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Adventurer Archaeologist Jackie Chan considers himself a normal, boring guy who lives with his Uncle at an antique shop in San Francisco and is frequently sent on expeditions for the local university. This changes in the first episode where Jackie retrieved a magic talisman that holds unique and special powers. After being attacked by minions of The Dark Hand criminal organization, Jackie is contacted by a government organization called "Section 13," led by his old friend Captain Black. Section 13 is an extension of INTERPOL dedicated to dealing with hyper-criminal elements that the normal authorities are no match for.

Section 13 ends up backing Jackie and the quirky "Uncle" for their knowledge on ancient artifacts and magic. They are trying to stay one step ahead of the Dark Hand, who are looking to take Jackie's talisman and unite it with others to complete a set that will awaken an ancient demon dragon named Shendu from centuries of imprisonment within a statue (Shendu promised them the lost treasure of Qin Shi Huangdi).

Add Jackie's niece (technically his first cousin-once-removed), Jade, newly arrived from Hong Kong, to join him in his adventures. She will stick her nose in anything and everything, and neither Jackie nor Uncle can stop her.

As the series progressed, eventually it fell into a routine each season with a Big Bad searching for a set of magical artifacts. They are, of course, scattered across the world. There were, however, standalone episodes scattered about. Typically Shendu or forces related to Shendu ends up as the primary Myth Arc. They do find additional allies in the luchador El Toro and the cat burglar Viper. The typical episode involves the characters trying to locate the magical artifact and figuring out either its unique power or how to neutralize it to prevent harm.

Executive produced by Jackie Chan and created by John Rogers, Jackie Chan Adventures is debatably Chan's most successful American effort. It ran for five seasons and was chock full of creative set pieces and physical comedy, just like a live-action Jackie Chan film. The animated Jackie, however, was voiced by James Sie. The real Jackie did make appearances, in live-action footage intercut during the title sequence and featurettes where he answered fan questions during the end credits.

There's a video game tie-in known as Jackie Chan Adventures 2004 for the PS2 and Jackie Chan Adventures Legend Of The Dark Hand for the Game Boy Advance.

This show provides examples of:

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  • Aborted Arc: At the end of "The Chosen One" it's implied that Jade is the actual Chosen One. This is never followed up on.
  • Abusive Parents: Downplayed. Uncle treats Jackie rather poorly and shows little to no concern for all his nephew goes through, but this apparently only started after Jackie's childhood. He also slaps him a lot, which is the way a martial arts master would correct his students.
  • Accidental Kiss: Tohru accidentally greets Captain Black with a big kiss in the Christmas Episode, having been expecting his mother.
    Black: [a little bitter] That's OK, Tohru; I'm often mistaken for elderly Japanese women.
  • Acrofatic: Tohru, when using the Rabbit Talisman.
    • Tommy Chung of the Chan Gang.
  • Action Girl: Jade, somewhat as a kid, definitely as an adult (1st version at least)
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Sometimes averted when Jackie behaves like a real archaeologist. He relishes these rare opportunities.
  • Adventure Rebuff: This is how Jade usually gets involved in each plot. This happens at least once EVERY episode and Jackie gives up telling Jade to stay out of trouble. ("Jade what are you doing...why do I bother to ask?") Not that she gets involved every time, of course; on one or two occasions she stayed behind... when the danger was far too great.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Tarakudo is better liked by the human minions than the other Big Bads, as well as one of the more intelligent ones. Some might see him as Faux Affably Evil since he's essentially conducting a Xanatos Gambit where, even if his minions fail to collect any of the masks, once the heroes end up with all nine masks and store them in the same location, the demons are unleashed anyway. However, for all of Tarakudo's capacity for cruelty, his affable demeanor comes across as genuine. He's under no obligation to be a Benevolent Boss to the Dark Hand, yet he actively encourages his men to seek them out. He also takes their failures on the chin, whereas Shendu or Daolon Wong would blow their top off and often torture them. So whilst he is most certainly evil, his geniality isn't necessarily a facade, or at least he doesn't show it.
    • Xiao Fung the Wind Demon also falls into this category, at least more so than the other demons.
    • The Dark Hand Enforcer Trio (Finn, Ratso, and Chow) fit this to a T. Great friends with each other with at least a decent level of amiability towards their adversaries. In the final season, they even come to realize the error of their ways and pull a genuine Heel–Face Turn in the finale.
  • All-Accessible Magic: Chi magic can be learned by anyone through study and practice. Uncle, who has been a chi wizard for years, usually acts as the main spellcaster on the side of the protagonists, but over the course of the series he trains Tohru to become a chi wizard, and Jade has also tried her hands at magic a few times, with varying results. In "The J Team" even the usually skeptic Captain Black decides to give it a try; he ends up turning himself into a frog.
  • All Myths Are True: This is a world filled with all kinds of magical objects and beings, including wizards, demon sorcerers, dragons, oni, shadow spirits, chi vampires, trolls, chupacabras, etc.
    • It's zigzagged whether or not the Loch Ness Monster exists. Jade is briefly mistaken for it in the dark while in Scotland, and later she summons it in a dream.
    • During the Christmas episode, it is revealed that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist, even though Santa Claus does.
    • Except for Stonehenge being magical (it's really a landing pad for flying saucers).
  • All Part of the Show: In the episode "Enter the Viper," people think the fight on top of the inflatable float is part of the parade's entertainment.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us:
    • In "Queen of the Shadowkhan", Jade's titular Superpowered Evil Side takes control of Section 13 with the aid of the Shadowkhan.
    • In "The Powers Unleashed", both the Dark Hand and Daolon Wong break into Section 13 to steal the Talismans.
    • In "Re-Enter The Dragon", Shendu attacks Section 13 to take back the Talisman powers from the Noble Animals.
    • In "Ninja Twilight", the unleashed combined might of the Shadowkhan tribes quickly seize control of Section 13.
    • In "Black and White and Chi All Over", Drago briefly breaks into Section 13 to steal the demon chi, but is quickly repelled.
    • In "The Powers that Be - Part 2", Drago sends the empowered Ice Crew to attack Section 13 and destroy it.
  • Alternate History: The show seemingly takes place in one where a demon sorcerer ruled 12th century China, dragons were once plentiful fauna of the East Asian steppes, and many magical artifacts are scattered around. Though there still seems to be a Masquerade, as most humans are unaware of magic, or that all this folklore is real.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Not surprisingly, all demons are very sinister, regardless of place of origin.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Paco spends all his time with El Toro Fuerte with zero mention of his parents.
    • Zigzagged with Jade's parents. They do exist but after "Demon World" they're never seen or mentioned again.
  • Ambiguously Brown: By and the large the show is VERY multi-cultural, with characters who are clearly Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic commonplace. That makes Viper's brown skin and Ratso's pale green skin stand out a little more.
  • Amusing Injuries: Everyone gets a healthy dose of these, much to their chagrin, except Jade and Uncle. And even then, there are a few moments where they get these as well.
    • Exaggerated with the Dark Chi Enforcers. Their injuries are already played for laughs normally, but when Daolon Wong turned them into immortal warriors they would just poof away after taking mortal injuries, which allowed the writers to ramp up their already pronounced habit of getting into painful situations by putting them through humorous incidents that would normally be fatal.
  • Anachronic Order: Season Two had several episodes that were set during a time period in the first season (no flashback or anything), sometimes even explaining how certain events ended up that way. In particular, a first season episode opened with Jackie trying to get the snake talisman from a museum. A second season episode set right before it showed he originally found it in a cave in South America and lost it to another archaeologist, who donated it to the museum. Jackie even ends the episode talking about how much easier it is to just walk to the museum.
    • Repeats of the series have placed these episodes in their correct place corresponding to where they fit with the Season 1 plot with Season 2 beginning with the start of the demon portal arc.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Shendu makes it clear that he considers being trapped as a sentient, immobile statue for 900 years to be this from firsthand experience.
    • Likewise, Shendu's seven siblings have spent centuries trapped in a Prison Dimension where there's only rocks floating amidst a void, and they're pretty desperate to escape permanently.
    • The Monkey King, unlike his puppet-fied victims, appears to remain aware in his inanimate, sealed puppet form.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Well, if you want to know things about Jackie Chan, anyway, the real-life version of which would answer kids' questions they had sent in, read by Stacie Chan, Jade's voice actress (and of absolutely no relationship to Jackie Chan).
  • An Ice Person: The Lotus Temple Guardian has ice-rays, and may be some kind of abominable snowman.
  • Animalistic Abilities:
    • The talismans of Shendu are a set of 12 talismans based on the Eastern Zodiac. Each talisman grants a power based on the animal it represents, i.e. the ox grants strength, the rabbit grants speed, the rooster grants levitation.
    • In "The Amazing T-Girl'', Jade absorbs the powers of all 12 talismans.
  • Animating Artifact: The Rat Talisman grants "Motion to the Motionless" - when attached to a statue, it comes to life with the memories and powers of the being it represents. The Big Bad of season 1, Shendu, can use the Rat talisman to transform his statue prison into his original body without needing to break the spell that imprisons him. In an episode where Jackie gets turned into a puppet, the Rat talisman is used to let him animate and control his puppet body.
  • Animation Bump: The fourth season noticeably has smoother character movements in comparison to the second and third seasons, more on par with the first season. There are longer stretches of more distinctive martial arts combat rather than more general actions and Speed Lines.
  • Anime Hair: Uncle, Jackie, Jade, depending on how the episode's art is.
  • Animesque: Not as much as say, Teen Titans, but with the Monkey Talisman, yeah.
  • Animorphism: The Monkey Talisman allows the user to turn oneself or others into any animal and back.
  • Another Dimension: The show explores this a few times in the vein of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There's Shendu's extradimensional dragon minions, the Shadow Realm where the Shadowkhan reside, the Netherworld where the Demon Sorcerers are imprisoned, and also that amphibian-creature that thought Jade was lunch.
  • Anything but That!: "Ugh. Bavaria..."
    • Also used a couple of times in the torture sense (such as by the Monkey King).
    • Tarakudo with onions.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • In the Season 1 finale, Shendu's Evil Plan is to inflict what would likely be a Class 1 for the world overall: he intends to summon an army of dragons from Another Dimension and use them to destroy (not rule) the whole of Asia.
    • In Season 2, though all the Demon Sorcerers individually want to Take Over the World after being freed; Bai Tza and Tchang Zu both respectively threaten to inflict a Class 0 on Los Angeles and San Francisco and then make the ruins the foundation of their new kingdoms. Tso Lan however threatens to cause a Class 4-5 on the How scale, as he wants to pull the moon from orbit and wreck all of Earth's ecosystems as Hostile Terraforming.
    • In Season 4, Tarakudo and his Oni Generals threaten to inflict The Night That Never Ends on the planet using their combined power. Though the show never mentions it, if we think about it in terms of Fridge Horror, the lack of sunlight would likely cause a Class 5-6.
    • In Season 5, Drago intends to bring Hell on Earth. In his Storyboarding the Apocalypse, it looks like humans are suffering a Class 2, but since in the storyboard the moon is broken in two and extradimensional demons are roaming, it'll logically probably be a Class 4 for the Earth's biosphere.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Jackie, constantly (it manages to look like he's attempting to baby his opponent at times). "Fighting is not nice" after all.
  • Applied Mathematics: Jade references combining the Rooster Talisman and the Rabbit Talisman to fly by saying "levitation + speed = flight".
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In "The Demon Beneath My Wings", Jade disbelieves in ghosts, despite knowing about demons. But of course, it turns out that the mansion she's visiting is in fact haunted by angry ghosts.
  • Are We Getting This?: Defied in "Snake Hunt". TV archaeologist Wesley Rank encounters a gigantic snake but is more concerned with getting out alive and in possession of the snake talisman it's guarding. Rank's camera operator remains calm and shines the camera's spotlight into the snake's eyes to blind it.
    Rank: Crikey, I didn't tell you to film that!
    Cameraman: Hello, I'm blinding it! Snakes don't have eyelids!
  • Art Evolution: In particular, there's an Art Shift (including visual reactions) in episode 9, season 1, and the Chupacabra episode (the writing seems different for that one too).
    • A more permanent one appears in episode 5 of season 4, and stays for another few episodes.
  • Artistic License – Biology: When Jackie is turned into a kangaroo, 'he' has a pouch. Unless Jade was thinking of the pouches and turned him female by accident.
    • And then in the episode where Jade is infused with the powers of all the talismans, she briefly turns herself into a lion with a mane.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Much of "Shanghai Moon," the second season episode featuring Tso Lan the Moon Demon, falls under this, as the episode takes place in outer space. Particularly creative uses include:
    • The entire Dark Hand, Jackie, Tohru, and Jade—a small child—acclimating to being in space instantaneously, with no physical detriments (or even mild motion sickness). This one is lampshaded by Ratso, who asks "Don't we need, uh, astronaut training?" before the mission begins.
    • Jackie holding onto the outside of a rocket ship as it breaks the atmosphere, then managing to climb up the huge structure to the shuttle inside. The shuttle is shown to be in space (or very near the top of Earth's atmosphere, where there virtually is no atmosphere), but Jackie only grows temporarily short of breath before entering it.
    • Jackie removing his air hose on the moon to release the lotus pod needed to banish Tso Lan, then quickly replacing it.
  • Artistic License – Religion: The show refers to Yin as being light and Yang as being dark. It's actually the opposite. Though they are correctly portrayed with their respective passive and aggressive attributes.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: A recurring theme of the series is the universal balance of Yin and Yang. Thus, there will always be a great evil to fill the vacuum left by the previous one's defeat or destruction. You can't kill one great evil without another taking its place. The best you can possibly hope for is Sealed Evil in a Can.
  • As You Know: The second season relied heavily on this to explain why Shendu/Valmont couldn't simply use the Pan'Ku Box on his own to open the Demon Portals (it was forged of good magic, so it hurts them both if they touch it). Nearly every episode in the arc features Valmont attempting to handle the box in some way, only for Shendu to loudly remind him that "I cannot TOUCH good magic!"
  • Asian Rudeness: Uncle Chan, whose grumpiness is rivaled by Tohru's mother. The two also combine this with Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!.
  • Aside Glance: Jackie, after Jade finds a talisman in a matter of seconds.
  • Astral Projection: The Sheep Talisman allows one to eject their spirit out of their body, and enter the spirit world.
  • Atlantis: Shows up for all of five seconds - Bai Tza used to rule it, but now it's just an uninhabited ruin. She then planned to flood San Francisco to create a new underwater capital city.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: First, when Jade's grow-up spell causes her to grow "up" literally. Then, whenever the good guys had to face off with Po Kong, the Mountain Demon. Later, when Tohru was infused with the chi of said demon, causing him to go on a massive eating binge. Lastly, the massive shadow-eating Shadowkhan, who had eaten hundreds of shadows and grown far bigger than its minuscule siblings.
  • Author Avatar: Made evidently clear in the opening, Jackie Chan is most obviously an animated version of Jackie Chan.
  • Ax-Crazy: Monkey King is the standout example in the series.
    • To put it in perspective, he's the Genie mixed with The Joker. If that doesn't instill terror, nothing does. But his desire for comedy and getting the last laugh sometimes works against him.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: In The Tiger and the Pussycat, Jackie gets split into two and does this with himself...kind of. Uncle and Tohru's Mom do it when fighting mob thugs.
  • Badass and Child Duo: Jackie and Jade, El Toro and Paco, and sometimes Tohru and Jade.
  • Bad Boss: All of the big bads treat The Dark Hand rather poorly.
    • Shendu breathed fire on Tohru who was covered in oil. Good thing he dodged.
      • In turn Shendu suffers this from his siblings for escaping the demon netherworld and spent his time ruling Asia rather than release them.
    • Daolong Wong is a major one considering he transformed Finn, Ratso, and Chow into his new Dark Chi Warriors against their will and punishes them either verbally or inflicting them with painful dark magic while addressing them with the names of his old warriors.
      Finn: I'm Finn, he's Ratso, and that's Chow. Would it kill you to learn our names?
      Chow: At least Valmont bothered to remember our names!
    • Like father like son, is the perfect way to describe Drago or as Chow and Finn put it:
      Chow: This kid is worse than his old man!
      Ratso: But he looks so peaceful.
      Finn: So are cobras, right before they strike.
    • Not even Tarakudo was immune to this trope despite being the most lenient of the big bads as he trapped Chow and Ratso in Halloween decorations for losing yet another Oni mask to Jackie and stripping Chow of his shadow and having Hak Foo's Shadowkhan eat Chow's shadow putting him in a deep slumber.
    • Non-villainous example: Wesley Rank, a self-proclaimed archaeologist, treats his cameraman, Deino Stephenson, pretty shabbily, and doesn't even know his name.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Hak Foo on why he does not need the talismans:
      Hak Foo: The Horse for Healing? I am not easily injured. The Rooster for Levitation? I already fly. The Dog for Immortality? There is not a man alive who can vanquish me!
    • Season 2, Episode 2 has Jackie and Captain Black facing down an army of Shadowkahn.
      Black: I'll take the guy in the ninja suit.
    • When he first appears, Hak Foo introduces himself to Jackie.
      Hak Foo: I am the last man you'll ever lay eyes upon.
    • Shendu gives one when Jade first meets him in Project A, for Astral.
      Jade: Whoa! What are you?
      Shendu: Everything you will grow to fear!
    • And later, when he finally shows himself to Jackie.
      Shendu: I am the keeper of the talismans. I am the apocalypse of which legend speaks. And I am, for once and for all, YOUR EXECUTIONER!
  • Badass Normal:
    • Jackie proves effective against regular people and is even able to fight competently against superhuman demons, often without assistance from the show's power-granting Plot Coupons. Then again, he is Jackie Chan.
    • Captain Black is another example - when split in two by the Tiger Talisman, he was revealed to have no "weak", pacifist, or sickeningly good side. The two halves of Captain Black are Badass and ... Badass.
    • Most of the human cast really, if given a chance will demonstrate the ability to fight and survive without the use of magic powers.
  • Badass Teacher: Miss Hartman, Jade's elementary school teacher, gets an episode in the fifth season where she easily qualifies. She kicks things off by tackling Drago to get him away from Jade; sure, she was infused with the chi of the Sky Demon at the time, but she clearly wasn't aware of that until after the fact. She then proceeds to spend the rest of the episode beating down everything hostile in sight protecting Jade with only a few moments getting help from other characters; Demon chi or no, for a middle-aged woman with no known combat experience outside of "dealing with unruly students", that was pretty impressive.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Uncle explained that this was why Shendu was Sealed In A Can in the first place - destroying him created a vacuum that would quickly be filled by previously unknown (possibly even stronger or more numerous) evils. As the series progresses, however, this trope zigzags.
    • Season two proves him correct: destroying Shendu puts him into a position where he could release his seven siblings from their cans. If he was simply sealed away again, he couldn't do this and the balance would be preserved. It's implied the void in the ranks of darkness caused by his demise made their release a lot easier.
    • The trouble with Daolon Wong had nothing to do with Shendu until he brought Shendu Back. Unless you realize that the dark chi wizard was likely trying to take advantage of the void to spread evil.
    • Season 4 had a bigger threat than Shendu; Tarakudo, whose goal was to Take Over the World but he showed up after Shendu was finally sealed away again. (He and his forces had been sealed away, but were accidentally released.)
    • Drago enhanced with all the demon powers in the last episode proves to be more than a match for a baseline Shendu, but when Shendu has his talisman powers back he proves to be more than a match.
  • Banishing Ritual: In season 2, the heroes had to find a separate banishing ritual for each of the demon sorcerers.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Jade excels at this, particularly in the Hollywood episode. That one was also rife with "How do you do that?!"
  • Berserk Button: The Dragon Talisman episode revolves around this trope.
    • Particularly the Berserk Button of Jackie, Jade, and Valmont with each one related to each other.
    • Don't mess with El Toro's mask.
    • And I am NOT a shrimp!
  • Betrayal Insurance: When Shendu's spirit is at the mercy of his angry siblings in the beginning of Season 2, he offers to travel to Earth, possess a human body, and open from there the portals keeping them contained in the Netherworld. With him having abandoned them to rot once already and knowing how conniving he can be, his siblings ensure he will work to free them by placing on him a spell that will keep him trapped in the first body he inhabits and shall be removed by them only after they've all been freed. The fact that he ends up possessing Valmont instead of Jackie like he had planned to makes him all the more motivated to fulfill his end of the bargain.
  • Big Bad:
    • The Demon Sorcerer of Fire, Shendu. A powerful demonic dragon that was turned into a statue centuries ago. Despite spending most of the series either in a can or "dead"; from start to finish he is the most dangerous opponent the J-team ever faces. There's also Valmont, the Diabolical Mastermind of the Dark Hand.
    • Others take a role as Big Bad for their individual season: Dark Chi wizard Daolon Wong, King of the Shadowkhan Tarakudo, and Shendu's son Drago.
  • Big "NO!": Shendu and his family are the biggest offenders. Lampshaded by Jade when they banish the Earth Demon.
    Jade: Here comes my favorite part. [mouths along with him] NOOOO!
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Demon Sorcerers, along with Shendu's son Drago. Shendu berates Drago for "messing with his father's world," while Drago complains how Shendu never paid attention to him because he was too busy fighting wizards.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Many of the chi spells in the series translate to actual phrases.
    • "Yu Mo Gui Gwai Fai Di Zao," the go-to good chi spell, is Cantonese for "Spirits, demons, monsters, ghosts, quickly leave!"
    • "Nukeru He Men Ja'aku," the spell used in the Oni Mask arc of Season Four, is Japanese for "Come out, mask/face of evil."
  • Bizarchitecture: Plenty, particularly the Lotus Temple, which comes complete with an Escher Room.
  • Black-and-White Morality: The Chans and their friends are always fighting the forces of darkness. All the villains are the standard Take Over the World variety, and all the demons seem to be Always Chaotic Evil. Uncle also makes a distinction between good and bad chi magic.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: Jade does this on occasion, including to the Monkey King when he declares he's never going back as a puppet just so Jackie will turn back to normal. Later, in the episode where she's been infused with the powers of the 12 talismans, her raspberries temporarily contain the dragon blast power.
    Jade: [with the tone of one who has discovered that the world is made of chocolate] My tongue is dragon blast!
  • Body Horror:
    • Daolon Wong turns the Dark Hand Enforcers into his new Dark Chi Warriors, giving them red hair (except Ratso, who becomes bald), orange skin, black sclerae in their eyes, and pointed ears. They're not very fond of their new appearances.
    • The Oni Masks cause the wearers' faces (and sometimes their whole bodies) to look like that of the Oni demon possessing them.
    • Anyone who absorbs the chi of a Demon Sorcerer will transform, gaining the appearance and abilities of that demon.
  • Body Wipe: From the episode "J-Clones"
  • Bond, James Bond: Jackie introduces himself to Origami this way. Origami spends the rest of the episode calling him "Chan Jackie Chan".
  • Book Ends:
    • Of a sort; the first episode has Jackie fighting the Dark Hand enforcers, who have high-tech weapons, in a playground; the third season has him fighting the Dark Chi treated enforcers, who have new magical weapons and powers, a playground.
    • Even better, the first episode of the fifth season has Jackie along with an extremely gassy Jade fighting the Dark Hand enforcers, this time with fire powers from Drago... in a playground.
  • Borrowed Without Permission: A Running Gag has Jackie running up to random people's bicycles to chase the villains, shouting, 'I’m sorry I’ll bring it back later, thank you!' as he speeds off. He never returns them.
  • Bowdlerise: The "Chan's The Man" theme tune by Wheatus was completely rewritten into a Bragging Theme Tune about Jackie Chan and was originally called "Punk Ass Bitch".
  • Boxing Kangaroo: Jackie becomes one during the Monkey Talisman episode
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: This has temporarily happened to every main character except Viper at least once, some more than once, generally due to some kind of Demonic Possession or dark chi curse. In addition, Tarakudo and the Oni do this naturally - any hero who puts on one of the masks (or wears their symbol) will become this eventually.
    • Jackie was possessed by Shendu in "Demon World (Part 1)".
    • Jade was possessed by Shendu in "Project A For Astral", and wore the Tarakudo tattoo in "Queen of the Shadowkhan".
    • Uncle was turned into a Jianghsi's vampiric slave in "Chi of the Vampire".
    • Tohru lost his memory and reverted into Valmont's Enforcer in "Tohru Who?", and also got the Tarakudo tattoo in "Ninja Twilight".
    • El Toro was turned into a Chupacabra in "The Curse of El Chupacabra".
    • Oni Masks have been worn by Captain Black in "Black Magic", Paco in "Fright Fight Night", and even Scruffy the dog in "The Amazing T-Troop".
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Jade quite often, though more tolerable than most.
  • Breath Weapon: Both Shendu & his son Drago have the power to breathe fire (with Drago's version being more powerful). In addition, the season 2 episode "The Lotus Temple" Character of the Day Xu Lin was trapped in the said temple which cursed her with the power to turn into a monster, who's basic attack was an extremely powerful Ice Breath.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In the monkey talisman episode, Jade yells (in monkey) for help. Several of the nearby pack rush to her aid... including a giraffe, who was a monkey that she changed with the talisman.
    • In an early episode, Jackie quips that Tohru would enjoy working at Section 13 because every Thursday is Donut Day. When Tohru does pull his Heel–Face Turn, Captain Black asks why he would help them. Tohru answers, "I've been told Section 13 serves donuts on Thursdays."
  • Bridal Carry: Being only 3 feet tall Jade got these frequently, not only from Jackie but some of the bigger thugs were able to do this to her with only one hand.
  • British Royal Guards: Jade once tries to attract a Royal Guard's attention (being the nearest authority figure) to report the Magisters' attack, but fails.
  • British Stuffiness: Valmont is a prime example.
  • Broken Masquerade:
    • On a minimum level. In Season 1, Captain Black was The Scully who refused to believe that there was anything supernatural going on. When Shendu is awakened, Black got to see him in full view and immediately changed his story. Played for laughs in Season 2, where he starts believing anything and everything was demon- and magic-related, and when his supervisors won't believe him he is sent to all manner of psychologists.
    Captain Black: [being shown a Rorschach ink blot test] Demon. I see a demon.
    Therapist: [shows another ink blot] And this one?
    Captain Black: Socks. Worn by a really big demon.
    • Eventually, the Grand Finale ends up with a massive royal rumble where San Francisco is well trashed, so Black makes an offhand remark about getting the town evacuated because of a meteor shower threat, but it's implied that they really can't claim Plausible Deniability on this, possibly resulting in The Unmasqued World.
  • Brought Down to Badass: In the fourth season finale, Uncle uses a spell to revert Tarakudo back to his original form, which removes all his powers and has to rely solely on martial arts. Still, he managed to give Jackie, Viper and El Toro a brutal beatdown.

