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"I love kung fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!"

Kung Fu Panda is a 2008 CG-animated Dramedy from DreamWorks Animation, balanced between Funny Animal humor, gorgeous art, and epic martial arts action.

Set in an anthropomorphic animal version of Chinese legend, the story follows Po, the (obviously adopted) son of a noodle shop owner. A gushing Fan Boy of kung fu, Po is a lumbering, awkward Manchild who lives in the shadow of the legendary Jade Palace, home of six of China's greatest kung-fu warriors. When their Old Master, Oogway, makes his selection of the Dragon Warrior, Po is astounded to learn that it's him. His battle for acceptance by the people he's looked up to his whole life leads him on both comic and tragic turns, especially once he finds out what being The Chosen One actually means: fighting Tai Lung, the One-Man Army who believes he deserves the title of Dragon Warrior... and will destroy anyone who objects. And Po still hasn't learned kung fu.


The film's successful fusion of classic kung-fu tropes, Funny Animal slapstick, and The Hero's Journey has proven extremely successful. DreamWorks has produced two sequels — Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) and Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016). The franchise also includes two TV series — one on Nickelodeon called Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness (without most of the original voice actors), and another on Amazon Prime caled Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny, as well as the prime time Christmas Special Kung Fu Panda Holiday, and several theme park rides, most notably Kung Fu Panda Adventure. There was also confirmation on three more films (although Katzenberg's removal from Dreamworks sort of puts this up in the air).

Now with a character page.


Kung Fu Panda provides examples of:

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    Tropes A to B 
  • Absurdly Long Stairway: Po has encountered these twice, starting a long-lasting hatred of stairs
    • Near the beginning, Po has to climb a very long staircase to the Jade Palace. He tumbles down a few times but he manages to do it, only to find that the gate's already locked.
    • Near the end, he climbs it again to save Master Shifu from Tai Lung. He's visibly exhausted even as he tries to be dramatic.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Sword of Heroes, which is said to be so sharp that you can cut yourself from just looking at it, and indeed, Po manages to do just that.
  • Accidental Athlete: Po, who was previously thought to be hopelessly clumsy, inadvertently demonstrates his agility when he climbs up some shelves in order to steal some cookies.
  • Acrofatic: Po, after his training.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Po and Shifu's nighttime argument on the temple steps.
  • Action Girl: Tigress and Viper, with different martial styles: Tigress fights aggressively with hard-hitting strikes, while Viper fights through misdirection and grace.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Lucy Liu's previous role before Viper? O-Ren Ishii, also known by the name of "Cottonmouth" (Liu had also been associated with Jackie Chan and James Sie previously when she voiced the adult Jade Chan in a late Season 4 episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, which actually had another Kill Bill alumni, David Carradine, in an earlier episode, as well as fellow actor James Hong).
    • Monkey's VA is Jackie Chan. His son played Monkey's voice in Secrets of the Furious Five, and Monkey's VA for the TV series is the same man who played Jackie Chan himself in Jackie Chan Adventures (he also played that series' Big Bad, Shendu)!
    • At one point, Master Croc does a full split.
    • Many of Black's phrases get snuck into the film, such as "Skadoosh!" That one in particular was the Pre-Mortem One-Liner against Tai Lung.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The video game contains a number of scenes not present (or at least directly shown) in the movie, including an explanation of how Po learned the Wuxi Finger Hold.
  • An Aesop:
    • You can improve yourself, but it takes a lot of work, effort, and dedication to get there.
    • There is no "secret ingredient" to greatness. Greatness comes from within.
    • There is no bad students; only a bad teacher.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of martial arts movies.
  • All for Nothing:
    • Shifu's attempts to groom his students for the position of Dragon Warrior ends in disaster when Oogway refused Tai Lung, causing him to turn into a bitter, angry villain, and certainly would've ended this way for Tigress even if Po didn't arrive during the choosing ceremony.
    • Tai Lung's quest to get the Dragon Scroll also turns out to be for nothing when he discovers that it's just a reflective sheet of paper. However, the trope comes from his perspective, as he never truly grasped the secret of the Dragon Scroll even when Po shares it with him.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Tweaked a bit in that, long before the climax of the film, Po has already gone a long way towards earning the respect of most of the Furious Five, because of his Heroic Resolve in facing his hopeless Training from Hell without complaint. Also, he's a genuinely Nice Guy, a good storyteller, and an excellent cook.
  • All That Glitters: The secret of the Dragon Scroll is revealed to be blank, and Po ultimately realizes what this means. The scroll's shiny surface is just a mirror — all it shows is the image of the person looking at it, because the power and skill is within them, not the scroll. It's telling that Tai Lung exclaims at his own reflection that he sees ''nothing''. The fact that Shifu doesn't understand the meaning of the scroll also shows that he misunderstood what the Dragon Warrior is supposed to be all along.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The Art of Kung Fu Panda. Buy it, read it, and be amazed (note that it's out of print).
    • The backstories of the Furious Five are never explained in either movies. You'd have to see the DVD-only animated short to find out how they became masters.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version uses "Your Seed" as the theme song.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Po's signature girth-based fighting style has been used by at least a real life kung fu master, Wang Shu Jin, who, very much like Po, had an immense waist and could use it to push and deflect attacks.
  • Analogy Backfire:
    • Shifu says during the Illusion of Control scene, "But there are things I can control!" and proceeds to kick the tree, causing the peaches to fall around him. "I can control when the fruit will fall!" A late-falling peach then lands on his head.
    • Oogway first says "There are no accidents" as Po is being carried off on a litter after being hailed as the Dragon Warrior. Po then falls through the litter.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Played straight in some cases, subverted for all they're worth in others. Notably, Viper is the nicest member of the Furious Five, despite snakes and vipers being predatory animals.
  • Answer Cut:
    Oogway: [serenely] It is time.
    Shifu: But who?? Who is worthy to be trusted with the secret to limitless power?
    Oogway: [shrugging] I don't know!
    [cut to Po clumsily weaving through the noodle shop customers]
  • The Anticipator: Master Shifu likely knew that the Furious Five would try to ambush him that day, but he couldn't know where or how. Nonetheless, Master Shifu easily thwarts all five forays against him, giving critique on their technique as he does so.
  • Arc Symbol: Oddly enough, stairs. It's a fitting visual illustration for Po's entire character - he's so out of shape that it takes him a hilariously long time to get up any set of stairs, but he always reaches the top somehow. Each time Po has a major scene on a stairway, it marks an important milestone in his Character Development:
    • Trying to climb the stairs up to the palace to get to the tournament of the Dragon Warrior. It takes him a painfully long time to climb barely a half-a-dozen steps, and by the time he reaches the top, the tournament is almost over.
    • Later, he tries to flee the Jade Temple when he learns that Tai Lung has escaped from prison and is headed his way, but Shifu stops him at the stairway. The two of them share an emotionally charged argument, where Po manages to leave Shifu speechless when he points out that neither of them think he'll ever be able to be the Dragon Warrior. This is our first big bombshell about how complex a person Po really is, where it's shown that his self-loathing runs far deeper than simply "not being able to do Kung Fu."
    • Finally, he climbs the stairs again in the climax to rescue Shifu from Tai Lung. He's still badly out of breath this time - but he wins the fight with Tai Lung anyway, because at this point he's learned that becoming a master of Kung Fu doesn't require on physical strength alone.
  • Arc Words: "There are no accidents".
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Tai Lung. Also, Tigress; there are plenty of parallels between her and Tai Lung, which is why Shifu is so harsh towards her.
  • Artistic Age: Type 2; Given that these are animals, it's hard to determine anyone's specific age. According to Secrets of the Furious Five and the sequel, Tigress and Crane are mentioned to at least be in their 30s or 40s, so it's safe to assume that other members of the Five and Po are about the same. The sequel confirms Po's age. Po was a baby when Shen massacred his home village 30 years ago, so he's 31, give or take a year. However, the third film has Mr. Ping mention that he hid the truth from Po about his adoption for 20 years.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • All of the various characters seem to have around the same level of physical strength, despite being radically different species. Notably, Mantis is able to bear the weight of an entire rope bridge and his four allies, who are all much bigger; quite a feat for a tiny invertebrate.
    • Po claims he doesn't have claws or any other natural weapons. Pandas, like all bears, have claws, as well as teeth, and can be very ferocious animals when provoked. Bears Are Bad News applies to pandas as well.
  • Art Shift: The introduction scene uses a significantly different art style than the rest of the film.
  • Ascended Fanboy: The whole story is built around kung fu fan Po becoming a kung fu master himself.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Oogway dematerializes in a cloud of peach blossoms petals.
  • Ass-Kicking Pose: All over the place, but a subtle, easy to miss example gives you an early glimpse of how Tigress will act towards Po. After he crashlands in the Jade Palace, the POV shot from Po shows the Furious Five all looking at him with looks that are a mix of confusion and concern... except for Tigress, who looks like she's about to cold-cock him.
  • Ass Kicks You: When Tai Lung and Po finally meet, Tai Lung mocks him in precisely this manner. "What are you going to do, big guy? Sit on me?" This is exactly what happens when the two are tumbling down the long stairs from the temple.
  • Audible Gleam: Somehow, the final dumpling has this when Po finally wins it.
  • Awesomeness Is a Force: The former Trope Namer. Its over-exposure can cause blindness.
  • Badass Adorable: Baby Tai Lung and Tigress.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Also qualifying as an Insult Backfire is Po's "I'm not a big fat panda... I'm THE Big Fat Panda!"
    • Shifu's first line is both an insult and a Badass Boast. Five kung-fu masters ambush him from different directions...
      Shifu: Well done, students! — if you were trying to disappoint me!
  • Badass Crew: The Furious Five, naturally. The bridge fight with Tai Lung until the end just shows how well-earned their title as the top kung fu masters of China are.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Referenced in Po's quote at the top of this page: what looks to be a moment of awesomeness instead falls flat, literally... Only to be Doubly Subverted when, just as he's about to get up and go home, the firecrackers have a delayed ignition.
    • The second day of Po's "training" starts off with Shifu and the Five thinking Po has quit when they discover that his room was empty. When they get to the Training Hall, they're shocked to find that Po actually woke up early and beat everybody else to the Training Hall to get started (and somehow got himself stuck in the device used to hone flexibility).
    • This dime at the end, when Shifu is lying wounded in Po's arms and slowly closes his eyes:
      Shifu: Thank you, Po. Thank you... thank you...
      Po: ...No! No, Master Shifu, don't die!
      Shifu: [suddenly opens eyes] I'm not dying, you idiot!
    • At the beginning, when we first meet Po's father, Mr. Ping, before we actually see him, we see what appears to be his shadow on the ground. The way this shadow is shaped is clearly supposed to make us think his father is a panda like Po, but then reveals that he is a goose, and that the shadow is actually just being cast by objects he's holding.
    • When Mr. Ping decides to tell Po a personal secret, it's obvious Po is expecting him to tell him he's adopted. Instead, he gives him the secret of his Secret Ingredient Soup.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment:
    • Shifu on his first assessment of Po.
      Shifu: When you focus on Kung Fu, when you concentrate... you stink.
    • Crane frees Po after he gets caught trying to do the split.
  • Battlecry:
  • Bears Are Bad News: Inverted. Po is a giant softie and thinks he'd make an incompetent fighter because he's a panda. Justified, in that Tai Lung's first response to finding out a panda is the Dragon Warrior is to mock him. Apparently, the idea is commonplace in this world. Until Po beats up Tai Lung, that is.
  • Because Destiny Says So: The reason Shifu gives when he finally decided to train Po. Of course, the reality is quite different, given he wasn't so receptive in the beginning.
  • Behind the Black: When Shifu reveals to Po and the Five that Tai Lung has escaped, neither Shifu or the Five notice Po sneaking out of the room in plain sight.
  • Berserk Button: Apart from several moments with Tai Lung, there's the time when Po earnestly assures Master Shifu he's never going to quit. As Shifu is trying to ensure just that, he responds by throwing Po down the temple steps. All of them.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Po is a compassionate guy who can make awesome noodle soup and has a sense of humor. Tai Lung finds out just how dangerous a panda can be in combat, after he taunts Po about "sitting" on him.
  • Be Yourself: Quite possibly the most effective presentation of the moral. Instead of going the tried-and-true route of "You're perfect just the way you are!", the movie instead opts to acknowledge that while you should always strive for self-improvement, there are no shortcuts to greatness. You can't be handed the fulfillment of your potential like a present. Being the best you can be is hard work, and being great is something you decide to be in yourself. Interestingly, it's the difference between Po and Tai Lung that shows how this lesson is to be taught. When Po has his epiphany and realizes this lesson, he becomes a better and more focused fighter that uses the skills he already knows to defeat Tai Lung, while Tai Lung believes there is a shortcut, and upon finding out there is none, is so enraged he becomes a worse fighter and is defeated by Po.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Po's arrival just when Tai Lung is about to kill Shifu. Simultaneously played straight and parodied (he arrives just in time... but is almost completely exhausted from running up the many stairs to the Jade Palace).
  • Big Eater:
    • Po, of course, but Shifu is not far behind. During Po's training montage, you see him pack away a large amount of food in only a few seconds.
    • Shifu is strongly implied to be one — during the When You Snatch the Pebble test, he packs away six of them in less than a second.
  • Big Shadow, Little Creature:
    • When Po says, "Hi Dad", the camera shows a panda-shaped shadow, but it turns out to be Ping, a duck — the panda shadow was caused by a sack he was carrying.
    • When Po returns from his fight with Tai Lung, he seems to be dressed exactly like the Dragon Warrior Po from his fantasy. No, just a wok on his head and table clothes draped on him.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Oogway selecting Po to be the Dragon Warrior results in this trope ensuing from several different parties: Po himself, the Furious Five, Shifu and Mr. Ping all get a turn to react.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Every ideogram which appears.
    • Oogway is Chinese for "turtle". (Making the character "Master Turtle")
    • Shifu is Chinese for "teacher/father". Since he is a red panda he couldn't be called "Master Panda".
    • Tai Lung means Big/Great Dragon, which just shows how much ambition Shifu placed in his student/adopted son to be the Dragon Warrior.
  • Blank Book: The Dragon Scroll. Since this is Kung Fu Panda it's actually a Type 4. The Dragon Scroll has a reflective surface that hides a Secret Test of Character; only people who could look at themselves and believe they are truly special are able to achieve greatness.
  • Bratty Food Demand: One of the bonus movies reveals that Mantis used to be very impatient and rude, yelling at a waiter among other things.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Po raids Monkey's almond cookie stash (at Shifu's suggestion). During the end credits, Monkey is confused at finding his stash empty (Po nearby with almond cookie crumbs on his mouth).
    • Also during the end credits, Zeng attempts to fix the Urn of Whispering Warriors (which Po accidentally broke upon entering the Jade Palace).
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Po imitates Master Shifu's voice when saying, "Oh you know this hold?" It's funny enough to get most of the Furious Five (except Tigress) guffawing.
  • Bullet Time: Played straight as often as it is parodied.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Po, for most of the movie. He gives the "Butt Monkey Ball" to Tai Lung near the end of the film.
    • Appropriately, Monkey also gets the most Butt Monkey moments out of all the Furious Five.

