boys do the same thing to Sarah when a cute girl showed up and they proceeded to ignore Sarah all episode.
- Amazonian Beauty: Intress, in the card game anyway.
- Animorphism: A majority of creatures which can be transformed into (Lahd, Tangath Toborn, etc.) are either based off of real world animals or are anthropomorphic ones.
- All Just a Dream: The episode called Chaotic Crisis where the creatures of Perim invade Earth.
- All Myths Are True: Several legends in Perim's past are revealed to be true when the main characters stumble onto them, with "The Curse of Korbek" and "Warriors of Eternity" being prime examples.
- All There in the Manual: When it was up, the 4Kids site cited Sarah's Chaotic screen name as Chaotikween, which was never revealed in the show itself.
- Averted with Krystella. Out of the six most important humans in the show, her Chaotic screen name was the one that was never revealed, either in the show or on the site.
- Alliterative Name: For the humans, there is Kazdan "Kaz" Kalinkas, and for the creatures, Tangath Toborn. There's also quite a few of these among Mugic and attacks as well: Canon of Casualty, Discord of Disarming, Melody of Mirage, Skeletal Strike, Power Pulse...
- Alpha Bitch: Krystella, easily the meanest female in the show. In one episode, Pyrithion gets spooked when she gets really angry at seeing a plan of hers be ruined. Pyrithion happens to be a large, cobra-esque naga creature who can spit fire, so the fact that Krystella spooked him showcases how genuinely terrible she is.
- Alternate Universe: Perim and Chaotic are an alternate universe to earth, according to the official backstory.
- Always Someone Better: CoolTom is better than Major Tom at nearly everything, better scans, better record and even better food creations. He brags about this nonstop when Major Tom challenges him to a match. But, Major Tom ultimately proves to be the better Chaotic player. After losing the first five matches and having only Maxxor left, he proceeds to decimate CoolTom six times in a row.
- The Anime of the Game: The show's based on the card game of the same name.
- Animesque: M'arillian Invasion, not so much in the first season.
- Arc Number: The number 7 is a recurring theme throughout the franchise (for example, Chaotic has 7 letters, and "Cothica" is just an anagram of that) and there were supposed to be 7 seasons. There are also 7 Codemasters, and if the first letters of their names are placed in a specific order, they can spell both "Chaotic" and "Cothica", and to have a match against a Codemaster, players need to win in the Codemaster's drome a total of 7 times.
- Art Evolution: While season 1 used flash animation, M'arillian Invasion has switched to more anime-style traditional animation.
- Bait-and-Switch: In "Battle Of The Sexes" Peyton and Crystella have a cliche 'Boys Vs Girls' contest. Using solely male and female creatures to prove once and for all whose superior while crowds of guys and girls cheer on their respective gender...until the end where it's revealed that Peyton had been using female creatures, and Crystella had been the one using male ones.
- Batman Gambit: Von Bloot pulls one when Chaor tries to use Kaz to learn Bloot's plan, only for Takinom to eventually pull a rare and highly dangerous triple-cross reverse-Batman Gambit combo on him.
- In one episode Chaor's army corners the M'arrillians in a marsh of oil before sending it all up in a massive inferno, only to find when the smoke clears that not only did he not harm any of the M'arrillians (they simply hid beneath the oil until the flames died down), but the whole reason they came to the marsh in the first place was to lure him and his army away from Underworld City so that Lord Van Bloot could conquer it for them. They knew he couldn't resist the apparent opportunity to wipe them out.
- Peyton pulls one on Dractyl in the beginning of "Castle Bodhran or Bust Part 1" after he captures Kaz in his nest and Kaz dropped his scanner. Noticing that Dractyl has a pretty poor courage score, Peyton has Sarah scream to Kaz to warn them about Chaor coming after him, followed by Peyton doing an impression of Chaor's voice. Dractyl panics and flees allowing the four to escape before Dractyl returns realizing he had been fooled.
- Beat Them at Their Own Game: The specialty of HotShot, a player who challenges Underworld players using non-Underworlders that excel at fire attacks. Kaz tries to pull this on him with his own team of fire attackers, but it doesn’t work.
- Berserk Button:
- For several creatures, being scanned by Chaotic players without their permission.
- Lord Van Bloot himself is Chaor's berserk button.
- Klay and Krystella get enraged easily when one of their schemes doesn't work out.
- Chaotic player Tartareker completely loses his cool if anyone pokes fun or insults his favorite creature, Tartarek.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: On the episode "An Easy Win", Peyton takes pity on Lulu, a girl who hasn't won a single battle since getting to Chaotic because she can't get use to being a creature, and attempt to let her win a few battles against him in secret to be nice. When she starts winning she is over the moon with excitement, until she figures out that Peyton has been letting her win, and becomes furious at him for making her look like a loser because of this, and becomes much more dangerous in the final battle.Sarah: She's unhappy.
Tom: Yeah I sense that too.
- Big Eater: Peyton.
- Big Shadow, Little Creature: H'earring, when he appears in "The Codemaster Chronicles Part 1". This also happens from time to time with humans as well.
- The Big Guy: Peyton, again.
- Bizarrchitecture: Castle Bodhran in the card game. Supposedly there are are doors below your feet, stairs ascend sideways and floors are seen where ceilings should be, but no matter where you stand, you’re always right side up. The card's flavour text even uses the trope name: This strange stronghold is built in a style that might be best called “bizzarechitecture.”
- Bladder of Steel: "Mega Match" has Tom and Peyton holding a 105 vs. 105 match with no breaks. They promptly get a dose of reality when they start tiring out about 40 battles in, and ultimately fall asleep with no conclusive winner.note
- Broken Aesop: The show often does this, often with the target of the moral either not getting the lesson, the lesson is undermined, or another person blatantly breaking the moral of the episode towards the end.