  • Call-Back:
    • When Jackie first gets into Section 13, it's by the hidden phonebox. Black pops up a moment later;
      Captain Black: Tried to warn you.
      Jackie: How did you get down here?
      Captain Black: The stairs.
    • Then, in the same episode, Jade manages to sneak into Section 13 to 'save' Jackie.
      Captain Black: Young lady, how did you get in here?
      Jade: The stairs.
  • Call-Forward: During a flashback episode, Jackie mentions the difficulty he's had finding the Snake Talisman. "You'd think it was invisible."
    • One shows up quite early in the first season
      Trainee Goon: Why don't we just let Chan come out of there with the (ox) talisman, and just take it from him when he climbs out?
      Finn: Listen, New guy, we don't know what powers this ox talisman might have. Chan might come out of there 50 ft tall with laser eyes.
    • Guess what talisman power the pig has?
    • In "The Good, The Bad, The Blind, The Deaf And The Mute", when Jackie, Jade, and Tohru become respectively mute, deaf, and blind, Jade mistakes Uncle to be the mute one. Uncle turns mute in "Mirror, Mirror".
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Jackie's dark side in "Viva Las Jackies" insults Uncle, who is yelling for not having eel saliva, by saying to pull his tongue out of his mouth and wring out his spit, which Uncle, upon hearing that, says "You call Uncle an eel!"
  • Calling Your Attacks: Villain Hak Foo parodies this. He calls most of his attacks, but sometimes he just describes things he's doing. For example, when he finds out that his Shadowkhan tribe is borderline useless in their original form, he expresses his rage: "Angry Demon compensates for inferior ninja army!"
    • When he went One-Winged Angel, his called attacks also got an upgrade. "Tornado Decimates Trailer Park" and "Meteor Brings Mass Extinction" indeed.
    • When he fought Jackie in space suits, the zero gravity slowed down their moves. "TIGER PROWLS... through pudding?" He then changes their name to, "Sloth kick...turtle fist."
    • "Flying Monkey Snatches Magic Box!" As it turns out, he wasn't calling an attack. That actually happened.
  • Can Only Move the Eyes: Uncle and Daolon Wong each try to magically paralyze the other in "Little Valmont, Big Jade". They both end up frozen stiff...while Giant-Jade is fighting Wong's giant ogre right above them.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Many of the magic-using villains have shades of this but none more than Daolon Wong, whose stated aim in life is to spread as much evil as he can so the forces of darkness can rule all (too bad for him the actual forces of darkness are much more selfish than he is and don't care about that).
  • Carrying the Antidote: After magically poisoning Jackie, Valmont mocks him for thinking he'd be stupid enough to do this (the Enforcers bring a vial to prove it'll work when Jade arranges a trade later).
  • Cassandra Truth: Don't expect anyone to believe you have encounted magic at first. It takes a while for Captain Black of Section 13 to come to grips of it.
  • Cat Girl: Jade becomes one briefly in the episode "Enter the Cat" because of the effects of a cat statue. Valmont also becomes a Cat-Guy.
  • Catchphrase: This show is packed with a lot of them.
    • Jackie:
    • Jade:
      • "Hi, Jackie!" Whenever Jade pops out of nowhere, having followed the group off-screen.
      • "Go Jackie!"
      • "Duh!" and "Tch!" verges on being Jade's Verbal Tic.
      • "Jackieeee!"
    • Uncle:
      • "One more thing!" Uncle's most commonly used phrase. At one point there was a Voice Clip Song version produced by WB.
      • "AIYAAAH!" is used whenever something goes wrong.
      • "Yu Mo Gwai Gui Fai Di Zao!" (Cantonese for "Evil demons and malevolent spirits, be gone!"). This is Uncle's most common spell; it doesn't matter what the spell is for, these are the words used.
      • "Magic Must Defeat Magic!"
      • "We must do research!"
      • "You want a piece of Uncle?"
      • "You want Uncle to do X? Yes/No? Then let Uncle work in peace!"
      • "Talk later!"
      • "Jackieeee!"
    • Tohru:
      • "NYAR!"
      • "I hate fish."
      • "[Hand over] the talisman", when he worked for the Dark Hand.
    • Captain Black: "Whoa, nelly!"
    • El Toro:
      • "Sorry!"
      • "El Toro Fuerte never removes his mask!"
    • Paco: "El Toro is the greatest!"
    • Tohru's Mom often refers to Uncle as "billy goat".
    • Super Moose:
      • "Da-da-da-da-da-da, ANTLER ACTION!"
      • "Evil on the loose, you do not want to mess with Super Moose!"
    • Chow: "Sweet!"
    • Finn: "Scooore!"
    • Ratso: "Whoa."
    • Hak Foo: "Angry crow takes flight!"
    • Shendu: "NOOOOO! Not again!"
    • Tarakudo: (hit with an onion) "MY EYES! MY EYES!"
  • Celebrity Paradox: The episode "And He Does His Own Stunts" has Jackie and company going to Hollywood. Of course, the actor Jackie Chan doesn't exist and this is confirmed by people asking "Who's Jackie Chan?" Furthermore, once Jackie is found by a studio and Hilarity Ensues, a hot-shot director claims that there will never be a Jackie Chan in Hollywood.
  • Celebrity Toons: Not Quite Starring notwithstanding, among the best examples of this.
  • Character Development: Tohru clearly exhibits this throughout the seasons. When we first meet him, he is The Brute under Valmont and has it out to eliminate Jackie and his family whenever they meet, not to mention he is willing to cut open the stomach of his future best friend. Then, following his Heel–Face Turn he becomes the apprentice for Uncle, the Big Guy, and loyal friend to Jackie and a best friend to Jade. And through the following seasons, he slowly becomes more powerful in his knowledge of chi magic before becoming a full-fledged Chi Wizard in the Grand Finale.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the first episode, Jackie gets pissed off at the Enforcers threatening him and Uncle and chases after them to instigate a fight at a playground. Later episodes make him much more of a Martial Pacifist.
    • When Paco first met Jade, he called her a 'charming senorita'. He never flirted with her again after that.
    • The enforcers were a lot more serious at their jobs and are very loyal to Vermont and the Dark hand to the point that Finn has to remind the lower ranked goons on what they had to do. Whenever they lose to Jackie, they get pissed off and double down on their efforts. Eventually, they all become lesser butt monkeys that eventually get exhausted at the work they have to do.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: In one episode, Jade was fighting the clone version to herself and scaled a wall nearly 20 feet into the air before drop kicking her clone and effectively knocking her out.
    • In the same episode above, Jackie participated in an Iron Fist challenge and slammed through seven thick stone slabs with his bare hands. He lost the competition and ended up having his hands bandaged up, but it was still a cool feat.
  • Chaste Toons: Jackie Chan lives together with his Uncle, his niece Jade, and is later joined by their new friend Tohru. We do see Jade's parents appear a few times, but exactly how they're related to Jackie and Uncle is never fully explained. Also, see No Hugging, No Kissing.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The talismans are used repeatedly even after their story arc concludes. Considering their powers and lack of adverse effects, they are very useful as a last resort. They are also justifiably locked up otherwise since them getting stolen would be bad.
    • Jade took the imprint of a figure on Shendu's magic tome as a temporary tattoo, which gave her control of the Shadowkhan and drove her power-mad. Later Daolon Wong took control of the Shadowkhan seemingly by using the same symbol. In the fourth season, it is revealed that the symbol is of Tarakudo, King of the Shadowkhan, and the Big Bad for that season.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Uncle's signature blowfish has an important use. The ingredient to help remove the eighth Oni mask is fish, and it was fortunate that Jade and Jackie brought it along with them.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Daolon Wong, Drago, and Strike Master Ice's group are all introduced a season before they become the Big Bad (or the Quirky Miniboss Squad in the latter's case).
    • Tarakudo's face appears in the season 2 episode, "Queen of the Shadowkhan" as Jade's tattoo that allows her to summon the Shadowkhan. He later appeared as the Big Bad of season 4.
  • Chew Toy: Jackie, though he's very, very good at dealing with it.
  • Chinese Labourer: Jackie's ancestor in "Showdown in the Old West".
  • Chinese Vampire: It has the traditional weaknesses, but can grow stronger and overcome them by absorbing the chi of its victims. Most of that episode's comedy comes from Jackie's disbelief at all the seemingly arbitrary rules for fighting it.
    Jade (with Uncle's chi): We must collect a toadstool from a graveyard, place it inside the vampire's left sock, and throw the sock into a river [to depower it].
    Jackie:'re making this up.
  • The Chosen Zero: A group of Warrior Monks discover that Tohru is the Avatar-esque reincarnation that they have been waiting for, and have this reaction when he fails to meet any of their expectations. By the end of the episode, it turns out that Tohru isn't the reincarnation at all. Jade might be.
    • Given how Jade is, she'd probably elicit that reaction too.
    • Jade is also a very cheerful Harbinger of Impending Doom to the Dark Chi Forces when Tohru isn't the chosen one.
      Jade: Guess what that means...
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Shendu.
    Shendu (after intercepting the power of the Dragon Talisman after promising it to Dao Lon Wong): I may be a noble Dragon, but I am also a Demon Sorcerer. We're not known for keeping promises.
  • Chupacabra: One episode has one, and El Toro gets turned into one werewolf-style.
  • Classy Cane: Valmont from carries around a black cane. It's revealed in the Season 1 finale that it actually conceals some type of energy blade, which he uses to slice his way out of a prison cell. The cane then essentially vanishes after its big moment.
  • Cliff Stack: Third episode, with at least three Dark Hand-ers colliding with a wrestler; also in an early season 3 episode.
  • Clip Show: Played with in 'Déjà Vu' where Jackie is forced by the 'Déjà-Vu Stone' to relive moments from his past. While many scenes did consist of clips, many of them are also re-animated to when things did not turn out the way it originally did.
  • Cloning Splits Attributes: Normally the Tiger Talisman provides spiritual harmony, a power that allows the other talisman powers to be used in concert with each other. But if someone breaks it, it splits them into two versions of themselves, the Yin and the Yang. It should be noted this is not the same as good and evil, though the more aggressive and reckless Yang side does seem prone to Jerkass behavior.
  • Composite Character: The series combines the characteristics of a few different classic characters Jackie has portrayed, most notably the archaeologist in Operation Condor and the Martial Pacifist from Police Story.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Partially averted. In the episode introducing the dragon talisman, Jackie entered a small volcanic cave. Jackie was seen visibly sweating from the steam and later suffered minor burns and Clothing Damage after being too close to hot magma.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: For the sake of variety, the Shadowkhan would sometimes appear in small groups, and other times as a massive horde numbering in the hundreds, but the latter never seemed any more difficult to defeat than the former.
  • Contagious Cassandra Truth: At the end of the first season (after spending the entire series thus far reprimanding Jackie whenever he brings up magic), Captain Black finally witnesses magic first hand. In the next season, he tries to report this to his superiors, and they decide that he's gone crazy.
  • Continuity Drift: In the Season 2 episode Through the Rabbit Hole, it is stated Uncle did not start his study of magic until somewhere in the late 1970s or possibly early 1980s (and thus has no knowledge about magic when Jade travels back in time to the 1970s and meets him there). Yet, in the season 3 episode A Night At The Opera it is stated Uncle has been familiar with magic since his youth; studying theater magic at school as a child before becoming interested in Chi magic and abandon his study for opera star to continue on that path.
  • Continuity Nod: When Jade is demonstrating her Talisman Powers, she takes her monkey-form from "The Jade Monkey"
    • In one episode during the second season, Finn quits the Dark Hand to go solo, after having a dream where Jackie beats him up during a concert. Later, Chow & Ratso are fired when they asked Valmont for a raise in lieu of Finn leaving, and all of them decide to work together. In the premiere of the third season, Valmont meets with them to convince them to help steal the talismans, with Finn reminding him that they're "freelancers now."
    • The show's really good with continuity. A lot of season 2's filler episodes go back and explain what happened in and between the first season more in-depth.
  • Cool Uncle: Jade sees Jackie as this, just see her facial expressions during the first episode when she starts realizing who her uncle is.
  • Couch Gag: The opening sequence will change only slightly each season. It usually will feature the MacGuffin(s) of the season, the Big Bad, and the final enemy he knocks out at the end. As a side effect, it is an effective visual shorthand to tell you which season you're watching, which is helpful if episodes are played in the Anachronic Order mentioned above.
  • Cowboy Episode: "Showdown in the Old West"
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Nodded towards in "Enter the J-Team." El Toro lost his match because he was used to a roped ring (trying to use non-existent ropes as leverage) while Viper was forced to wear a training gi in her match when she is accustomed to a Spy Catsuit (which, in fact, is why gi are used in the first place, because they are harder to move in).
  • Cruise Episode: In "Pleasure Cruise", the Chans go on a cruise ship as a side benefit of Jackie escorting a golden statue that's being transported across the Pacific aboard the ship's vault. Naturally, the criminals out to steal the statue attack the ship, leading to the episode's action.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: In When Pigs Fly, a woman declares to a man that "Willy John, I will marry you when pigs fly!" Cue Jackie running past with the pig Mordecai, levitating due to Eggbert the rooster sitting on his back, in hot pursuit.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Valmont fighting against Jackie in "The Rock".
  • The Darkness Gazes Back: Shendu does this to end the first part of every two-part finale.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Practically every character has snark potential, but especially Uncle and Jade. A lot of the humor comes from sarcasm.
  • Death Dealer: The Dragon to a Bond villain parody. Naturally, there were card puns.
  • Death Is Cheap: Shendu after season one. He is then "killed" off again, reborn, resealed, resurrected, and sealed off for good.
  • Defeat Means Respect: In the episode 'Re-Enter The J-Team', a shout-out to Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon, Tohru defeats a gigantic sumo wrestler who calls Tohru tiny. Said sumo, later on, walks up to Tohru while angrily declaring he had never lost a match before until he met Tohru, where he then humbly bows before Tohru and switches sides to even up the odds.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • In one Season 1 episode, Shendu uses the Sheep Talisman's astral projection power to project himself into Jade's dormant body (she was also an astral projection at the time) and possess it.
    • Shendu also accidentally possessed Valmont for most of Season 2. His spirit soon returns and succeeds in possessing Jackie, as was his original plan.
    • The Oni Masks each contain the spirits of the individual Oni Generals and their respective Shadowkhan armies. The mask wearer will gradually succumb to the demonic influence.
  • Demoted to Extra: Alas, poor Valmont. As a villain, he was second only to the Big Bad in the first two seasons, after that...
    • Possibly lampshaded; in the series finale, Valmont shows up as a bus driver.
  • Depending on the Artist: Certain episodes emphasized Jade's eye reflections more than others.
  • Destroy the Villain's Weapon: The third season begins with the Dark Hand and Daolon Wong breaking into Section 13 to steal Shendu's Talismans to use them for their own purposes. When Wong is about to get them, Jackie decides it's time to stop people from misusing their powers and destroys them with a laser cannon. Unfortunately, this results in the Talismans' indestructible powers being dispersed over the world and [[settle in the bodies of twelve animals, forcing the heroes to compete with Daolon Wong to find them and protect them from him.
  • Deus ex Machina: Doubly subverted in 'Re-enter the Dragon' when Uncle has everyone spend much of the episode research a spell that can defeat Shendu, and then he discovers a spell that can defeat Daolon Wong, and then he uses that to have Daolon Wong tell him a spell that can defeat Shendu (which he then uses to end the episode)
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Valmont in seasons 1 and 2, until Shendu takes over.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When Jade was 50+ feet tall, normal-sized Finn, Ratso, and Chow (as Daolon Wong's henchmen) charge straight at her intending to take her down. She just stomps them into smoke. Lampshaded by Valmont who was watching and wondered why he wanted them back.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The heroes defeat powerful demons and monsters on a regular basis. Although it often requires the help of some magical objects and spells.
  • Diminishing Villain Threat: Valmont too. From the credible threat, he was in Season 1 until after Shendu left his body at the end of Season 2, it's hard to believe how far down he's fallen when we see him again in Season 4.
  • Disco Dan: Finn, one of the Dark Hand enforcers, displays Disco Dan tendencies. He dresses like it's still the 70s, but this aspect of his personality really shines through in an episode where he travels back in time to the 70s. He actually has to be physically dragged out of the time period while he shouts "I wanna stay!"
  • Distaff Counterpart: Viper was stated to be explicitly a female Jackie.
  • Does Not Like Spam:
    • Tohru's distaste for fish causes him some problems.
    • Jade is not at all a fan of mung beans and garlic, unlike Uncle. Uncle once offered her some mung beans while she was waiting for Tohru to bring back take out, she replies "I'll never be that hungry".
  • Door Jam: One episode has a portal between the demon and human worlds that could specifically only let one being through. Jade was trapped alone in the demon world and managed to escape because all the demons were fighting over who should get to go through.
  • Dope Slap: Uncle constantly does this to Jackie. Leads to a back-and-forth with Jackie's dark side.
  • Double Take: In "Queen of the Shadowkhan", Jade takes some time to realize that the bathroom is full of Shadowkhan, complete with a Spit Take of mouth wash when she does.
  • The Dragon: Sumo man Tohru, until he turns good. He doesn't really get weaker, though, he just rarely solves his problems with violence and gains control of his temper. Hak Foo takes over after that.
    • And in the final season, Strikemaster Ice is the Dragon to Drago (ironic in that Drago is literally a dragon).
    • Drago himself was sort-of this in his debut episode to Shendu, insofar as he is working to free his father Shendu, who is even more of a literal dragon (Drago is more like a dragon-man). Shendu himself was forced into this role in Season 2 by his demon brethren, serving as The Heavy trying to free them.
  • Dramatic Irony: Nearly all of season 1, the audience knows who Shendu is and why the Dark Hand wants the talismans, but the Chans and Captain Black don't fully find out about Shendu and his talismans until an injured Tohru came to Uncle's shop and told them the demon's name.
  • Dream Intro:
    • One episode has Finn dream that he and the other members of the Dark Hand are playing in a band, only for Jackie to show up and beat up Finn for playing off-key (that's the reason Jackie gives). Finn then wakes up.
    • Another episode has Jade's dream she's in school and is supposed to give a report about what she did over summer vacation. Problem: she does not have a report. She then wakes up and she sees (on a calendar) she still has a few days before school starts.

