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Who will rise to become the Green Ninja?note 
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LEGO Ninjago is a franchise of LEGO products introduced in 2011. The premise seems founded almost entirely on Rule of Cool: A group of Ninja with Elemental Powers are at war with an army of similarly elementally-themed undead skeletons. Both fight using the martial art called "Spinjitzu", which involves spinning at high velocity to channel elemental powers. To support their effort, the Ninja tame powerful dragons matching their elements, while the skeletons command high-tech vehicles like tanks and motorcycles. Later on, they battle against the Big Bad's son who unleashes five ancient races of snake people who were the original rulers of Ninjago.

A made-for-TV movie, split into four pilot episodes, was shown on Cartoon Network. It was apparently successful enough that a full 13-episode TV series was green lit, with several more seasons to follow. The second season continued the first's plot-line of defeating Lord Garmadon, the third focused around robots, the fourth involved a Tournament of Elements, the fifth revolved around ghosts, the sixth is Pirates vs. Ninjas, the seventh is Time Travel, the eighth involves a Badass Biker cult, the ninth is told in two separate stories, the tenth is about not only the Oni, but also about everything that happened prior, the eleventh is also told in two stories, but in halves: the Fire Chapter and the Ice Chapter, and the twelfth involves the ninja going inside a Video Game.

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A feature film part of The LEGO Movie franchise, titled The Lego Ninjago Movie, was released in September 23, 2017, featuring Jackie Chan as Master Wu.

Meanwhile, LEGO Battles: Ninjago has been released for the Nintendo DS, Nindroids and Shadow of Ronin for the Nintendo 3DS, and an iPhone game called "Spinjitzu Scavenger Hunt" and its Mission-Pack Sequel "Rise of the Snakes" used to be available from iTunes.

The movie spawned a video game for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, which also takes inspiration from parts of the TV show not covered by the film.

WARNING: Late Arrival Spoilers like the true nature of Zane and the identity of the Green Ninja will no longer be spoiler-tagged. Browse at your own risk.


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Ninjago provides examples of:

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    Tropes A - D 
  • Acid-Trip Dimension: Spit from Venomari will make you see some strange things.
  • Acoustic License: All the time. The only thing more mind-boggling than how much noise these ninjas make when attempting to be stealthy is how much of it goes unheard by their foes.
  • Action Girl: Nya is the primary example of this trope in the series, with her exhibiting combat abilities as early as one of the shorts - where she single-handedly defeats Chopov, Wyplash, Krazi, and Bonezai before Jay realizes something is wrong. She's tough, independent, and doesn't like being perceived as weak. Her frustration of not being able to contribute to the team led to her creating a samurai alter ego with a Mini-Mecha, which allowed her to outshine the ninja on several occasions, sometimes even saving them. Her eventual promotion to ninja and discovery of her water powers finally cemented her as an equal to the other ninja.
    • While she isn't a ninja herself, Skylor shows herself to be just as competent as the ninja in terms of fighting skills. Her Power Copying element also gave her an edge in the Tournament of Elements.
    • While Misako is largely non-combatant, she does have the ability to use Spinjitzu and is generally able to hold her own in a one-on-one fight. For example, she was able to defeat a Vermillion warrior by herself using a Frying Pan of Doom.
    • Maya was one during the Serpentine War. As the then-Master of Water, her team-up with her husband Ray presented quite a challenge to the Time Twins.
    • Ultra Violet, the Dark Action Girl general of the S.O.G., is a constantly cackling Blood Knight who's built up to be fearsome by her lackeys even before her introduction.
    • P.I.X.A.L. after she becomes the second Samurai X.
  • Adopted into Royalty: Season 8 reveals that Ninjago has a royal family, and that their Jade Princess, Harumi, is adopted. It later comes out that Harumi was orphaned back during season 1's Great Devourer incident, so her adoption very well could have been politically motivated. Harumi resents being an orphan, resents the Emperor and Empress simply for not being her biological parents, and resents the ninja for not stopping the Great Devourer. Therefore, she uses the resources she's gained by being a princess to start a biker gang set on resurrecting Lord Garmadon and ruling Ninjago. Oops.
  • Age Cut: Happens several times:
    • Wu in "The Hatching" when he begins recounting the Serpentine War.
    • At the end of the flashback in "Pause and Effect" that explains what happened to Kai and Nya's parents, a shot of the oblivious young Kai and Nya fades back to their present-day selves.
    • Cole, Zane, and Jay at the end of their flashbacks of when they first met Wu.note 
    • At the beginning and end of Milton Dyer's flashback recounting Unagami's Start of Darkness in "The Prodigal Father", with the dissolve back to the present day taking place with his reflection in an arcade screen.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Nya's excited responses to Bizarro Jay's jerkass behavior.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: "Mr. Buddy" by Scorpio is the ending theme song for the Japanese version of the TV show.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Zig-Zagged. Zane showed almost every possible hint of having Asperger Syndrome, including Literal-Minded-ness, difficulty understanding the humor of others, no ability to detect sarcasm, a tendency to get over-focused when training, a general lack of the understanding of social norms, Spock Speak and Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, among others. Turns out he's actually a Ridiculously Human Robot.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: In Season 8, when they see an old foe on TV, Jay declares "If that's Lord Garmadon, then I'm the Lord of the Jig." After it turns out Jay's wrong, Cole refers to him as Lord of the Jig.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Jay catching up Sensei Wu in the episode "The Green Ninja".
    Jay: Zane is a Nindroid, Nya is the Samurai, and Cole's a dancer.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Despite being identified as a dromaeosaurid theropod (i.e. raptor), the Grundle barely resembles any theropod let alone a dromaeosaurid. For starters, it has a head like a fish.
  • Art Shift: Starting in Season 11's Ice Chapter, some flashbacks are in a more "anime" art style, particularly for two episodes in Season 11 (as mentioned earlier), and one episode in Season 13.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Serpentine Tribes decide their leadership in this fashion.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • A giant robot attacks Zane; to 'disable' it, it required attacking the robot from behind. Specifically in the upper part of its back.
    • The Great Devourer has one on its forehead. Garmadon ultimately destroys it by attacking this point with the four Golden Weapons.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Sensei Wu:
    Sensei Wu: Iron sharpens iron, perhaps— [licks cotton candy] —this Samurai will encourage you to find your true potentia... *GASP* FERRIS WHEEL! [runs towards Ferris wheel]
  • Backported Development: In a few of the Tales from the Monastery of Spinjitzu shorts, flashbacks to new Season 1 and 2 era adventures show the ninja in their current forms. Lampshadeed and justified in "Elemental Rider" where the memory is shown via "enhanced visual augmentation" (see the quote below). It's also explained by one of the creators that "the stories are memories, fantasies, dreams, visual augmentations which means they are saturated by the ninja's current state of mind and self image."
    Kai: Hey, we didn't look like that back then.
    Zane: I told you, it was an enhanced visual augmentation.
    Kai: Whatever.
  • Back to the Early Installment: The Season 2 episode "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" has Kai, Cole, Zane, and Jay being sent back in time to the pilot episode in order to stop Lord Garmadon from altering the future.
  • Badass Pacifist: To make up for his past, Sensei Garmadon swears to never pick up a weapon again and fights (when forced to fight) using a style called Silent Fist; using the opponent's force against them without hitting them himself. He eventually screws this method when his son Lloyd gets kidnapped by the Digital Overlord.
  • Badass Teacher: Sensei Wu, who taught the ninja everything they needed to know in the first two seasons.
    • Also Sensei Garmadon to a lesser extent in Season Four, who imparts wisdom onto the ninja in place of Wu during the Tournament of Elements.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work:
    • Garmadon leads the Skeleton Army against the Serpentine near the end of "All of Nothing".
    • Garmadon again during "Day of the Great Devourer" when he uses the Golden Weapons of Spinjitzu to destroy the Devourer.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Season 8 ends this way with Garmadon defeating Lloyd, causing him to lose his powers, Garmadon creating the Colossus to devastate Ninjago City, and the Colossus nearly killing the original four Ninja and Young Wu. Meanwhile, Nya, Lloyd, and Pixal, who are the last hopes for Ninjago are forced into hiding. The revived Garmadon meanwhile, finally completes his long-lasting dream of taking over Ninjago, and proclaiming himself "Emperor". Although it is clearly obvious the Ninja will defeat him in the next Season, this is still the only time a villain has won at the end of the season.
  • Bad with the Bone: Skeleton weapons include golden bones, axes with bones for handles, golden axes with golden bones for handles, and plain old bones.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In "Never Trust A Snake" when the Ninja capture and suggest punishments for Lloyd an angry-looking Master Wu assures them that he knows exactly what to do: he puts Lloyd to bed and reads him a bedtime story about not trusting snakes.
  • Band of Brothers: The ninja.
  • Belated Backstory: Season 9 provides information on two characters around (or at least mentioned) since season 1.
    • The First Spinjitzu Master, previously known as only the person who created Ninjago and as Wu and Garmadon's father, is revealed to be a half-Oni, half-Dragon who fled the violence of the First Realm and created Ninjago to be a place of peace and balance. He also gets his first lines in Wu's flashbacks.
    • Mistake, the tea shop owner who provides Wu with traveler's tea, is an Oni, a shapeshifting evil entity who came to Ninjago to find the First Spinjitzu Master but wound up liking humanity and switching sides.
  • Berserk Button:
    • In "Double Trouble", when Jay found out his evil double kissed Nya.
    • Anything to do with Nya in trouble for both Jay and Kai.
    • Never, NEVER ask Nya out on a date within earshot of Jay or Kai or both.
    • A threat to cake or somewhat his father for Cole.
    • His friends being in danger for Zane.
      "You will not hurt my friends!"
    • Don't try to hurt Garmadon's son. Seriously, don't.
    • Nya, between Jay and Cole, throughout most of Season 3 and 4.
    • Lloyd, regarding Garmadon sacrificing himself, and in turn, leaving him forever in "The Corridor of Elders."
  • Big Bad: Every season has a main antagonist. Garmadon, the Overlord, and Pythor are the most recurring.
    • Pilot: Lord Garmadon commands Samukai and the Skulkin to steal the Golden Weapons of Spinjitzu, so he may create a portal to escape the Underworld.
    • Season 1 (Rise of the Snakes): Pythor, the last of the Anacondrai who unites four other Serpentine tribes to free their progenitor, the Great Devourer, and wage war on humanity.
    • Season 2 (Legacy of the Golden Ninja): Garmadon merges the Golden Weapons and takes over the Serpentine, intending to stop his prophesied defeat at the hands of Lloyd. After losing control of the Serpentine to Skales and finding the Dark Island, Garmadon is demoted to The Heavy for the Overlord, who resurrects the Stone Army to serve him before possessing Garmadon himself by the finale.
    • Season 3 (Rebooted): The Overlord is brought back in digital form by Pythor, creating the Nindroids and stealing Lloyd's Golden Power to become the Golden Master.
    • Season 4 (Tournament of Elements): Master Chen, who organizes the titular tournament to steal the contestants' elemental powers and turn his followers into Anacondrai warriors.
    • Season 5 (Possession): Morro, a former student of Wu who was denied the mantle of Green Ninja and returns as a ghost, possessing Lloyd after escaping from the Cursed Realm. He seeks to free his mistress, the Preeminent (the Cursed Realm itself), so they may curse the other Sixteen Realms.