- It's outright parodied in "Battledrome of the Sexes". The entire episode, when paired with Sarah's story with Intress appears to be about how women are just as capable if not better than men, until it's revealed Peyton was only playing female creatures and Krystella was only playing male creatures. They argue amongst themselves if this means that since Krystella lost that it proves boys are better than girls, or if because Peyton won specifically using female creatures, that girls are better than boys. The episode ends with Kaz, Tom, and Sarah silently wondering what moral they're supposed to take from it.
- Calling Your Attacks: Zigzagged - in the dromes, players will often call their attacks, but just as often they'll use attacks without calling them. In Perim, Creatures virtually never do this. That being said, Mugic is almost always called out by name on cast.
- Catchphrase: "Let's get Chaotic!" is the Chaotic Players' way of saying "en guarde!"
- Chekhov's Gag: "Unexpected" has Kaz crashing Ulmar's Viledriver prototype after scanning it and then taking it for a test run. He manages to jump off just before wrecking the thing, which is initially just a gag... until he uses this exact strategy to destroy Klay in the dromes two episodes later when Klay also shows up with a Viledriver and outmaneuvers him.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- “Everything is in Flux” starts with Tom and Kaz getting scans of Iron Pillar, with Kaz pointing out that even cards players don’t usually put in their decks can be useful. The end of the episode has Tom use Iron Pillar to shut down Klay’s Flux Bauble strategy and win the match.
- Tom pulls out another of these in his match against CodeMaster Crellan. Before losing one of his creatures, he brings back the Modulation Mugic Klay and Krystella tricked him into using.note Kaz is surprised since using it cost him Maxxor the first time, but Tom explains that Crellan will never expect it. Sure enough, it wins him his first CodeMaster match, casting it right before Cromaxx can use a really strong attack and kicking the code out of him with his own attacks.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- Peyton, who is more than just a little quirky, with very expressive gestures, constantly making weird sounds and occasionally having bizarre trains of thought.
- Overworld creature Xaerv is a strong fighter and generally a nice guy, but he's also an oddball who's not all right in his head. He's about the only creature who doesn't know that battlegear doesn't work at Iron Pillar, and despite being told so, he still believes his Torwegg doesn't work due to dark magics from Krystella, even believing that he'll lose all his power and abilities if he steps out of a circle she drew around him with lipstick. The show justified this as a result of his time spent in his favorite location, the Storm Tunnels.
- Collectible Card Game
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Mugic colors happen to be color-coded for the Tribe that can use them. Colorless Mugic can be used by anyone, Blue Mugic for the Overworld, Red for the Underworld, Yellow for the Mipedians, Brown for the Danians, and Black for the M'arrilians. The players' Scanners match these colors after the Art Evolution. (Codemasters' are white, for those who were wondering, though Crellan is the only one known to specialize in tribeless creatures; the only other one whose deck is known, Hotekk, uses a mixed tribe deck, though both specialize in "past" creatures)
- Combining Mecha: GiganTropers (or Big Giant Robots) figured out how to do this after they went on a rampage after being given autonomy.
- Convection Shmonvection: Nobody seems to be affected by the heat coming off the magma at the Lava Pond, even though in one episode the temperature is shown as being enough to incinerate hot dogs held over it.
- Creepy Twins: The original idea for Klay and Krystella; although now they aren't twins — they are still creepy, especially Klay◊.
- Still played somewhat straight with Krystella; she has a twin sister, but only Krystella herself is creepy.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Cothica. Apparently its power maintained a golden age of peace, until it just vanished. Phelphor claimed the M'arrillians had the Cothica and the tribes grew jealous against the M'arrillians for having it, but he lied.
- Cthulhumanoid: Many of the M'arrilians, including their leader Aa'une in his projection form.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- While most Drome matches shown on-screen come down to the last Creature or two, Kaz's match against Buzz Sr. in "The Floundering Father" is a noticeable exception. Due to Buzz Sr. being a middle-aged Sports Dad with no actual battle experience, Kaz crushes him while only losing a single Creature in return.
- On the other hand, drome matches that are mostly off-screen have a tendency to be a dominant win by one side, such as Kaz's two matches in "Chaotikings" and Klay's match against CodeMaster Imthor, both of which were implied to have been sweeps by Kaz and Imthor respectively.
- Darker and Edgier: The second season took a darker tone than the first season, especially after the M'arrillians showed up.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Underworlders say that the Overworld tribe is responsible for the war over the Cothica. Additionally, despite being mostly demoninc-looking creatures living in a place called the UnderWorld that most certainly resembles a Fire and Brimstone Hell in places, as a whole they're not as bad as you'd expect - proud and combative and sometimes aiming to conquer Perim, sure, but they don't always play the villain.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- In the first episode, one of the robots hates the first reactions to new players, since they all say the same thing. And is also annoyed by their reactions of seeing a talking robot.
- Sarah is this the most out of any character.
- The drome masters (or master, as it is the same voice for all dromes and never explained exactly who it is), who are essentially the referees in the dromes and whom we only get to hear and never see, can be this too at times.
- In contrast to the other Codemasters we see, who tend to be polite, courteous and professional, Hotekk is... not.Codemaster Hotekk: How did you pick your cards, eenie-meenie-miney-mo?
- Debut Queue: It takes a few episodes to introduce all four of the main human characters. Tom and Kaz in episode 1, Sarah in episode 2, and Peyton in episode 3.
- The Dividual: Borth-Majar are a Brains and Brawn pair of Creatures that can fight only while merged together, and are counted by the Chaotic game as a single Creature. In Perim, it's because Borth is a scrawny weakling and Majar is as dumb as a sack of rocks; in Chaotic, a human brain simply can't control the two of them separately.