  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Quite a few actually in the first season.
    • The talismans had the same general powers throughout the show, however season one features some differences. The horse was activated by sneezing on it; later on, you only needed to hold it. The dragon talisman merged into the wielder's hand and caused them to glow when using it, it also allowed Valmont to levitate slightly. The tiger talisman split in half when activated in its first episode, but later episodes show it remaining whole even when the user is split.
    • Uncle seemed to have only elementary knowledge of magic during the first season. He was unable to cure Jackie when injected with a potion that would turn him into stone and had to look up his signature spell in a book in order to pull Shendu's astral form out of Jade. Contrast this with post-season 1 where he's established to have been studying magic for years, is a Good Chi Wizard, and is capable of such things as casting a spell through a cellphone.
    • The first episode gives Jackie an uncharacteristic sassy streak.
    • While the audience knew about Shendu throughout season 1, it wasn't until the end of the season did the Chans learn about him and what his end goals were. Starting with Season 2, the Chans know who exactly they're fighting against, why the villains are after whatever the season's Myth Arc is centered around, and the stakes if they fail right from the get-go.
  • Easily Forgiven: Tohru is a bad guy until his defection at the end of season 1, but escapes criminal charges. What makes it a hell of a lot more plausible than most cartoons is that he teamed up with a family who are best buddies with the leader of a high-tech and powerful secret government organization. This is the government we're talking about. And even then, it is said he is on parole while living with the Chans and when criminal activity happens near the store, police look at him first.
    • The episode "Glove Story" paints Tohru as a suspect when a jewel theft is committed near Uncle's shop. In that episode Tohru clarifies that he is basically on parole working in Uncle's shop thanks to Captain Black's connections.
    • Also, in the Grand Finale, Strike Master Ice and his posse betray Drago to try and steal the demon sorcerer powers for themselves, but fail and are imprisoned in concrete as a result. Despite this, later in the episode, Drago frees them and gives them each a chi power to use to destroy Section 13.
  • Easter Egg: The dragon talisman may appear in the background during an episode when it's not in use.
  • Eastern Zodiac: The twelve Talismans each represent an animal from the Chinese Zodiac.
  • Eat the Camera: How many times.
  • Eccentric Mentor: The Old Monk from the Lotus Temple episode: constantly meditating, and speaking in proverbs ("Ancient wisdom"). He's a villainous version of it.
  • Egg MacGuffin: The Season 3 episode The Invisible Mom has the cast trying to find the Noble Snake that inherited the power of the Snake Talisman. It turns out that "The talisman power of invisibility lies within the snake... within the egg."
  • Elemental Powers: All of the demons. With a traditional Chinese spin on it; Fire, Thunder, Sky, Wind, Mountain, Earth, Water, and Moon.
  • Embarrassingly Dresslike Outfit: In Season 2, while Shendu's spirit is possessing Valmont's body, they both strart wearing a "sorcerer's robe" which Valmont finds humiliating, thinking it looks like an unmanly dress. It doesn't help at all when their henchmen trio (Finn, Ratso, Chow) all make mocking compliments about how pretty Shendu/Valmont looks while wearing it.
  • Enlightened Antagonist:
  • Establishing Character Moment: The three main characters of the series all had this in the first episode, The Dark Hand. First, Jackie in the very first scene is shown jumping up and down and using Improvised Weapons to dodge flying arrows in a Bavarian castle. Then, Uncle appears to us first as a sweet and caring old guy before going straight to his trademark Dope Slap while telling Jackie “One More Thing.” Then, Jade is introduced to us by breaking into an underground military installation of one of the elite police organizations in the world and hijacking one of their mopeds in her first of many attempts to “help” Jackie.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In an early Season 1 episode Tohru, while doing nothing to stop Carl Nevore from eating the turtle, is clearly disgusted by Carl Nevore's plans.
    • For all their capacity for evil, even the Demon Sorcerors admit they fear the power of the Book of Ages and dare not mess with it since it could easily destroy reality. The only reason they allow Shendu to alter it is out of clear desperation.
    • In "Shanghai Moon" the Dark Hand are aghast at the fact that Tso Lan intends to DESTROY THE EARTH. More specifically pull the moon out of Earth’s orbit and warp its climate. The Demon Sorcerors they’ve released up to this point intended some horrific stuff, but nothing on a planet-wide apocalyptic scale.
  • Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: the Enforcers each have a nephew whom they love and care dearly for and haven't told them the truth about their "import-export business"note . At the end of "Dragon Scouts", when the Enforcers "leave for the Far East for a big business deal"note , you can faintly see the tears sitting in the corners of their eyes as they wave their nephews goodbye.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: It is Jackie Chan. The song title is dropped in "Through the Rabbit Hole".
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": No one is really quite sure whose uncle Uncle he is, if anybody's. Lampshaded when Jade's parents call him Uncle. "I think he's... everyone's uncle". Which makes sense given this is an Asian family. It's fairly common to 'adopt' older family friends as one's 'uncle' or 'auntie'.
  • Evil Counterpart: Daolon Wong to Uncle - which is lampshaded many times (Jade's even once calls him the "Anti-Uncle") - and Hak Foo to Tohru after the first season. Even in Hak Foo's first appearance, where Tohru is still a villain, he is presented as a much more brutal rival to him. In one episode, a criminal mastermind hires an entire team of evil counterparts to the J-Team.
    Daolon Wong: "It would appear you are the appropriate yin to my yang, good wizard."
  • Evil Plan: Let's make a list:
    • Shendu: Escape statue form by reclaiming his talismans.
    • Valmont: Use Shendu and other magic resources to get richer than he was already.
    • Demon Sorcerers: Escape the dimension they've been banished to so they can rule the world again.
    • Daolon Wong: Obtain the talisman powers so he can spread dark chi over the Earth.
    • Tarakudo: Awaken the oni masks so that he can bathe the world in darkness... and also eat brains.
    • Drago: Originally, to resurrect his father, Shendu, and rule the world together. Later, to gain the powers of the demon sorcerers so that he can rule the world himself.
  • Evil Reactionary: The Brotherhood of Magisters thrived as a ruling secret society during the Dark Ages, and want the UK to revert back to some vaguely Victorian time via magic and alchemy so they can regain their lost influence.
  • Evil Sorcerer: There are eight DEMON sorcerers who make up the Big Bad Ensemble of the second season, with one of them, Shendu, acting as the primary antagonist for a good chunk of the show.
  • Evil Sounds Deep or Raspy: Many of the demons and monsters have at least one of these sinister-sounding qualities to their voices. Humans who have been possessed by a demon or turned into one usually get their voices changed to match.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In the Grand Finale, Drago (with all eight demon chi) and Shendu (with all his talismans) both viciously fight for the Earth right before they both get banished to the Demon Netherworld.
  • Exact Words:
    • When Jade accidentally uses a spell to make Uncle go into a deep sleep, she has to go inside his mind to figure out the spell to seal the Earth Demon back. Uncle replies that she needs a flower and the hair of 'you'...Jade thinks he was talking about pulling hairs out of her head, and not a hair of a ewe aka wool.
    • Jade also uses this as an excuse to follow Jackie in one episode after being told once again to "stay with Uncle."
      Jade: Didn't say which uncle.
    • Shendu tries to pull this off in "The New Atlantis." When he first promises to release his demonic siblings, they cast a spell that keeps him trapped in the first body he possesses until he sets them all free. Bai Tza, the Water Demon, is the last Demon Sorcerer to be saved, and as soon as her portal is opened, Shendu demands that she release him from Valmont's body. Bai Tza refuses, and Shendu points out that he technically kept his word by releasing all of his brothers and sisters—they never said anything about their having to stay free to reverse the spell.
  • Exotic Entree: In the episode where the cast finds the rabbit talisman.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In the episode where Valmont's gang goes to Pamplona, they have a hard time remembering what the town is famous for. Ratso finally remembers, just as he hears an ominous rumbling sound from around a corner.
    Ratso: Oh! Now I remember what Pamplona's famous for!
    (a charging herd of very pissed-off bulls comes into view, heading straight for him)
    Ratso: ...The Running of the Bulls...
  • Exploited Immunity: In one episode, Valmont attempts to exorcise himself of the demon Shendu, by handling the Pan'Ku Box, an object forged using Good Magic, which Shendu can't touch. It hurts both of them, but Shendu suffers more and is rendered unconscious.
  • Eye Beams: The Pig Talisman allows the user to shoot heat rays from their eyes.
  • Eye Scream: "Monkey Plucks Two Peaches!"
  • Fake Static: Jade, at least twice.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Done in so many ways in every season. Where to start...
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Sorta averted. Realistic guns are often seen, but almost never fired. Again, just like a Jackie Chan movie.
  • Fan of the Past: Finn dresses like it's the 1970's. At one point Finn actually travels TO the 70's. When it's time to go home he has to be dragged away screaming that he doesn't want to leave.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In one of the Future Jade episodes, Jimmy, a one-shot friend of Jade, is revealed to become Tohru's Chi apprentice in the present and become a villainous sorcerer in the future. This is reversed when present Jade brings present Jimmy to the future - when he sees his future self he promises never to become that and helps stop him.
  • Feathered Serpent: Quetzalcoatl is stated to be only half this.
  • Feud Episode: Uncle and Tohru once went through this during a Season 4 episode, hindering their efforts in reclaiming the mask of Tarakudo's second-in-command.
  • Flat Joy: Uncle insufferably asks the Section 13 agents what did they learn after seeing Jackie defeat Shendu by taking out the Rat Talisman. They reply 'Magic Must Defeat Magic' with this tone.
  • Filler: Many episodes, though it is spaced out evenly with the Myth Arc. note 
  • Fighting in the Playground: Jackie fought the Dark Hand Enforcers in a playground in the pilot episode.
  • Find the Cure!: Episode 9, "The Rock"
    • Which shows that Valmont's savvy with the situation, as Jackie attacks him in an attempt to get the antidote.
      Jackie: Where's the antidote!?
      Valmont: You think I'd be foolish enough to bring it with me?
  • Foil: Hak Foo to Tohru. Hak Foo is fast, brash, and clever but not intelligent, and relies on martial arts. Tohru is slower, intelligent, and quick-witted, more thoughtful, and uses strength and intuition to fight.
  • Forced Transformation: This happens to the characters quite frequently throughout the series. The list is endless.
    • Let's see, Jackie's been transformed into several things, including a yak, a kangaroo with a pouch despite being male, a wooden puppet, and an earth demon.
    • The Enforcers were forcibly turned into Daolon Wong's new Dark Chi Warriors after his old ones were sealed away during Season 3.
    • A Season 3 episode starts with Daolon turning Valmont into a child after the latter demanded to have the Enforcers back. Wonder why he never did this to his active enemies, like Jackie, Uncle or Tohru.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: The Book of Ages, introduced at the end of the second season. An all-powerful book that naturally records the events of history in real-time, it also has the ability to manipulate history if written in. Used by Shendu to take over the world and later by the J Team to defeat him, this ridiculously useful artifact is completely abandoned, and never even mentioned again post the season two finale. While it could be argued that this was done because the good guys saw it as being too dangerous to use haphazardly, the more likely reason is that the writers realized that by having the characters remember this weapon, then all subsequent threats could be rendered null and void in a manner of minutes.
  • Foreshadowing: The various Big Bads of later seasons had one spotlight episode in a prior season that establishes them as being slightly more than a filler villain. In Tarakudo's case, it was fairly stealthy as his image was on a book of spells (and when drawn on Jade allowed her to control the Shadowkhan) in a single second season episode, with him only showing up in the fourth season.
    • There are others, too. At least twice before she turns herself into a monkey, Jackie accuses Jade of acting like a baboon.
    • Lo Pei referring to Shendu as "The Ultimate Darkness". Then again, the viewers already knew of Shendu and it was just so the heroes wouldn't know his name before Tohru told them.
    • Daolon Wong was the villain of the week in three season two episodes, during which time he was established as Uncle's Arch-Enemy and was shown to have a desire for the talismans. It was doubtful that anyone was surprised when he became Big Bad of season three.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Jade and the Chans in general. Jade's liking and friendliness towards animals is quite helpful in the third season. She doesn't think rats are cute ("Cuuute" being one of her stock phrases) but isn't about to let Daolon get his hands on it.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Every demon except the thunder demon.
  • Fountain of Youth:
    • The Dog Talisman gives its holder immortality. While it doesn't make the holder look younger, it makes him feel younger. Thus Uncle becomes incredibly strong and agile like he used to be.
    • In "Lost City Of The Muntabs", Jackie leads the wealthy Dr. Smith through the African jungle looking for the Chalice of Life. they find it in the city of the Muntabs, who drink from it regularly, thus remaining youthful. A girl who appears to be Jade's age is actually over 200. Smith steals the chalice, and without it, the Muntabs begin to age. When Smith an his elderly butler drink from the chalice, they are turned into a baby an a young boy.
    • In "Little Valmont, Big Jade," Valmont is turned into a young boy after an altercation with the wizard Daolon Wong.
    • In "The J-Tots," Jade's misuse of a spell turns the J-Team into small children.
  • Four Is Death: As this trope is common in Asian cultures, it pops up quite a bit: Four Enforcers for the Dark Hand, the Demon Sorcerers minus Po Kong each have four fingers rather than five, the four most dangerous demons (Tso Lan, Dai Gui, Bai Tza, and Shendu) lead the final charge against the J-Team at the end of the Demon World duology, and there are exactly four villainous characters (Shendu, Finn, Ratso and Chow) who are the only villains to play an antagonistic role in all 5 seasons, to name the most significant.
  • Friendship Trinket: In one episode, Jade acquires two half-yin-yang necklaces and intends to give one to her new friend Seymour. When Seymour turns out to really be the Sky Demon instead of a child and kidnaps Uncle, Jade finds out she can combine her half with the Tiger Talisman (which contains the power of spiritual balance) to track the demon and Uncle. She later regains the necklace half and gives it to Tohru instead.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Showdown in the Old West features Jackie's Identical Grandfather (a sheriff in the Old West) going down to the local saloon for "a nice cold glass of ginger ale". This is Justified Trope: Ginger ale in the 19th Century wasn't the light and sparkly drink we know today. It was strong and was used as a tonic for various illnesses due to ginger's many "medicinal" properties (some of which have even been confirmed by modern science).
  • Furry Confusion: A minor example of this is featured in the series, as Shendu, an anthropomorphic and intelligent dragon capable of speech, commands hordes of non-anthropomorphic dragons who cannot speak and behave in a rather bestial manner.
  • Fully Automatic Clip Show: "Duh!" and "One more thing."