    Tropes C to D 
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Near the end of the movie, Tai Lung gives Shifu one, basically saying "My life sucks and it's all your fault." Shifu apologizes for his mistakes he made raising Tai Lung but Tai Lung declares that he doesn't give a damn and proceeds to strangle his former master, claws raised.
    Tai Lung: I rotted in jail for 20 years, because of your weakness!
    Shifu: Obeying your master is not weakness!
    Tai Lung: You knew I was the Dragon Warrior! You always knew. But when Oogway said otherwise, what did you do? What did you do?! NOTHING!
    Shifu: You were not meant to be the Dragon Warrior! That was not my fault!
    Tai Lung: [furious] Not. Your. Fault?! Who filled my head with dreams?! Who drove me to train until my bones cracked?! Who denied me my destiny!?
  • Call to Adventure: Hilariously played with. Po jumps at the call, then stays on even as everyone mocks him, then runs screaming from the call, saying he isn't the Dragon Warrior, when he realizes that he'll have to go up against Tai Lung.
  • Captain Obvious: Tai Lung fills this role nicely when he meets the Dragon Warrior and learns he's a panda.
    Tai Lung: [to Shifu] He's a panda! [to Po] You're a panda!
  • Carnivore Confusion: About the only foods shown in the movie are noodles, peaches, almond cookies, soup, and dumplings — even Tigress is shown eating tofu. The subject of meat (felines are actually obligate carnivores) never comes up. According to the Word of God, all the animals are vegetarians. Think about it, if they eat the other animals, then they are regarded as cannibals/murderers.
  • Cassandra Truth: Everybody, up to and including Po himself, believed that Oogway selecting him as the Dragon Warrior was a complete accident. However, "There are no accidents." Cue Po actually going from a kung fu fanboy to the Dragon Warrior.
  • Cat Ninja: Tai Lung and Tigress stand out as the most striking ninja masters in the movie.
  • Cats Are Mean: The main villain is Tai Lung, a snow leopard, and Tigress is the rudest of the Furious Five towards Po until she chills out. Many of the villains in the opening that are not reptiles or wolves are panther-like felines. A great example of doing the homework: in kung fu, the tiger is considered the most aggressive of the animal styles with straightforward attacks and powerful moves.
  • Centipede's Dilemma: Initially, Po can't do the most basic kung fu maneuvers but can perform impressive feats of acrobatics while trying to get food. Fittingly, when it's pointed out to him he's ten feet off the ground in a perfect split he falls flat on his face.
  • Central Theme: Be Yourself, but more specifically Know Yourself. Shifu, Po and Tai Lung are all forced to stare at their reflections. Shifu and Po grow. Tai Lung doesn't.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: For weaker martial artists. Stronger ones do things, like glowing with inner energy as they shatter stones several times their size. Most notably in Mantis, who is by far the smallest warrior, but also has the greatest raw strength.
  • Chef of Iron: Once Po is trained, he's a Type 1.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: As the tortoise said, "There are no accidents." This comes up a lot.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • During the acupuncture scene, Mantis points out that he can't do the procedure correctly because Po's... fur (Po calls him out on it) keeps getting in the way. At the final battle, the exact same thing happens when Tai Lung tries to utilize a Pressure Point attack against Po and it doesn't work.
    • The "Secret Ingredient Soup", which Mr. Ping has promised to instruct Po on actually provides Po with the answer to the Dragon Scroll: there is no secret ingredient, it's what you do yourself to make it good. When Po was making dinner for the Furious Five, he makes a great meal for them regardless of admitting that he doesn't actually know his father's secret ingredient.
  • The Chessmaster: It's subtle, but it is indicated that Oogway not only knew that Tai Lung would escape but that Shifu's messenger's feather would be how he did it, making Oogway this trope. It's ambiguous though if he actually knew that it would turn out well or if he just had faith — considering his attitude ("there are no accidents" vs. "you must believe"), either is possible.
  • Chewing the Scenery:
    Tai Lung: Our battle will be legendary!
  • Chilly Reception: Oogway's selection of Po was not initially accepted by any of the other masters and they made no secret of their disdain (Tigress especially), but Po warms up the atmosphere in due time with his humor and cooking.
  • The Chooser of The One: Master Oogway chooses who becomes the Dragon Warrior.
  • The Chosen One: The Dragon Warrior is the mystical kung fu master who will bring peace to the valley (and to Shifu as well, as it turns out). Half this movie is dedicated to whether or not Po really is the right Chosen One.
  • Color Motif:
    • Word of God says the color gold was used to symbolize heroism in the film (see:Po's training sequence). Tai Lung's eyes are gold — because in his eyes, he is the hero of the story. The same applies to the gold-eyed Tigress, who was supposed to be chosen to become the Dragon Warrior until Po came along.
    • Word of God also says that green represents wisdom (the reason why Po's eyes are green: he has the capacity for great wisdom; in the sequel, this is probably why Shifu's wardrobe now incorporates green) and red symbolizes power (made even more prominent in the sequel, with red representing Lord Shen as blue represented Tai Lung). In the film's color theory white, orange and brown represent honor, energy and dedication (the reason why Shifu's design incorporates all three, "to visually support [his] character traits").
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Po, in the vein of Jackie Chan, uses anything he could against Tai Lung in the final battle, from noodles to bamboo sticks.
    • The Five ambush Tai Lung on the bridge, gang up on him from every direction, tie him up, cut the bridge, and drop him into the gorge. They straight up try to kill him, in a kids movie, because he's just that big a threat.
  • Comfort Food: Po eats when he's upset, which he admits himself.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: The film takes the time to justify this trope. Realizing they can't help him stop Tai Lung, Shifu commands the students to do the next best thing, and organize the evacuation of the town. When Po and Tai Lung tear their way through every building in sight in the final battle, there's no collateral damage to worry about.
  • Covert Pervert: In the scene when Tigress performs a split and breaks the plates that Shifu throws as a demonstration of flexibility, just look at Po's reaction. Nerdgasm! Not to mention Po's face when Tigress lands back down. He's staring at her ass. Might be a part of their Ship Tease.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Done in the same fashion as the opening sequence. First it's the animated cast, then pictures depicting slices of their lives after the end of the movie. Some are heartwarming.
  • Cue the Sun: As the morning sun comes up, Shifu discovers the solution of how to train Po. It's also dawn when Po shows up to face Tai Lung and defeat him.
  • Cynical Mentor: Shifu became this after Tai Lung's turn to evil.
  • Darkest Hour: All the heroes have a soul-crushingly heartrending night when Master Oogway, the one who stopped Tai Lung before and the only one who has faith in Po as the Dragon Warrior, dies, leaving Master Shifu with a seemingly impossible promise to train the fat panda, while Po now fully realizes how hopeless he truly is on top of his profound self-loathing that even Shifu cannot alleviate while Tigress feels no other choice but to defy her master and set out to stop Tai Lung herself despite his prohibition.
  • Death Course: The training dojo includes a wide variety of deadly obstacles that the Furious Five use for their daily training. When Po tries it on his first days, he's quickly pulverized.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Tigress, mostly due to Shifu's being a Cynical Mentor after Tai Lung turned evil, at the very end of the movie and during the ending credits.
    • The male equivalent with Shifu. He only starts smiling when doing the When You Snatch the Pebble test, and comes back smiling and able to exchange playful jokes with Po.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • "Legend tells of a legendary warrior... whose kung fu skills were the stuff of legend..."
    • The film loves these. Po's dream sequence, apart from the memorable opening sentence, also mentions the "most heroic heroes of China" and the "thousand demons of Demon Mountain".
    • In one important case, it's subverted; Secret Ingredient Soup doesn't have one.
  • Determinator:
    • For most of his training, Po refuses to give up no matter how badly he's beaten to a pulp or insulted by everyone around him, until he comes to feel that even "the greatest kung fu teacher in all of China" couldn't make him anything more than just some ordinary schmuck.
    • Tai Lung hasn't given up on claiming the Dragon Scroll after twenty years of imprisonment.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Really, the only reason Master Oogway dies is so he can't use his awesome nerve attack to KO Tai Lung in five seconds. Word of God gives an alternate explanation: Shifu won't successfully train the Dragon warrior as long as he keeps relying on Oogway.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Po's Rage Against the Mentor speech to Shifu near the climax is of this nature; underneath the jovial facade is a panda with very deep self-loathing, who feels greatly hurt by the abuse and insults Shifu threw at him in order to get Po to leave. Shifu didn't realize that Po had his own feelings and wants until this point, which makes him have an My God, What Have I Done? moment... which is subtly shared by Tigress who was eavesdropping on the conversation.
  • Died Happily Ever After: Played straight with Master Oogway. Parodied at the end with Master Shifu, who ends up surviving his fight with Tai Lung but was simply exhausted from the fight
  • Disability Immunity: Po is so chubby that some of Tai Lung's more potent pressure-point attacks don't work on him, with Tai Lung only succeeding in tickling him.
  • Disney Villain Death: Both subverted and averted at different points. Most prominent example is Oogway's death/ascension.
  • Distant Reaction Shot: The ultimate defeat of Tai Lung isn't shown directly, but from afar people are shown as seeing a big explosion.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Jack Black sings "Kung Fu Fighting" with Ce-Lo Green during the end credits.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": The Furious Five are only ever called Tigress, Viper, Crane, Mantis, and Monkey. Although, given that Shifu tends to call Po "Panda", they might actually have names...
  • Don't Think, Feel:
    • As Shifu explains to Po, when he concentrates on doing Kung Fu he stinks, but when he takes his mind off of it (like when he wants food) he shows a great deal of natural skill and potential. All that was needed was for it to be unlocked and grown.
    • The reverse is true, too. Shifu admits that he was trying too hard to train Po as he did the others, and that he had to take a non-traditional route with Po.
  • Doorstop Baby: How Tai Lung was found by Shifu.
  • Dragons Up the Yin Yang: The Dragon Scroll, which is held in the jaws of a giant dragon statue. The taijitu also appears as The Pool of Sacred Tears, as well as the symbol on the back of Oogway's cloak.
  • Dramatic Thunder: The messenger's flight to Tai-Lung's prison, and his flight back from it. Again during the fight between Tai Lung and Shifu. It is awfully stormy in ancient China.
  • Dramedy: For all the humor and action, there is a powerful theme about family and heroism in the story.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The movie intro has Po dreaming of himself being an uber-awesome legendary kung-fu warrior, who is a respected friend of the Furious Five. Come Kung Fu Panda 2...
  • Dream Intro: The intro starts with Po being an uber-awesome legendary kung fu warrior... and then Po wakes up, revealing that that was just a dream (he's just the son of a noodle cook).
  • DreamWorks Face: Look at the poster.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Oogway's ascension to Heaven is marked by a storm of petals carrying him into the air.