    • Season 6 (Skybound): Nadakhan, the djinn captain of the Sky Pirates. He seeks to marry Nya so he may gain infinite wishes, stealing the ninjas' souls to do so, with the goal of recreating his realm that was destroyed by the Preeminent's death.
    • Day of the Departed special: Master Yang, who brings back the ghosts of past villains (Samukai, General Kozu, General Cryptor, Master Chen, a reformed Morro, and a still-living Pythor) to distract the ninja while he attempts to resurrect himself.
    • Season 7 (The Hands Of Time): The Time Twins, Krux and Acronix, the Elemental Masters of Time. The two reunite in the present, using their Vermillion Serpentine to recover their powers and travel back to the time of their defeat.
    • Season 8 (Sons of Garmadon): The Quiet One/Harumi, the leader of the titular cult who seeks to resurrect Garmadon's evil side using the Oni Masks.
    • Season 9 (Hunted): Lord Garmadon and the Sons of Garmadon rule the now-dystopian Ninjago. Meanwhile, Wu and most of the ninja are being hunted in the First Realm by the Iron Baron and the Dragon Hunters and must overthrow his rule before returning to confront Garmadon.
    • Season 10 (March of the Oni): The Omega, the leader of the Oni that the Iron Baron claimed to have defeated, who attempt to conquer the Sixteen Realms.
    • Season 11 (Secrets of Forbidden Spinjitzu):
      • Fire Chapter: Aspheera, the Serpentine witch-empress of the Pyro Vipers who wants revenge on Wu for locking her away.
      • Ice Chapter: General Vex, who manipulates the amnesiac Zane into becoming the Ice Emperor and conquering the Never Realm.
    • Season 12 (Prime Empire): Unagami, the A.I. emperor of the titular video game who wants revenge on his creator for abandoning him, turning players into energy to power his portal to the real world.
    • Season 13 (Master of the Mountain): The Skull Sorcerer/King Vangeles, who uses the Skull of Hazza D'ur to enslave the Geckles and Munce.
    • Season 14 (The Island): Chief Mammatus is the leader of the Keepers, who capture the ninja after assuming they intend to steal the amulet they protect. The Keepers eventually attempt to sacrifice them in order to appease the evil storm spirit Wojira (actually a fake created by Ronin to scam the Keepers out of their treasures).
    • Season 15 (Seabound): Prince Kalmaar of the Merlopians, who overthrows his father and seeks to awaken Wojira so he may exterminate the surface-dwellers.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Samurai X gets one on "Pirates vs. Ninja".
  • Big Good: Sensei Wu.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Zane in "Tick Tock" after he discovers he's a robot.
    • Skales in "The Day Ninjago Stood Still" when the Serpentine are sealed underground. Again.
    • Kai when the Overlord's portal bridging the Island of Darkness to Ninjago closes.
    • The Overlord the first time he's defeated.
  • Bland-Name Product: In Season 7, Cyrus Borg's company, Borg Industries, becomes a parody of Apple, with product lines including BorgPads, BorgPods, and the recently released BorgWatches.
  • Bluff the Impostor: Sensei Wu tells the Bizarro-Ninja about how Lloyd must be having a good time at an amusement park when Lloyd is at the boarding school.
  • Body Horror:
    • A flashback of Sensei Wu's reveals that Garmadon looks like he does because, just before falling into the underworld, he got struck by lightning, which pretty much fried his skin and exposed his bones. Even in LEGO form, it's quite disturbing to see.
    • Garmadon being possessed by the Overlord and the resulting transformation.
    • The transformation of Chen's followers, plus Skylor and Garmadon, into Anacondrai.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The victims of the Hypnobrai's gaze and the Overlord's dark matter.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Lloyd comes off as one before "Never Trust a Snake".
    • The entirety of Darkley's Boarding School For Bad Boys. Most noticeably, Gene.
  • Brought Down to Normal:
    • After losing their Golden Weapons, the Ninja, while they still have Spinjitzu, have lost the majority of their elemental powers along with them.
    • Garmadon, once he's been purged of the Overlord and the evil in his body.
    • Lloyd at the end of season 8 after Garmadon literally beats his power out of him.
  • Built with LEGO:
    • Played straight, being a LEGO toy line — all the characters are LEGO Minifigures. However, in some media, it's subtler than in others. For instance, most of the scenery in the TV episodes is stylized heavily so there are no obvious LEGO elements.
    • LEGO Battles: Ninjago plays this straight as a tack.
  • The Bus Came Back: The dragons return for the first season finale, having merged together into the Ultra Dragon.
  • Bus Crash: Sadly, the Ultra Dragon was killed by the Dragon Hunters between Seasons 2 and 9, seeing as the throne the Iron Baron sits in is made from its corpse.
  • Cain and Abel: Garmadon and Sensei Wu are brothers and the sons of the first Master of Spinjitzu. Garmadon is the older brother; Wu is the younger brother.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: Cole laments this in "Double Trouble" after being lured to Darkley's School with a promise of cake.
  • The Cameo: During Lloyd and Morro's struggle for the Realm Crystal, they end up being transported to the realm of Chima for a brief moment, getting spotted by the main cast of that world before they both warp away.
  • Central Theme:
    • Throughout Season 8 masks play an important role. There are the three Oni Masks. There's the mask Zane took to infiltrate the Sons of Garmadon (Snake Jaguar). There's the mask Harumi wore as the Jade Princess which she took off, thus revealing her true colors. And during his fight against Lloyd, the newly resurrected Lord Garmadon states that he wore plenty of masks throughout his life, from father to husband to brother, but only one mask was bought back: Destruction.
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • At first it seems that the Great Devourer crisis ended without much mishap, then Season 8 shows that people did DIE on that day, including the seasons Big Bad's parents. Lampshaded when Harumi asks Lloyd if he was naive to think that no one was hurt that day.
    • Also in Season 8, Cole's mountain climbing in the pilot episode is revealed to have been an attempt to cope with the death of his mother.
  • Chained to a Railway: Jay poses as a damsel in distress to find out the identity of Samurai X, AKA Nya.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang:
    • "Art of the Silent Fist" has Garmadon teach the ninja the titular move, or basically baiting the enemy into beating themselves. The move is used at the end of the episode to bait the Nindroids into causing a blackout that shuts down the Overlord-possessed technology around Ninjago. It goes unused for the remainder of the season as well as the next 6 seasons, at least until Lloyd uses it in "Green Destiny" to beat none other than Garmadon himself. Garmadon, having Came Back Wrong in Season 8 after a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of Season 4 and his death in Season 5, has his powers fueled by fighting, and by not fighting him Lloyd manages to exhaust Garmadon and drain him of his power, allowing Lloyd to apprehend him.
    • The Four Golden Weapons of Spinjitzu, important for the pilot and first season, were lost halfway through season 2. They return late in season 3, getting melted down and enabling the Overlord to regain physical form as the Golden Master. They disappear from the story until season 10, when Kai reforges them to use against the Oni.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: At the beginning of "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" Nya is giving a lecture theorizing that Fangpyre venom in a person's body can be counteracted by the victim increasing their heart rate, which is how Jay cures himself later on.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • "Ninjaball Run" has two: first Nya puts a feature in the Ultra Sonic Raider that allows the cockpit to detach and become an airborne vehicle, which the ninja use to catch up to Lord Garmadon after he creates a fissure to stop them. The second is Jay's lucky piston which he attached to the front of the Raider and allowed them to technically pass the finish line before Garmadon.
    • The tea shop uniforms in season 5, of all things, which allow the ninja to infiltrate Stiix without arousing suspicion.
    • When the Bounty is rebuilt in season 10, one of the switches is wired wrong, causing it to fly backwards instead of forwards. Nya reflexively guns it the wrong way, causing the thruster to knock Cole into the Onis' darkness.
    • Kai's background as a blacksmith is briefly seen in the Pilot Episodes, but is barely elaborated upon until March of the Oni, where his blacksmithing skills in conjunction with being an Elemental Master means that Kai is the only one capable of reforging the Golden Weapons, which prove to be key against the Oni.
  • The Chosen One: A prophecy states that "One ninja will rise above the others and become the Green Ninja, the ninja destined to defeat the Dark Lord." Throughout the first season, the four ninja compete and argue about who deserves to be the Green Ninja. It turns out to be none of them and instead is Lloyd Garmadon, Lord Garmadon's son. While he was originally a Bratty Half-Pint, by the time this is revealed, he's been taken in by the ninja and wants to be good, and after that, he matures into a brave hero and becomes the most powerful ninja. Additionally, the "Dark Lord" the prophecy was referring to turns out to be not Garmadon but the Overlord, a Greater-Scope Villain who was around since the dawn of time and who ultimately manipulates Garmadon for his own plans.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Zane comes off as a bit spacey to the other ninja.
    • Sensei Wu might count as this. For example, he asks a Serpentine to pour him some tea. In the middle of a high-speed chase. Keep in mind, though, that he then punches the snake off the vehicle he's riding on.
  • Colour Coded Armies: Hypnobrai are blue and gold, Fangpyre are red and white, Venomari are lime and dark green, Constrictai are black/grey and orange, and Anacondrai are violet.
    • Colour Coded Elements: The clothes of the ninja and skeletons: red is fire, blue is lightning, white is ice, and black (or dark grey) is earth.
  • Complete Immortality: As the embodiment of darkness, the Overlord's spirit form can never be truly destroyed, as his existence is necessary to maintain the balance between light and darkness, although his physical form can be destroyed and has been three times.
  • Continuity Nod: Throughout the whole series, which has pretty tight continuity overall if you ignore the timeline of events occurring before the show.
    • A special shout-out goes to the Ninja and Garmadon discussing the events of "Wrong Place, Wrong Time," a second season episode, in season three. The climax of said episode proves to be crucial to the second half of the third season.
  • Cool Bike: Kai's sword can transform into an awesome motorcycle.
  • Cool Car: In Season 1, Cole gets the Tread Runner, which basically amounts to a ninja-Batmobile.
    • The X-1 Ninja Charger from "Codename: Arcturus".
  • Costume Evolution: There are new outfits given to the Ninja in every season.
    • The original and DX suits in the Pilots.
    • The ZX suits in Season 1.
    • The Elemental Robes in Season 2.
    • The Techno Robes in Season 3.
    • The Tournament Robes and Jungle suits in Season 4.
    • The Deepstone suits in Season 5.
    • The Airjitzu suits in Season 6.
    • Unnamed suits in Day of the Departed.
    • The Fusion Robes in Season 7.
    • In Season 8, they get suits remarkably similar to the ones used in The LEGO Ninjago Movie, but some parts have the color scheme inverted.
  • Coordinated Clothes: The ninja's love interests all wear clothes that match theirs (Nya wears a blue in some parts like Jay's, P.I.X.A.L.'s body is silver like Zane, Skylor wears a golden shirt that matches Kai's red and gold gi and Harumi wore a green kimono and green overalls that matched Lloyd's gi).
  • Covered in Gunge: After the Great Devourer is destroyed, Ninjago City gets covered in green slime.
  • Cue Card Pause: When they meet Chen for the first time, he does this deliberately.
    Chen: Welcome to the Tournament of Elements. Now everyone can DIE!...rect your attention to me.
    Garmadon: I forgot to mention, he has a penchant for theatrics.
  • Curbstomp Battle: The Great Devourer straight up ate the Destiny's Bounty. The Ninja have finally met their match.