- Doomsday Device: A gigantic heat ray built by the M'arrillians at Glacier Plains capable of melting the ice caps and turning all of Perim into an ocean. It was later made into an alternate version of Glacier Plains in the card game with an Instant-Win Condition called Glacier Plains, M'arrillian Heat Cannon.
- Dream Within a Dream: Kaz in Chaotic Crisis.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Several creatures appear in episodes in card form or in a seconds long cameo before appearing in episodes fully or partially focused on them. For example, Ulfhedinn, Tom's opponent's weapon in "Shifting Sands" is used and Curb Stomped in "The Thing With Bodal" on the team of Tom's opponent in that episode, Tank.
- Some human characters, most notably Peyton and Sarah are seen in the background before they properly debut. Sarah can be seen porting into Chaotic in the first episode, while Peyton can be seen in the crowd laughing at Tom making a fool of himself in the Drome.
- Eldritch Abomination: The sentient blight that haunts Prexxor Chasm in "Chasm Quest" and "Blight Fight". In fact, it is described by Smildon and Tom to not be a creature, but some kind of disease.
- Enemy Mine: The Danians, Mipedians, Overworlders, and Underworlders all put aside their feuding to combat the M'arrilians' dominance over Perim.
- Evil Brit: Klay. Granted, his accent also sounds Australian to some, but the "evil" part is never in question.
- Extreme Omnivore: H'earring will eat just about anything, even if it's rotten and disgusting. His favorite food is Dractyl's discarded scales.
- Face of a Thug: Many creatures look intimidating as hell and have the personalities to match that, but there are others who look just as scary and intimidating yet they're actually quite friendly. Probably the best example is Aokua, an enormous, scary looking dragon Underworlder who humans fear due to rumors of him hating and eating them, but it turns out Aokua is a very friendly guy who loves a good laugh, and the negative rumors come from his habit of playing scary yet harmless pranks on humans.
- Fantastic Firearms: The world of Perim has weapons that fire Earth, Water, Air and well fire. Some of the creatures of Perim can't shoot certain elements so these weapons can compensate for that. They have their own bizarre power-sources.
- Faux Action Girl: Although Sarah has a lot of Scan Quests, she is very rarely seen in a Drome Battle.
- Fighting Series: Debatable because even with the elements of a war, arenas, and semi-standardized techniques, the game is still the point of the show.
- Find the Cure: Several times, the main characters have to find a cure for an illness afflicting a creature or a location.
- Flashback with the Other Darrin: In a meta-sense; the Previously on… in the season premiere of M'arrillian Invasion is done in the season's new art style as opposed to the Flash animation of the first season.
- Herculeon is implied at the end of "Over Under Rent Asunder" to see Kaz as a Worthy Opponent, and the ending shot of said episode seemed to insinuate that he would dial down at least some of his anti Underworld views. In his second appearance in Season 3, he is even more extreme, openly calls Kaz a failure, and reacts with a childish temper tantrum when Kaz beats him.
- Although Klay was depicted as a schemer from the start, his first Battledrome appearance had him portrayed as a genuinely skilled opponent who came close to getting a legitimate win. In almost all of his subsequent Drome appearances, he is depicted as a terrible player and the only time he comes close to winning is due to blatant cheating.
- In the first season, Peyton's odd antics hid a very formidable player and he could be quite intelligent, especially in a Drome Match. In the second and third season, Peyton became much more silly and incompetent.
- Fun with Acronyms: The Codemasters of Chaotic, and their respective Battledromes, are named Crellan, Hotekk, Amzen, Oron, Tirasis, Imthor, and Chirrul.
- Game-Breaker: In-Universe:
- Being a series about a virtual world based on a Card game, Episode 18 of the first season shows us the "Allmageddon", a very powerful AOE attack that makes the player that can use it pretty much invincible, the episode plays it very straight and deconstructs it, with the player that can use it getting sick of people chasing him to challenge him to a match, and defeating it required Peyton using a very specific Battlegear with very specific timing and landing in very specific locations, which in turn required him to sacrifice a Creature just to buy time to set it up. Notably, it's implied that the player in question, Drew, isn't actually a very good player himself - he's never shown winning a battle using anything but Allmageddon, showing just how overpowered it is.
- The M'arrillians prove to be as powerful in the Dromes as they are in Perim once people start getting scans of them. Their ability to mind-control Creatures simply ends one-on-one battles as soon as they connect, as first demonstrated by Sarah's Phelphor controlling Tom's Thonder and making him walk off a cliff.
- Game Face: Phelphor is actually a M'arrillian double agent, but possesses the ability to take on the appearance of an Underworlder.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
- The series is a bit infamous among fans for the sheer discrepancies between what cards do in the card game and what they can do in the show, particularly in the first season. Takinom is a particularly prominent example: despite throwing fire around all the time in the show, her original card was completely unable to use fire attacks.
- Hoton using Allmageddon to indiscriminately destroy things is another notable one, since Allmageddon as a card needs multiple elements to do noticeable damage, yet Hoton's only card doesn't have a single element.
- Even in Perim, where the creatures appear for real, it varies as to what types of attacks they can do. Nauthilax using fire and earth attacks despite only being able to use water attacks as a card is a notable example. Fluff text from when the series was live seems to imply that any Creature can try to use any attack (which is also true in the game), but only Creatures that have mastered the appropriate elements and/or Disciplines will be fully effective with them.
- Precisely how often the exact rules of Chaotic occur in a match will vary on the episode. In some episodes, the Drome Master will be very clear on the rules, while in other episodes, they won't notice blatant cheating by one of the players (though there appears to be an exception if some acts are agreed upon by the players).
- Geek: Kaz.