    Tropes E to F 
  • Eccentric Mentor: Oogway.
  • Elephant in the Room: Po's father is a goose, but it's never even acknowledged by any of the characters in the first film. It's subtly referenced at a scene near the end: Po says he sometimes "can't believe I'm really your son!" because they're such different people. There's an awkward pause, and his father tells him there's "something he should know"... and it turns out he's just telling him the secret ingredient of his secret ingredient soup. It is a plot point in the sequel, though.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Subverted. Tai Lung truly believes that the power of the scroll has made Po invincible and given him the strength that Tai Lung needs. In reality, Po just knows the truth about ultimate power: There are no shortcuts to power and strength, they're all based on you and your effort.
  • Empathic Environment: When Shifu fights Tai Lung, it's dark and stormy. The moment Po arrives on the scene, the world is suddenly bathed in warm sunlight and there's not a cloud in the sky.
  • Enthusiasm Vs Stoicism: The fact that Po is so enthusiastic about learning kung fu, combined with his self-esteem issues keeping him from actually making any headway, leads The Stoic Tigress to assume he's treating everything as a joke, when the truth is far worse.
  • Epic Fail: Po's first attempt at training with Shifu.
    Shifu: There is now a level zero.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Tai Lung feels this way when Shifu doesn't speak up after Oogway refuses to give him the Dragon Scroll.
  • Eureka Moment:
    • When Shifu discovers just what kind of feats Po can achieve in his pursuit of food, he finally realizes how to train him in kung fu.
    • The Secret Ingredient of Po's father's "Secret Ingredient Soup" causes Po to realize the significance and true meaning of the Dragon Scroll: there is no secret ingredient to make something, or someone, special.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Averted: the main characters are all famous kung fu masters, while the nearby villagers are Innocent Bystanders who flee for safety when the fighting starts. Honorary mention as the song itself plays during the end credits, altered with wholesome lyrics to match with the uplifting theme of the film.
  • Evil Brit: Tai Lung, a villainous kung fu master voiced by the British Ian McShane.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Tai Lung is totally unable to understand the Dragon Scroll's wisdom. If there is no secret he's been fighting for, after all, he's been destroying everything he once loved for nothing.
  • Evil Counterpart: Tai Lung functions as this to both Po and Tigress.
    • Tigress and Tai Lung were both orphans who were abandoned by their parents, and revealed to be ridiculously strong and talented in kung fu at young ages upon being adopted by Master Shifu. They were also pretty bitter over not being chosen to become the legendary Dragon Warrior, but Tigress chose to let it go and better herself so she could stay an honorable person, while Tai Lung let his resentment consume him until he was willing to go on rampages for power, just to validate himself. Thus, Tai Lung symbolizes what Tigress could've become, had she let her pride and anger at being passed over for someone else cloud her actions and personality.
    • Po and Tai Lung had their entire lives revolve around kung fu; Tai Lung was a star student who received training early in his youth, while Po is a humble noodlemaker and obsessive fan boy who has memorized everything related to kung fu, even the history of it. Tai Lung let his skill and talent go to his head and expected to become the Dragon Warrior because he was powerful enough to be so, only to crumble when Oogway refused him. On the other hand, Po had to work his way up to become a kung fu master, and was chosen by Oogway because of his humility and eagerness to learn and better himself, qualities a true Dragon Warrior should have.
  • Evil Plan: Po's Call to Adventure is training to stop Tai Lung's plan of stealing the Dragon Scroll and going on another rampage.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Tigress listens in on Po and Shifu's conversation before Tai Lung's arrival, only to hear Po calling out Shifu for the mistreatment and abuse he and his students constantly gave him, just for being the "wrong" person to be the Dragon Warrior. It leads to a subtle My God, What Have I Done? moment for Tigress, who was treated similarly herself as a child, and begins to feel bad for doing the same to Po.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: For those of us who know Mandarin Chinese (as opposed to other dialects), some of the names are also this trope. Oogway, if pronounced the right way, means "turtle". Shifu means "master" and is generally used in the context of the master training a student. This also doubles up as a slight redundancy when Po calls Shifu "Master Shifu" or "Master master". Unfortunately does not apply to Po or Tai Lung, as the variation in how those names might be intoned make it impossible to confirm which particular Mandarin word they are referring to. Interestingly, Tai Lung could be translated to "Great Dragon"... so you can see why he thought he had the "Dragon Warrior" prophecy in the bag.
  • Expy: Tai Lung very much resembles Shan-Yu from Mulan in build, voice, attitude, and even eye color. Shan Yu could be the inspiration for Tai Lung, or the snow leopard could be a stealthy Shout-Out to the earlier animated Chinese epic.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Tai Lung was revealed to have gone through one in flashbacks after being passed over for the position of Dragon Warrior.
  • Fake Action Prologue: The opening sequence (see below).
  • Fake-Out Opening: The hand-drawn opening sequence and its Buffy Speak meets Totally Radical narrative voiceover are revealed to be part of a dream Po is having: the rest of the film is 3D animation and much more conventionally written.
  • Fallen Hero: Tai Lung used to be an honorable martial artist but then found out he was not meant to be the Dragon Warrior.
  • Family Business: The noodle shop. Slightly parodied: "...and then you will fulfill your destiny and take over the restaurant: just as I took it over from my father, who took it over from his father, who won it from a friend in a game of mahjong."
  • Fate Worse than Death: By all appearances, Tai Lung hasn't just been imprisoned for decades, but immobilized (and tormented by the guards when they had the chance) for 20 years. It may have been more humane to just kill him instead. Downplayed in this case; since his body didn't seriously atrophy (Master Shifu remarks his strength actually increased post-imprisonment) he may have been meditating the entire time to focus his Chi.
  • Fight for the Last Bite: Po and Master Shifu are eating dumplings. When it's down to the last one, Shifu makes it as an impromptu training for Po by snatching it just as the latter's about to eat it. Fight over dumpling ensues, and Po slowly but surely hones his reflexes... until he manages to grab it. Then he decides to give it to Shifu instead, saying that he's not so hungry anymore. Shifu sees it as a sign of growth.
  • Finger Extinguisher: Po learns how to extinguish a flame with his bare hand during his training.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: Comes in two flavours - the Wuxi Fingerhold for Shifu and Po and a paralyzing move for Tai Lung and Oogway which Po can No-Sell because he's so fat.
  • Finishing Move: The Wuxi Fingerhold and the Nerve Strike attack.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Po and Shifu, as well as Po and the rest of the Five.
  • First-Name Basis: For most of the movie, Po is called "Panda" by everybody in the Jade Palace. Then Shifu finally calls him by his name. Judging from earlier interactions, it's meant to be a pretty big deal.
  • Five-Man Band: The Furious Five.
  • Floorboard Failure: Happens to Po as he tries to sneak down a hallway late at night.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Shifu sends Zeng to Chorh-ghom Prison to verify Tai Lung's security, Oogway accurately warns him, "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it." Sure enough, Tai Lung manages to escape, all because Zeng left behind a single feather.
    • The acupuncture scene. While mostly there for comedy, it gives an early hint about Po's nerve points being hard to hit under all his "Fat?" "I was going to say fur."
    • When Po plummets at the ground after being rocketed into the sky, he only loses consciousness for a few seconds, having suffered no further injuries even though falling from that height should at least have fractured some bones. This is possibly an even earlier implication of how resistant his chubby body is to damage.
    • When Po is serving noodle soup to the Five, they remark that it tastes great, to which Po disagrees, saying it's nothing like his dad's soup that contains a secret ingredient, but the Five insist that it's amazing. Po later finds out his dad in fact doesn't use a secret ingredient, but "to make something special, you just have to believe it is", prompting him to realize his strength lies within himself.
    • Oogway briefly mentions that he feared he wouldn't live to see the Dragon Warrior selection day. He does, luckily, but later dies - as in, ascends to the Spirit Realm in a storm of petals.
    • Shifu mentions that the key to kung fu is turning your opponents' strength against him - foreshadowing how in the final battle, Tai Lung's blows cause Po to bounce back and hit him with equal force.
    • In a more minor example, when Shifu sends Zeng the goose to Chor-Ghom, said goose briefly hits a pillar and a few feathers fall off. Another shed feather is how Tai Lung escapes.
  • Fork Fencing: Po and Shifu use their chopsticks and kung fu skills to literally duel for the last dumpling at the end of his training.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Po returns to his dad's shop when the village is being evacuated to avoid Tai Lung, watch his reaction as the apron magically appears around his waist after his dad hugs him.
    • Po and Shifu's chopstick fight. When Shifu takes the first dumpling there's a single frame where he's looking into the camera and smiling like he's posing for a photo.
    • Another one when Mantis was trying to give Po an acupuncture treatment. During the shot where Po falls down after making one funny face, Crane and Monkey can be seen, peeking through the door.
    • Blink-and-you'll-miss-it, but when Tai Lung says Po is "just a big... fat... panda!", Po's expression changes to one that is clearly unimpressed.
  • Freudian Excuse: Tai Lung feels his adoptive father turned on him and let Oogway deny him his destiny, after years of love and support.
  • Furry Confusion: The dragon statues, which for some reason are actually all not anthropomorphized.