  • Gambit Pileup: Jackie's walked in on and been walked in on by a number of thieves during otherwise fairly normal archeological digs and the like; sometimes more than one other group will intersect.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • Jackie was sent to live with Uncle years before Jade was sent to live with him.
    • Played with in the Old West episode, where Jade assumes that the sheriff's niece was her counterpart, only for Jackie to mention she's described differently. Jade dismisses it as a typo, and a dust cloud hides her replacement with Past! Jade.
    • From "Through the Rabbit Hole" we see that young Jackie's mannerisms are similar to Jade. He even goes against Jade's wishes to Wait Here when the Dark Hand kidnaps Uncle, meaning that Jackie Chan was the first to "pull a Jade" on Jade herself, years before she was ever born.
  • Genius Bruiser: Tohru by the end of the series (if not earlier), both of Farmer MacDonald's sons, and occasionally Ratso (he used to study theoretical physics).
  • Gentle Giant: Tohru became one after his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: Giant-Jade to the Dark Chi Warriors. Valmont is amazed they didn't see it coming.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Several times in the series.
    • In "Enter the Cat" Jackie realizes the artifact is too dangerous and destroys it.
    • In "The Curse of El Chupacabra" the old man on the mountain who grows capsicum refuses to give it to anyone ... unless they mention being cursed by a chupacabra.
    • In the series finale, Uncle summons a fully empowered Shendu to fight Drago, who has been empowered by the essences of the Demon Lords.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: The Ikazuki episode in season four. First, Jade and Jackie trying to get Ikazuki to give them information on Tarakudo, then Finn and Ikazuki trying to persuade Tohru to give them the removal spell.
    Finn Tohru, T-Man, buddy! Look, uh, maybe you haven't noticed, but I kinda have a face on my sittin' place, so I was wondering if you could be a pal and -
    Ikazuki The potion! Or I shall feast upon your brains!
    Ratso (elbowing Chow): Ooo, the old good-cop-bad-cop..!
  • Good Is Impotent: Subverted. While Jackie's yin is far more pacifistic, it's still a competent fighter because "it's not nice to dropkick little girls". Also, as noted above, Captain Black has no 'passive' side. They're both active and badass.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Lo Pei is not too worried about collateral damage, and tends to blast first, ask questions never.
  • Got Volunteered: At least twice.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: See Plot Coupons
  • Grand Finale: "The Powers That Be"
  • Grand Theft Me: Poor Valmont...and Jackie...and, Shendu likes to jack bodies.
  • Great White Feline: The first season dealt with the 12 Talismans, a set of MacGuffins modeled after the Chinese zodiac, each granting a different power. The Tiger Talisman is modeled after a white tiger and has the power to split beings into their good and evil halves. When the talismans are destroyed in season 3, the energies inhabiting them are transferred into the animals they represent. The Tiger Talisman's power is absorbed by a circus white tiger named Sasha.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Chan does this with the unconscious Agent Tag in a James Bond spoof episode.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Uncle, by far. He has been happy only twice in the entire show and one of them was a magic-induced dream.
  • Guns Akimbo: Uncle does this with blowfish at the start of Season 4, Justified because they're magic, and don't really have any recoil, most of the time.
  • Healing Factor: The Horse Talisman can heal injuries, cure illnesses, and even reverse some transformations (such as turning into stone). Apparently it can also rebuild non-living objects.
  • Heist Clash: This is how Jackie and Viper met. In "Enter The Viper", Jackie wanted to steal the snake talisman from the New York Metropolitan Museum in order to protect it from the Dark Hand. Viper broke into the same museum to steal a diamond called the Pink Puma. During their scuffle, the two accidentally swap their respective loot.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Tohru and Viper both quit their criminal ways and become allies to the Chans. Though both of them are still treated with some lingering suspicions at first, although they prove themselves trustworthy.
    • Played with three times by the Dark Hand Enforcers. In two episodes late into the show, the Enforcers promise to become law-abiding citizens, but this is subverted in the end when they see opportunities to revert to crime. In the series finale, they try to give a little bit of help to the heroes, implying that maybe they have turned to the good side for real.
  • Hellfire: Both Shendu and Drago are cruel, megalomaniacal cases of Dragons Are Demonic, with fire-based inherent elemental magic that isn't tied to Shendu's Talismans and can outright destroy said Talismans.
  • Hell on Earth: In the Season 1 finale, Shendu tries to unleash his army of demonic dragon minions from Another Dimension so he can use them to destroy all of Asia and then conquer the world. In Season 5, Drago intends to unleash extradimensional demons on the Earth and make Earth a demon world with him ruling supreme.
  • He Knows Too Much: Parodied in The Chan Who Knew Too Much.
    Conspirator: He has found the secret watering closet!
    Jackie: I'm just looking for the exit!
  • Hero Harasses Helpers: Jackie to Jade. In "Deja Vu" he does realize how much she does help. In the same way, Jade realizes exactly why Jackie plays this trope.
  • Heroic Bystander: Deino Stephenso, in "Snake Hunt", is pretty badass for a cameraman.
  • Heroic Willpower: When Capt. Black gets an oni mask stuck on him he's able to resist the effects for quite some time, and Uncle says it's because of his inherent goodness.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Jackie is constantly "borrowing" items from total strangers to use as weapons or modes of transportation.
  • He's a Friend: Heel–Face Turn, some people who've been gone a while, it happens.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Season 3. Daolon Wong, searching for the talisman powers, revives Shendu to get the power of the dragon talisman. Shendu immediately Curb Stomps Daolon and takes over for the finale.
  • How Many Fingers?: In the first episode. "Look, fishies!" Jade tries it in season 3 after Jackie's been bitten by a cobra. "What's a Jackie?"
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Jade will 'always' be on the latter end even against normal sized guys. She ocassionally goes against genuine huge guys and the size differece is remarkable.
  • Humiliation Conga: Several of the villains get this over the course of the series. Daolon Wong in particular gets these in nearly every single appearance. There was once a single episode where in attempting to time travel to the past to stop Jackie he ended being teleported to all his most humiliating defeats... and getting injured by being in the middle of situations he was never in in the first place.
  • Hurricane of Aphorisms: The monk who guides the Chans in "The Lotus Temple" was fond of these, always preceding with the phrase "ancient wisdom!" When he reveals himself to be Evil All A Long, he even picks proverbs that are appropriately intimidating. At the end of the episode, Jackie gets into the act by making one up on the spot about Jade's homework.