- Gender Bender: When players become their cards, they're not solely limited to their own gender. Kaz, a fervent Underworld player will frequently use Takinom in matches, and Tom has used Intress more than once. This happens every time Sarah enters the Dromes, since her deck is filled with Danians, and the queen (who she hasn't scanned) is the only female Danian.
- Goggles Do Nothing: The original character design of Tom shows the similarity to Digimon. The goggles were removed for his design in the actual show.
- Grey-and-Gray Morality: None of the tribes are 100% in the right all the time. Some of them are jerkasses, some of them are downright despicable, and alternatively some of them really are heroes, but there's no purely evil tribe or purely heroic tribe.
- The episode "Shifting Sands" best expressed this trope, After Tom's first encounter with Mipedians nearly got him killed he saw them all as evil, Peyton tries to show him that every tribe has their own good guys and bad guys and that no one tribe is wholly good or evil, they get saved by the Mipedian Tianne and he takes them to his home to explain that no one tribe is all bad, but some tribes have really bad apples. Then comes in the scorpion-like Overworlder Slurhk, one of the few evil Overworlders ever shown, who tries to kill the boys and Tianne because he believes the Midepim desert belongs to the Overworld. Tianne ends up preforming a Heroic Sacrifice to save Tom and Peyton, but not before allowing Tom to scan him so he can see the world as he does.
- Hypocrite: In "An Easy Win", Sarah offers to face Peyton in a Drome Battle and let him win so he can get the 7th win he needs to challenge the Code Master. Peyton declines because it would be an insult to his honor as a Chaotic player. However, when Peyton battles Lulu in the Drome, he ends up taking pity on her and tries to throw several battles himself just to help her feel better. Once Lulu finds out he was letting her win, instead of her actually doing it herself, she becomes furious. At the end of the episode, Sarah makes the same offer to Peyton again and seems to still refuse, only to whisper to her he accepts and will meet her at the Drome in a few minutes.
- Hate Sink: It's shown clearly from early on that basically everybody in Chaotic hates Klay and Krystella due to their off-putting, nasty personalities and consistently ruthless behavior in both Chaotic and Perim. Even the Drome Master of Battledrome Crellan calls out Klay on his behavior in the episode Everything is in Flux right as the match between Klay and Tom is about to begin, and in the episode War Beasts the same guy who worked with them to cheat Peyton out of 20 of his best cards for a War Beast card he can't control, betrays Klay and Krystella by giving Peyton the info he needs to control his War Beast and defeat Klay in a battle. It only emphasizes this trope that the duo actually likes being so heavily disliked and openly state that they don't care how they win, so they're willing to lie, cheat and backstab without batting an eye to achieve it, even putting in danger the safety of fellow Chaotic players and Perim creatures alike.
- The humans who were destroying locations attracted the ire of the Codemasters and Overworlders alike and were even banned from Chaotic.
- On the Perim side of the equation, everybody hates Lord Van Bloot precisely because of his backstabbing personality and utter lack of morals. Most of the Underworlders utterly dislike him, and the second Von Bloot tries to undo Perim's history by travelling back in time, all of the tribes band together to stop him, and his few mostly loyal followers are quick to desert him not only then, but any time things get too tough.
- Horror Hunger: Sarah has a Vomit Discretion Shot upon being told that H'earring eats Dractyl scales, and even Dractyl is repulsed when he is told H'earring eats them.
- How Do I Shot Web?: Given that Kaz neglected to tell him about the transforming-creature deal, Tom spends most of his first battle getting used to being Maxxor. He only starts throwing out attacks and Mugic in the last seconds of the fight. His opponent being a Jerkass noob-stomper didn't help matters.
- Hufflepuff House: The Mipedian and Danian tribes, who don't get as much exposure as the Overworld and Underworld tribes.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Aside from a few, creatures in Perim are generally shown to be neither good nor evil. Meanwhile, Klay and Krystella are shown to be much worse. This also includes any other players in Chaotic. See Jerkass below.
- There's also the humans who destroyed ultra rare locations to create further scarcity to boost their value in trading, which is a low that even Klay and Krystella have never been seen to go to.
- Idiot Ball: All of the main human characters will grab this eventually, though to what exact degree will vary depending on the episode and how important it is to the plot, especially if it takes place just in Chaotic or in Perim. Even some creatures will grab the ball, depending on the situation.
- Insistent Terminology: Isalizard does not wear a lizard hat, it's "Mipedian-themed headgear."
- Interspecies Friendship: All over the place, with the main humans having a knack of befriending creatures in Perim, be it individually or as a group. Whether it be overall friendly creatures like H'earring, Vidav, Garv, Aokua and Wamma, to less friendly creatures like Chaor and Smildon, the group ends up making quite a bunch of friends as a whole in Perim. Even before the pilot episode where Tom gets to Chaotic, by then Kaz has befriended H'earring, Sarah has befriended Wamma and Peyton has several Mipedian friends. It helps that the main group never hesitate to help out a creature in need, including saving their lives, no matter what tribe they're from, earning their trust and friendship that way.
- Perhaps the most peculiar example comes in the episode Elementary, where Peyton befriends, of all things, a M'arrillian.
- Jaw Drop: So very often in seasons 2 and 3. You'd be lucky to find a commercial break that isn't preceded by a character staring slack-jawed at something.
- Vlar, Maxxor's ancestor, is despised by his contemporaries for his acts of thievery from the local Kiru Village.
- Many creatures are short-tempered jerks to just about everyone they meet, especially humans. Examples include Staluk, Odu-Bathax and Hammerdoom Chantcaller.
- Bodal is a smug, hyper critical little jerk who never shows any form of gratitude towards his assistant Olkiex or Tom for helping him keep the Kiru City armory organized and in working order, and is also a brown-noser who'll do anything to look good in front of Maxxor, including taking the credit for the work others did.