    Tropes G to H 
  • Game Changer: The unexpected dubbing of Po as The Dragon Warrior, a clumsy giant panda who turns out be a preternaturally talented martial artist of considerable power with the right instruction who also enables his colleagues to find a happiness they did not know they needed.
  • Genius Ditz: Po has The Gift but is too spaced out and lacking confidence to be aware of it.
  • Gentle Giant: Po, again. He's a panda and thus naturally big, but he's a sweetheart who loves to cook and has a good sense of humor. He eventually becomes a case of Beware the Silly Ones when pitted against Tai Lung.
  • The Gift:
    • Tai Lung, though it's to his detriment. He has a severe ego problem that prevents him from being truly receptive of the Dragon Scroll's wisdom. This is why Oogway refused to make him the Dragon Warrior. His response to this was less than cordial.
    • Po, though it takes some teasing out to get to it. Once Master Shifu figures out Po needs the incentive of food to make him fight well, Po learns very quickly.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Done to Po at the beginning of the movie when his dad wakes him up from a dream and tells him to wait tables.
  • Grim Up North: The forbidding, snow-wreathed mountains that house Chorh Gom prison, very appropriately found in Mongolia.
  • Groin Attack: Happens to Po the first time he tries out the Furious Five's training room.
    Po: "Oh-ho-ho! My tenders!"
  • Handicapped Badass: Shifu took a Game-Breaking Injury from Tai Lung once, and has needed a cane ever since, must like Yoda did. He's still a capable warrior, and fought and defeated the Furious Five all by himself in a training session.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works:
    • While Po works very hard during his training montage, it's still probably not as hard as the Furious Five, and certainly nowhere near as long. Yet in the end he succeeds where they failed.
    • This would also be Tai Lung's story in a nutshell. The guy trained real hard for years to one day become the Dragon Warrior, but Oogway denied him the privilege because he wasn't The Chosen One. And in the end, despite having vastly superior training to said Chosen One's, Tai Lung was defeated with relative ease thanks to Po's raw talent, obsession with food and body fat.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Po has a psychological need to gorge on food when he is upset, so part of his training achievements include being able to conquer that urge as he grows spiritually healthier.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Tai Lung does it to himself. Tai Lung's rage falters for a moment when Shifu apologizes for how badly he screwed up raising him, but ultimately he hardens again and refuses to accept Shifu's apology.
  • Heel Realisation:
    • Master Shifu when Po tells him he's known all along that Shifu was trying to get rid of him, but he stayed because Shifu is the greatest Kung Fu Master in all of China and was hoping that Shifu could teach him how to not be someone that he himself despised. Since Shifu has been acting like a Jerkass and not a teacher (contrary to his own Master's wishes), he can't help feeling guilty.
    • When confronting Tai Lung, Shifu realizes his own pride was responsible for turning his favorite student into the monster he is now.
  • Heroic BSoD: Po suffers this most prominently when he looks inside the dragon scroll to find out it was nothing. He gets better after he finds out the true meaning of it with unexpected help from his father.
  • Heroic Resolve: As the junior novelization voiced the thoughts of most of the Five seeing Po endure Shifu's hopeless "training," without complaint "He can't be the Dragon Warrior but he's really tough!"
  • History Repeats Itself: Shifu raised and groomed Tai Lung to become the Dragon Warrior, only to turn away when Tai Lung was turned down by Oogway. Years later, Tigress becomes Shifu's student, training to become the Dragon Warrior, only for Po to be chosen instead. Shifu would've created another Tai Lung had Tigress not retained enough honor to choose to better herself and let her resentment go.
  • Hit Flash:
    • Po gets one when he crashes into the exhibition/ceremony.
    • Later, the Furious Five get one when Tai Lung defeats them on the bridge.
  • Hit Stop: The movie loves to use this trope, whether it be playing it straight, parodying it, or doing both. Take for example the scene where Tai Lung and Po are falling down the Absurdly Long Stairway, and the scene slowing down as when Tai Lung hits his face particularly hard. Becomes a Parody when the scene, still in slow-mo, shows Po landing ass first on Tai Lung's head.
  • Home Field Advantage: One of the reasons why Po was able to win against Tai Lung was because he was able to use things he's familiar with, like noodles, fireworks, and bamboo sticks. Tai Lung made the grave mistake of picking a fight with Po right in his home turf.
  • Hope Spot: Once played straight when the Furious Five seem to have sent Tai Lung to his Disney Villain Death, and the other time, inverted, in that it's Tai Lung who gets one:
    Tai Lung: You're bluffing! Shifu didn't teach you that!
    Po: No, he didn't. [cue Tai Lung's relieved face] I figured it out. [cue Tai Lung panicking] Skadoosh! [Critical Existence Failure ensues]
  • Humiliation Conga: Tai Lung and Po are evenly matched until Tai Lung fails to get the wisdom of the Dragon Scroll, even though Tai Lung is obviously focusing on the said scroll rather than his opponent. Po just takes being thrown around as good fun, while Tai Lung is obviously enraged by every setback, due to his overwhelming Pride. It can't be denied, however, that this trope is how Tai Lung views the final battle.

    Tropes I to J 
  • I Am Not Your Father: Subverted. It should be obvious that Mr. Ping, a goose, is not the biological father of Po, a panda. At one point it appears as if Ping is about to tell Po the truth about his parentage, but instead he reveals the secret ingredient of his Secret Ingredient Soup.
  • I Am What I Am: Yet again, "I'm not a big fat panda. I'm THE big fat panda!"
  • Idiot Hero: Po is of the kind-hearted, unexpectedly competent variety, though he lacked the self-confidence to act on his talents, leading Shifu and the Furious Five .
  • The Idol's Blessing: Slightly averted; Po is personally and solely chosen by Master Oogway to join the Furious Five as the new Dragon Warrior, much to the disbelief of the Five and even Po himself.
  • If I Can Only Move: Tai Lung's escape from the prison depended on the feather of the messenger goose, and being able to move his own tail. The prison guards apparently didn't think of restraining that part.
  • I Gave My Word: Shifu promises Oogway he will train Po, minutes before the former unexpectedly passes away. Unfortunately, he dishonors that promise by mistreating Po in an attempt to get rid of him, something he regrets later after Po calls him out on it.
  • I Have No Son!: Shifu towards Tai Lung in the climax.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: A central theme of the movie as demonstrated by Po's dream of being a legendary warrior. There's more to it than that, though — Po suffers from extremely low self-esteem and despises the life he has now.
  • Impact Silhouette:
    • During the final battle, Po is sent crashing into the Earth by Tai Lung, leaving behind a shallow crater with a massive circumference.
    • Shortly after, when Tai Lung crashes to Earth, he not only falls harder, he leaves a hole not just with an impression of his body, but (somehow) his tail as well.
  • Impairment Shot: Po knocks himself unconscious trying to get in to see the Furious Five. We get the Hit Flash, then the eye-shaped blink-blink as he awakens to see Master Oogway pointing at him as his choice for the Dragon Warrior.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: A rare good example: armed with ballistas, crossbows, and dozens of archers, the rhino guardsmen of Chorh-Gom prison can't hit one single chained down prisoner (even if that prisoner is Tai Lung). Technically, the rhino guardsmen are actually pretty good shots, as shown when a single rhino guard is able to accurately hit a stick of dynamite on the ceiling of the prison. The problem is that Tai Lung is just that good.
  • Impossible Pickle Jar: After Po earns the Dragon Scroll, he struggles to open the container. After Shifu opens it for him, Po gives him the "after I loosened it up" line.
  • Improbable Chopsticks Skill: Part of Po's improvised training. Shifu as well, as he taught Po.
  • Improv Fu: Half the final battle in the first film is Po fighting in this manner by using the items he's familiar with in his native town, frustrating Tai Lung.
  • Improvised Lockpick: See If I Can Only Move above. A stray feather from Zeng's body lands near where Tai Lung is being held captive, and he uses it to unlock the cuffs holding him.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Yes, Tai Lung is badass he can set his paws on fire and not even get burned!
  • Incompletely Trained: Po and Tai Lung both, for different reasons.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Defied. Tigress decides on her own to face and defeat Tai Lung. But before she leaves the town, the four other Furious show up and say they'll go with her, rather than trying to dissuade her from it.
  • Insult Backfire: Tai Lung growls after being thrashed by Po, "You can't defeat me! You're just a big... fat... panda!" Po retorts, "I'm not a big, fat panda. I'm THE big, fat panda!"
  • Interspecies Adoption: Po's father is a goose. The first movie manages not to bring this up at all, aside from a Bait-and-Switch in which his dad sits him down to tell him an important secret... the secret ingredient in the soup. The sequel provides some backstory, though, and the third film expands on this further. There's also Shifu's adoption of Tai Lung.
  • Interspecies Romance: Played with in the credits when Viper kisses the Po doll after it's tossed to her. Considering the fact that she was the nicest one to Po during his training, this definitely has some potential.
  • Ironic Echo: Repeated at the end by Po against Tai Lung.
    Po: GASP The Wuxi Finger Hold!
    Shifu: Oh you know this hold?
    • The first time Shifu tells Po "Look at you!", he's caustically critical about his weight and smell. The next time, Shifu is admiring how Panda managed to pull off some impressive moves and perform a perfect split.
  • Jerkass:
    • Master Shifu definitely fits this for most of the movie, mistreating his disciples (yes, all of them, just look at his first appearance) and obstinately refusing to trust Oogway's judgment.
    • Also, Tigress towards Po; even when her colleagues have warmed to him, recognizing his undeniable courage and resolve, she remains almost cruelly determined to shoot him down at every opportunity for much of the movie. By the film's end, both become Jerks with Hearts of Gold, with a particular emphasis on "heart of gold."