  • I Know You Know I Know: In the episode "Agent Tag", Jade stows away on Agent Tag's mission and Jackie goes after her. He ends up getting caught in the episode by the villain Dr. Necrosis who's trying to make a Doomsday device. The only problem is Dr. Necrosis has never seen Agent Tag and assumes the captured Jackie is him.
    Jackie: But I am not Agent Tag. I am Jackie Chan, a researcher.
    Dr. Necrosis: Of course if you were Agent Tag, you would deny it emphatically.
    Jackie: No, I would claim to be Agent Tag, assuming you would not believe me.
    Dr. Necrosis: But I would anticipate your assumption that I would not believe you.
    Jackie: I would foresee you're anticipating my assumption of your not-believing.
    Dr. Necrosis: But how could you predict I wouldn't expect you're foreseeing my anticipation of your assuming my not-believing? Ha! Answer me that.
    Jackie: [gasps] I do not even know what you just said!
    Dr. Necrosis: Precisely what I expected you to say, Agent Tag.
  • Identical Grandson: Almost every main character gets an identical ancestor in Showdown in the Old West, although the only one we know was identical is past-Jackie (most of it is being pictured by the present-day characters). This is almost certainly due to the modern-day characters imagining their ancestors as being just like themselves. The only character whose physical appearance is actually described is Jade's counterpart, and she's outright stated to be nothing like Jade, being 15 years old and much taller. She insists that "It was a typo!"
  • Idiot Ball: Happens to Jackie and Jade the most. Jackie tends to attack problems with an almost reckless lack of planning which tends to come back to bite him in the ass. Jade however tends to plan ahead more and is generally the only character who bothers to grab the talismans or some other useful item before running off to fight the enemy. Still, that doesn't stop her from screwing up a lot. To emphasize the importance of using the Idiot Ball, consider that Jade's actions in the Season 1 finale lead directly to Season 2, Jackie's actions in the Season 3 premiere lead to Season 3 itself, and both Jackie and Future! Jade help to institute Season 5 via keeping Drago after J2. In the same vein, Daloan Wong's actions in the Season 4 premiere lead to Season 4 itself happening. Using the Idiot Ball continues the show.
  • The Igor: One appears in "Enter: The Cat", although only in voice.
    • Haggis from the episode "Glove Story" qualifies.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Jackie. He would really just like to be a normal archeologist.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: With the monkey talisman, Tohru suggests they turn Jackie into an edible animal.
    • The only reason Carl Nivore doesn't eat children is because they aren't endangered.
  • Immortal Breaker: The Dog talisman grants Complete Immortality - but the Dragon Talisman's 'combustion' power can hurt them even with this in place. However, the only time it was shown, the Horse talisman could heal all the damage.
  • Immortality Hurts: Finn is the Trope Namer, uttering this phrase when slammed at sixty miles per hour into a wall while holding the immortality Talisman. Also of note is that he had just traded the Healing talisman to one of his teammates because he thought having Healing and Immortality was redundant— not realizing that the Immortality talisman doesn't include healing.
  • Immortality Inducer: The Dog talisman, which provides Nigh-Invulnerability and restores youthful energy. The Horse talisman is a close second thanks to its power of Healing - as long as the owner isn't simply killed outright they can recover from any injury, poison, or disease instantly.
  • Imperfect Ritual: Tohru whips up a potion to prevent Draco from absorbing demon powers, but the last ingredient must be a piece of Draco himself. Jade substitutes a piece of Draco's father Shendu instead. But we never get to see if it works, because Draco manages to go One-Winged Angel too quickly.
  • Improvised Lockpick: Subverted in the Season 4 finale. Viper tries to break the J-Team out of their cell with a hairclip and then with a credit card, but the lock is magically sealed shut.
  • Improvised Weapon: It's Jackie Chan, so it's required. Weapons have included furniture, a horse saddle, fish, windshield wipers, Jackie's own shirt...
  • Insistent Terminology: In one episode an octopus statue is the MacGuffin of the day, whenever anyone tries to call it a fish, they are always told that it is a multipod... then it's subverted at the end.
    Boss: Put the fish on the table!
    Lackey: Uh, boss? Technically, the octopus is a member of the multipod family and... [notices the boss is giving him a Death Glare] put the fish on the table!
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Several; during the Kyoto Octopus heist, one mook grabs a small tree, hoists it over his head (presumably to use as a weapon) and jumps, yelling "Banzai!" Another favorite is when Jackie warns the mooks to be careful because they are at risk of damaging a Babylonian Urn. "What's a Babylonian urn?" "Probably more than we do!"
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The talismans end up this for the seasons they’re used in. The majority of them have great powers with no drawbacks and only a handful are considered useless, and even then they have a niche that can be useful. One example is the Ox Talisman that curbstomps any foe regardless of their strength.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: This show loved to use this trope, as many of the seemingly skippable filler episodes end up paying big way for future events, especially when it came to introducing their future villains:
    • Queen of the Shadowkhan has Jade getting a tattoo from the symbol in a book, where she ends up possessed by it and can now rule the Shadowkhan ninjas. This hints at the fact that Shendu stole the Shadowkhan from somebody else, and the symbol is later revealed as the mark of Tarakudo, the Big Bad of Season 4.
    • The Chosen One has Tohru chosen as the prophesized master of a group of Monks, where a dark chi wizard ends up trying to hunt him to prevent said prophecy. Said wizard is Daolon Wong, who ends up becoming the main villain when he returns in Season 3.
    • The Good Guys features Finn, Ratso and Chow giving up on evil, but later returning into it as they attempt to steal a magic opal. This same episode features the Ice Crew, who act as more competent versions of the Enforcers. They later return in Season 5 as they replace the Enforcers as the minions in the final season.
    • J2 - Rise of the Dragons has a story where Jade sees two strangers from the future arrive, one being her future self, and the other being Drago, Shendu's son, who later returns as the final villain of the last season.
  • Instant Expert: Frequently averted for comic relief, especially if it's the bad guy that fails by his own superpower.
  • In-Series Nickname: Viper takes to calling Jackie "Babyface", most likely to annoy him.
    • Finn refers to Valmont as Big-V (or Little-V in one case) and Tohru as Big-T or T-Man. Following this, Jade also refers to Tohru as Big-T, or just T.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Given the characters this trope is well averted, especially in the fourth season where it dealt with Uncle's unfamiliarity with Japanese lore, language and magic due to being a Chinese chi master. Somewhat amusing, given that his voice actor is Japanese.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: In a playground, on a train, etc.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Jade and Tohru.
  • Invisibility: The Snake Talisman gives you full invisibility, but only works on characters. When applied to non-living objects, only said object becomes invisible and not what's inside.
  • Irony: Early on in the second season, the bad guys are distributing the Talismans among each other. Finn gets both the talisman that bestows Immortality and the one that gives its user a Healing Factor. Feeling that healing is redundant to an immortal, he trades it to one of his fellows for a different talisman. In the ensuing Traintop Battle, Finn ends up getting slammed into a mountainside at top speed. Being immortal, he survives the blow... and is completely sidelined for the rest of the fight and is unable to do anything other than pathetically whimper that "immortality hurts."
  • It Belongs in a Museum:
    • Except in "Enter the Cat" where Jackie decides that the cat statue is too dangerous even for a museum and destroys it instead.
    • Also excluded is the time Jackie had to steal the Snake Talisman from a museum, because the talismans are too dangerous/sought after to be in such a public place.
  • It Only Works Once: The Pan'Ku Box. It can only open the eight different portals once and only once.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, St Patrick's Day in Ireland.
  • Jail Bake: Subverted when the Dark Hand get themselves sent to prison to find Xiao Fung's portal: it's the Warden's birthday cake, and ruining it gets Valmont sent to solitary. The box was in the package beneath the cake.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Chinese characters rarely speak any Chinese language, even during the episodes set in China. Even more jarringly, the two characters who had been in America for a large portion of their lives - Uncle and Jackie - still had accents, while the one character who supposedly just came over from China - Jade - has a very American accent.
    • This may be justified, albeit weakly, by the fact that Jade is from Hong Kong, where many people have what sounds like an American accent - except her parents don't really have much in the way of accents either.
    • Jackie's accent can also be justified as the actor imitating the real Jackie Chan, who does have a recognizable accent.
    • In one episode, Uncle even does research with a Japanese to Chinese dictionary.
    • Lampshaded in the Three Wise Monkeys-based episode, where Uncle can't read a speechless Jackie's lips because Jackie's accent's too thick.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Daolon Wong attempts this, in a literal sense. It fails; the dog in question is immortal.
    • Tarakudo also does this in Scruffy's second episode, though he was aiming for Jade.
  • Kid with the Leash: Jade once gained control of the Shadowkhan from a magic marker tattoo she did, unfortunately it slowly made her Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Shadowkhan Hak Foo summoned are like these. But after eating, they're more killer than rabbit.
    • During the season 1 finale, Jackie turns Shendu into a rabbit. That doesn't stop him from turning invisible, floating and using heat beam eyes.
  • Killer Yo-Yo: Not used to attack people, except when Jackie has it, but dangerous all the same.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Most of the running gags in the series get lampshaded eventually.
  • Large Ham: Hakfu is known for his screaming attacks and being overly dramatic.
    Hakfu: *breaks tree in half* "Henote  will fit snugly... " *points to face* "UPON MY FACE! *flys at Jackie* "FLYING SQUIRREL CRACKS ACORN!"
  • Large Runt: A variation. Tohru is a massive, round, muscular man who begins the series in the service of the Dark Hand, though he later turns good. One would assume that he's a sumo wrestler, however, in one episode he is required to enter a martial arts competition against a sumo wrestler. Tohru states that he is "too small for sumo," and indeed, the real sumo wrestler is much larger than Tohru.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: Parodied when the Monkey King makes a volcano erupt cherry gelatin.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: Shendu begins the series sealed into the form of a stone statue after having the talismans which control his power removed from his body. While in this form he retains the ability to speak and apparently to breathe fire.
  • Leitmotif: Many. Though Jackie does not seem to have one, Jade does, and many secondary characters have a motif as well: The Enforcers, Shendu, the Monkey King, Daolon Wong...
  • Lethally Stupid: Jade. Letting her toy with magic is rarely a good idea.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Ratso when he has to remove an Oni Mask from Finn's rear.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Although it changes depending on scenario; El Toro wears a nice suit outside of the ring, Jackie and Jade both have archeologist outfits, etc.
  • Literal Metaphor: Jade once used the Snake Talisman to sneak in during one of Jackie's missions. After he's complimented for defeating some bad guys "alone", she complained by asking if she was invisible. Duh, as she said once she realized she was indeed invisible because of the talisman's power.
  • Literal Split Personality: The Tiger Talisman can split people into two halves, yin (light) and yang (dark).
  • Little Stowaway:
    • Jade does this Once an Episode.
    • Uncle even did it once.
    • A age-regressed Valmont did it too with the Chans.
  • Living Clothes: "Glove Story" has haunted pirate gloves.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: Uncle reads from a scroll explaining why the Immortality Talisman is the Dog Talisman; dogs are man's best friend. Not only does the user gain eternal life, but all the strength and stamina of youth. When Uncle used it, he retained all his skill but regained his vigor. He could even eat cheese again because it wouldn't gum up his..."none of your business."
  • Living Shadow: The Shadowkhan ninjas.
  • Living Toys: Gnomekop (once) and Super Moose (repeatedly) thanks to the Rat Talisman
  • Look Behind You: During a truck-top fight, Jackie warns Finn of an oncoming tunnel. Finn scoffs at the 'trick' and slams into the cliff wall (turns out immortality and healing aren't so redundant.)
  • Loophole Abuse: Jade loves to do this when it comes to following Jackie around, often using Jackie's Exact Words against him. For instance, she is once told by Jackie to stay with Uncle (the character) without thinking that he is also her uncle. Since he never specified which uncle to stay with, she stays with Jackie.