    • Garmadon has demonstrated this many times. Once he obtained his extra pair of arms, throwing Master Wu into a pit of mud monsters was a piece of cake. Taken up to an eleven when possessed by the Overlord's spirit. Additionally, his quick thinking and mastery of Art of the Silent Fist allowed him to get the better of his son and former friend Clouse, turning his magic against him and sending him to the Cursed Realm through his own portal.
    • The Overlord turned the new Master of Golden Power, Lloyd, into mincemeat once he possessed Garmadon, using his element of Darkness. Lloyd however, returned this when he discovered his true potential. Once the Overlord became the Golden Master, his newfound telekinesis and Spinjitzu said it all.
    • They're not called indestructible Stone Warriors for nothing. Their strength allowed them to defeat and abandon Skales and the rest of the Serpentine in their tomb, and Kozu's army proved to be more than a match until the Ninja received their Elemental Blades.
    • Same goes for Cryptor and his Nindroids, although they can easily be taken through surprise and long-range attacks.
    • Master Wu defeats his students rather quickly and easily when turned into a cyborg, with his agility and electrokinesis.
    • Master Chen basically toys with Lloyd before swiftly defeating him with the combined Elemental Master's powers. The same goes for the Anachondri cultists who easily resisted the elemental warriors until they were all united.
    • Morro, a superior combatant along with his wind/ghost powers possessed Lloyd and got the better of Wu's students, disabling their powers and Spinjitzu.
    • Nadakhan's magic and manipulation allowed him to quickly defeat his foes both verbally and physically. In the final battle, he turns all of the Ninja into gold, which wouldn't have been reversed if not for Jay's quick thinking and his former first mate's Flintlocke's shot.
    • Acronix toys with the Ninja when he has the Green time blade, allowing him to fast forward time and partially absorb their powers.
    • Mr. E, once he wore the Mask of Vengeance, swiftly defeats all six ninja and absorbs and deflects their powers at each other.
    • For a brief moment, Mystake holds Garmadon at bay with her rage.
    • Garmadon and Lloyd together are no match for the Omega and retreat hastily till they seize the Golden Master's armor.
  • Cute Little Fangs: When a victim is bitten by a Fangpyre, the first sign of change is a pair of tiny fangs.
  • Cyberpunk: The third season has Ninjago City rebuilt into a futuristic city named New Ninjago City, complete with flying cars and robots. Unfortunately, the Overlord's spirit infiltrates the computer network and turns all the automations evil.
  • Cyborg: Cyrus Borg and Sensei Wu become this temporarily under the influence of the Overlord in season 3.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You:
    • Lloyd's father, Lord Garmadon, left his family out of a combined desire to conquer the world and to shield Lloyd from his own dark destiny and assure that Lloyd was free to choose his own path. Lloyd's mother, Misako, abandoned Lloyd at a boarding school shortly afterward in order to dedicate her time to seeking a loophole in the prophecy that said Lloyd and Garmadon would have to fight each other to determine the fate of the world. Lloyd holds particular resentment against Misako and outright tells her that she doesn't deserve to call herself his mother when they meet again, but after hearing her out and taking some time to cool down, he forgives her.
    • Zane witnessed his father's death, then found him alive on a distant island years later. Turns out he had been revived and abducted in order to make weapons and vehicles for the skeleton army and had been trapped on the island and unable to communicate with the outside world for years. He's afraid Zane will hold this all against him, but Zane is just happy to see him again.
    • Kai and Nya's parents, Ray and Maya, were presumed to have died when Nya was three and Kai was slightly older, until Kai discovered hints that his father was still alive and assisting one of their enemies. Turns out the enemy, Krux, had abducted Ray and Maya and forced them to work for him by threatening Kai and Nya's lives.
    • Jay hopes this is the case in regards to his biological parents, who abandoned him on his adopted parents' doorstep when he was a baby, but he hasn't received any explanation for it (yet).
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Scrolls of Forbidden Spinjitzu make one's Spinjitzu more powerful but corrupt the user's personality as well. It is one of these scrolls, combined with amnesia and Vex's manipulation, that causes Zane to become the tyrannical Ice Emperor for decades in the Never-Realm.
  • Darker and Edgier: As the series goes on it gradually grows darker, starting with Season 3: Rebooted and Season 8: Sons of Garmadon being the darkest season yet.
  • Dark Is Evil:
    • Whenever Garmadon is in his Lord form he has a black color scheme and is, of course, evil. When the Devourer's venom is purified from his body, he appears as an ordinary elderly man wearing a black gi with white sleeves.
    • The Constrictai have black skin.
    • Dark matter is almost entirely black, has "dark" in the name, and is a Psycho Serum.
    • The Helmet of Shadows has a dark color scheme, has "shadows" in the name, and is used mostly by villains.
    • The overlord has a black color scheme, is referred to as "the embodiment of darkness", has the elemental power of "darkness" and is a Greater-Scope Villain who's literally Made of Evil.
    • The Oni have a black color scheme (again) and they're ( except for Mystake) an Always Chaotic Evil race. This also extends to the smoke the Omega creates which is entirely black and turns whoever it touches into stone.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • The ninja occasionally wear primarily black suits, since that's the most iconic color for ninja to use.
      • Cole in particular has black as his primary color.
      • Nya also uses primarily dark grey suits from season 8 onwards (except in March of the Oni) to match her appearance in The LEGO Ninjago Movie.
    • Despite his compulsion to be evil thanks to the Devourer's venom corrupting him, Garmadon (at least from the pilots to season 2) is more of a Tragic Villain because he doesn't WANT to be evil, he just can't help himself. His black and purple color scheme comes from his time condemned to the Underworld by Wu.
    • Despite their appearances and the fact that one of them has shadow powers, Karloff and Shade are currently allies and friends of the ninja (though neither were on the best terms with them at first).
    • Despite being an Oni, Mistake is an ally of the ninja
  • A Day in the Limelight: Most of the seasons focus on one sole ninja.
    • The Pilot episodes focus on Kai.
    • Season 2 focuses on Lloyd.
    • Season 3 focuses on Zane.
    • Season 4 focuses on Kai.
    • Season 5 focuses on Nya, to a lesser extent.
    • Season 6 focuses on Jay.
    • Day of the Departed focuses on Cole.
    • Season 7 focuses on Kai and Nya.
    • Season 8 focuses on Lloyd again.
    • Season 11 focuses on Zane again.
    • Season 12 focuses on Jay again.
    • Season 13 focuses on Cole again.
  • Dem Bones: The skeletons.
  • Death Is Cheap: Zane's father is revealed to be alive in episode 22. Though he's dead again by Season 3.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • In episode 25, the Overlord reincarnates himself in Garmadon's body.
    • Morro spends most of his arc possessing Lloyd.
  • Demoted to Extra: Nuckal and Kruncha appear as extras in several episodes before fighting the Serpentine alongside the other skeletons in "All of Nothing".
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    Nadakhan: "You ungrateful INGRATES!"
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: To defeat the Cursed Realm ghosts without using water, the ninja use the Aeroblades, which are made of deepstone, a material they're weak to. They also have deepstone armor to prevent them from becoming possessed like Lloyd was by Morro.
  • Devour the Dragon: The Overlord taking Garmadon's body in episode 25.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In season 5, Nya drops the trope name when she shoots a bomb onto the Allied Armor worn by Morro... who's possessing Lloyd. Ronin has to point out the problem with it.
      Ronin: You're going to blow up your friend?
    • In season 8, Lloyd says this after disabling a corrupted Samurai X, who was carrying Lloyd and Harumi through a storm.
  • Diving Save: Cole saves his father in the episode "The Royal Blacksmiths", allowing him to gain his true potential.
  • Downer Ending: Season 8 ends with the Ninja traveling to the Realm of the Oni and Dragons, leaving Lord Garmadon unopposed in his conquest of Ninjago.
  • The Dragon: Each Season has one:
    • The Pilot episodes have Samukai and the Skullion army for Lord Garmadon
    • Season 1 has Lloyd attempting to make the Serpentine "his" dragon but fails. Pythor and the generals of the Serpentine army become this to the Great Devourer.
    • Season 2 has Garmadon and the Stone Army (for the Overlord)
    • Season 3 has Pythor and Cryptor (for the Digital Overlord)
    • Season 4 has Clouse (for Master Chen) and Skylor (until her Heel–Face Turn)
    • Season 5 has the ghosts from the Cursed Realm acting as this for Morro but turns out Morro is one for the true Big Bad the Preeminent
    • Season 6 has the Sky Pirates first mate Flintlocke for Nadakhan
    • Season 7 has the generals of the Vermillion army being the dragon for the Hands of Time, Krux and Acronix
    • Season 8 and 9 has the Sons of Garmadon (specifically Harumi) in the role for Lord Garmadon
    • Season 9 has Heavy Metal for the Iron Baron, she is replaced in the role by Jet Jack
    • Season 10 [[spoiler:has The Omega's army acting in the role for The Omega
    • Season 11 Fire Chapter has Char for Aspheera
    • Season 11 Ice Chapter has General Vex for the Ice Emperor
    • Season 12 has The Mechanic for Unagami
  • Dragon Ascendant: After the death of the Great Devourer and the disappearance of Pythor, Skales tried to become this and lead the Serpentine, but Lord Garmadon won them over before he did, leaving Skales with only the other generals.
  • Dragon Riders: The Ninja.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: A favorite tactic of the Ninja.
    • Season 1: Lloyd impersonates a Serpentine.
    • Season 2: The Ninja impersonate Stone Warriors.
    • Season 4: Lloyd, Cole, Kai, and Jay impersonate Chen's cultists and Nya impersonates a Kabuki servant.
    • Season 6: Cole, Nya, and Lloyd impersonate pirates.
    • Season 7: The Ninja impersonate Vermillion Warriors.
    • Season 8: Zane and Cole impersonate Sons of Garmadon.
    • Season 9: Cole and Young Wu impersonate Dragon Hunters.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The poor Ultra Dragon.....it returns to the First Realm only to be killed off-screen by the Dragon Hunters.
  • Dwindling Party:
    • Season 6 revolves around a djinn coming after the ninja for his plans. To do so, he gets them alone and tricks them into making three wishes to which afterward he absorbs their souls into his sword. While they are brought back in time for the final battle, they're quickly dropped down in party numbers again as Nadakahn starts using his infinite wishes to turn each of them into golden statues. Near the end, only Jay and Nya are left. Nya is killed and Nadakhan has Jay in a position to use his final wish either wish her well or make him mortal. Only for Jay to thwart it by wishing that Nya had taken his hand at the start of the season which didn't delay them going after Clouse and no one found the teapot that sealed Nadakhan in the first place, undoing the entire season.
    • Season 12 steadily pulls this off throughout, though with an interesting twist as each of the Ninja have multiple lives before they're reduced to a cube. Cole and Kai both lose their final lives at the same time in a Heroic Sacrifice to help Lloyd, Nya, Jay, and Racer Seven win the Speedway Five-Billion. Lloyd loses his last life in a battle, defeating a digital Harumi to obtain the last Key-tana. And then Nya loses her last life protecting Jay from Sushimi.

    Tropes E - H 
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After the Overlord's first defeat, Garmadon is made good again and is able to truly bond with his son.
  • Easter Egg: In the season 7 finale, shots from previous episodes can briefly be seen both times the Iron Doom travels through the Time Vortex. A few of these are moments from season 6, which is interesting because those events were erased at the end of that season.