    Tropes K to M 
  • Kevlard: One reason Po is chosen to become the Dragon Warrior. It makes him immune to nerve attacks!
  • Ki Attacks: Shifu and Tai Lung.
  • Kick the Dog: Shifu spends the first minute of his fight with Tai Lung on the defensive, blocking or dodging his attacks while trying to reason with him. He doesn't go on the offensive until Tai Lung taunts him about Oogway's passing.
  • Killed Off for Real: Downplayed for Oogway who ascends but has a brief appearance in the series. Tai Lung has never been truly confirmed whether he died or not. Likewise, Vachir and his rhino guards are also never confirmed if they died or not during Tai Lung's escape, but we do see at least one rhino moving after Tai Lung blows them out the prison's doors with dynamite.
  • Land of Dragons: This is set in a version of medieval China, after all...
  • Large Ham: All of the narration/dialogue in the intro. It's made on purpose, of course.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Upon meeting Po for the first time, Tai Lung laughs and says, "What are you gonna do, sit on me?" Cue Po literally sitting on Tai Lung's head during their stairway tumble seconds later.
  • Last Request: Oogway almost begs Shifu to train Po, just before ascending to a higher plane of existence.
  • Last-Second Chance: The directors' commentary implies that Po's sharing of the Dragon Scroll's true meaning to Tai Lung could have meant his redemption, if he chose to accept it. He doesn't.
  • Last-Second Word Swap:
    Po: Ow! I thought you said acupuncture would make me feel better!
    Mantis: Trust me, it will. It's just not easy finding the right nerve points under all this—
    Po: Fat?
    Mantis: Fur! I was gonna say fur.
    Po: Sure you were.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Shifu when he realizes that he CAN train Po.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: When Crane rescues Po from his full split.
    Po: Oh, hey, thanks.
    Crane: Don't mention it.
    Po: No, really, I...
    Crane: Ev-er.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Po by the end of the movie. Tai Lung is also pretty fast, especially when he broke out of Chorh-Gom Prison.
  • Lightning Reveal: Doesn't even involve darkness. Master Shifu waits for Tai Lung on the stairs to the Jade Palace. Dramatic Thunder sounds and Shifu closes his eyes for a moment against the lightning. When he opens them, Tai Lung is standing before him having run up the thousand-odd steps without even appearing out of breath.
  • Look What I Can Do Now!: Po shows up after attaining enlightenment and beats the crap out of Tai Lung.
  • MacGuffin: The Dragon Scroll which is said to bestow limitless power. It turns out to be a Magic Feather.
  • Made of Iron: The whole cast survives a lot of punishment but it's justified with Po. He can survive a whole mess of stuff, up to and including a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Tai Lung without so much as a broken bone. It's all the fur and fat.
  • Magic Feather: The Secret Ingredient of the Secret Ingredient Soup, and the Dragon Scroll again. The latter is actually a Secret Test of Character that judges whether a person can look at themselves and believe they are special. No, not the feather Tai Lung uses to escape from prison.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    Oogway/Shifu: You must continue your journey without me.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Shifu is Chinese for "master".
    • Tai Lung means "great/ultimate dragon".
    • Po also means "peace", and that's exactly what he brings to the valley.
    • Another meaning of Po is "blank", which is what the Dragon Scroll turns out to be.
    • Oogway means "turtle", but he's a tortoise.
    • Vachir means "thunderbolt", though unfortunately for him, it fits both him and his death. Powerful, direct and over in an instant.
  • Medium Blending: The opening and ending credits are 2D. The second film expands the concept, so several flashbacks and memories are in 2D, and the opening credits seem to be loosely based on Indian shadow puppetry.
  • Mentor Archetype: Shifu, though a pretty Jerkass one.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Played straight for Oogway, who ascends and leaves Shifu in his place, and deliciously subverted for Shifu himself.
  • Meteor Move: Tai Lung pulls off two of these while still airborne: first he kicks Po to the ground with enough force to create a small crater, then deepens said crater by flipping upside down and driving his fists into his fallen opponent.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Po is beaten by Mantis using this style of beatdown.
  • Mighty Glacier: Played straight with Po, but averted by Tai Lung. Po's Kung Fu style is largely defensive, doging and blocking Tai Lung's attacks partially due to his lack of training and partially from his girth. Tai Lung, being a master of Leopard Style kung fu and trained by Master Shifu from an early age, is a mountain of muscle and moves like greased lightning. His attacks hit hard and fast.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Epic Kung Fu mastery aside, Master Shifu is tiny. Justified, given he's a red panda (also known as lesser panda, though they're not closely related to panda bears). They're smaller than raccoons indeed, approximately the size of a big male cat.
  • Missing Mom: Po's adoptive father doesn't seem to be married.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The bit where an overwhelmingly sad moment from Tigress's backstory is immediately followed up by one of the silliest gags in the film, as immediately after Tigress finishes her story Po suddenly adopts a ridicuous face and says "Dooooiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnng...!". It turns out Mantis' acupuncture was to blame.
    • The iconic moment Shifu and Po share at the mountain path comes off the heels of a gag where Po was comically running and screaming down the mountain after somehow slipping away from Shifu.
    • The final battle, taking place right after the incredibly serious battle between Shifu and Tai Lung.
  • Motor Mouth: Po.
    Po: I should probably stop talking.
    Shifu: If you can.note 
  • Multiple-Choice Chosen: Master Oogway is to choose one of the Furious Five (who have all received extensive kung fu training) to become the Dragon Warrior, but ends up choosing Po by pure dumb luck. However, he accepts this as destiny and sticks with his decision.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: There's no suggestion that Shifu, Viper, Crane or even Mantis are any less physically strong than Po. (although, you could argue that Po's muscles are hidden under his flab) or Tigress despite the drastic differences in body mass; kung fu skill is all that matters, even when you're holding up a rope bridge with five people standing on it. Averted with Tai Lung, however, who's considered by all of them to be the strongest fighter around and is indeed very well-muscled.
  • My Greatest Failure: How Shifu regards his training of Tai Lung, and it showed in his raising and training of Tigress and the Furious Five.
  • My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Tai Lung is set up to be a bigger threat with his expertise in kung fu and outsmarting his opponents; even with the Furious Five working together with their different fighting styles to restrain and kill him, he still manages to come out on top by using nerve strikes against them. Thus, the Dragon Scroll is needed to obtain the power to defeat him. Once Po realizes the secret of the Dragon Scroll, he proceeds to beat Tai Lung into next week and then obliterate him with the Wuxi Finger Hold.

    Tropes N to O 
  • Never Say "Die": Surprisingly averted for a PG movie. The Furious Five are surprised that Tai Lung didn't kill them when he defeated them, they consider his killing Shifu to be inevitable, and Po thinks Shifu has died (and is corrected) when he closes his eyes after the battle.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: It's an action/comedy, but the trailer puts more emphasis on the "comedy" than the actual movie does.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Shifu allowing Tai Lung to be released, since if not for his paranoia, he wouldn't have sent Zeng to double check his holdings and allowed Tai Lung the feather he needed to escape. However he only did that because Oogway said Tai Lung would escape, therefore it could be considered Oogway's fault. Also counts as Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Though to be fair, Oogway did warn Shifu against trying to prevent it.
    Oogway: One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • During his Training from Hell montage, Po becomes victim to a rapid-fire series of these. Tai Lung also hits him with one, though in every case he's fine afterwards.
    • Tai Lung's escape from Chorh-gom involves him plowing through dozens of guards on his way out.
  • Noisy Nature: Mantis's combat scenes are accompanied by incongruous cricket-chirps. Mantids aren't crickets, although they're at least in the same infraclass.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Averted, mostly to keep the accuracy of animal species. Not only does Viper lack breasts, but Tigress (who is at least a mammal) lacks them too.
    • Surprisingly, a male character, Commander Vachir plays it straight: he is a rhinoceros with nipples on his bare chest.
  • The Notable Numeral: The Furious Five, a name given to a group of five powerful kung fu masters.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Most characters doesn't sound Chinese. The ones that do are played by Chinese actors.
  • Not So Different:
    • Tai Lung and Po have the hamminess down to pat.