  • Macguffin Delivery Service: Conversed and defied in Episode 3:
    Finn: Listen, new guy. We don't know what power this ox talisman has. Chan might come busting out of there fifty feet tall with laser eyes.
  • Magic A Is Magic A:
    • In interesting contrast to Eastern anime magic-users using Western Hermetic Magic, most of the spells in the Western-made Jackie Chan Adventures are Eastern style. Seems to be a variant of Rule Magic.
    • The talisman's themselves tended to be fairly consistent, with a few inconsistencies. The Healing Factor Horse talisman originally required you to say "achoo" to activate, the dragon talisman initially embedded itself into Valmont's palm to be used and the Enemy Without Tiger Talisman is prone to all sorts of quirky side-effects besides its supposed "spiritual balance" primary power.
    • An aversion is when Jade grew freakishly huge muscles from using the Ox Talisman, when this never happened before or again.
  • Magic Must Defeat Magic: One of Uncle's catchphrases is "Magic must defeat magic". He usually spouts this whenever Jackie, Jade or the rest of Section-13 try and apply a non-magical solution (usually involving guns) to fight a magical threat. If Uncle doesn't knock the naysayer unconscious first, he is usually proven correct when the magical threat curb-stomps the poor saps trying to gun down or kung fu it to death.
  • Magic Versus Science: Science has its uses in its own field, but is ultimately incapable of doing anything significant against the magical villains the cast runs into. As Uncle is wont to point out, "MAGIC MUST DEFEAT MAGIC!"
  • Mama Bear: Tohru's Mom is shorter than just about any other character. But should someone mess with her baby boy, be it regular mook or mystical henchmen, and she will mess them up.
  • Masked Luchador: El Toro
  • McNinja: Subverted. In the first few seasons, the Shadowkhan were ninja (Japanese) working for the demon Shendu (Chinese). This was later explained and used as the arc for an entire season when it was revealed Shendu had taken control of them from a Japanese Oni imprisoned in a mask.
  • Medium Blending: In the intro with live-action Jackie.
    • Also the ending bit, where he did a live question-answer session.
  • Me's a Crowd: The episode "Jade Times Jade", upgrading into Me's an Army towards the end.
  • The Men in Black: Section 13 is a secret government agency that carries out espionage and law enforcement, at first only against ordinary organized crime. But after Captain Black and some of his men discover that demons are real, Section 13 starts trying to deal with supernatural threats, but with varying results; as their superiors are still skeptical, while Uncle has to remind Black that "Magic Must Defeat Magic" multiple times.
  • Mind over Matter: The Rooster Talisman grants levitation and telekinesis, allowing the user to make oneself or others float in the air. Can be combined with the Rabbit Talisman for super-fast flight.
  • Mirror Reveal: One Running Gag is for a character to undergo a magical transformation, ask why everyone else is staring, and Uncle to say "Don't look in the mirror!" Naturally, the character immediately does so and freaks out, and Uncle adds "I told you not to look in the mirror!"
  • Momma's Boy: Tohru. Big as he is, can't bear to fail his momma.
  • Monster of the Week: Some filler episodes (especially in Season 2) use this kind of plot. Some entire seasonal story arcs involve a new monster every episode; such as the Demon Sorcerers in Season 2, or the Oni and Shadowkhan in Season 4.
  • Mook Carryover: The Enforcers (Finn, Ratso and Chow) who were always brought in by the current season's big bad. Also Valmont (when possessed by Shendu), the Shadow Khan, and finally Strikemaster Ice, DJ Fist and MC Cobra. Drago averts this trope temporarily by firing the Enforcers after one episode.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Tohru became a mook for the Chans after season 1.
  • Mundane Utility: Several of the talismans ended up with this. Of particular note, the Pig Talisman is how a chocolatier named Uncle Ferkelson melted his chocolate.
    • Captain Black once called on every resource available to Section 13 to locate a videogame for Jade as a Christmas present.
  • Mundangerous: After running down the side of an exploding building without a problem, Jackie breaks his leg by slipping on one of Jade's toys.
    Uncle: Sounds like a Chinese proverb!
  • Must Be Invited:
    • When Hsi Wu loses his tail, Uncle charms the shop so he can't get inside and retrieve it without an invitation. Hsi Wu gets around this by shapeshifting into a kid and befriending Jade at school (unwittingly launching a thousand fanfics).
    • Jade and Xu Lin use this to get around part of the Lotus Temple's curse; Jade can't be an 'intruder' if she's invited.
  • My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad: Whenever Jade and Paco meet they end up arguing over who is better, Jackie or El Toro.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Jackie yells this when he ended up destroying the talismans, setting their powers on the animals around the world.
  • Mystical Jade: The series exploited the trope for an episode-long Who's on First? routine involving the race for a powerful artifact made of jade and the character named Jade.
  • Mystical Lotus: Han Xiangzi sealed the demon sorceror of the moon, Tso Lan, using a lotus pod. This lotus then became enhanced with Tso's Demon Chi and now allows users to gain his abilities over the moon.
  • Never My Fault: Tohru's mother blamed Uncle when she turned invisible even though she walked into his hotel room, went through his bag, removed the noble snake's egg, dipped it into her teapot (which caused the invisibility) out of her own free will.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Quite a number of times, often by Jade. Jackie has his own moments, such as when his attempt to destroy the talismans at the beginning of the third season only ended up scattering their powers across the world.
    • Several times, most notably during the Demon Portal arc, when the Dark Hand would simply follow Jackie when they were stumped on a Panku Box riddle.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Valmont kicking Jackie off a cliff results in Shendu possessing Valmont.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Zig-zagged in the episode "And He Does His Own Stunts", which has Jade swooning over a Leonardo DiCaprio substitute named Raffaello DiCapezio; conversely, Uncle and Tohru are John Wayne fans.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Romance is practically absent from this show's storyline, aside from a few hints dropped every now and then.
  • No One Could Survive That!: In the fifth episode, mind you this show went on for 5 seasons, Jackie is escaping with the Sheep Talisman aboard a train. Pursued by Shadowkhan and Valmont's goons, and after rescuing the driver from certain death after the bridge ahead of the train is destroyed, and the train quickly dives off of the blown-up railway... and without having any Talisman powers, Jackie single-handedly runs across 5 or 6 train cars from the leading train all the way to the end, just narrowly vaulting back to safety while Valmont's goons look on. Ratso flat-out states it:
    "No way he's human."
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: At the start of season three, Jackie destroys the Talismans so that neither the Dark Hand nor Daolon Wong can get their hands on them. This backfires when the powers within simply seek out new hosts.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: Jackie, several times.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: In one episode in which all the adults were turned into toddlers, they all looked more cartoony and simplified.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Strangely applied; the internal timeframe may not perfectly match the season production but it's made rather clear that several years do pass over the whole series. Jade never gets taller and remains in the same elementary school class with the same teacher. One episode highlights it where Jade complaining that she hasn't grown at all since she came to live with Jackie and Uncle. Stranger still, Time Travel episodes show Jade as an adult.
  • Not Quite Dead: Shendu after being killed in the end of season 1, was a ghost in season 2, revived in season 3, and only to get sealed.
  • Not Quite Starring: Voice actor James Sie as Jackie Chan, with the real Jackie Chan appearing in the title sequence and a live-action segment after each episode. He said in an interview his schedule doesn't allow for the frequent recording sessions, but he has tried to do all the grunts and other things his character does, which is much simpler.

  • Offscreen Teleportation: Jade's ability to turn up behind Jackie is sometimes explained, sometimes lampshaded. In the first episode, there was a gag where taking the stairs to Section 13 was faster than the ridiculously hyper-powered elevator.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The Dark Hand, at least by the second half of the first season. It's later justified because the Shendu escapade and demon portal stuff drained their resources. Early on, it was a lot bigger with a few hired guns besides the regular enforcers. Most of the local mooks got scared off by the supernatural goings-on, and by the end of season 2, all of them are gone save for Finn, Ratso and Chow. Still, it's never really explained where their infrastructure went.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Jade in "Shanghai Moon" when she sees Tso Lan going for the moon after she kicks him out of their space station.
    • Drago and co. about halfway into the Spectacu-Larry episode. Watch their faces as he attacks.
    • Valmont saying, "Blast!" in any situation going wrong like in season 1 episode 7, "Bullies", when he realizes Jackie took advantage of his anger to blast the boat open with the Dragon talisman, sinking it and the stolen gold from Fort Knox.
    • Daolon Wong and Uncle share Oh Crap looks when both are frozen, from using stone magic on each other, as a giant Jade and equally giant ogre fight each other around them.
  • Oireland: The St Patrick's Day episode involves Jade convincing a bunch of locals that she's a leprechaun simply by dressing up as one. Then again, the locals were right about the curse on the emerald...
  • Oktoberfest: The episode that introduced the Dog and Pig talismans was set in Bavaria.
  • Old Master: Uncle
  • Once a Season: About 2/3rds of the way through a season they would have the group lose one of the talismans etc. to the bad guys, reinforcing that they are still human. As well, the final episode usually had the pieces being united to demonstrate their power and why they didn't want them together in the first place.
  • Oni: Tarakudo and the other Oni Generals, the antagonists of Season 4. They have the ability to summon the Shadowkhan, demonic warriors made out of shadows. They were trap in hannya mask that represented their own face and could possess people who wore them. Tohru was deeply afraid of the Oni because of the stories he heard from his mom. Ironically enough, its thanks to these fears that made him an expert in dealing with them since he knew their weaknesses.
  • Only One Name: Plenty. Valmont, his three main henchmen, Tohru, Paco...the list goes on.
    • It's probably easier to list those who do have more than one name: Jackie, Jade, El Toro, Captain Augustus Black (yes he has a first name, it's only said once).
  • Our Demons Are Different: Most of the monsters on the show are described as demons, but most of them don't look alike, and they all come with different appearances and abilities.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Carry: Naturally Jade, as she gets picked up off her feet almost every episode. One time even her own future adult self did this to her.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Tohru, towards Jade. (speaking to Valmont) "If any harm comes to her, I will turn you inside out."
    • Any male protagonist would qualify even Finn, Ratso, and Chow during their short-lived Heel–Face Turn as Jade wanted to fight the Ice Crew only for Ratso and Chow to restrain and remind her that Jackie wouldn't allow such behavior. And there's Hak Foo in the Grand Finale, as Uncle and Tohru cast a spell to send Shendu and Drago to the Netherworld, Jackie grabs Jade to prevent her from being sucked in and hands her over to Hak Foo who holds on to her until the spell is cast.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Finn uses one to try and get a book from Uncle's shop. As he comments to his fellows, "I can't believe he fell for that!" In that episode, Jackie and Tohru disguise themselves as Shadowkhan ninjas. It's sort of ok for Jackie, but Tohru is much, much bigger than the other ninjas.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish":
    • Subverted and hung with a shade. "Namsilat" will not unlock the Talismans and Captain Black's birthday has nothing to do with any numerical codes.
    • When Jackie needs to use a panic word when undercover, the word being chinchilla, he gets this when trying to use it. "What's a chinchilla?"
  • Personality Swap: An encounter with a chi vampire forces drains Uncle's chi into Jade. Importantly, it only switches their personalities. Although Jade gets Uncle's inquisitive nature and focus, she doesn't acquire his knowledge, so she still has to research how to solve the problem on her own. After getting Jade's chi Tohru is still a hulking powerhouse but now is a lot more talkative and using teenage slang.
  • A Pirate 400 Years Too Late
  • Playing with Fire: The Dragon Talisman shoots out fire blasts.
  • Plot Coupon: Talismans, portals, animals, masks, relics. In that order.
  • Politically Correct History: Showdown in the Old West is a mild case. Though Jackie's Identical Grandfather is portrayed as a 19th-century Chinese Laborer, the writers apparently felt that acknowledging 19th-century race relations would bring down the mood of a lighthearted Cowboy Episode. Hence, the significance of a Chinese immigrant being appointed sheriff in a Western frontier town is never discussed. Granted, there is a fairly dramatic moment in which Jackie's grandfather starts a fight when he's refused service in a saloon, but it's stated that this is because he's a railroad worker, not because he's Chinese.
  • Portal Slam: In Season 2 with Shendu being dead, his portal is "vacant" of an occupant, so any of his siblings could use it to escape. Jade, being trapped in the Demon World, gets through, closing it, and Hsi Wu slams into the rock behind the portal.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Jade loves these. The Enforcers like to use these as well, even though in the end it is usually their behinds that get kicked in the end.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Many of the villains are fond of these, especially Drago (the series as a whole loves the "villain is about to kill heroes, villain makes one-liner, fade to commercial" bit), but luckily they never succeed in killing their enemies after making their quips. Occasionally, they might use a Bond One-Liner when they think they've killed someone.
  • Prison Dimension: Shendu's seven siblings, and Shendu himself and his son Drago at the series' end, are imprisoned in the Netherworld, which is a dry, orange-skied dimension with nothing but floating rocks.
  • Prohibited Hero Saves the Day: Jade constantly sneaks away on Jackie's adventure even though she is not supposed to help since she is a child. Her stowaway habits have lead to her saving the group on multiple occasions, though she has been a nuisance an equal (if not greater) number of times.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "The Mask of El Toro Fuerte"
  • Psycho Rangers: The Chan Gang to the J-Team in "The J-Tots."
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Many times.
  • Punny Name: When Lo Pei is introduced, Finn makes a wisecrack that goes something like "You want Lo Pei, try looking at my salary."
    • There is a minor villain in season one who eats exotic animal species. His name? Carl Nivore.
  • Put on a Bus: Valmont gets this treatment worse than anyone, even writers seem to Lampshade it at the end of the series. Valmont is last shown in the series working as a bus driver. By season 5, everyone was a put on a bus except for Jackie, Jade, Uncle, Tohru, Captain Black, Drago, and the Ice Crew. Finn, Ratso, and Chow only had 2 episodes as antagonists and returned in the last episode reformed. This also happens to Hak Foo who was never seen again until the last episode after the eighth oni mask was found. This also happens to El Toro, Paco, Viper, and Super Moose, they only had a cameo at Jade's birthday party and returned in the last episode to fight Drago.
  • Puzzle Box: The Pan'Ku Box is an artifact that was used to imprison demon lords in the netherworld. It is marked with 8 trigrams that each correspond to a demonic portal, and becomes capable of re-opening that portal if its components are rotated in a sequence corresponding to that trigram.
  • Quirky Household: The Chan family in general.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Chow, Finn and Ratso fulfilled this through several Big Bads. Hak Foo comes and goes with every season. Hell, these three kinda delve into Punch-Clock Villain territory, one episode they got tired of getting beaten up by Jackie and tried to pull a Heel–Face Turn.
    • In the fifth season they are replaced by the significantly more competent Strike Master Ice and his group, although they prove to be more troublesome for Drago.
  • Reality-Writing Book: One of these appears in a later episode, when it's rewritten by Shendu. Luckily Jade is left unaffected since she manages to tear out the page that relates to her, leaving her unaltered, though not before she turns everyone involved in the fight into Ninja Pirate Zombie Robots, like turning Viper into a super-soldier cyborg mech.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Muntabs, in "Lost City of the Muntabs"
  • Recap Episode: "Deja Vu" sends Jackie through past episodes.
  • Reckless Sidekick: Jade. Always. Just look in those big brown eyes and you'll see her unyielding desire to follow Jackie into adventure. To her credit, she does prove useful most of the time and almost never The Load.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Viper in general. After her interactions with Jade and Jackie she goes legitimate and is later a consultant for a security company.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: While there are several demonic members of the villain gallery, two of them, Moon Demon Tso Lan (who is part of the second season's Big Bad Duumvirate) and Oni King Tarakudo (who is the Big Bad of the fourth season), play this trope straight with their color schemes when they appear in full form (Tso Lan also mixes this with Purple Is the New Black).
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A common power of any evil monster or demon sorcerer, if you see the red eyes you best Take Warning.
  • Redemption Promotion: Tohru, and was used, subverted, and spoofed in an episode about Finn, Ratso and Chow, who turn out to be just as bad at being good as they are at being bad.
    • Overall averted. Tohru was far from an incompetent bad guy. Part of the reason he is the most dangerous enemy in the first season is because he is smart but usually solves problems in a blunt way. Some people running away from you down the stairs of a 50-story building? Casually stroll to the elevator. Chasing some people through a warehouse? Chuck a box at the door so they can't keep running. Etc.
  • Redshirt Army: The Section 13 forces. Normally at least once a season, their base is completely trashed. Once, while fighting the Dark Hand out in the open, they got their butts whooped, most of their vehicles blown up, and a number of them turned into rats.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: In the Villain World Alternate Timeline where the Demon Sorcerers reign, the sky is more often than not a grim, sickly-looking orange palette. In the Season 5 finale, Drago literally creates an overcast, bloodred sky over San Francisco when he's preparing to unleash Hell on Earth.
  • Reincarnation: It's implied in one episode that Jade is the reborn soul of a Dalai Lama-esque figure.
  • Resist the Beast: Xu Lin, the cursed guardian of "The Lotus Temple," does this several times, as she is cursed to turn into a monstrous beast whenever someone intrudes in the temple, but she doesn't want to hurt anyone. The heroes manage to find the loophole, and at one point she manages to resist the transformation enough to guide herself into going after the Big Bad.
  • Retired Badass: Several episodes show that Uncle is pretty skilled himself, though his age doesn't allow him too much action. When he's using the Dog Talisman, however, he can make Hak Foo look like an amateur.
  • Retroactive Wish: Ratso, during the time travel episode.
  • Rewriting Reality: Anyone who gets their hands on the Book of Ages, which contains all of history. When Shendu uses it to erase his family's previous defeats, Jade gives herself Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory by tearing out a page referring to her (oddly, the demons also remember the original timeline).
    • Shendu probably included an anti-amnesia clause in the changes he made to the book.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Spring-Heeled Jack.
  • Rimshot: Jade: "Tch. Like Jackie has a dark side." Jackie: "Yes, I do. Her name is Jade." Jade: "Ba-dum bum, tshhh!"
  • Rip Van Tinkle: "The Demon Behind" ends with Finn rushing to a restroom now that he's free. He wasn't unconscious, but he did have a sentient Japanese mask fused to his rear end that was controlling his body the whole episode.
  • The Rival: Hak Foo can fill in this role at times for both Jackie and Tohru, as he is skilled enough (and just flat out crazy enough) to challenge Jackie's martial arts and he is physically powerful enough to also challenge Tohru's strength.
  • Rule of Three: In "Tohru Who?", Valmont says he made it to the FBI's most wanted three years running.
  • Running Gag:
    • Tohru attempting to catch people.
      [insert character here]: Tohru catch [insert other character here]!
      [Tohru holds his arms out]
    • Tohru falling down stairs / rolling down a hill. Once happened three times in a single episode (justified because he was temporarily blind, though).
      Jackie: [knocking a amnesiac-and-convinced-he's-evil Tohru down a hill] Just like old times.
    • Uncle warning someone not to look in the mirror after a magical transformation, and them doing it anyway. "I told you not to look in the mirror!"
    • Uncle giving a very special kind of slap (striking the forehead with two fingers) to Jackie, or whoever annoys him or argues with him. Ironically, he never did this on Tohru's mother.
    • No one, particularly Jackie (usually from Jade) gets code phrases.
    • Jade willfully misinterpreting Jackie's instructions to stay put instead of heading into danger—she even lampshades it from time to time.
    • "Jackie" "El Toro" "Jackie" "El Toro" "Jackie" "El Toro"-
    • People, usually Jackie, pounding their chest after being snuck up on.
    • Whenever Jackie is forced to take something during a chase, he often apologizes with "I'msorryIpromiseI'llbringthisbacklaterthankyoooou!"
    • If El Toro shows up, expect Jackie to get hurt in Toro's attempt to help him.
      El Toro: Sorry.
    • Tohru ending up in a dump of fish, to which he states his hatred of fish.