  • Eating the Enemy: In the season 2 finale, Lloyd, being the legendary Green Ninja, confronts his dad who had transformed into the evil Overlord Dragon, a barer of darkness and evil. In the climax, the Overload envelops Lloyd and his Golden Dragon in darkness and tries to consume him. But within his mouth, Lloyd and the Golden Dragon combine their bright energy to to blast the Overload into oblivion.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • The Great Devourer, which was worshiped by the Serpentine Tribes. It's said that if unleashed, it'll consume the world in The Night That Never Ends.
    • The Preeminent, the Dimension Lord (and actual dimension) of the Cursed Realm, who's by far the most alien-looking of all the villains. For added Lovecraftian vibes, she even has tentacles.
  • Eldritch Location: Apparently the site where the Overlord was defeated. Building the Borg Industry headquarters on it allowed the Overlord to reform as a computer virus, which starts the conflict of the third season.
  • Elemental Powers: The ninja, skeletons, dragons, and the Serpentine (according to the toys) each have one of four elemental powers: Fire, Ice, Lightning and Earth. In the first two arcs, each element also had its own magical golden weapon. Arc 4 reveals that there are a lot more elements than previously thought. Elemental powers are passed down through generations tracing back to the first Elemental Masters.
    • Playing with Fire: The ninja Kai, Master of Fire, and the Sword of Fire.
    • Shock and Awe: The ninja Jay, Master of Lightning, and the Nunchucks of Lightning.
    • An Ice Person: The ninja Zane, Master of Ice, and the Shurikens of Ice.
    • Dishing Out Dirt: The ninja Cole, Master of Earth, the Constrictai Serpentine, and the Scythe of Quakes.
    • Light 'em Up: Sensei Wu and Paleman. The latter is able to manipulate light in order to turn himself completely invisible.
    • Casting a Shadow: Lord Garmadon uses this sort of magic against the ninja until the end of Season 2. As of Season 4, Shade, who is the Master of Shadow.
    • Green Thumb: Bolobo, Master of Nature.
    • Extra-ore-dinary: Karloff.
    • Pure Energy: The ninja Lloyd, Master of Energy, as of becoming the Green Ninja.
    • Poisonous Person: Toxikita
    • Make Me Wanna Shout: Jacob, Master of Sound. He relies on his abilities in order to see since he is completely blind.
    • Gravity Master: Gravis, Master of Gravity. He manipulates gravity to allow himself to float as well as hold people down.
    • Mind Manipulation: Neuro, Master of Mind. He is able to read other people's minds as well as send psychic messages to them.
    • Making a Splash: Nya, as of Season 5, is the Master of Water as well as a Ninja.
    • Blow You Away: Morro.
    • Super Speed: Griffon Turner, Master of Speed.
    • Power Copying: Skylor, the Master of Amber. She can absorb other people's powers by touching them. This becomes a plot point when Master Chen decides to use her in place of the destroyed Elemental Staff to turn himself and his cult into Anacondrai.
    • Shapeshifting: Chamille, Master of Form.
    • Time Master: Krux and Acronix, the (former) Masters of Time. Acronix could accelerate the flow of time or force people/objects into slow motion. Krux could reverse time or freeze people/objects by stopping time. These powers were later taken from them and sealed inside four "time blades."
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: At the end of season 2, Lloyd becomes the Ultimate Spinjitzu Master, turning his uniform gold and allowing him to form a dragon out of light to annihilate the Overlord.
    • In the episode "Curse World: Part 2" (the LAST EPISODE of Season 5), Nya unlocks her full potential.
  • Endless Winter: Long before the events of Season 11, the Ice Emperor took control of the peaceful Never-Realm and trapped it in an endless winter.
  • Enemy Mine: Wu and Garmadon do this when the former needs the latter's help to save Lloyd.
    • As does Pythor in the season 4 finale. Being mortally offended by Chen's army of fake Anacondrai, he chooses to help the Ninja and even shouts their battle cry. It seems to turn into a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Environment-Specific Action Figure: A few group suits created for the spinner and flyer sets never appear in the show itself. Also, some Minifigure packs include characters in outfits they never wear in the show, such as Lloyd DX and Tournament Zane.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Lord Garmadon genuinely loves his son Lloyd.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: In the episode "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" after the ninja realized they were successful in setting right what once went wrong.
    • Really, you'd have an easier time listing the episodes that don't end with everybody laughing, at least in the first two seasons.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning
  • Evil Cripple: Cyrus Borg is this both times he's possessed by the Overlord.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Garmadon and Pythor are rather hammy at their most devious. But Master Chen out-hams them ALL. Only one can remain!
  • Evil Tainted the Place: Several months after the defeat of the Great Devourer in episode 13, its venom began to seep through the ground, turning anything it touched evil. This resulted in The revival of the Stone Army in episode 20.
    • The ultimate evil Overlord was defeated by the heroes in the middle of a crowded city in a major "final" battle that apparently destroyed the Overlord forever and created a clearing about the size of a small park. Following a one-year Time Skip, they come back to this site and discover that an eccentric tech genius has built a sky scraper right on top of the clearing. Through this fine fellow's Genre Blindness a remnant of the ultimate evil becomes a virus in the network of his systems.
  • Evil Tastes Good: During the montage of Garmadon's stay with the ninja in "The Green Ninja" he is shown eating "condensed evil". Apparently, it's low-fat.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Garmadon against the Serpentine.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Garmadon against the Great Devourer.
  • Evolving Credits: In seasons 1 and 3 the intro changes to match the ninja's new suits. Lloyd's appearance in the intro also changes halfway through Season 2 to match his Plot-Relevant Age-Up.
  • Exact Words:
    • When his students ask if one of them will become the Green Ninja if they prove themselves better than all the others, Wu replies "If that's what it takes to get you motivated to train..."
    • Also, when Cole claimed he didn't fear anything from this world, Zane pointed out Cole was afraid of dragons. Cole reminds him that dragons weren't from this world.
  • Expy:
    • Samukai is similar-looking to General Grievous. He even has similar fighting moves and four arms.
    • Zane shares quite a few traits with Data.
    • Morro was raised and trained by a great teacher to become a great warrior, but when he learned that it wasn't meant to be, he left in a fit of violent rage to "prove himself", by any means necessary. Hmm...
    • Lloyd and Garmadon are pretty blatant expies of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader — the show goes so far as to reveal a comic book cover that shows said father and son in duel poses with lightsabers that are a rip-off of Luke and Vader in Cloud City.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Starteeth (monster starfish) in "The Last Voyage”. They eat ships and even metal!
  • Eye Open: Every intro up until Season 11 opens with one of the main characters doing this.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Sensei Wu does this in Season 3 when he's turned into a cyborg by the Overlord. He eventually gets better.
    • Also played with in Kai in season 4. He fakes it at first, but then he almost actually does turn evil while holding the Elemental Staff, Lord of the Rings style.
    • Kai believed this to be the case regarding his parents, Ray and Maya, after the Serpentine War. This is subverted later in the season.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Though it already seemed pretty clear, episode "Dread on Arrival" establishes that the Ninjago City Police Department carries no lethal firearms, just tasers.
  • Fangirl: In the episode "The Last Voyage", before sailing off Sensei Wu points out that Zane has fangirls as well as fanboys.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: The "Book of Ninjago" on the official website lists exotic flora and fauna for most of Ninjago's key locations. Their exotic qualities are often wildly unrealistic and Played for Laughs.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: What the 2012 sets amount to. Taken Up to Eleven with the 2016 series.
  • Fantasy World Map: It's in the shape of a dragon's head.
  • Fembot: P.I.X.A.L.
  • Fighting a Shadow: While he was sealed in the Underworld, Lord Garmadon could project his shadow to the real world. The only way to fight it is with your own shadow, otherwise, it can hit you but not the other way around.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: And earth.
  • Flashback: In "Tick Tock", after activating his memory switch, Zane remembers his past and his father.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Only One Can Remain" if you look closely as Kai is spying into Skylor's room, the painting on the wall is of Master Chen. Later, it turns out she's his daughter.
    • Early in season 5, Kai, Zane, Cole, and Jay are riding yak-like creatures, when one of the four (creatures) is turned into a ghost. A few episodes later, that creature's rider is also turned into a ghost.
    • The opening of season 6 manages to tell us who will be sucked into Nadakhan's Sword of Souls, and the order in which it happens. Even when there are shots showing two characters, the distance between them and the screen also count as well.
  • Forgot About His Powers:
    • The Ninja don't use their True Potential (NRG) forms at all between "Darkness Shall Rise" and "The Last Hope".
    • For most of these episodes this makes sense, as they have lost their Golden Weapons, and with them most of their elemental powers, but even after they have regained their elemental powers from the four Elemental Blades, they don't think to enter these forms. And there are a lot of instances in "The Last Hope" when magic levitation would have really come in handy...
    • Airjitsu and the Elemental Dragons are conspicuously absent from the series during Seasons 8 and 9.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Kai is choleric, Jay is sanguine, Cole is phlegmatic, and Zane is melancholic.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Near the end of "The Green Ninja" when the Fire Temple is flooding with lava and about to erupt, Kai is forced to save Lloyd and let the third Silver Fang Blade be lost.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A couple of them, including:
    • Signs that are extremely similar to a KFC sign are found on Dareth's dojo building in "The Day Ninjago Stood Still".
    • Again, on top of the building in which Dareth's dojo is situated, there's a billboard that you can see at one point in "Pirates vs. Ninja". Take a good long look at it and think back: Who rode a rollercoaster in one episode? Hmm...
    • In the episode "The Royal Blacksmiths", you can catch a brief glimpse of the announcer's notes in the talent competition. They're very... interesting, to say the least.
    TONIGHT NOTES
    - OPEN W. JOKE ABOUT
    CONDUCTOR'S BOW TIE
    - PRESENT JUDGES
    - ALT. TREBLE MAKERS
    - DON'T SOUND LIKE AN
    AS S HOLE THIS EVENING
    REMEMBER!
    CHARM!
    CONFIDENCE !
    DELICIOUS HAIR!
  • Fun with Acronyms: P.I.X.A.L. (Primary Interactive X-ternal Assistant Life-form)
  • Funny Background Event:
    • When the ninja are in space and gather around the view-screen to talk to Wu, Lloyd has some trouble navigating in zero gravity. Just as he manages to 'swim' over, Cole swings his arm to accentuate a statement, knocking Lloyd back. No one notices.
    • At the end of Skybound, while the rest of the team is discussing their final plan, Zane is trying to remove the gag that's attached to Jay's face. At one point, Zane climbs onto Jay for better leverage.
  • Future Imperfect: A museum artist's rendition of the ancient Serpentine gives them giant spikes all over their bodies and actual snakes for arms.
    Skales: (amused) Boy, did they get that wrong.
  • Genius Cripple: Cyrus Borg is usually this.
  • Genius Loci: The Cursed Realm is revealed to in fact be its leader, the Preeminent, an Eldritch Abomination Oculothorax whose goal is to curse all sixteen realms.
  • Glowing Eyes: When a ninja's true potential is unlocked.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Great Devourer is so great a threat that giving Garmadon the Golden Weapons is the only option to destroy it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Lloyd early on in season 1, after being betrayed by Pythor.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door:
    • Lord Garmadon. Though it's not actually his fault, considering he literally has evil in his blood thanks to being bitten by the Great Devourer. He does a true Heel–Face Turn after the first defeat of the Overlord purges the venom from his body.
    • Pythor seemingly reforms in season 4, mainly because he doesn't like that Master Chen is making a mockery of his once noble race. He goes back to being a villain in "Day of the Departed".