      Tai Lung: Ahhh... Po... so that is his name... finally, a worthy adversary! OUR BATTLE SHALL BE LEGENDARY!
    • Tigress has some key parallels with Tai Lung, as well. Most notably they both wanted to be the Dragon Warrior, and both were denied the privilege. They're also Arrogant Kung Fu Kitties who were adopted by Shifu, and are upset that their father figure didn't show them the love and respect they wanted.
    • Hilariously, Po and Tai Lung both thought the Dragon Scroll contained ultimate power, and were utterly baffled when they found a reflective sheet of paper. Po even admits to Tai Lung that he "didn't get it [the first time] either."
  • Oblivious Adoption: "Dad, sometimes I find it hard to believe I'm your son." "It's time to tell you something I should have long ago — The Secret Ingredient of my Secret Ingredient Soup!"note 
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In-universe example: the tournament to choose the Dragon Warrior is only barely seen by both the audience AND the protagonist.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Po's highlighted in slow motion "Oh, crap!" when charged by Tai Lung.
    • And Tai Lung's expression when Po reveals he knows how to use the Wuxi Finger Hold, followed by an apprehensive cringe.
    • Even Oogway has a mild example:
      Shifu: It's very bad news...
      Oogway: Oh, Shifu, there is just "news". There is no good or bad.
      Shifu: Your vision was right! Tai Lung has broken out of prison! He's on his way!
      Oogway: [freezes in place] That is bad news.
    • Shifu had one earlier when Oogway told him the above example would happen in the first place.
    • "The scroll has given him power! Noooo!!"
    • At the last instant of Tai Lung's escape:
      Zeng: Can we run now?!
      Vachir: [tiny voice] Yes.
  • Old Master:
    • Anyone who can name a more whoop-ass ancient turtle than Oogway may raise their hand.
    • Shifu kicks a fair amount of ass despite his age and sporting a limp from the last time he tried to fight Tai Lung.
  • One-Man Army: Tai Lung escaping from prison. To start, he unlocks the contraption and chains that bind him — a tortoise shell that was using pressure-point bindings — then dodges hundreds of arrows, ballista bolts and explosions. Then when they try to drop the entire section he was on into an abyss, Tai Lung climbs up falling debris to get to the top. Lastly, he fights his way past one thousand rhino guards (though some managed to get knocked out by explosions) and escapes. In short, he manages to escape a prison custom-built to hold a prisoner with his level of power, being the only prisoner in said place.... with a feather.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Shifu invokes this facing Tai Lung, stating it wasn't between Tai and the Dragon Warrior, but between Tai and himself.
  • Only Six Faces: Every unnamed character is either a pig, a rabbit, or a rhino, the last of these only appearing as prison guards. There are also some occasional geese. Various species appear mostly as Mooks and other minor characters (wolves, panthers, alligators, boars, at least one buffalo). It's justified, however, in that the developers focused on animals that were only native to China.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: During the dumpling fight, Master Shifu is smiling and laughing, while Po doesn't eat the dumpling they're fighting over because he's not hungry, showing the Character Development for both.

    Tropes P to R 
  • The Paralyzer: Tai Lung's nerve strike, which he learned from Oogway. Thanks to Po's Kevlard nature, it doesn't work against the Dragon Warrior, only succeeding in tickling him.
  • Parody Sue: Po's dream as the totally awesome Legendary Warrior.
  • Peaceful in Death: Parodied at the end:
    Shifu: Wow. It is as Oogway foretold: you are the Dragon Warrior. You have brought peace to this valley. And to me. Thank you. Thank you, Po. Thank you...
    Po: No! Master! No, no, no! Don't die, Shifu. Please...
    Shifu: I'm not dying, you idiot! Uh... Dragon Warrior. I am simply... at peace.
  • Pet the Dog: Tai Lung does this literally, though not because he likes him, but because he needs him to send a message back to Shifu.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse:
    • Mantis, who can hold up a rope bridge with Tai Lung AND three of his teammates on it.
    • Also, Shifu; red pandas are smaller compared to pandas like Po.
  • Please Wake Up: "I'm not dying, you idiot!"
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Po delivers one before executing The Wuxi Finger Hold on Tai Lung.
    Tai Lung, fearfully: You're bluffing. You're bluffing! Shifu never taught you that!
  • Pressure Point: One of Mantis' and Tai Lung's favorite attacks. Oogway uses this to initially stop Tai Lung in a flashback. Tai Lung attempts this on Po, but it doesn't work since he's so fat.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: Guess who breaks one. Deliciously inverted as the object is said to hold the "souls of 1000 warriors". When Po breaks it, the ghostly sounds of souls lamenting can be heard, as well as anytime the pieces are disturbed. Though Shifu is so pissed off that Po was chosen that the pot breaking is the least of his concerns.
  • Pride: Much of the plot originates in this trope.
    • Shifu was too proud of Tai Lung. That's why he wasn't able to see the darkness festering in the latter's heart.
    • It's also Tai Lung's Fatal Flaw. He became almost the best kung fu master ever, and that still wasn't good enough for him because he wasn't chosen as the Dragon Warrior after being trained his whole life. He only wanted to make Shifu proud of him, but when told that his father had always been proud of him, all he could focus on was the scroll he'd been denied. And after having it explained to him that the scroll did nothing, he still insisted upon attacking Po to gain whatever "wisdom" it had given him. Because of course, the only way a big, fat panda could ever beat him was with mystical help.
    • Commander Vachir, who runs Tai Lung's prison. If he had heard Shifu's message and said "Oh, okay. I'll get right on that", nothing would have happened. Instead, Vachir took it as a slight, and decided to imprint the sheer extent of the prison on the poor goose, and inadvertently gave Tai Lung his magic feather. And that turned out badly.
    • Tigress isn't entirely free of this flaw; much of her treatment of Po stems from her pride being wounded over the fact that he was chosen over her. It also partially leads her to seek out and confront Tai Lung herself, a confrontation that she and her friends prove ultimately outmatched for. Ironically, it was also Pride (Tai Lung's) that saved their ass since Tai Lung wanted to rub it in (probably to Shifu) by letting them go defeated but alive to show how Badass he was and how small a threat the Furious Five (the students of Shifu after him) was compared to his awesome self. As well as Po landed right between her and Oogway so she logically assumed, if Po hadn't landed there, Oogway would have been pointing at her. Which she questions Oogway about: "Master, were you pointing at me?"
  • A Pupil of Mine, Until He Turned to Evil: Guess who. Here's a hint: Tai Lung.
  • Race Name Basis: Shifu calls Po "Panda" almost every time they speak. Tigress, Viper, Crane, Mantis, and Monkey are only ever referred to as such. However, as mentioned above, they might have also had true names at one point, but adopted their species name because of the same reason.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Happens twice.
  • Rain of Arrows: When Tai Lung is escaping prison, the guards use this to try and stop him. It doesn't work.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Shifu announces that Tai Lung, the most terrifying boogeyman in the franchise, is on his way to the Jade Palace and that only Po can stop him. So does Po grit his teeth and get down to training? Nope. He's halfway down the mountain, screaming in terror, before Shifu catches up with him, because for all his enthusiasm about Kung Fu, he still doesn't know anything and Tai Lung is still a Person of Mass Destruction.
    • Shifu's training methods and coddling of Tai Lung led to him developing entitlement issues and the desire to make his adoptive father proud. When Shifu did nothing after Oogway refused to choose him, Tai Lung became bitter and murderous. Shifu not visiting him in prison to work things out only allowed Tai Lung to stew in his hatred for years until he sprung himself out.
    • Shifu giving Po a Training from Hell and letting the Furious Five bully him to make him leave the Jade Palace leads to Po developing massive self-esteem issues. When Shifu decides to make Po fight Tai Lung with little to no training, Po finally snaps.
    • In Po's battle against Tai Lung, Po attempts to trick Tai Lung into playing a memory game with the scroll by having it hidden under one pot and getting them mixed up with many other pots. All Tai lung does is waste no time knocking over the pots to find the scroll. In serious battles like this, villains usually don't care to play childish games.
  • Redemption Rejection:
    • When Shifu apologizes to Tai Lung, telling him that he had always been proud of him, and that pride was what blinded him to what he was becoming, Tai Lung looks genuinely affected... and then the rage returns to his face and he says that he isn't here for apologies: he just wants the Dragon Scroll. That's when the audience realizes that he is truly beyond redemption. It's definitely a tragic moment.
    • It's also implied by directors' commentary that Po trying to help Tai Lung understand the true nature o the Dragon Scroll may have been another chance at redemption, but Tai Lung is so blinded by rage and pride that he doesn't accept that, either.
  • Repetitive Name:
    • Master Shifu. "Shifu" (shīfu) means "master" in Chinese (if you pronounce it correctly, which nobody in the movie does), so this is like calling him "Master Master".
    • The same applies to the prison of "Chorh-Gom". So Tai Lung is imprisoned in the prison of Prison.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Tigress feels overshadowed by Tai Lung, and incapable of taking the place he supposedly had in Shifu's heart. As Secrets of the Furious Five reveal, she was an orphan adopted by Shifu as well, making her Tai Lung's replacement in all aspects. She's wrong at least in the sense that Shifu did a very poor job of expressing his love and approval in time to Tai Lung as well.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: In the intro, about half of the mooks appear to be Chinese alligators. (The other half are either wolves or snow leopards.) In the main narrative Viper is a Nice Girl.
  • The Resenter: Tai Lung, for not becoming the Dragon Warrior as expected. In a less villainous example, much of Tigress's Jerkass bullying of Po clearly stems from bitterness over the fact that he was deemed to be The Chosen One over her. She slowly gets over it.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Shifu asks who could possibly be worthy of having the Dragon Scroll, the key to limitless power!!! There's a long pause, then Master Oogway says, "I don't know."
  • Rhino Rampage: Invoked by Commander Vachir and his guard, the Anvil of Heaven; however, we never really get to see Vachir fight or do anything badass at all. In fact, the trope is inverted, because it is Tai Lung rampaging against rhinos, who fight back, but they lose spectacularly.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Baby Tai Lung and young Tigress and Po. Also every bunny in the entire franchise. The more you look at them throughout the movies, specials and show, the cuter they seem to get. Even their names are adorable: "Wu Hop".
  • Right Behind Me: "If you train hard, one day you'll have ears as big as mine..." (Cue the Furious Five spotting Shifu arriving)
  • Right Makes Might: More like confidence makes might. Those martial artists who have greater belief in themselves win unfailingly and those who lose are first defeated by a sense of their own inferiority/guilt/confusion before the exchange of punches makes their loss official. Perhaps not-coincidentially, this idea appears in The Art of War.
  • Rousseau Was Right: All three villains in this trilogy have detailed backstories giving them reasons as to why they became bad guys. Everybody is human at heart.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The Dragon Scroll contains a reflective piece of paper, symbolizing true power comes from within, something Po doesn't realize until a good while later. When Tai Lung looks at it, his response is "it's blank", which also symbolizes that Tai Lung has little about him besides his pursuit of it and the title of Dragon Warrior.
  • Rule of Three:
    Oogway: There are no accidents.
    Shifu: Yes Master, I know. You've told me. Twice.
    Oogway: Then that was no accident either.
    Shifu: Thrice...
  • Running Gag: Po's difficulty climbing the long stairway to the temple and falling down it.
  • Running on All Fours: Tigress, Tai Lung, and Monkey.