- Rivaling Bodal in jerkass OverWorlders is Sluhrk, who attacks Peyton and Tom the moment that they enter his territory and unknowingly come across his water supply. He later follows them to Tianne’s home and tries to kill all three out of paranoia and spite.
- A lot of the humans are huge jerkasses. It should also be noted that out of all animated shows based on a game and revolving around said game, this one is arguably the one with the most hardcore trash talking, whether it be out of competitiveness, or tribe affiliation, or simply because the humans are just plain mean, which only exacerbates how jerkish many of them can get. Some examples include:
- Klay and Krystella are the obvious examples, especially when one of their antics causes Tom, Kaz and H'earring to almost fall in molten steel. They never hesitate to screw people over, cheat them out of their cards/scans and endanger anyone just for kicks, never displaying any positive qualities at all.
- Other than Klay and Krystella, one of the meanest is Sam, an egotistical and mean-spirited jerk who doesn't really care about other players at all, and is perfectly willing to let people be banned from Chaotic because it means less competition for him. Then there's the time when the main quartet find a door through time to Perim's past, where they can scan creatures that don't exist anymore; Sam discovers them by spying on them, and rather than keep it a secret himself to take advantage of the extreme rarity and uniqueness of the situations and everything they can scan, he decides to blab about it, causing everyone in Chaotic to know, just to spite the main quartet.
- Even Kaz and Sarah tend to be big jerks from time to time due to their being more open about their opinions of tribe superiority compared to others, having ego issues much more pronounced than Tom and Peyton, and can be quite condescending towards others, such as Sarah's penchant for calling people "losers". Perhaps the most notable example is how in one episode Chaor and some other Underworlders invade Kiru City and Tom states that he should warn Maxxor, then Kaz proceeds to smugly taunt Tom about how Maxxor is inferior to Chaor because he can't do anything without Tom's help, this despite the fact that Tom, Sarah and Peyton almost got killed moments before when Chaor attacked.
- CoolTom is a grade-A version, crossed with Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. He let Tom almost get coded while he got an Ice Cloak scan in the Overworld Barracks, and then actively tries to take Tom's friends away and making them his own. He is not quiet on this point when they battled in the Drome.
- Tank, a Jerk Jock type with huge ego issues and a nasty temper.
- Codemaster Hotekk is quite arrogant and jerkish towards players, contrasting the kind and courteous Crellan and Imthor.
- The Chaotikings, a group of snobby jerks who call themselves the best players in Chaotic (though apparently they do have the winning record to show for it), and are highly condescending to everyone they deem unworthy of being at their level.
- Perhaps the nastiest of the lot are Simon and his three friends from the episode "A Rare Hazard". Their hobby was taking lots of scans of very rare locations, then proceeding to use explosives to destroy them so no other players could ever have them and they could sell their scans to the highest bidders. To wit, these four are eventually caught and it's hinted that the Code Masters ban them from both Chaotic and Perim, never able to return again. Klay and Krystella have pulled off all sorts of terrible stunts but have never been banned, so that shows just how genuinely rotten Simon and his friends were.
- Another of the nastiest is a boy named Elliot, known for being a scan hog who's always looking for customers to sell or trade his scans for. In the episode "Out in the Cold", Kaz has to venture into a highly dangerous location to try to aid Raimusa against an attack by Pyrithion (which Kaz is accidentally responsible for causing), and his friends try to get a scan of the location to study it so they can warn Kaz of the dangers, but Elliot flat-out refuses to help despite both Kaz and Raimusa's lives being in danger. He has to be goaded into a match against Tom just so the group can get a chance to explore the location, which Elliot uses just to promote his scans, and even then Elliot outright sadistically, Slasher Smile and all, taunts Tom about possible dangers ahead that could well mean Kaz's demise or tries ending the match as quickly as possible so Tom and the others won't get chances to warn Kaz of the dangers, laughing about it afterwards while stating that adding drama will boost his scan business.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Some of the creatures can be pretty nasty, but also genuinely nice to those they come to care about.
- Several Mipedians, such as Zhade and Siado, who are sneaky and underhanded, are also quite friendly with Peyton.
- Rothar from the Underworlders is a dangerous and violent brute, but has been stated as the kind of guy who will always stand up for those he cares about. In the episode "Colosseum Showdown", Rothar's intervention by insulting Hammerdoom saves Kaz from being attacked right then and there, and in the end of the episode "Stelgar Strikes", Rothar finds a severely weakened Stelgar and offers him his help, despite not knowing who this creature is or what tribe he's from.
- On the humans side, there is a player named Bruiser, who's basically an arrogant Jerk Jock through and through. But as soon as he learns that the reason Tom risked his prized Maxxor card for a Castle Bodhran scan from Bruiser, a fight which Bruiser won, was because Tom wanted it to rescue a player named Reggie who had been captured by Mipedians, Bruiser does not hesitate for a second to give Tom the Castle Bodhran scan he needed.
- Kaiju: The Warbeasts, gigantic Animalistic Abominations summoned by Mipedian Conjurors. They're incredibly powerful, but also nearly impossible to control except by Conjurors to the degree that, as Peyton found out the hard way, they will quickly destroy themselves if left unchecked.
- Killed Off for Real: Tangath Toborn at the end of Secrets of the Lost City.
- Chaotic (the place) has a triumphant seven-note flourish that more frequently plays when a Battledrome is shown, and often appears at the start of an episode as well.
- The M'arrillians have a sinister seven-note fanfare that plays whenever they take center stage.
- Light Is Not Good: On the other side of the spectrum from the UnderWorld, the Overworlders are arrogant and are sometimes willing to Shoot the Dog. Don't let the teamwork system fool you; they can be pretty petty.