  • Heel–Race Turn:
    • The Serpentine do this after being sealed away again, having started families, and generally trying to become better people and live peacefully. The Ninja are naturally surprised by this.
    • Averted with the Anacondrai; they were a race of noble warriors and Pythor is actually a Black Sheep. After Pythor helps the ninja in season 4, the ghost of the past Anacondrai generals praises him for "finally" being a true Anacondrai. Unfortunately, this doesn't last.
  • "Hell, Yes!" Moment: The Ninja getting their upgraded Elemental Powers, meaning the Stone Army's Nigh Invulnerable status just expired.
  • Heroic BSoD: Zane in "Tick Tock". See Big "NO!" above for why.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: It's mind-boggling how the ninja' multicolored outfits don't immediately give away their presence on occasions when they choose to act stealthy. Particularly when Zane's attire turned pink due to being washed, which actually worked to his advantage later on.
    • Usually when the ninja are caught when trying to be stealthy, it's because they couldn't keep their mouths shut, making them 'Highly Audible Ninja' as well.
  • History Repeats: The Serpentine hid underground when the series started, then they escaped, then they got sealed underground again, then they escaped again.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: The Serpentine during "The Royal Blacksmiths".
  • Humongous Mecha: Nya has her Samurai X mech, and in Episode 26 Lloyd has a golden mech that belonged to the First Spinjitzu Master.

    Tropes I - O 
  • I Am One of Those, Too: When Cole uses the fake name "Rocky Dangerbuff" in the First Realm, he discovers that there's an actual Dangerbuff clan. Luckily, running away at the prospect of being introduced to other Dangerbuffs who could blow his cover is apparently in character.
  • I Am the Noun: In volume nine of the comic books, Zane boasts to Jay by saying "I am power."
  • I Know Karate: In the episode "Snakebit", the lights turn off in the junkyard, leaving Jay's parents Ed and Edna in darkness. Feeling danger about, Ed musters up the courage to yell to the darkness: "Whoever you are, my son knows Spinjitzu!"
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:
    • Lloyd has one with Lord Garmadon in Season 2 when his body is stolen by the Overlord. He fails.
    • Kai had a couple of them with Lloyd over the course of Season 5, when Lloyd was possessed by Morro.
    • Lloyd again, facing the Ice Emperor aka Zane in Season 11.
  • I Lied:
    • Young Wu pulls this on the Iron Baron in Season 9, after promising to lead him to the Dragon Armor and assuring him it would control Firstbourne.
    • The Skull Sorceror in Season 13 after promising to release the Geckles and Munce if the Ninja surrendered themselves.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Sensei Wu sending the four ninja away so he can face Pythor alone, because "it's his destiny". Yeah, letting yourself be killed in front of your students and friends is kinda stupid. Not to mention that all of them together against Pythor alone would've been a Curb-Stomp Battle, all but guaranteeing that the Great Devourer wouldn't be revived. Of course, his students then proceed to pick up the Idiot Ball themselves, by forgetting that they've got their own vehicles and a Humongous Mecha which can fly, instead of waiting for Lloyd to show up with the airship several minutes later before chasing after Pythor and Wu.
    • A minor one in Season 10. Lloyd sees one of his friends frozen by the Oni and wants to save him, trying to convince Garmadon to help carry him. While it's a noble desire to want to save civilians, Garmadon rightly points out that carrying him would render them both incapable of defending themselves. The idiotic part? The friend is Cyrus Borg, who is in his wheelchair. There's no need to carry him. Lloyd would only have to push the chair.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction:
    • When the Vermillion Warriors are rounding up all the scrap metal they can, they take Dareth's trophies.
      Ronin: What, why would anybody take your trophies? They're fake.
      Dareth: I know! They're irreplaceable! That's why I'm here. To replace them.
    • In Season 9, Wu confidently assures Faith that he knows the location of the Dragon Armor.
      Kai: And when has our master ever led us astray? [to Wu] Why are you leading us astray?
  • Implacable Men: The Stone Army.
  • Informed Ability: According to the product description for her spinner set, Nya has psychic powers. This is never even hinted at elsewhere— the closest suggestion is the official website's statement that her specialty is "intuition." This was later shown, but only when she had been turned evil.
  • Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!: Basically what Season 5's Airjitzu is for the user.
  • Instant Sedation: In "Can of Worms", Samurai X does this with her Knockout Gas.

  • It's Been Done: Jay when Mr. E puts on the Oni Mask of Vengeance.
    Jay: Really, four arms?! Pfft! Like that's new!
  • Jackass Genie: Nadakhan in Skybound. That is, except for Jay's final wish.
  • Jail Bake: When the ninja are imprisoned following Nadakahn framing them in "Infamous," they ask Dareth to get them out (presumably via legal means). He tells them he baked some tools into the cake he'd sent. Most of them didn't even know he'd sent a cake because Cole had eaten it right when it arrived, tools and all.
  • Journey to the Sky: In the fifth episode of Season 5, "Peak-a-Boo", the ninja use their mechs to climb the tallest mountain in Ninjago, the Wailing Alps, to reach the "Blind Man's Eye", a storm cyclone which is one of the only ways to travel to the alternate realm known as the "Cloud Kingdom".
  • Kent Brockman News: The focus of the episode "Snaketastrophy," which is presented as an NGTV broadcast. Highlights include Fred Finely conducting on-the-street interviews in the middle of an attack and calmly responding to a man screaming in terror with "That's an interesting perspective," and the anchor assuming Gail Gossip is continuing to cover a puppy-petting contest while flaming snakes are raining from the sky.
  • Kill It with Water: Ghosts are especially weak to water.
  • Last-Name Basis: Garmadon is only ever referred to by a title, then his last name. Lord Garmadon when he was evil and trying to take over the world, and later Sensei Garmadon. He has a son named Lloyd Garmadon and a brother, who is only ever called Wu. (Wu Garmadon? Who knows.)
    • Consider this: Garmadon and Wu, sons of the First Spinjitzu Master who created Ninjago, actually predate last names and each has Only One Name. Lloyd, born much later into a world where last names are established, uses his father's name as a patronym.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: The Green Ninja, the being destined to defeat Lord Garmadon.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Sensei Wu says in March of the Oni that everything has an ending eventually, and that all you can do is try and make the ending a good one. The Hageman Brothers announced they were leaving the series sometime before March of the Oni had promotional materials, indicating the end of their tenure and hope to end it with a bang.
    • When recurring character the Postman makes his (only) appearance in season 8, he tells Kai "See you next season." When Kai questions it, he clarifies that he means season as it "spring, fall, etc." He does make an appearance in season 9, but he doesn't actually interact with the ninja.
  • Left the Background Music On: In the episode "The Last Voyage", Cole begins to hum the Ninjago Overture (the show's main leitmotif) and gets stared at by Kai, to which Cole replies "What? It's catchy!"
  • Lethal Joke Item: In the "Spinjitzu Scavenger Hunt" iPhone game, the outfit with the second-highest defense rating is a set of pajamas. The second strongest weapon is Kai's toothbrush. It may be worth noting that, in the pilot episodes, Kai defeats three fully prepared, well-armed, and stereotypically clad ninja (who were actually Jay, Cole, and Zane in disguise) while wearing his pajamas and wielding his electric toothbrush.
  • Light Is Good:
    • Sensei Wu has white hair, generally dresses in white or at least bright colored suits, and has the creation elemental power which is represented by light.
    • Zane's primary color is white and is definitely heroic, being a ninja.
    • Golden power gives the user the ability to throw bright energy beams, a glowing Golden Super Mode, is sometimes referred to as "light" and it can literally erase any evil it touches.
    • Paleman's element is light and he's an ally of the ninja.
  • Light Is Not Good: In his Golden Master form the Overlord has light powers and shining golden armor but is no less evil
  • Lighter and Softer: The 11th season, "Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitsu" is more comedy-orientated compared to all the others before.
  • Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition: Jay and Kai. Kai is rash and impulsive like fire, Jay is... erratic and spontaneous like lightning (in contrast to the usual for this trope).
  • Logic Bomb: In "Child's Play", Zane begins to fritz when presented with a question with no obvious, logical answer. Minor spoiler: 
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: In the fifth graphic novel, (which is an AU type of thing) the Serpentine capture Nya and puts her to work blacksmithing weapons. What does she do with all the scrap metal? Why she builds her iconic Samurai Mech of course!
  • Love Triangle: In the third season, Nya uses a matchmaking machine and learns that her perfect match is Cole. Problem is, she is Jay's girlfriend. This causes her to have second thoughts about their relationship.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: "The News Never Sleeps" and "Snaketastrophy" in season 11 both focus on normal people in Ninjago City reacting to yet another emergency while the Ninja are otherwise occupied. The former episode focuses on a group of determined paperboys (and papergirls) making sure the news gets delivered, while the latter episode focuses on an actual news broadcast and shows how the media covers the chaos.
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: Played with in "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" when Kai poses as his past self's reflection to distract him while the other ninja kidnap Nya.
  • Mask of Power: The three Oni Masks. The Mask of Hatred (purple) grants the user Nigh-Invulnerability, the Mask of Deception (orange) grants the user telekinesis, and the Mask of Vengeance (red) turns the user into a master swordsman with two additional arms.
  • Meaningful Name: The theme name itself. The meaning of "Ninja GO!" is obvious, but it's also a portmanteau of Ninja and LEGO. The skeleton names also have fairly obvious meanings.
    • The Serpentine tribes all have names referencing their racial traits; Hypnobrai can hypnotize people, Fangpyre (a portmanteau of "fang" and "vampire") can use their fangs to create vehicles and transform people, Venomari can spit venom into people's eyes to make them hallucinate, Constrictai are, well, constrictors (though their main talent seems to be burrowing and Skalidor is the only one with a tail to constrict, so they may be the odd one out), and Anacondrai are the largest tribe just as anacondas are the largest species of snake in real life.
    • The Green Ninja, Lloyd, is also the least experienced of the ninja - literally making him a 'green' ninja.
    • Cole. Sounds like "coal", which is both of his element (earth), and his color.
    • According to the show's staff, Morro was so named because "he always wanted more."
    • Nadakhan the Djin might seem like his name was picked just to sound foreign, but it hits at how he deceives others. Even his name tries to convince you that he's 'not-a-con'!
    • Acronix, the younger Time Twin, is named after the computer program used to animate the show; foreshadowing his love of technology.
    • Krux, the elder Time Twin, is a play on the word 'crux', which means "a climactic or decisive moment"; which foreshadows the fact that he's the source of most of his arc's plot twists.
    • The Vermillion Warriors from the same season have three commanders: Blunck, Raggmunk, and Machia. Blunck and Raggmunk, with silly-sounding gibberish names, act as comic relief. The third one, named for Machiavelli, is much more competent as a strategist.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The villains of the 2014 line. In the third season of the TV series, the Overlord takes over New Ninjago City and creates an army of Nindroids to track down the ninja. They're surprisingly powerful and are more than a match for the ninja.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Being that this is a Lego series... yeah.
  • Mid-Season Twist: "Tick Tock" reveals that Zane is in fact a Ridiculously Human Robot.
    • "The Curse of the Golden Master" reveals that Pythor is alive and working alongside the Overlord.
    • "A Spy for a Spy" reveals that Skylor is, in fact, Master Chen's daughter and accomplice.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: In "Powerless", the ninja are fighting to get the Scroll of Forbidden Spinjitzu at the museum before Aspheera does. The scroll ends up in the middle of the room and the ensuing shot has each side running to the middle of the room, with each of the ninja fighting Aspheera or one of her giant fire snake creatures.