    Tropes S to T 
  • Saved for the Sequel: It looks like we're going to find out about Po's origins toward the end of the first movie, but then that turns into The Un-Reveal. It's part of the premise of the sequel.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: "Sha-fa-fooie!" and "Ska-doosh."
  • Scary Black Man: Michael Clarke Duncan makes Vachir sound like one, yet ironically, he appears to be a white rhino.
  • Scenery Porn: The backgrounds and the environments of the movie are exceptionally lavish for a Dreamworks film.
  • Schmuck Bait: A minor example with the Sword of Heroes, so sharp that you can cut yourself from just looki-OW!
  • Secret Ingredient: The "Secret Ingredient Soup" the only secret ingredient is its maker's skill.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: As spoken by Oogway, "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it."
    • Master Shifu influences one of these after he hears from Oogway that Tai Lung will return. He sends a geese to have Tai Lung's prison guards doubled, but the geese's mere presence is what allows Tai Lung to escape.
  • Self-Insert Fic: Po's Dream Sue has him buddies with his heroes, the legendary Five.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    • Chor-Ghom essentially means: "the prison of Prison".
    • We also have "Master Shifu," which means "Master Master".
  • Shell Game: Used for a Visual Gag during the dumpling fight. Shifu hides a dumpling under an overturned bowl, then twirls the three bowls at blinding speed using his chopsticks. Po upturns the right bowl to free the dumpling. Later during his climatic fight with Tai Lung, Po does the same trick while standing on a pair of bamboo poles, with the Dragon Scroll hidden amongst some woks.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Viper seems rather friendly with Po, and she kissed a doll of him on the cheek in the (non-canon) credits sequence. She even wrapped the doll in a ribbon and cradled it as she kissed it. Given that she's the most compassionate of the five, it could be a "Motherly Love" kind of thing.
    • The chunk of wood Po tried to pick up as a souvenir, after Tigress's stunt, was named the Love Chunk by some producers. Make of that what you will.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Inverted for the final battle. After Shifu and Tai Lung's dark and serious duel in the rain, the sun rises and Po appears at the top of the steps, panting for air. That's when the real Final Battle begins, demonstrating that a story's climax can be hilarious and awesome at the same time.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The scene stated in Right Behind Me above is built around a not-at-all-hidden Hidden Mickey.
    • The Dragon Scroll (a blank, reflective piece of paper) is almost identical to the Book of Enlightenment in the 1978 film Circle of Iron (which was co-written by Bruce Lee and James Coburn of all people).
    • The Furious Five share their name with one of the earliest hip-hop groups, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
    • After Tai Lung discovers that the Dragon Scroll is blank, in the ensuing fight Po steps on Tai Lung's feet after blocking his attacks. This is a nod to Kung Fu Hustle where Sing stomps on the baddies's feet. A lot.
    • Oogway's paraphrase is from Alice Morse Earle:note 
      "The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The producers got ancient China depicted so well that the Chinese themselves had official conferences to explore why they can't make animated films about themselves like this.
    • The third film's production was moved to a new division of DreamWorks Animation in China (specifically, "Oriental DreamWorks" in Shanghai) to show them how to make films about themselves like this.
    • The film features only species that exists/existed in China. Even the crocodiles, or more precisely Chinese Alligators, and rhinoceros (Javan Rhinoceros. Shifu's a Red Panda. Tai Lung is a Snow Leopard. Tigress is a South China Tiger.)
    • Want to know how much work the creators showed? Check this clever little tidbit: the specific style of Kung Fu used by each character, with the specific exceptions of Oogway and Shifu, match their species. Tigress uses Tiger-style Kung Fu, Monkey uses Monkey-style Kung Fu, and so on. This seems a little obvious especially during the initial training scene in the "danger room." As each character shows their style, a Freeze-Frame Bonus scene will depict the particular animal in the stance that determines that style. For example, Monkey flies through a hoop in a straight leg kick that exactly matches how the flying kick in Monkey style should look. This is especially notable in Tigress's montage. Every stance is solid, every attack made with maximum power. To further illustrate the use of fighting styles, once Po finally learns Kung Fu, he specifically uses Bear Kung Fu.
    • When Tai Lung berates Shifu, he says he "trained until [his] bones cracked!" This is not an exaggeration; some martial artists hit things until their bones crack, and then the cracks fill up with bone, making them harder overall. This is not recommended for casual practitioners.
    • In the final battle, Po uses Dragon Style, fitting with his "Dragon Warrior" status. This style uses stances and attacks from all of the other animals. Po uses Tigress-style punches, Mantis-like dodges (when possible) and Monkey-like agility. Dragon style also uses a lot of low-high-low style attacks to keep opponents off balance, as the Dragon is thought to be masters of all elements (i.e., the sea, or low attacks to the legs and feet, coupled with the heavens, or high attacks to the head.)
  • So Proud of You: Facing certain death at the paws of Tai Lung, Shifu unwinds enough to tell Po and the Furious Five that he's proud to have been their Master.
  • Spare a Messenger:
    • After his One-Man Army rampage through the thousand guards of his Tailor-Made Prison, Tai Lung encounters the Sole Survivor, a duck messenger sent by Master Shifu, seizes him by the neck the smooth, cultured rumble of Ian McShane, tells the duck to fly back to his master and inform him the real Dragon Warrior is coming home.
    • Tai Lung immobilizes the Furious Five with his unstoppable nerve-strike, but allows Crane to fly them back to the Valley of Peace in order to intimidate the Dragon Warrior. Po is already scared as it happens, but not deterred.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": "I'm THE big fat panda!"
  • Start of Darkness: Tai Lung's fall from grace is narrated by Tigress.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Two.
    • Po manages one on Master Shifu at one point, after being told that he'll have to face Tai Lung. Impressive considering he's a panda, and Shifu is a Kung Fu master with super sensitive hearing who you'd think would've heard him leaving. Shifu's reaction is priceless.
    • Shifu has this pulled on him again (possibly knowingly) by Tai Lung, when the latter appears before him after a flash of lightning on the steps of the temple. It's implied Shifu knew it was going to happen, as he closes his eyes for a moment, and when he opens them again a second later, Tai Lung is standing in front of him.
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky:
    • Tai Lung's prison break involves the usage of huge arrows and then falling stalactites to propel himself upwards towards the exit.
    • Po, seconds before being Meteor Move-d by Tai Lung. Not stones, but flying fragments.
  • Stepping-Stone Sword: Tai Lung, with giant crossbow bolts that he threw at the wall.
  • The Stinger: After a ton of montages showing the characters' Character Development, the final shot of the film after the credits is Po and Shifu sharing a quiet moment with some dumplings — and a peach tree beginning to grow where Shifu and Oogway had buried the pit.
  • Stop Hitting Yourself: Viper briefly uses this tactic against Tai Lung, coiling around his wrist and neck and forcing him to hit himself in the face.
  • Super Senses (Hearing): Shifu, presumably a riff on his large ears. Tai Lung also has skills in this area, shown when he picks the lock of his restraints.
  • "Super Sentai" Stance: The Furious Five often pulls dynamic group poses of this nature.
  • Super Strength: Much of the cast. Especially Mantis, who can lift Po and holds onto the rope bridge single-handed while his cohorts fight Tai Lung.
  • Supreme Chef: According to the Furious Five (sans Tigress of course, who appears to be eating tofu instead) Po makes "amazing" noodle soup. It comes with being the son of a restaurateur and noodle maker.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Master Shifu administers a kung fu test during a meal where he challenges the glutton Po to steal the last steamed bun from him. When Po finally manages to get the bun, he shrugs and tosses it back. "I'm not hungry." This is the best outcome because not only has his kung fu skill advanced but he has conquered his tendency to gorge when he is upset.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Tai Lung's prison was built specifically to hold just him.
  • Take It to the Bridge: The fight between the Furious Five and Tai Lung takes place on a long rope bridge that is eventually cut off and used to restrain Tai Lung and kill him by using the momentum to smash him against a mountain. Except Tai Lung manages to survive, and swings over to his destination and frees himself anyway.
  • The Tell: During a conversation with Po underneath the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom:
    Oogway: "You eat when you're upset."
  • Tempting Cookie Jar: Master Shifu discovered Po's latent martial arts talent when he incited Po to steal Monkey's cookies on the storage room's top shelf. The panda climbed up ten feet in a second and did a perfect split without even realizing.
  • Tempting Fate: When Tai Lung finally meets Po, he makes fun of Po's girth and asks if the only move he knows is sitting on his opponents. And of course, several seconds later, as they careen down the stairs, Po's giant butt smashes down on Tai Lung's head (in slow motion). Po actually continues to seat-slam Tai Lung several more times throughout the fight.
    Tai Lung: What're you going to do, big guy? Sit on me?
    Po: Don't tempt me.
    • When Zeng returns from witnessing Tai Lung's escape, Shifu says he's glad someone has turned up with good news. It's not.
  • This Cannot Be!: "You...You cannot defeat me!... You're just...a big... fat... panda!".
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Played with. Oogway says only the Dragon Warrior (i.e. Po) can defeat Tai Lung but no one else believes this. Later Shifu changes his mind and tells the Furious Five not to fight Tai Lung. They ignore him and fight him anyways. Later Shifu himself tries fighting him, assuming from the blank scroll that is what Oogway meant. Ultimately, Po does fight Tai Lung by himself but only because everyone else has already tried.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: Tigress is a female tiger. Po is the Dragon Warrior. You do the math.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The point of the movie is Po becoming someone badass enough to defeat Tai Lung.
  • Too Kinky to Torture:
    • In a sense. While Po is never tortured per se, Shifu does put him through Training from Hell to get him to quit. Po enjoys learning kung fu and being around the Furious Five enough that he endures the training. Special mention to Viper beating down Po in less than a second, apologizing, only for Po to excitedly ask her to do it again.
    • The training room Po first goes through. While he is clumsy and gets hit many times, often by sharp weapons and swinging arms, he is not injured or knocked out.
    • Po just giggles when Tai Lung repeatedly hits Po with his (until then) unstoppable nerve strike.
  • Touch of Death: The Wuxi finger-hold. As the third movie reveals, it sends mortals to the Spirit Realm.
  • Training from Hell: "There is now a level zero." Made worse by the fact that Shifu had no intention of seriously training Po and just wanted to discourage him. His real training is less dangerous.
  • Training Montage: Naturally.
  • Tree Buchet:
  • Turtle Power: Oogway is a tortoise, and regarded as one of the most powerful kung fu masters out there. For one, he was able to defeat Tai Lung quickly by using debilitating nerve strikes.