  • San Dimas Time: In J2 the Chans have to stop Drago before midnight because Shendu will emerge in the future and finish off Future Jackie and Uncle.
  • Saving Christmas: Daolon Wong lays siege to the North Pole, hoping to steal Santa's good chi. Tohru was to fill in for Santa while the rest of the team fight Wong.
  • Say My Name: Shendu has an epic one at the end of the third season finale.
  • Scaled Up: This happens to the Enforcers when Drago decides to take them on as minions by granting them dragon powers. This didn't last, and Strikemaster Ice and his cronies later take up the mantle of being Drago's human-dragon hybrid henchmen instead.
  • Science Fantasy: JCA is overwhelmingly fantasy, although some sci-fi elements pop up occasionally.
    • For example, Section 13 has some futuristic technology, such as laser weaponry and a time machine.
    • At the end of "The Chan Who Knew Too Much", it turns out that Stonehenge is a landing pad for flying saucers, implying that space aliens exist in this universe.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: In "The Mother of All Battles", Tohru is approached by a Japanese crime syndicate who plan on stealing a priceless octopus statue and tell him he'll have a life of luxury if they help him succeed. Tohru joins them at first, but it turns out he was just pretending in order to warn Jackie who was asked to be a security guard.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In "The Mask of El Toro Fuerte" an new Enforcer recruit immediately quits after seeing an Ox Talisman-empowered El Toro throw Tohru onto a car.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: In one episode, the rat talisman brings Jade's beloved Gnomekop toy to life. Remember that the G is silent.
  • Sealed Army in a Can:
    • The Season 1 finale reveals Shendu has an army of dragon minions which are currently trapped in Another Dimension, and after regaining his true form, he intends to summon them to Earth to destroy all of Asia.
    • In the Season 4 finale, Tarakudo and his nine Oni Generals and all their legions of Shadowkhan are all imprisoned inside Tarakudo's mask. Lampshaded by Jade:
      "Ten demons and a gajillion ninjas in one teeny-tiny mask? Cozy."
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Most seasons involved the heroes attempting to reseal escaped ancient villains back in their cans. In the series, this is justified by the fact that destroying evil will only allow a different (and probably stronger) evil to take its place. Better then to keep around the evil threat you already know how to deal with, than risk leaving the way open for something far worse to come up that you may not know how to deal with in time.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: The series ends with this, as the fifth season's Big Bad Drago (using the powers of all eight demon sorcerers) and his father Shendu (the Big Bad of the entire series, using all twelve of his talismans) are sealed within another realm to duel for all eternity. Neither of them takes their fate very seriously, and they spend their time bickering: Shendu chastising Drago for being an impudent child playing with his father's world (yes, Shendu still thinks Earth is his for the taking), while Drago whines about Shendu never being there for him because he's always busy fighting wizards.
  • Second-Person Attack: The title sequence involves Jackie punching the main villain of the season through the foe's POV and then shaking his hand in pain as he transforms into his live-action self.
  • Self-Constructed Being: Shendu with some help from the Dark Hand (to turn from statue to flesh), and later Daolong Wong (to gain a new physical body entirely, as he'd been reduced to a spirit at that point).
  • Set Bonus: Season 1 has the Dark Hand looking for 12 magical talismans in order to release Shendu from imprisonment. Each talisman has its own power, and several of them work well together:
    • Jade is fond of pointing out the Rooster's Levitation and the Rabbit's Super-Speed combine to create flight.
    • The Horse's Healing and the Dog's Immortality might seem redundant at first, but having only the latter doesn't stop you from feeling pain.
  • Shadow Walker: The Shadowkhan, a tribe of magic ninjas (among other things), can use shadows as dimensional doors.
  • Shark Pool: In the Kyoto Octopus episode.
  • Shield Surf: Happens in the first episode. It's also how they get Xu Lin out of the Lotus Temple.
  • Ship Tease: Quite a bit between Jackie and Viper, supported whole-heartedly by Jade.
  • Shown Their Work: While a lot of the cultures they visit are made up and the characters generally do things that are physically impossible, the producers do show a conscious effort to accurately portray a lot of the locations and some more specific facts about them.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: While Jade is seen occasionally going to school, most of her time is spent going on or stowing away on adventures. A straighter example is Paco, who never leaves the side of El Toro Fuerte (except in "Re-Enter the J-Team" where El Toro says he's absent due to being busy with his school assignment).
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several to other works in the real-life Chan's career. Just for instance, episodes called "Shanghai Moon", "Half a Mask of Kung Fu", "Armor of God" (he actually winds up wearing the armor from the film), then there's Jade telling a film producer he does all his own stunts, Jade letting Jackie believe she doesn't speak English, Uncle being a performer in "Seven Little Fortunes"... and on and on.
    • One episode is a Whole-Plot Reference to Enter the Dragon (the movie where Jackie got his start as an extra, probably-not-incidentally).
    • Any time Viper shows up, expect one reference to The Pink Panther series. The sleazy antiques collector in "Enter the Cat" is a nod to Sydney Greenstreet's character in The Maltese Falcon. And then there was a whole episode that spoofed James Bond.
    • The Dark Hand has occasionally made an animal-themed quip when demonstrating the power of a talisman. When Valmont assimilates the Dragon talisman he calmly says, "Puff the Magic Dragon." Finn trades Ratso the Horse for the Pig with, "Here, take Mister Ed!" and later says to himself, "That'll do, pig. That'll do."
    • The episode titled "Project A For Astral".
    • 'The J-Team' (season 2, episode 2) opens with a stunt reminiscent of Shanghai Knights, as Jackie and Captain Black use a hanging flag to escape certain death.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Pulled off on many occasions but it is most sweet with Jade after Shendu's first major defeat.
    Shendu: I will have my revenge, even if it takes another nine hundred years!
    Jade: Tch. No Rat means you're just a statue. And no dog means, (as the Dragon Talisman in her hand glows) you're not immortal.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work:
    • A repeated statement by Uncle is that "Magic Must Defeat Magic!" and, sure enough, whenever a magic-empowered enemy appears (which is like 99.9% of the major enemies) they are completely immune to everything but magical attacks (or martial arts, or magically-empowered martial arts) and by the middle part of the series Captain Black and his subordinates don't even bother to do more than tell Team Chan where to go and arrest any defeated human goons the chaos leaves behind.
    • It also turns out that magic as powerful as the Chinese Zodiac-based one within the Talismans cannot be destroyed, just transferred from one recipient to another, which means that Jackie's attempt to get rid of them in the third season just leads to another worldwide scavenger hunt, only this time for magically-empowered animals instead of talismans.
  • Single Serving Friend: Jade had a few of these throughout the series; Maynard from "Bullies", Simone Magus from "Return of the Pussycat", Larry from "Antler Action" and Jimmy from "J2 Revisited".
  • Sins of Our Fathers: What motivates Shendu in the Season 1 finale. He plans to flatten all of Asia to get revenge on the descendants of those who rebelled against him.
  • The Slow Path: How the Enforcers get back home after being stranded in the past at the end of "Through The Rabbit Hole.
  • Snooping Little Kid: Jade is always getting into trouble this way.
  • Snowlems: Daolon Wong uses them while attacking Santa's workshop
  • So Last Season: Lightly applied, Uncle mentioned that the Talisman powers are helpful (and certainly nice for a surprise) but are simply not the most powerful magic in the series.
    • Season Four had different villains than the other seasons, of Japanese heritage. Therefore, Uncle couldn't use Chinese methods of dealing with them and had to call upon Tohru's knowledge of Japanese culture a lot more.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Played with during Attack of the J-Clones. Neither Jackie nor his clone know when Captain Black's birthday is, to his dismay, but Jade figures it out by asking them to take her to Moose World: the real one refuses, since she has homework. Paco's clone gives himself away by pronouncing her name properly. For non-Spanish speakers, "j" is usually pronounced with "y" or "h" sounds - hence, "Yade" from El Toro and the real Paco.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The scope of events grows, but each new Big Bad isn't necessarily more powerful, just brings with them their own style of problems.
    • Justified Trope: The killing of Shendu opened the way for even greater evil. This flows in an entirely logical manner until he is sealed again: his death allows him to act as a means for his siblings to be released back into the world, the talismans being destroyed causes their powers to be scattered to the winds and drives Daolon Wong to try and locate them.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: Farmer MacDonald's sons, to Jackie's delight.
    "Doctor Buford MacDonald?" (dodges a kick and lands on his leg) "Your books are very insightful."
    "Thank ye!" (punch)
  • Souvenir Land: Moose World
  • Space Suits Are Scuba Gear: To facilitate a dramatic "where's the talisman" moment before Jackie removes the hose when it's discovered drifting around inside his suit.
  • Spit Take: Finn, upon Tarakudo appearing in his coffee.
  • Spoiler Opening: The intro for season 2 showed Shendu possessing Valmont and Hak Foo's return.
    • Season 3 shows Finn, Ratso, and Chow transforming into Daolong Wong's Dark Chi warriors, and season 4 depicts the Sumo Shadowkhan at the end.
    • Season 5's intro doesn't feature the Enforcers and, while Drago becoming the major antagonist was probably expected by the time the intro first started, his featured henchmen wouldn't appear before his third episode.
  • Squirrels in My Pants: It's an animated gnome toy....It Makes Sense in Context.
    • Things go pretty bad for Ratso when he fakes this with a snake....yeah.
  • Stab the Salad: Possessed! Jade
  • Stairs Are Faster: For getting into Section 13, the stairs are a quicker way inside than the phone-booth elevator as demonstrated by Captain Black and Jade. Later averted by Tohru in a different building, who quietly rides an elevator while Uncle and Jade wear themselves out running downstairs.
  • The Starscream: Valmont when it comes to Shendu.
  • Steal It to Protect It: In "Enter The Viper", Jackie's warnings to the New York Metropolitan Museum that the Dark Hand will steal the snake talisman are ignored. He takes it upon himself to steal the talisman in order to protect it from the villains. Things get complicated when another thief breaks into the museum to steal a valuable diamond, resulting in her and Jackie accidentally swapping their respective loot.
  • Stereo Fibbing: In "The Warrior Incarnate", the Dark Hand busts into Uncle's shop looking for a terracotta statue on loan there. However, the statue was previously broken and is now totally disappeared from the shop, as Jade hauled the pieces away without Jackie or Uncle's knowledge. In this case, both Jackie and Uncle are telling the truth yet don't know the full story, making their explanations sound inconsistent:
    Finn: We know you got the statue. Where is it?
    Jackie/Uncle: Missing!/Broken!
    [Jackie and Uncle look at each other]
    Jackie/Uncle: Broken!/Missing!
    Chow: You need to get your story straight.
  • Stock Phrases: A LOT in-show. Jade's gasps and Jackie's exclamations are pretty standard.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In "The Amazing T-Girl", when the power of the talismans was stripped from them, Captain Black, not knowing this, tried to show off the Snake Talisman to his superiors and sneaks around them not realizing he is visible. Later, when Daolong Wong takes the still powerless Snake Talisman and does almost exactly what Black did to his own minions.
    • When the Tiger Talisman is introduced, Jade mistakes "the power of balance" to mean inability to lose one's physical balance. Hak Foo makes the same mistake when he's in the possession of the Talisman in "The J-Team".
  • Strictly Formula: This show follows a plot formula, though it is seasonal rather than just episodic. In all 5 seasons, the heroes must search for several different magical objects or creatures scattered around the world, before the villains get to them first.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: By the Grand Finale, Drago is so powerful that Uncle is forced to release Shendu.
  • Superstition Episode: In the episode "Tough Luck", the Chan family receives a cursed Irish emerald that gives the owner bad luck. The only way to nullify the curse is to return the emerald to its tomb in Ireland, or for someone to receive it willingly. Having it stolen, however, leaves the curse with you.
  • Super-Speed: The Rabbit Talisman grants super-speed.
  • Super-Strength: The Ox Talisman grants super-strength.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • After becoming the titular villain in "Queen of the Shadowkhan", Jade steals the Demon Archive and tries to read it to unlock its secrets, only to discover she, a girl from modern day Hong Kong, can't understand a single word of ancient Chinese. And when she sends the Shadowkhan to bring Shendu to her, she didn't consider the possibility that he might steal it back from her after gaining her trust.
    • Also, the story arc of the third season involved the talismans being destroyed, and their powers being transferred to the noblest animals across the world. At the end, Jade learns that the plan is not to keep them, but to remove their powers and return them to where they were found. As Jackie notes, several of the animals do have owners (or at the very least, natural habitats). The only animal they did keep was Scruffy the dog, as he was a stray with no known owner to claim him.
    • The rest of Section 13 not believing Captain Black about magic being real is usually played for laughs, but in "The Chan Who Knew Too Much", it prevents him from helping with the magical threat of the episode because, as he explains to Jackie, since everyone thinks he's cracked, he's in serious danger of losing his job.
    • Throughout seasons 1 and 2, The Dark hand devotes much time and money traveling the world to find the talismans and open the demon portals for Shendu. By the begining of season 3, it revealed the constant traveling and repeated failures have left the Dark Hand broke.
    • In "Project A For Astral" Shendu possesses Jade's body in order to gain access to Section 13. When Jackie finds out the truth, Shendu tries to attack Jackie. Since Shendu is in the body of a small child, Jackie is easily able to restrain him.
      Shendu: Weak little girl!
    • While fighting Shendu in "Day of the Dragon", Jackie manages to take the Ox Talisman from the demon. When Shendu grasps both of his hands, however, Jackie can't pry himself free even with Super-Strength since Shendu is much larger.
      Jackie: [struggling] The playing field… is almost even… Shendu!
      Shendu: You may have the Ox, but relative to me, all that makes you is a very strong mouse!
  • Suspect Is Hatless: when Black described Shendu to Uncle, he says that he had "Red eyes, pointy teeth and sharp claws". Uncle says that that description fits plenty of demons.
    • One has to wonder why Captain Black didn't say that Shendu looked like a dragon, seeing how few of them look like a dragon.
  • Suspicious Ski Mask: Viper occasionally wears one along with her Spy Catsuit.
  • Tablecloth Yank: Several times, once with a shirt.
  • Tagalong Kid: Jade, and Paco is tagging along after her.
  • Taken for Granite: The Rat and (on one occasion) Horse Talismans invert this trope.
  • Take Over the World: Often the main goal of the show's bigger and more evil villains.
  • Tattoo Sharpie: Justified in one episode, when Jade scribbles a magical symbol on herself as a fake tattoo. It becomes permanent because of the magic it invokes and turns her into Queen of the Shadowkhan.
  • The Team: The J-Team to be precise. Jackie is The Face of the team, the guy the rest of them rely on, and the main guy on the front lines. Jade is primarily the Kid Sidekick who sneaks around and gets into trouble, but is constantly cheering on Jackie even if they don't always get along. Uncle is an Old Master who performs magic and understands enemy weaknesses the best. He also fills a mentor role. Viper's super-thief skills come in handy when tracking down and obtaining the many magical artifacts on the show. Tohru is a Gentle Giant, as a former enforcer for the bad guys with the build of a sumo wrestler, who eventually gets magic training from Uncle to become a Magic Knight. El Toro is a secondary bruiser because he is a professional wrestler.
  • Team Rocket Wins: At the start of the second season, the Dark Hand has all twelve talismans, and they use them to run a robbery that can't be beaten by all of Section 13, including Jackie and Jade. Not until the end of the next episode do the good guys turn the tables, and even then, it takes a few additional protagonists to do it.
  • The Teaser: Usually ending with a close-up of a shocked expression on one of the characters (often Jackie).
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When the enforcers realize where the Moon Demon's portal is.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The sheep talisman, which grants the power of astral projection to the user, rarely comes in handy in the series. More often, it is used in a fight either accidentally, or by someone forgetting what its power is, which leads to their physical body being vulnerable.
  • Telephone Teleport: Variation in one episode when Uncle casts a spell over his landline to Jade's cell phone. Which Jackie promptly lampshades, wondering how Uncle can do that when, earlier in the episode, Jackie sent him a fax and Uncle thought the fax machine was possessed when it began printing on its own.
  • Terminator Twosome: J2, complete with a musical Shout-Out.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: When Finn left the Dark Hand to create his own criminal group, the applicants who showed up before Ratso and Chow did were a disappointment.
    • When Drago was hiring replacements for the Enforcers, the rejects (other than Valmont) disappointed him in a similar fashion.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The monstrous Lotus Temple Guardian has cute little bows on its whiskers, the same that Xu Lin wears in her hair when not transformed. This is the only sign that the abominable snowman-esque monster is actually a girl.
    • Po Kong's eyelashes and lips.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Obviously what happened to Hak Foo before he joined the Dark Hand.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Every season except for the fourth had at least one episode where the bad guys win. Played with in that the heroes getting all the Oni masks worked in Tarakudo's favor anyway.
    • In Season 1, The Dark Hand gains the Sheep and Dragon talismans and the penultimate episode ends with The Dark Hand having all 12 talismans with Shendu being revived.
    • In Season 2, Bai Tza isn't sent back to the demon netherworld until the episode after she's released.
    • In Season 3, Daolong Wong gains the powers of Levitation and Heat Beam Eyes in the same episode.
    • In Season 5, Drago obtains the Thunder Demon Chi without having Uncle use the Chi-O-Matic to take it away until the next episode.
  • Third-Person Person: Uncle, on occasion.
  • This Is My Boomstick: In Danger in the Deep Freeze, black marketeer Peter Bailey fools a tribe of Inuits into believing he's a great shaman with this trick, claiming his cellphone is a "magical black box" that lets him communicate with other shamans across the world. Jackie proves him a fraud by demonstrating his own cellphone and how it works, causing the Inuits to get very mad at Bailey.
  • Token White: Although the trope isn't really played, among the good guys Captain Black is the only significant white character.
  • Tomboy: Jade
  • Tomes of Prophecy and Fate: One of which is insanely powerful.
  • Totally Radical: Avoided for the most part, which only makes the examples that stick even more poignant. In the episode Queen of the Shadowkhan, Jade says that's she's going to get "the gnarliest tattoo in the history of gnarl!"
    • Strikemaster Ice and his team are very obviously into rapper slang ("Relax, dawg."), but it is done so completely and mostly ignored by the rest of the cast that it comes off as character flavoring instead of trying to be hip.
  • Tracking Spell: Uncle frequently casts locator spells to help find the talismans, Oni masks or whatever object the heroes are looking for. Daolon Wong can use these as well.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: According to Uncle, be it spells or recipes, "no such thing as too much garlic!" Except when there is.
    • The mung beans.
    • Fermented beetle larvae.
    • Tohru likes grape soda and cookies. He buys out the Buttercup Scouts, even.
  • Tragic Monster: One episode features an ancient temple hiding great magical secrets, guarded by a hulking Yeti-like monster that viciously hunts down any intruders. As it turns out, this monster is a little girl who wandered into the temple one night years ago, and was cursed to become it's guardian whenever anyone sets foot inside its walls. Jade, of course, makes friends with her, and they both try to find a way to stop her transformations, though the girl is more concerned with getting everyone out so she doesn't lose control and hurt anyone.
  • Trapped on the Astral Plane: In the debut episode of the Sheep Talisman, Jade messes around with the Talisman and ends up stuck in the Astral plane after Shendu astral projects his spirit into her unoccupied body. Fortunately, she's able to enter Jackie's dreams and alerts him to what happened.
  • Treasure Chest Cavity: Jackie unknowingly had the map to a treasure inserted inside one of his dental fillings by a crooked orthodontist.
  • Trivial Tragedy: In the episode "The Tiger and the Pussycat", Jackie accidentally activates the Tiger Talisman and is split into two clones of his Yin and Yang side. While Yang Jackie is extremely aggressive and selfish, Yin Jackie is fearful and faint-hearted, to the point of insisting he must be the evil side of Jackie because he stepped on a bug.
  • Trojan Prisoner: In "Rumble in the Big House", the Xiao Fung's demon portal is in Hollowlands Penitentiary, a prison. To get inside, ShenMontnote , Ratso, and Finn rob a bank and allow themselves to get arrested by Section 13 so they can go inside the prison free him.
  • Two Halves Make a Plot: In one episode Jade took a liking to a boy named Seymour, even giving him a half necklace pendant while she wore the other half. Unfortunately, Seymour turned out to be the sky demon Hsi Wu, who was befriending her to regain another half left behind: his own tail, accidentally severed and kept in Uncle's shop.
    • Also, one episode where one of the Oni masks got split in half: one half got attached to Jade, the other to Valmont. And the Oni cannot be sealed if the two halves aren't reunited.