  • Morality Pet: Garmadon's protectiveness and love for his son Lloyd is generally the only thing that can make his original, good personality apparent.
  • Motion Blur: This became common when the show switched to WildBrain for its animation. For example, the Prime Empire short "Let's Dance!" utilizes "motion blur" to show the dance instructor moving quickly around and room and into different poses as well as Nya and Jay spinning around. In fact, Nya appears twice in many frames at one point.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous:
    • Samukai has four arms, indicating his superiority over the other skeletons.
    • Garmadon grows a second pair of arms later on so he can hold all four Golden Weapons at once. Unlike Samukai, he isn't destroyed by attempting to do so.
    • The wearer of the Oni Mask of Vengeance has this happen to them.
  • The Multiverse: The "Ghost Army" arc reveals that there are other "realms" besides Ninjago, apparently 16 in total, one of them being Chima.
  • Mundane Utility: The first episode of the series has Kai using the Sword of Fire as a makeshift oven.
  • Mushroom Samba: Happens to victims of Venomari venom. When the combined forces of the Venomari and Constrictai are attacking the ninja Kai sees them as angry elves and gingerbread men, and also becomes convinced there's a rope they can use to get to safety (though then an actual rope appears). Later on, when they get back on the ship he sees Wu's beard moving.
  • My Future Self and Me: Happened in the climax of the episode "Wrong Place, Wrong Time". Even though they tried Never the Selves Shall Meet, it didn't work.
  • My Greatest Failure: Wu seems to regard Morro as one
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: What exactly does the P stand for in Pythor P. Chumsworth?
  • Mythology Gag: In "The Royal Blacksmiths", Cole mentioned that the Silver Fang used for the Blade Cup was found by someone named Clutch Powers.
  • Near-Miss Groin Attack: Kai narrowly avoids getting stabbed in the crotch by a booby-trap triggered stalactite in the episode "Grave Danger".
  • Never Say "Die": Season 5 involves ghosts, so this comes up a bit. There's a ghost archer whose spirit arrows never miss that turn whatever they hit into a ghost. One episode has the Ninja trapped in a Haunted House that they must escape before sunrise or else they'll turn into ghosts.
  • New Season, New Name: Every season since Season 3 has had this.
    • Season 3 is named Ninjago: Rebooted because of its cyberpunk setting. Also possibly because of how Season 2's ending could have served as a series finale.
    • Season 4 is named Ninjago: The Tournament of Elements because of, well, The Tournament of Elements.
    • Season 5 is named Ninjago: Possession because of the season's supernatural theme, more specifically Lloyd being possessed by Morro for most of the season.
    • Season 6 is named Ninjago: Skybound because of the Sky Pirates.
    • Season 7 is named Ninjago: The Hands of Time because of its focus on Time Travel.
    • Season 8 is named Ninjago: Sons of Garmadon after the latest group of antagonists.
    • Season 9 is named Ninjago: Hunted referring to how both sides of Two Lines, No Waiting are on the run from their respective group of antagonists.
    • Season 10 is named Ninjago: March of the Oni referring to the latest villains
    • Season 11 is named Ninjago: Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu referring to scrolls containing dark magic
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: So Lord Garmadon, because Lloyd is your son, rather than kill him, you wanted to prevent him from reaching his full potential by killing his ninja bodyguards, and in trying to do so, you bring about a monster who only gets defeated by a method that...ends up having Lloyd reach his full potential fast. And he does so in an unwelcome method no less.
  • The Night That Never Ends: A mural in the Constrictai's tomb predicts that if the four Serpentine Tribes unite and find several Artifacts Of Doom, they'll be able to summon the Great Devourer to trigger this. Subverted when the Great Devourer turns out to be a Daylight Horror.
  • Ninja: The central selling point of the show - it's even in the title!
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Is it pronounced Ninja Go or NinJAHgo? The designer videos tend to use the latter pronunciation, while every significant Title Drop uses the former. The show, however, uses both: Ninja Go before spinning, and NinJAHgo when referring to the location.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: This constantly happens when the ninja-turned-kids try to warn people about the beast on the loose.
  • Not So Stoic: Zane after he discovers he's a robot.
  • The Nth Doctor: A non-actor example. As of Season 8, the ninja are redesigned to match their movie counterparts. It's implied in "The Mask of Deception" that time travel effects from the previous season caused this. However, the ninja still sport their old designs in photographs and flashbacks from before Season 8, calling this explanation into question.
    Cole: If someone goes back in time and alters the past, our reality as we know it would change. We could look totally different and not even know it. (Takes off the mask to reveal the new face and hair design)
    Jay: But we don't. (Also takes off mask to reveal new design)
  • Oculothorax: The Preeminent is an eye with tentacles coming off of her. When she crosses over into Ninjago, she becomes a Kaiju Eldritch Abomination and uses ghost-ified houses and buildings to enhance her physical form, giving herself limbs.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • Kai escaping a volcano and saving Lloyd, gaining his true potential in "The Green Ninja".
    • The Ninja taming a giant scorpion and riding it back to Ninjago City.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Becoming the leader of one of the Serpentine Tribes results in taking on a more snake-like form.
    • The Overlord reverts into its true form, an enormous dragon, in the season 2 finale.
  • Only One Name: Almost all of the main characters and villains except for Lloyd Montgomery Garmadon and Pythor P. Chumsworth. Only two ninja have their last names revealed: Jay's is Walker/Gordon, revealed in season 6 to be his real last name since he is adopted, and is the son of Cliff Gordon aka Frintz Donnegan, and Zane's is technically Julien since that was his creator's name.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Jay occasionally slips into either a Southern or Bronx accent in the pilot episode and Season 1.
  • Orbital Shot: Used in a flashback in "The Hatching", toward the end of Wu and Garmadon's battle with the Time Twins.
  • Our Dark Matter Is Mysterious: Here, dark matter is a Psycho Serum found on the Island of Darkness.
  • Our Dragons Are Different:
    • The elemental dragons that guard the weapons of Ninjago. Each of them can utilize a different element based on the weapon they guard. Later, they perform a fusion dance off-screen and become one four-headed dragon.
    • Lloyd is able to summon a golden dragon from his energy powers. Later on, in season 4 the other Elemental Masters are shown to be able to do this as well by facing their fears.
    • The Overlord's true form is a monstrous black dragon with four long feelers on its face, massive, tattered black wings instead of arms, and a broad, toothy mouth.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Carry:
    • In "Rise of The Snakes", When the then 9-11-year-old Lloyd tries to steal candy, Cole and then all the four original ninja carry Lloyd away like this and hang him up on a signpost.
    • In "The Temple on Haunted Hill" Ronin throws Nya over his shoulder when she refuses to let Lloyd possessed-Morro steal her suit.
    • In "Green Destiny", Lloyd carries the unconscious Skylor over his shoulder as what's left of the Resistance seeks refuge.

    Tropes P - Y 
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • In "The Snake King" Lloyd disguises himself as a Hypnobrai with a cap (which happens to look like the one on the Rattla figure), pair of glasses, fangs, and two maracas. Surprisingly it fools Skales, who was shown to be quite competent before, and his disguise isn't blown until he drops his maracas watching the Slither Pit match in Ouroboros.
    • The Serpentine during the talent show in "The Royal Blacksmiths".
    • Zane as "Snake Jaguar".
  • Parental Favoritism: As Garmadon points out to Wu before he leaves the Underworld "You were always [their father's] favorite".
  • Patchwork Map: The world of Ninjago has a lot of adjacent locations with stark, unexplained contrasts. Despite a couple of official maps being released, not much is known about how all these locations fit together.
  • Pet the Dog: Lloyd can generally make Lord Garmadon's original, non-evil self shine through for a while. After all, Lloyd is Garmadon's son.
  • Pirates vs. Ninjas: There's literally an episode in Season 2 with this title. And it's also the main focus of Season 6.
  • Plot Coupon: The four Silver Fang Blades, needed to summon the Great Devourer. The ninja and the Serpentine race against each other to obtain each of them. Unfortunately, the latter succeeds.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Lloyd is aged to adulthood by a magical tea in "Child's Play".
  • The Psycho Rangers: Lord Garmadon creates a team of evil ninja in the second season using the Mega Weapon, but they're destroyed at the end of the episode.
  • Psycho Serum: The dark matter on the Island of Darkness.
  • Punny Name:
    • Cyrus Borg. Appropriately enough, he gets turned into a cyborg while under the Overlord's influence.
    • Nadakhan = 'Not a con'. Describes his modus operandi pretty well.
  • Put on a Bus: The ninja team's dragons leave for an indeterminate amount of time for what's basically dragon puberty before showing up in time for the ninja to begin battle with the Overlord.
  • Put on a Prison Bus: When the villains aren't either killed, sealed off, some horrific fate or outright leave before they can be caught this trope is what usually happens to them. Among these villains being Pythor in Season 3, The Sons of Garmadon in Season 8, and Lord Garmadon in Season 9.
  • Really Dead Montage: In both the Season 3 and 4 finales, when Zane and Garmadon sacrifice themselves to defeat the antagonists, there's a flashback sequence of previous scenes with them, in Zane's case with Zane remembering his life and in Garmadon's case with Lloyd remembering moments from their relationship. Subverted both times as both characters return in some capacity after this.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • All the skeletons as well as Lord Garmadon have glowing red eyes, rather than the Black Bead Eyes typical of LEGO Minifigures. Garmadon was shown in a flashback and a photo to have these when he was still human as a result of the evil in his blood from the Great Devourer biting him. The Hypnobrai Tribe also have these.
  • Relegated Mentor: While he remains on hand to dispense advice, by the end of the first season Sensei Wu feels there's nothing more he can teach the boys about fighting. The focus shifts from Sensei Wu training the boys to the boys training Lloyd to become the green ninja.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Humans have had a bad history with Serpentine, leading to the oft-repeated saying "never trust a snake". The Serpentine also serve as villains for the first and second seasons, and a recurring villain, Pythor, is also one of them.
  • Ret-Canon: Season 8 came out after The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and implements several touches from the film: the ninja's faces and hairstyles now resemble those of their movie counterparts, their uniforms are more personalized and distinct (such as Cole's lack of sleeves and Nya's armored skirt), and the Asian-style ciphers are prominently on display. The Destiny's Bounty is also redesigned to match its movie counterpart.
  • Ret-Gone: This almost happened to Lloyd in the Time-Travel Episode.
  • Retraux Flashback: In Seasons 8 and 9, Cole, Zane, and Jay have flashbacks to how they met Wu.note  Despite the main cast getting redesigned in Season 8 to match their movie counterparts, the flashbacks have them sporting their original designs. This makes less sense when you consider the explanation given in "The Mask of Deception" that time travel effects from the previous season may have been what changed their appearances.
  • Reused Character Design: Tox and Paleman, two Elemental Masters competing in Season 4's Tournament of Elements, both use the designs of Toxikita and Invisable, from the LEGO Ultra Agents line.
  • Reversible Roboticizing:
    • In Season 3, Cyrus Borg is converted into a cyborg servant by the Overlord, remaining this way until the ninja shut down the power. He becomes this again in "Codename: Arcturus", only for the Overlord to change him back once he has no more use for him in "The Titanium Ninja".
    • In the Season 3 episode "Blackout", Sensei Wu is turned into an evil cyborg by Pythor after being captured by the Overlord. After the ninja seemingly destroy the Overlord in "Enter The Digiverse", Wu winds up returning to normal before saving Garmadon from falling from the top of Borg Industries.