- Limited Wardrobe: Characters' wardrobes only seem to consist of exactly one outfit. The only time Tom really dresses in anything else is when he's pulled into Chaotic in his pajamas.
- Logic Bomb: At the end of "ChaotiKings," Peyton drops one on the crew by offering to start a club for people that won't join clubs.Sarah: So... that would be a club, right?
Peyton: Yeah! Wanna join?
Peyton: Excellent, you're in!
- Malicious Misnaming: CoolTom constantly refers to Major Tom as "Tom 2", saying "you must be my sequel". This initially seems like a case of The Name Is Bond, James Bond since Tom introduced himself saying "I'm Tom too", but even after Tom yells at him saying "My name's not 'Tom 2', it's Major Tom!' CoolTom continues to purposefully refer to him as "Tom 2".
- Master of Disguise: Iparu
- Mentors: Codemaster Crellan, obviously. Kaz, Sarah, and Peyton could be considered mentors to Tom.
- Merchandise-Driven: The tie-in card game, of course.
- Mickey Mousing: It's a given, since this is a 4kids produced series.
- Mind Manipulation: This ability is pretty much the M'arrillians' bread and butter. There is also one Underworlder (Opto) who possesses the ability. They lose the ability after they're defeated in the Season Finale of M'arrillian Invasion. They're still around, but no mind control.
- Mirror Match: In "A Tale of Two Toms", the first battle between Tom and CoolTom has them both use Viqtarr. CoolTom wins due to his scan of Viqtarr being much stronger.
- Monowheel Mayhem: Mowercycles are this plus some teeth to grip stone walls and powersaw through everything else. They can also ride up walls, but just don't try to drive across a log bridge.
- Monster Lord: Every tribe is led by a designated leader, such as Maxxor for the Overworlders and Chaor for the Underworlders.
- Monster of the Aesop: Tom’s opponent in “Shifting Sands,” SlickNick, is an exaggerated version of how Tom acted in the beginning of the episode. While Tom got over his grudge against the Mipedians, SlickNick starts and ends the match putting down non-OverWorlders, even calling Tom’s mixed tribe board “disgusting.”
- Never Say "Die": Surprisingly Averted in M'arillian Invasion. In the second episode of the 3-part season finale. The second in command of the Overworlders, Tangath Toborn, casts a mugic to freeze time so the melted ice-caps of Glacier Plains don't flood Perim. He is unable to get out of the way in time. It takes effect after he's engulfed in the flood, causing him to drown. This is surprising because this happens in a show made by "4kids", who removes every single mention of death in their shows and the anime they dub.
- Then again, it could be a Disney Death since characters who are said to have died in "4kids" shows, come back later (e.g., Luffy from One Piece Dub, Leather Head from TMNT). Although every Shredder aside from the 80s cartoon and Mirage Comics versions actually died, Cyber Shredder in particular had a rather excruciating on-screen death.
- He was frozen in waves. In the season finale of Secrets of the Lost City, it's revealed he's from the Spirit Lands, a sort of ghostly place. His sword is the only way he can stay in Perim. Another creature from that place wants to battle him. The only way free Tangath to stop this creature was to destroy his sword. After he stops the creature, he returns to the Spirit Lands. All four tribes hold a funeral for him at Glacier Plains. This time, it's a real death.
- While death is almost never mentioned on the show, many creatures are seen dying onscreen. The episode with the highest body count to date appeares to be "Warriors of Eternity", where many Mipedians were killed.
- While never stated outright, Sarah heavily implies in the first episode that if you die while in Perim? You die in the real world as well as evidenced when Tom is almost killed saving Mezzmar from Nauthilax. A later episode plays this straight, stating that death in Perim just locks you out of Chaotic and Perim for good.
- New Meat: Tom is new to the real world of Chaotic. Another episode focuses on the boys smitten with a new female player, and in another, Tom helps a young newbie before Klay can steal the kid's cards from his deck.
- Noodle Incident: Used in the first two episodes, and rather hilariously, as it was used to make Tom believe Kaz about saving the scanner.
- Off-Model: Certain Creatures' designs in the show don't look much like their card artwork.
- Ixxik is probably the most notorious example; his show appearance has a radically different horn shape and body color than his card artwork, to the point where you could mistake the two for entirely different Creatures if he wasn't name-dropped.
- Throughout Season 1, Takinom was shown with red skin, while she has yellow skin on her card artworks. This was corrected in Season 2 onward.
- One-Winged Angel: Aa'une decides to do Lovecraft before his doomed battle.
- Only Friend:
- Klay and Krystella quickly become this to one another, as they're both hated by everyone in Chaotic due to being such rotten, underhanded jerks, so they come to enjoy hanging out together and causing double the grief to everyone.
- Tom becomes this to Smildon, as the latter's home is Prexxor Chasm, a location where all creatures treat one another as enemies and survival of the fittest is the norm. Tom (the only player we ever see obtaining a scan of Prexxor Chasm) is the first person to ever treat Smildon with kindness, and Smildon quickly warms up to Tom, even before Tom manages to successfully aid Smildon in ridding Prexxor Chasm of the menace that threatened to destroy it and all its inhabitants.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Twins, Krystella and Jysella.
- Reveling in the New Form: The main draw of the battles is that the human players can transform into the creatures from the game for the duration of their battle. Naturally, the players (most of them being teenagers) absolutely love being able to transform into powerful badass creatures and get to enjoy the thrill of going into battle themselves rather than simply playing the card game.
- Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: Kaz uses a complicated trap to try and defeat his opponents twice as Borth-Majar: once in the Mount Pillar arsenal and once in Castle Mommark. The first one works, but the second one fails when his opponent jumps away at the last second.