  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: In the season 1 finale.
    Ratso: Too bad about the lost treasure of... y'know, whatcha call it.
    Finn: Uh, will this affect our bonuses?
    Ratso: You get a bonus?
    Valmont: Shut it!
  • Under the Mistletoe:
    • Can't have a Christmas episode without it. What makes it interesting is that it's Uncle and Daolon Wong and is used as a distraction in a fight.
      Uncle: *looks up* Mistletoooe!
      Daolon: *looks up in terror* YAAAAAH! *gets blasted*
    • Jackie and Viper have an almost moment under it at the end.
  • Unexpectedly Real Magic: Jade draws the Mark of Tarakudo on her ankle as a fake tattoo. It became a more permanent Power Tattoo which granted her control over the Shadow Kahn and corrupted her into becoming Queen of the Shadow Kahn until it was removed, of course.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: GnomeKop when he's brought to life by the Rat talisman. Despite supposedly being a superhero, he only cares about defeating Turbo Troll and has no respect for the lives of "giants" — that is to say humans — to the extent that he even tried to use his belt blaster, a weapon capable of melting metal, against little girl Jade.
  • Urban Fantasy: It's about an adventurer archaeologist / secret agent from modern-day San Francisco who travels around the world in search of ancient magical artifacts; fighting criminals, wizards, and demons along the way.
  • Vampires Sleep in Coffins: In the episode "Chi of the Vampire", while the Chans are visiting an old castle in China, Jade opens up a coffin and accidentally awakens a sleeping Jiangshi, which then roams around to attack them.
  • Verbal Tic: Uncle's "One more thing." One episode had him listing off ingredients he needed and he prefaced each one with his verbal tic.
    • Jade and her "Tch!"
  • Villain Decay: Poor Valmont. He starts out in season one as a genuine threat and an actual badass, able to take on Jackie one-on-one and win. As the series progressed he became less and less competent and more and more bumbling as terrible and humiliating things keep happening to him. He becomes a punching bag for every character in the series, hero and villain, and endures such a Humiliation Conga that he almost enters woobie territory.
  • Villain-Possessed Bystander: The fifth season has them attempting to recover the ancient artifacts originally used to seal the Demon Sorcerers. These are imbued with the energy of their respecting demon, and if anyone handles them without magical protection, they absorb their power and appearance.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Uncle and Tohru, especially in the episode, "The Demon Behind".
  • Volleying Insults: Uncle and Tohru's Mom, ALWAYS.
  • Voices Are Mental:
    • Averted when Shendu possesses Jade, yet played straight when he possesses Valmont and Jackie.
    • Played straight again when Jade and Jackie switch bodies. They even lampshade this.
  • The Voiceless: Daolon Wong's original Dark Chi Warriors (before he replaced them with the Enforcers) and all of the Shadowkhan.
  • Wait Here: When will he learn?
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Shendu in his true form and a couple of his brothers wearing loincloths and nothing from the waistline up, and Shendu's body is quite ripe with muscle. Slightly downplayed with Daolon Wong's Dark Chi Warriors and the Jiangshi, who wear only a little clothing on their torsos which renders their chests partly or mostly visible.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When the thunder demon Tchang Zu is revived and discovers that his former realm is now part of Hollywood, with his former palace now a parking garage:
    Tchang Zu: My palace! These humans have paved my paradise and constructed a...
    Ratso: Uh, parking lot?
  • Wedgie:
    • In the episode "Attack of the J-Clones", Jade defeats her clone by grabbing the back of her underwear that was sticking out of her pants, giving her a wedgie.
    • "J-Tots", Jade gives another wedgie to a villain, who had been turned into a child.
  • Wham Line:
    • At the beginning of "The Masks of the Shadowkhan", Daolon Wong, the Enforcers, and Hak Foo are in Hollowlands Penitentiary after being arrested by Section 13 from the episode "Re-Enter the Dragon" and aren't happy in prison. The not-fully-powered Daolon Wong tries to break out by making a spell to summon Shadowkhan when this happens:
      Daolon Wong: Come to me! *the Shadowkhan symbol appears in the boiling pot* Yes! Liberate us Shadowkhan! Rise my army of darkness!
      Shadowkhan symbolnote : Your army?
      Enforcers, Wong, Hakfu: *shocked, looks into pot* Huh?
      Shadowkhan symbol: I am the one and only king of the Shadowkhan!
  • Wham Shot: In "The Dark Hand". Throughout the episode, Jackie gets a shield from Bavaria and is pursued by the Enforcers, Captain Black, Tohru, and the Shadowkhan to get it. In the end, the protagonists lose and Tohru brings the shield back to the Dark Hand. All seems lost until Jade pulls out the Rooster Talismannote  from her pocket and shows it to Captain Black, Uncle, and Jackie, who are shocked.
    Jade: *smirking* Admit it. I'm getting wise.
    • The above Wham Line would count also as a Wham Shot because Wong's spell turned the Shadowkhan symbol into Tarakudo's head and it was the first time he was seen in the series.
  • What's a Henway?
    • One episode has Ratso inadvertently set up the joke:
      Ratso: What's a Babylonian urn?
      Finn: Probably more than we do!
    • Again with Finn:
      Shendu: The statue...of Lo Pei..!
      Finn: Heh, you wanna see Lo Pei, you ought to check out my salary.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: At one point the Dark Hand had all the talismans and used their powers for themselves. Of the twelve that includes Flight, Eye Beams, and Super-Speed, Finn ended up with Astral Projection, Motion to the Motionless, and Spiritual Balance. It got better when Hak Foo, disdaining the talismans he had (some of the better ones), tossed them to Finn. Lampshaded, as Finn later traded the Horse Talisman (healing) for the Pig Talisman (laser eyes). "Immortality and healing? That's redundant!" Not much later, he's plowed into the roof of a tunnel. He naturally survives, but realizes: "Immortality...hurts."
    • The Sheep Talisman is most often subject to this. The Tiger talisman may be effectively useless, but use of the Sheep causes you to drop into a coma in the middle of a fight. However, any general in Ancient China would kill for a means to communicate long distances without using a relay of heralds. Being in an era that still had magic would make the dreams messages more believable. One more thing. Traveling the astral plane would be invaluable to any magician, but that would be as interesting as off-camera magical research.
    • Similarly, during one of these fights, Hak Foo activates the Tiger Talisman (without splitting it) and boasts that with the Power of Balance, he cannot be knocked down. Tohru body checks him to the floor and takes the talisman. "Spiritual balance, Hak Fool."
      • On the flipside, Motion to the Motionless is pretty epic, though you have to be careful who you use it on. You might end up with a Physical God that wants to kill you, a Noble Warrior from ages past, or a small army of killer flying moose.
    • Regarding the Tiger Talisman, its intended power is of spiritual balance. Though the exact nature of what that means is never really seen in the series. Merely that it acts as the glue that allows Shendu, and later Jade when she absorbs their powers, to use the Talismans in concert together.
  • Where It All Began: Or rather when. In the Season 4 episode, Deja Vu, Jackie is flung into his past until he can find the Deja Vu Stone. The first place he ends up is the Windmill where he found the Dog Talisman. After going through many different moments (episodes), he ends up finding it in the same place as the Pig Talisman, which was in the same episode as the Dog Talisman where Jackie's misadventure started.
  • Who's on First?: Some episodes have an educational segment that teaches Chinese words. In one case they made a "you"/"Yù" joke out of the Chinese version of Jade's name (after transforming her into the corresponding Chinese character).
    Uncle: Where did you go?
    Jade-as-Chinese-character: I'm right here!
  • Whole-Plot Reference: A lot of episodes (especially the stand-alones from Season 2) referenced famous movies or the Mythos thereof.
    • Enter the J-Team is one for Enter the Dragon (doubled with a Shout-Out to The A-Team).
    • Enter the Cat is one that's hard to spot, what with the magic cat scratch and all, but a significant portion of the episode involves dealing with a rich, overweight art collector and his tiny, timid underling: The Maltese Falcon.
    • There's a James Bond episode, which gets spoofed instead of being a straight reference; Jackie ends up inadvertently knocking out Agent Tag, the James Bond analog, which leaves him to do the man's job for him. Tag takes all the credit, and Jackie's happy to let him have it.
    • The Old West episode is about a minority being named sheriff by a corrupt government official, in the hopes that he'll be a patsy and spend too much time dealing with the town's racism that he won't have time to investigate said official's illegal dealings... which is basically the same plot as Blazing Saddles.
  • Wizard Duel: Uncle and Daolon Wong every time they fight.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Dark Hand (especially early on) and other villains have no problem trying to kill Jade and Paco. In the second episode, Tohru nearly cuts Jade in half with a scimitar to get the Rooster Talisman.
  • Words Do Not Make The Magic: Just chanting an incantation without knowing what you're doing usually causes failure — sometimes horribly.
    • Averted, however, with the cheerleaders. Cheerleaders joining Uncle's chant gave him a serious power boost.
  • The Worf Effect: Tohru gets this occasionally - it's always a sign that someone is particularly strong when they can toss him around like a ragdoll. Shendu does this to him twice, first when he initially regains his demon form, and again to show that he's powerful even while possessing Valmont. Though this can be justified in that Tohru is facing against magical threats as opposed to normal humans.
  • World of Badass: As this is an action-adventure show after all. There are countless examples of martial artists, criminals, wizards, and demons all fighting each other.
  • Xanatos Gambit: As the Chan clan found out, it doesn't matter to Tarakudo whether he gets all the masks or they do. The end result is the same. They would if Tohru hadn't noticed one piece of the exposition mural was flipped over.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The heroes are never able to stop that season's Arc Villain from accomplishing their main goal, and generally have to band together and come up with a new plan to fight them at their new, full strength. Used most constantly in the second season, where despite our heroes' stated goal of stopping Shendu from freeing his brethren, they never succeed (only ever delaying him) and always have to find a way to banish the demon again after they escape from their prison, since if they did stop we wouldn't get to see that episode's demon.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: A standard phrase for Jackie whenever something truly zany starts up, especially in the first season. Two other notable usages are when a demon portal is located inside a prison, so Valmont and crew must be locked up there to get to it and when Jade is in the demon prison, Shendu's portal opens up at the gate of her favorite theme park in Hong Kong.
  • You Just Ruined the Shot
  • You Watch Too Much X
  • You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses: Jackie is looking for a sheep's spirit using a pair of magic goggles. When he becomes surrounded by Shadowkhan, Jackie says this phrase.
  • Your Head Asplode: Referenced in Project A, For Astral when Jade decides to try and activate the Sheep Talisman's magic and comments that she hopes "it isn't the exploding head talisman."
    • In "Shrink Rap" it's basically stated this would happen to Tohru if Jackie and Hak Foo were still in his head when the shrinking magic wore off.
  • Zen Slap: Uncle, who is a wise Chinese magician, frequently gives a very special kind of Dope Slap (striking the forehead with two fingers) to Jackie, or whoever annoys him or argues with him.
  • Zodiac Motifs: The 12 talismans that Shendu derives his powers from are based around the 12 animals from the Chinese zodiac: Rat (animating inanimate objects), Ox (Super-Strength), Tiger (spiritual balance), Rabbit (Super-Speed), Dragon (combustion), Snake (Invisibility), Horse (healing), Sheep (Astral Projection), Monkey (Animorphism), Rooster (levitation), Dog (immortality), and the Pig (Eye Beams).


Ancient Wisdom

Jackie and Jade go on searching for the mystical Lotus Temple, guided by an eccentric monk who constantly annoys them with his "Ancient Wisdom" aphorisms.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ProverbialWisdom

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