  • Ribcage Stomach: The inside of the Preeminent is shown to be a ribcage structure. Justified since it's more of an Eldritch Abomination than a realistic creature.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Zane is revealed to be a Nindroid that can feel and express emotions almost as well as humans.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Lloyd is The Chosen One and is destined to become the most powerful ninja despite initially being the youngest, newest, and least experienced member of the team.
  • Rule of Funny: The main reason why the Skulkin can feel pain despite being skeletons.
  • Rule of Three: Kai, Zane, and Cole consecutively losing their jobs in "Darkness Shall Rise".
  • The Runt at the End: In season 3, the last nindroid off the line was made with the leftover material and wound up half the size of the others. Cryptor dubs him "Min-droid."
  • Samus Is a Girl:
    • "Samurai X has come to help the ninja fight off the evil snakes, but won't reveal his identity." Of course, the official images of the set didn't exactly do a good job hiding the character's identity.
    • Later on, in season 6, we have Dogshank. Odds are you don't expect the enormous Sky Pirate Samurai-ogre-thing to be a gruff cockney Dark Action Girl.
    • Season 9 brings us Heavy Metal, real name Faith, who was ordered to hide her real gender by the Iron Baron.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Zane. Justified in that he's a robot, and his humor switch is usually set to "off".
  • Scenery Porn: The land of Ninjago has plenty of amazing scenery, particularly the areas where the golden weapons are hidden.
  • Science Fantasy: Mythical enchanted weapons turn into high-tech vehicles. The armies of the underworld drive around in monster trucks and motorcycles. An ancient Eldritch Abomination uploads itself into a supercomputer. You get the idea.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • Lord Garmadon was initially sealed in the Underworld but manages to escape at the end of the pilot.
    • The Serpentine were sealed away as punishment for starting the First Serpentine War. The Anacondrai generals, the most dangerous of them all, were instead sent to the Cursed Realm.
    • The Great Devourer.
  • Secret Identity: Cole kept his secret of being a ninja from his father in fear of telling him that he did not become a dancer.
    • Nya as Samurai X. Well, for about one episode.
    • The second Samurai X P.I.X.A.L. manages to keep her identity secret for a whole season.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains:
    • The ninja are typically wrapped up head to toe, with Nya being the only protagonist with an even marginally revealing outfit (her arms are exposed). The skeletons usually have body armor, but other than that tend to wear nothing but a colored loincloth and maybe a hat (granted, they ARE skeletons). Lord Garmadon seemingly has no clothing but a purple belt.
    • Being snakes, the Serpentine usually wear little to nothing unless you count their weapons.
    • Averted with the Nindroids; being based on Zane, each one is fully dressed in a black ninja suit. Even Pythor wears a full-on robe.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Kai and Cole are the Manly Men of the team with Kai being the arrogant hot-head and Cole being the team's muscle, while Jay and Zane are the Sensitive Guys with Jay being the light-hearted comedian and Zane being the quiet, reserved Smart Guy.
  • Ship Tease:
    • When Jay first learns that his team will be rescuing Nya, Kai's sister, his interest piques...
      Jay: You never said anything about a girl! Is she hot?
      Kai: She's my sister.
      Jay: Hey, just wanted to know what we're getting ourselves into. Does she like blue?
    • In the third season, Zane gets a love interest in P.I.X.A.L. the Fembot of Borg Industry. You can see the interest in their eyes when they first meet.
      • Well, you can see the interest in Zane's eyes. P.I.X.A.L. needs an emotion upgrade before she starts returning it.
    • As soon as Kai sees Skylor, he gets all dreamy and awkward around her. This pretty much continues for the rest of the season.
    • Lloyd only gets one glimpse at the princess and already the others are interested.
      Zane: I believe Master Lloyd has spotted something of interest.
      Kai: Looks like he's got an eye for the princess.
      Jay: I guess green is her favorite color.
      Lloyd: You do know I can hear you, right?
    • This is boosted even more in the next episode when they both have a heart-to-heart about their roles and responsibilities. Eventually, the rest of the team give their own advice about talking to her. Zane's is to be logical, Cole's is to be strong, Jay's is to be funny, Kai's is to be cool and Nya's (the only girl) is to just be himself.
  • Shooting Superman: In "Dread on Arrival", the New Ninjago City police attempt to taser Ultra Violet. However, it's when she's wearing the Oni Mask of Hatred, which makes her invincible.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The uniforms worn by the students in Lloyd's boarding school are the Hogwarts uniforms from the LEGO Harry Potter line recolored with a skull emblem printed on it.
    • In "The Royal Blacksmiths" Cole mentions Clutch Powers, the main protagonist of a previously released LEGO film. This seems to imply that a lot of LEGO franchises are set in the same universe.
    • Instead of her regular outfit Nya has in the victory party scene at the end of "All of Nothing" the torso/leg design of the Willie Scott figure from LEGO's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom line.
    • In "Day of the Great Devourer," Zane predicts they have only an eight percent chance of getting away from the Devourer; Nya snaps, "Never tell me the odds!"
    • When Lord Garmadon assembles the Mega-Weapon at the Golden Peaks in "Darkness Shall Rise", the camera zooms to Sensei Wu, who says "I feel a disturbance in the force."
    • In "The Last Hope", when the Ninja are trying out elemental one-liners (mostly puns), Zane tries "Ice to meet you!" on for size. One of the other ninja replies that he thinks he's heard that one before.
    • The team gets a Mid-Season Upgrade called "ZX". Ninja-themed superhero called ZX? Sounds familiar?
    • Cole moonwalks and dances just like the King of Pop in "Island of Darkness". Saying "hee hee" with the baseline to "Billie Jean" playing in the background, no less!
    • When Bansha briefly possesses Misako from a distance in "Grave Danger", she yells "No Misako, only Bansha!"
    • Speaking of which, the Ghosts in season 5 seem to really like the theme for that show.
    • In Season 11 when Fugi-Dove is describing his "battle" with Jay, Jay seems to perform a familiar move.
    • While in the middle of a platforming level in Season 13, Jay is quick to perform the Hype dance at one point.
    • In "How to Build a Dragon", Iron Baron ends covered in dragon manure and complains about hating manure.
    Iron Baron: Manure. I hate manure!
  • Sibling Team: Wu and Garmadon (mostly in flashbacks), Kai and Nya, Krux and Acronix.
  • Sibling Triangle: Lloyd's mother, Misako, had the attention of both Wu and Garmadon. She chose Garmadon, married him, and had Lloyd, but years later she admitted to Wu that she should have chosen him instead. It's eventually revealed that the reason she chose Garmadon over Wu in the first place is because of a love letter Wu wrote but Garmadon signed. That said, when Garmadon is present and purged of his evil, she settles back into her role as his wife, with any Ship Tease with Wu relegated for when Garmadon is out of the picture, either evil or dead.
  • Signs of Disrepair: In the episode "Snakebit", there's a brightly lit sign reading "Ed & Edna's Scrap N Junk." The S in "Scrap" flickers out.
  • Skewed Priorities: In "Home", when everyone's upset by the monastery being destroyed, Jay is fixated on the fact he's lost all his high scores.
  • Sky Pirates: A crew of 'em are season 6's Arc Villain, and boy do they play up the Fantasy Kitchen Sink setting for all it's worth. The main crew includes a Djinn, a human, a mechanical monkey, a Serpentine, an enormous female samurai ogre, and what appears to be an oni with two faces.
  • Slow Doors: The metal doors surrounding the vault in Borg Tower which contains the Mask of Vengeance after the six Sons of Garmadon thieves accidentally activate it fall quickly next where the mask is held, but fall slowly on the other side of the room where the hole the thieves sliced in the wall earlier is, giving all six thieves just enough time to escape.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Shows up in season 7. Zane is shown to be skilled at chess, and his confrontation with Nadakhan occurs during a chess game. Zane loses the game and the confrontation. Meanwhile, Echo Zane also seems to enjoy chess, but he isn't smart enough to realize his opponent is blatantly cheating.
  • Snake People: There's a whole race of them called the Serpentine, who are for the most part scaly humanoids with snake-like heads. Generals have snake-like tails in replacement of legs, which appears to be symbolic of their position; as soon as a different snake takes dominance in a tribe, its legs turn into a tail and the conquered Serpentine will have its tail replaced by legs. The Anacondrai Tribe is the only exception in which every member has tails. Predictably, all of them speak in Sssnake Talk.
  • Soft Reboot: Season 11 is described as this. The show even drops the subtitle and gains a new studio, writing team, and animators.
  • Sssssnaketalk: This is a trademark of the Serpentine race, and one of the first signs that someone has been infected by Fangpire venom.
  • The Starscream:
    • The skeleton general Samukai tried to overthrow Lord Garmadon. It didn't work.
    • Skales acts as a Starscream to three people; Slithraa (challenges him for control of the Hypnobrai and wins), Pythor (stands by as he screws himself over), and Garmadon (throws him into the ocean and becomes the leader of all of the Serpentine).
  • Stealth Pun:
    • The blue ninja is named Jay, like the bird (blue jay). And the 2012 line adds Xtreme Kool Letterz to the characters' names, so Jay becomes... Jay ZX.
    • The black earth ninja is named Cole. Guess what else is black and comes from the earth? Coal, geddit?
    • The red ninja is named Kai, which is the shortened form of Akai, the Japanese word for Red.
    • Zane is...well, zany.
    • Lloyd is the green ninja. He's also the newest and least experienced ninja.
  • Sticks to the Back: LEGO ninja headwraps include a clip on the back for swords, so this was inevitable in the toyline.
  • The Stoic: Zane, despite him being a cloudcuckoolander, very rarely shows inflection in his voice. He becomes more expressive after finding out he's a robot.
  • Story-Breaker Power:
    • The Ninja, in general, became this once they unlocked their True Potential, able to wield their elemental powers without the use of weapons and making things much easier on them. Since then, many seasons have had to give them a Drama-Preserving Handicap, either having said powers get taken away or having the Ninja with powers specifically catered to taking down the Season's Big Bad disabled until the 11th hour.
      • Lloyd himself was Up to Eleven in earlier seasons, being able to use all four Ninja's elemental powers in addition to his own Energy element during Season 2, making the other four Ninja redundant. After becoming the Ultimate Spinjitzu Master, his power skyrocketed enough to match the Overlord's and defeat him, which would've ended all future conflicts easily. Season 3 had the Overlord drain him of most of his Golden Power while the Ninja got the rest, leaving him far weaker and with just the Energy element, but still having him as the most powerful Ninja, taking him out of this territory for the most part.
    • Skylor's Elemental Power of Amber is also one of these, allowing for the copying of any Elemental Power, potentially allowing for her to have the powers of people like Lloyd and Wu should she ever try to copy them and learn how to use them proficiently. This is likely why most of her future appearances have her not using her power often, or in the case of Garmadon, have the power she copies end up hurting her to the point of it almost killing her.
    • Word of God specifically coined the Ninjas' Energy Dragons and Airjitzu as this, which is why they are kept out of the show from Season 8 onward, so as to not make the Ninja too overpowered. It's not hard to see why as the former gives the Ninja a powerful weapon and uninhibited air travel while the latter also allows for uninhibited air travel, which would turn most searches and conflicts into a cakewalk. Airjitzu does appear once in Season 12, but only as a power-up in the video game the Ninja are trapped in, and it doesn't last long.