- Rule of Seven: The number seven shows up a lot in this series, although the significance of the number is never discussed:
- Chaotic, in addition to having seven letters in its name, has seven official Battledromes with seven Codemasters to run them. Players can challenge Codemasters or be challenged by them only after winning seven matches in the Codemaster's drome.
- Mugic are comprised of seven-note melodies, and their physical representations are heptagonal crystals. Similarly, most Leitmotifs heard in the show have seven notes.
- The Cothica, the mythical power sought by the tribes of Perim, has seven letters in its name (which incidentally is also an anagram of "Chaotic"). Several significant characters with mystical qualities, such as Najarin and Heptadd (the latter of whom is rumored in-universe to have connections to the Cothica), also have seven letters in their name.
- Serious Business: Only in one parallel universe. Most of the players know at the end of the day it's just a game for them...except for Kaz. Who treats it the exact same in both worlds.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: In one episode, someone steals a piece of Danian battle gear that Sarah was attempting to scan, so she recruits Tom, Kaz, & Peyton to engage in a Chain of Deals that will allow her to get a card version of it. After much hassle on their part, including Kaz having to give up one of his prized cards, they manage to obtain it, only for Sarah to reveal that her Danian friend caught the thief while they were busy and she already scanned it.
- Ship Tease: Tom and Sarah have a lot of it. Scavenger Scan and A Flux Too Far, especially, are basically episodes devoted to them dating in all but name.
- The M'arrillian's former name was "The Deep Ones". Their higher-ranking members, being bioluminescent cephalopod monsters with mind-control powers, are pretty much exactly the sort of thing Lovecraft would come up with.
- Tom Majors screen name is "Major Tom", chances are he or one of the staff are David Bowie fans.
- Sibling Rivalry: "Worlds Apart" is mainly about this trope. It's revealed that Krystella has a twin sister named Jycella, and they both barely got along until the end of the episode because of their opposing personalities (Krystella is a Jerkass while Jycella is a Nice Girl). Also, the two creatures, Nivenna and Aivenna, are twin sisters who are noted to be mortal enemies, which is due to them being seperated at birth and raised by different tribes.
- Signature Mon:
- Tom has Maxxor and, later on, Tangath Toborn, until he gets Maxxor back; Kaz has Chaor and, seemingly due to his tendency to show up on Kaz's teams, Rarran; Sarah has Lore and Wamma, and finally Peyton has Zhade and Marquis Darini. Meanwhile, Klay uses Barath Beyond in nearly every match in early episodes, although he later begins to use Lord Van Bloot.
- A notable one is a player named Brad, whose Chaotic name is Tartareker. When Tom faces him in a 6-on-6 match, Tartareker lives up to his name by having his whole team be composed of only Tartarek. Justified as it is during a Beta Drome match where anything goes.
- Significant Anagram: While it's not commented on in the series, the Cothica (Perim's ultimate unseen Cosmic Keystone) is an anagram of Chaotic. Fan theorists certainly took notice.
- The Smart Guy: Kaz, and to some extent Sarah.
- The Smurfette Principle: Sarah is the token female lead of Chaotic.
- SNK Boss: The CodeMasters. They're said to have lots of incredibly powerful exclusive cards and can easily steamroll unprepared players with them, and though we only see two CodeMasters do battle, they live up to the reputation:
- Crellan first faces Tom using only his Ursis against Tom's full six-man team in a beta drome match... and wipes the floor with five of Tom's six Creatures, using a combination of his unique Prexxor Chasm location, Ursis' brute force, and the Droskin, a Battlegear that makes Ursis completely immune to attacks. However, he confides in Tom that he believes it's more about the player than the cards themselves, and true to his statement Tom nearly beat him on the final turn. In their official match, Crellan fields even stronger cards, including a support Creature that can endlessly revive his main fighter.
- Hotekk's team, by comparison, seems pretty tame aside from being stronger than the average Creature... until Tom defeats his last Creature, whose ability promptly resurrects the rest of Hotekk's team and makes Tom fight all five of them at once.
- It is also implied that they can control various aspects of Chaotic, as all of the battles in "Fighting Friendly" had the creatures used equipped with just the battlegear for precisely that location, despite the fact the location is supposed to be random. That particular match was intentionally rigged as part of a sting operation, though, so it's debatable whether they do this in an actual challenge match. And the first episode of season 2 displays that they can outright override Chaotic players' scanners and render them completely inoperable until they so desire.
- Sore Loser: Many a Chaotic player is this, with the best examples being Klay and Krystella, but there are also others, like Sam and Tank. Even the main four humans can be this at times.
- Spoof Aesop: Peyton and Krystella engage in a battle of the sexes in order to determine which is superior. Peyton wins, but then someone points out that he only used female creatures, while Krystella only used male creatures, which just confuses everybody. By season two, he's turned this into a Running Gag.
- Sports Dad: “The Floundering Father” features one of these in the form of Buzz Sr., a former online player who quit to coach his son Buzz Jr. His loud and abrasive coaching rub the gang the wrong way, leading to them challenging him and him discovering that a Drome match isn’t as easy to do as he thought.
- Status Quo Is God: Season 2 features the four tribes ending their hostilities to bring down the M’arillians. Season 3 opens with the alliance falling apart due to cheating and disagreements concerning a race.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
- Amusingly, in one episode, Kaz is playing as Takinom in a drome match. During the battle, Takinom gets kicked in the groin. Does she shrug it off like in most media? No, she actually staggers for a bit in clear pain and takes a while to recover.
- Kaz, it doesn't matter how real your ability is to go to a parallel universe where you can scan alien creatures and use them in AR deathmatches, no one's going to believe such a fantastical story if there's no definitive way to prove it. Unsurprisingly, his refusal to keep quiet about Chaotic in the real world without being able to prove it has led him to be bullied and branded a nutter on more than one occasion.