    Tropes U to Z 
  • Unimpressive Progress Reveal: One scene has Po climbing the stairs to the temple. The scene cuts to several hours later and Po falls to the ground out of breath, then the camera zooms out and reveals he's made it up about five steps.
  • Unlocking the Talent: Shifu believes Po is a worthless fighter at first, possibly because of a combination of denial and jealousy that some stranger is better than his own students. When it occurs to him the problem may actually be his own fault, he begins training Po in a way that works, and Po goes from a lazy, self-loathing panda to an athletic kung-fu fighter in very little time.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: A huge part of what makes Tai Lung Unintentionally Sympathetic.
  • Verbal Backspace: Shifu shows he's still got some of his old grumpy self.
    Po: No Master Shifu, don't die!
    Shifu: I'M NOT DYING YOU IDIOT... err, Dragon Warrior.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Tai Lung's composure really starts to fall apart once he sees the Dragon Scroll he so coveted. Instead of fighting intelligently and using the environment to his advantage, like he did in every fight before, he single-mindedly pursues the scroll, losing more and more of his cool, as Po starts to give him problems. After he obtains the Dragon Scroll and finds it to be blank, he suffers from this full out, and it just gets more intense after he discovers his pressure point technique to be ineffectual against Po, causing him to throw all semblance of strategy and martial arts mastery out the window, and even after getting beaten and barely able to get up and stumble around, he just keeps rambling and trying to fight back.
  • Visual Pun:
    • As part of his Calling the Old Man Out Tai Lung asks Shifu who was it that told him he could be the Dragon Warrior and trained him brutally for that purpose. Shifu, while guarding from a sword attack, sees his reflection.
    • Oogway is carrying a lantern with him when he meets Po at the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom. After dispensing some advice, he walks away, but leaves the lantern behind with Po. In other words, Oogway enlightened him.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Po and Tai Lung go without any upper garments the entire film.
  • Wax On, Wax Off:
    Shifu: When you focus on kung fu, when you really concentrate... you stink. But perhaps that is my fault. I cannot train you the way I have trained the Five. I now see that the way to get through to you is, with this.
    [pulls out a bowl of dumplings]
    Po: Oh great, 'cause I am hungry!
    Shifu: [laughs and pulls the bowl away] Good. When you have been trained, you may eat.
  • Weapon Twirling: Master Shifu twirls his chopsticks before his awesome fight with Po for the last dumpling.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: No actual biological sons, but if you count adopted examples and master/student relationships, there are several. Shifu to Oogway. Tigress, Po, and Tai Lung (each in different ways) to Shifu. Po even wants to prove himself to Ping in the sense that he can be more than a good cook.
  • What the Fu Are You Doing?: Po, in the first parts of the movie. While he actually does know what he's doing, as he's a fanboy who obsessively researches the subject of kung fu, he's too un-coordinated and out of shape to pull off the advanced techniques that more experienced masters can do.
  • When You Snatch the Pebble: "You are free to eat."
    Po: AM I?!
    Shifu: ARE YOU?!
  • Wilhelm Scream: The last Rhino Guard on the bridge makes one as Tai Lung throws him into another guard.
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: As it turns out, someone other than Master Oogway knew the secret of the Dragon Scroll all along. Who? Po's noodles cook father, Mr. Ping, who applied the same principle to his "secret ingredient" soup.
  • Wok Fu: At the end, Tai Lung throws Po into an empty restaurant during the final battle, and as a result the panda throws several woks at the snow leopard, puts the Dragon Scroll under one of them, and swaps them around so that Tai Lung will get the wrong one.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: A very short one from Po, at that:
    Tai Lung: You... can't defeat me... You're just a big... fat... panda!
    Po: I'm not a big, fat panda. I'm the big, fat panda.
  • World of Funny Animals
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Tai Lung clearly expects Po to be one of these, and he is very displeased when Po does not seem to meet his expectations.
    • After the fight at the bridge, he acknowledges the Furious Five as such.
      Tai Lung: Shifu taught you well.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Shifu reacts with appropriate shock when Master Oogway's staff is broken during the fight with Tai Lung.
  • Wuxia: An Affectionate Parody.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: When Shifu at the Pool of Sacred Tears asks Po if he wants to learn kung fu, his response to the panda impassioned "Yes!" says that he knows Po can be trained after all.
  • You Are Not Ready: Oogway on Tai Lung receiving the Dragon Scroll, though it's implied Oogway felt Tai Lung would never be ready.
  • You Can Panic Now: After Tai Lung destroys every barrier that Vachir and his men made to prevent him from escaping, the latter begins to panic after Zeng asks if they can run now before Tai Lung blasts them with the dynamite through the prison gate.
    Zeng: Can we run now?
    Vachir: [sobs in terror] Yes.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Played with. Both films contain some sort of prophecy that comes true, but it only comes true specifically because people go out of their way to stop it from doing so. Shifu sends Zheng to deliver a message to Chorh-Gom Prison and which incidentally provided Tai Lung a lockpick. Then Shen by attempting to wipe out the pandas thereby causing Po's parents to send him off to Mr. Ping where he would eventually be trained by Shifu. Thus, destiny is implied to have come about specifically because people tried to defy it. This is noted by Oogway, who mutters "one often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it" when Shifu sends Zheng off.

Tropes in the Short Films:

    Secrets of the Furious Five 
  • An Aesop: Five, actually; to be a good practitioner of kung fu, one must have patience, courage, confidence, discipline, and compassion.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Po is telling the bunny kids about the fabled strength of Grand Master Viper's venom —
    "One touch of his ivory tips could fell fifteen gorilla warriors! ...And a mid-size crocodile."
  • Art Shift: 3D animation is used for the present day and 2D animation for the backstories of the Furious Five.
  • Banana Peel: Monkey attempts this on Oogway, but the turtle manages to get past them all.
  • Casting Gag: In Secrets of the Furious Five, Young Monkey's voice actor is Jaycee Chan, the son of Jackie Chan, who voices the older Monkey.
  • Cats Are Mean: Averted in the Crane story, where Mei Ling, a female cat, is a true blue friend who is vital in starting his martial arts calling. Also Tigress who acts mean, but only because she is so strong that she has hurt others and tries to distance herself.
  • Comically Missing the Point: All the bunny kids in Po's class want to learn about kung fu is the "kicking butt" part; subverted by the end when it turns out they did listen to the message of Po's stories.
  • Darkest Hour: More precisely, darkest seconds in Crane's with him giving up his dream of entering the martial arts academy when his application is mocked. It ends the instant he stumbles into the entrance test room and finds the confidence to pass with the very qualities for which he was mocked.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Monkey pulled off the belt strings of all the tough guys sent to drive him out, causing them to drop their pants and leave in shame.
    • The reason he did this? He was subjected to his pants dropping when he was younger; the best way for people to be humiliated would be how he was.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Oogway and Monkey. That and Oogway saving his life from being crushed by a giant wooden pillar.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Used seriously in the story of Tigress.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Then there's the scene right after Po falls out of bed and wakes up from his Parody Sue Dream Sequence. He tries to get up, but has trouble due to his weight, causing a lot of banging. When Mr. Ping later demands to know what he was doing, Po has to explain, rather uncomfortably, that he was having a strange dream.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The wool-stealing crocodile bandits from Mantis' story have no problem with locking him up and laughing at him, but they have visibly horrified expressions when they think he's dead.
  • Killer Gorilla: The bandit who attacks Viper's village.
  • Let's Dance: Said by Viper, who used her ribbon dancing skills as a method of fighting.
  • Lighter and Softer: It's basically Kung Fu Panda as a typical Aesop-based kids' show.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Bao Gu, where Tigress was raised and inadvertently terrorized because of her abilities as an apex predator and her temper of being so rejected. However, Master Shifu is able to fix those problems.
  • Playing Possum: Mantis uses this to trick the crocodile bandits into opening the cage he was trapped in.
  • Ship Tease: Tigress' backstory is the only one that makes Po cry, though most would agree that it is the saddest one out of them all.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: In the sense that the producers make it clear in this short that "kung fu", when it only refers to martial arts, is really a Western misnomer when its true meaning is "Excellence of Self."
  • Stop Hitting Yourself: Viper uses this trick against the gorilla bandit: she coils around his wrist and his neck, forcing him to hit himself on the face.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Po is telling the stories of the Furious Five to teach his students An Aesop. It's quite likely he simplified the events to make his point.

    Kung Fu Panda Holiday 
  • Art Shift: The first few minutes are an awesome 2D dream sequence and the rest is CGI.
  • The Cameo: Tai Lung in Po's dad's dream/nightmare.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Po and the Furious Five bring up the Winter Festival while battling a horde of bandits.
  • Christmas Special: In the story, it's at least the closest Ancient Chinese analogue thereof, the Dong Zhi Winter Festival. The special still gives it all the trappings of Christmas, however.
  • Colossus Climb: One of the first moves Wo Hop tries to provoke Po into killing him, but Po eventually picks him off and puts him in a large jar to make him stop.
  • Cool Hat: The fancy hats/wigs worn by the Kung Fu masters.
  • Disaster Dominoes: At least four separate ones, held together with Old Spice.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Master Rhino shows up in this special the same character who was only in the second movie for mere minutes before Shen killed him.
  • Fancy Dinner: Po has to host one for the all the Kung Fu masters when he'd rather be cooking with his dad. Mind you, Po tried to compromise by trying to get his dad to cook for it.
  • Food Porn: Po is tasked to pick the best chef in China, and also do some cooking himself.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The same radish basket that plays an important part in the sequel is not in the first movie, but is present in the Holiday special, in the same location Mr. Ping pulls it out from in the second movie.
  • Honor Before Reason: After accidentally being dishonored by Po, Wo Hop the bunny chef tries to kill him in combat and when that doesn't work he keeps trying to kill himself. May or may not be a Shout-Out to The Book Of Bunny Suicides.
  • Martial Arts for Mundane Purposes: The Furious Five and Po use their mastery of kung fu to... cook and serve a fancy dinner?
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Po and Mr. Ping make cooking noodles look absolutely epic.
  • Never Say "Die": Apparently Po and/or his dad thinks that Tai Lung is dead.
  • Orgasmically Delicious: The noodle shop's holiday specialty, at least in Po's dad's dreams.
  • Placebo Eureka Moment: Po mumbles to a guard beside him on how to deal with his conundrum, but then realizes the solution and thanks the guard... even though the guard didn't really do anything.
  • Pure Is Not Good: Perfection is nice, but it's also boring and insanely stressful.
  • Shown Their Work: The Winter Feast resembles the traditional Chinese festival of Dong Zhi, which holds many parallels to both Thanksgiving and Christmas, such as family gatherings and feasting to celebrate the Winter Solstice.
  • Suicide as Comedy: Wo Hop.
  • You Are Not Alone: The moment when Shifu tries to decline Po's invitation for Mr. Ping's Winter Feast. Shifu says that it is only for Po's family, which Po responds with "You're my family too."


Kung Fu Panda Willhelm scream

One of the guards Tai Lung beats up utters the Willhelm Scream

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / StockScream

Media sources:

Main / StockScream