- In one episode, when Tom, Kaz, Peyton, and Sarah, begin to travel back in time to ancient Perim, they enter the territory of creature known as Voorx, who demands they pay him something in order to pass through it. Peyton attempts to pay him with a piece of lint from his pocket hoping Voorx won't know what it really is. However, the moment Peyton gives it to him, Voorx immediately identifies it as lint, which is now soggy due to Voorx being made of out of water, and becomes angry. Just because the creatures of Perim are different from Humans, doesn't mean they don't known what a certain material is, even if it comes from another world.
- Humans are absolutely no match for any creature in Perim, given that most Creatures are proficient Magic Knights that are bigger and heavier than the average human by a wide margin. Tom's offscreen fight with Frafdo ended with Frafdo easily winning, and a single attack could easily kill a human. Not surprisingly, most of the humans try to avoid contact with creatures if at all possible.
- In most tv shows based on games, the protagonists always win regardless of the odds. In this show, that does not happen. Several times, especially in Season 1, the protagonists lose a number of drome matches simply because their adversaries are considerably more experienced, bad luck or the rules of the game.
- Nothing is truly secret, eventually someone is going to find out about something you have hidden or try to keep exclusive; like a time portal to the past. Especially if you’re someone like Kaz, intent on bragging about your gains when everyone wants you to keep quiet. Sam Shady put it best: “You don’t REALLY think you can keep a portal to ancient Perim secret, do you? Players who aren’t as clueless as you are gonna figure it out sooner or later.”
- This is followed by another example, as Tom, Peyton and Sarah call out Kaz on battling with the ancient creatures they scanned and was too obvious about it. Kaz responds by saying that Sam wouldn't tell all of Chaotic about it, but Peyton points out that Sam doesn't need to tell everyone; Sam has to tell it to just one single person, and that single person will proceed to tell someone else, who will then tell someone else, until all of Chaotic knows. Not even a minute later, Peyton is proven right.
- Take That, Audience!: The episode "A Peytonic Adventure" explicitly seems to be the writers mocking fans who create poorly written fanfics in an attempt to correct any perceived errors the writers committed in the show, especially given the majority of the episode's plot is clearly something Peyton made up. His reaction when Tom, Kaz, and Sarah all note the obvious flaws in the story is also rather resembling an amateur trying to defend their errors to someone more experienced.
- Team Pet: Kaz’s Underworld informant He'arring, though probably a lot different, seems to fill this role.
- Tentacled Terror: The M'arrillian Tribe is hostile sea food at the lower-rungs, but the higher rungs, like Chieftains and Aa'une himself, are mostly eyes and slimy tentacles that don't look like anything. Aa'une's One-Winged Angel form with multiple mouths and a dozen tentacles now makes him by far the ugliest creature in the entire series.
- Too Dumb to Live: Kaz, outside of Chaotic and Perim. His obsession with talking everything Chaotic and Perim to everyone at every waking hour, including writing school reports about his adventures there, and his stubborn insistence that they are real places despite being unable to provide a shred of proof gets him in trouble at school, made to talk to the school counselor, and nearly makes his mother take away his scanner for good because she believe's him to be suffering from some mental issue, which would have made Kaz unable to go to Chaotic and Perim or return from it anymore. Rather than just stop talking of it altogether so his mother and teachers and school counselor ease up on him and he can continue coming and going as he pleases, he continues to insist it's real and tries to get proof, which in his eyes is to have someone from Chaotic call the counselor to tell him it's real, not realizing that the counselor, as well as his mother, can simply attribute this as any random kid from school or met by Kaz in his online matches calling to say that at Kaz's insistence.
- Transformation Sequence: Used to turn players into Creatures during Drome Matches.
- Trust Password: Tom and Kaz both know that the real-life Tom wouldn't believe Kaz about Chaotic being real, so to get Tom's scanner back from the trash and convince him, Kaz gets Tom in Chaotic to tell him a secret that no one else knows. We don't get to hear what it is, of course.
- Out of the main four, Sarah. Sure, she'd never let the guys down, but that doesn't mean she won't snark at them to hell and back. It's best demonstrated in her first meeting with Tom: first, she gets ticked at him for nearly ruining her attempt to scan Mezzmarr, but when he tells her that he got tricked by Klay, she softens up immediately (for a bit at least) and later teaches him how the transport system really works.
- Some of the creatures do their best to act all tough and mean towards some of the main humans, despite the fact that it's more than obvious they've come to genuinely care for them. Both Maxxor and Smildon act like this to Tom, as does Chaor for Kaz, but in all cases (especially Chaor's), they ease up on the kids after a while.
- Ungrateful Bastard: In "Trading Cards" the boys run through a lot of hoops to help Sarah get a massive Danian mugic scan, only for her to reveal to the boys she actually managed to scan it in Perim, and never once thanks them for the hassles they got for trying to help her.
- Victory Is Boring: Drew the Skater manages to get a copy of Hoton just after he learned Allmageddon, and proceeds to thrash everybody he battles against...which gets boring real fast since the attack is so powerful and difficult to avoid that it eliminates any sense of challenge from the game.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Borth and Majar. They may bicker and snipe at each other constantly, but they need each other's help to stand up to other creatures, and indeed the game treats them as a single creature, Borth-Majar.
- Wacky Racing: The titular Perithon in the season 3 premiere.
- Witch with a Capital "B": Used (possibly) in episode 12. Peyton mentions tripping over Krystella's "broomstick" and Krystella responds that he (Peyton) sees strong female players as witches. In episode 5, after she speaks, Peyton imitates the sound of a bus pulling over and says the "witchmobile" just pulled in.