    • Similar to the Energy Dragons, the Ultra Dragon was also one as it provided the same boons as the Energy Dragons with the added boost of being able to wield all 4 Ninja elements as opposed to just one, with power only matched by other beings of great power (The Great Devourer). It's likely why it returned to its homeworld following Season 2, didn't show up in any of the following Seasons and was revealed in Season 9's opening to have been killed by the Dragon Hunters, who turned its corpse into the Iron Baron's throne, preventing it from showing up anymore.
  • The Story That Never Was: At the end of Skybound, Jay uses his final wish from Nadakhan to erase the events of the entire season, which saves Nya's life and prevents Nadakhan from ever being released at all.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Lloyd has traits from both his father and uncle. As seen in "Tick Tock", young Wu and Garmadon had a bowl cut hairstyle, blond for Wu and brown for Garmadon. Young Lloyd uses this hair piece in blond like Wu, while he has Garmadon's face design. When he becomes older, he has a blond version of teenaged Garmadon's hair as seen in "Battle Between Brothers".
  • Superhero Team Uniform: The ninja have different suits every season that their individual colors are applied to.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • During the beginning of the second season when the ninja lose both their weapons and home to Garmadon, they have to live in a rundown apartment, get part-time jobs (that they quickly lose), and ride the bus.
    • Season 8 reveals that people died during the Great Devourer's rampage, including Harumi's parents.
  • Swirly Energy Thingy: The Time Vortex in Season 7 is a colorful vortex roughly the shape of an infinity symbol, and past events (and even events from Alternate Timelines) can be seen on the "walls" if you look close enough. While it was originally created by the combined absorbed powers of the Time Twins in order to banish them from Ninjago, the brothers later set out to design a machine that used those same powers to allow them to travel through the vortex at will.
  • Take a Third Option: In Season 3, a minor subplot is Nya being torn between Jay and Cole. When they put her on the spot and force her to choose between them, she declares that her choice is... Joel. "Joel" is a custodial robot who happened to be within reach. It's no happier with Nya's option than the other two.
    • Jay erasing the events of Skybound in lieu of either making Nadakhan mortal or saving Nya is also this.
  • Technicolor Ninjas: The main cast - red (Kai), blue (Jay), black (Cole), white (Zane), green (Lloyd), and light blue (Nya).
  • Temporal Paradox:
    • Garmadon uses his Mega Weapon to try and change time so that Lloyd doesn't become the Green Ninja. The Ninja undo the changes brought about, both by his involvement and theirs, by sacrificing the Golden Weapons of that time period to destroy the Mega-Weapon. The episode strongly implies that by destroying the Mega-Weapon, the Ninja were able to stop the time-travel adventure from ever happening, and thus prevent the alternate timeline from even being created. It's still a paradox, but if you accept that this consequence is possible, it makes sense that the actions up until the morning before the time travel adventure, as well as everything after, would still have taken place.
    • Come "Codename Arcturus", it turns out that the paradoxed Golden Weapons of the past were shot into space, putting the whole issue into confusion yet again.
  • That Man Is Dead: After the Quiet One's identity and backstory are revealed, they state that they died the day their parents did.
  • Tie-In Novel: The "Way of the Departed" (different from but related to Day of the Departed) is an ongoing novel by Tommy Andreasen, who releases the chapters on on his Twitter as he writes them. He's stated that it's non-canon but that it provides possible explanations for various unanswered questions from the series. The story itself takes place within the one-year Time Skip between seasons 7 and 8 and is explained by Andreasen to be "the untold story of Cole's scar". Andreasen uses the format to create a darker and more mature story than what can be done in the series. For example, it gives some depressing introspective insight into Cole's character that isn't explored much in the show. See the Tear Jerker page for more info.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Season 1 has the ninja unlocking their inner potential. Kai and Jay become their respective Elemental Embodiments, Cole becomes Nigh Invulnerable, and Zane gains the ability to fire a powerful Freeze Ray.
  • Time-Travel Episode: "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" sees Garmadon traveling back to the pilot episodes to make it so the ninja team never forms, and the ninja follow him back to stop this.
  • Title Scream: The theme song "The Weekend Whip" uses the lyrics "Ninja GO!" in a song that otherwise has no obvious connection with ninja. The Spinjitzu gameplay instructions included with the toys also instruct players to shout this as they spin their characters.
  • Token Heroic Oni: Season 9 reveals Mistake, the tea lady to be an Oni who came to love humanity and settled down in Ninjago rather than join her fellows in destroying it.
  • Tournament Arc: Season 4, "The Tournament of Elements", centers around the tournament between Elemental Masters organized by Master Chen and taking place on his island.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: The First Spinjitzu Master, Jay's parents, Dr. Julien, Cole's father, the Darkley's students, Mother Doomsday, Misako, some of the Elemental Masters, and a number of others do not have Minifigures.
  • Toyline-Exclusive Character: The "Temple of Airjitzu" set includes two characters, Jesper and Claire, who never appear in the show.
  • Tragic Villain: Garmadon is revealed to be this over the course of the series; the Great Devourer corrupting him was his slippery slope towards evil and he literally couldn't fight that side of him. Despite this, he wanted to be a good father to Lloyd, which made it all the more sadder that his own fate had been decided despite feelings towards his family, whom he had to fight.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • The teaser for episode 26 clearly depicts the Overlord having become a giant dragon and Lloyd's uniform having turned gold.
    • TV promos for Season 5 very clearly showed Nya, as the Master of Water, creating a giant water vortex, a scene which comes from the climax of the Season finale. (Keep in mind we didn't know Nya had elemental powers until it was revealed in that season.)
  • Trapped in TV Land: The premise that starts off Season 12 is that the video game "Prime Empire" is transporting its players into the world of the game once they reach a certain level.
  • Tricked Into Escaping: When Jay is held captive by Nadakhan, Flintlock pretends to arrange a mutiny to provide a Hope Spot to break Jay's spirit. Nadakhan laughs at Jay for being naive enough to fall for it.
  • Tunnel King: The Constrictai tribe of the Serpentine are notable for having the ability to easily burrow under the earth.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Season 9 is told in two storylines. One focusing on Lloyd and his resistance against Lord Garmadon and the So G. And the other focusing on the original four ninja and Wu stranded in the Realm of Oni and Dragons. The two plotlines converge at the beginning of "Green Destiny" when Wu and the original four ninja return.
  • Unable to Cry: Surprisingly averted by Zane. Despite being a robot, he still shed a Single Tear when all his memory came back to him.
  • The Underworld: The base of operations for Lord Garmadon and the skeletons, which is presumably where the latter originate from.
  • Unobtanium: There are a number of these:
    • Vengestone, which dampens one's Elemental Powers.
    • Chronosteel, which goes a step further and is able to absorb one's powers permanently.
      • A type of blue crystal, which can work in conjunction with Chronosteel to absorb and contain multiple powers at once.
    • Deepstone, which harms ghosts and prevents possession, as it's mined from the bottom of the ocean and the ghosts' weakness is water.
    • Clearstone, the hardest known substance.
  • Vague Age: It's hard to place whether the ninja are young adults or teenagers, especially since Word of God doesn't give them any official ages.
    • Zane's real age is even harder to figure out since he is actually a robot who outlived his father and should be several decades old, judging by his creator's own age in the flashback.
    • It gets more difficult when you look at Lloyd. He starts out as a vague-aged kid, then gets physically aged up via Applied Phlebotinum to a vague-aged teenager who is at least two years younger than the ninja. He's technically still a child mentally but certain events have caused him to mature at a quicker pace.
    • Season 9 states that they're older teenagers.
  • Victory by Endurance: The general theme of Season 9. Mistake tells Lloyd that the only way that he will be able to defeat Garmadon will be to endure until the Ninja and Wu return from the Realm of Oni and Dragon. In the end, The Resistance just barely holds out when they finally do return in "Green Destiny". Even the final battle uses this as Lloyd wins against Garmadon by resisting him until he uses up all of his power.
  • Villain Decay: The Serpentine get hit with this hard after episode 14, losing their menace as they were quickly overshadowed by Lord Garmadon. Partially justified since season 2 does not focus on them as much as season 1 did.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: In the season 5 finale Wu tries to save Morro from being pulled underwater. Morro thinks he just wants the Realm Crystal, but Wu tells him that he values him just as much as his other pupils, and begs him to take his hand. Morro does so, saying "You can only save those who want to be saved. Goodbye, Sensei". He passes the crystal to Wu before letting himself get dragged under.
  • Villain Override: The Overlord takes control of Lord Garmadon's body near the climax of episode 25.
  • Villain Team-Up: The Overlord teams up with Pythor after the snake rescues him.
  • The Virus:
    • The Fangpyre's venom can create snake-themed constructs or mutate organic lifeforms, though with the former it's instantaneous and with the latter, it's extremely slow-acting. They do this in episode 3 to Jay's parents and some of the vehicles and piles of junk his dad made, out of which is a wrecking ball (which also appears in one of the levels of the "Rise of the Snakes" game) and a giant ninja robot (which Ed claims he made in Jay's honor).
    • Later in "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" Jay becomes afflicted after getting his hand pricked on a fossilized Fangpyre skull. It's suggested that the time it takes for it to affect organic lifeforms depends on their complexity since shortly after Jay leaves a fly drinks the venom from the skull and instantly mutates.
  • Virtual Sidekick: Zigzagged. After P.I.X.A.L. is dismantled offscreen between seasons 3 and 4, Zane imports her memory drive into his head so she can live on and advise him in battles and so on. In season 7 she disappears after Zane is injured in battle but reappears in season 8 in a similar role but this time advising everyone on the ninja team. It's later revealed that she's the new Samurai X, a mysterious vigilante introduced in season 7, so she was technically invoking this trope to hide her identity of being Samurai X.
  • Visual Pun: In "The Royal Blacksmiths", Zane got butterflies in his stomach... literally.
  • Water Is Womanly: All shown Elemental Masters of Water have been female, with the most prominent being Nya, who obtained her power from her mother Maya.
  • Water Magic Is Ice: Ice and Water are typically considered two separate elements. Then in season 11, when Zane (Ice) is out of commission and they're trapped in a realm too cold for liquid water to exist for long, Nya (Water) spends a great deal of time learning how to manipulate ice. She doesn't have anywhere near the control over it she does over water, and there's no indication that Zane would also be able to manipulate water, but there's definitely some overlap.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Tick Tock": Zane is revealed to be a robot and is the first of the ninja to unlock his true potential.
    • "Child's Play": Lloyd is aged up to a young man and is now almost ready to fight his father.
    • "The Titanium Ninja": Zane sacrifices himself to defeat the Overlord for once and for all, and is seemingly dead... until the end, where he is apparently rebuilt by P.I.X.A.L.
    • "The Corridor of Elders": Garmadon chooses to go into the Cursed Realm, effectively killing him, and Morro slips out in the process.
    • "The Temple on Haunted Hill": Cole is unable to get off Yang's Haunted Temple on time, permanently becoming a ghost.
    • "Lost in Time": To ensure that Ray is returned to normal, Master Wu removes the Reversal Blade from the Iron Doom's core and gives it to Kai and Nya, sending them back to the present while he stays behind to fight against Acronix and Krux, becoming lost in time with them.
    • "The Quiet One": The baby Cole found is revealed to be Master Wu, and Princess Harumi is the titular Quiet One!
    • "Game of Masks": Harumi's motives are revealed, the Sons of Garmadon have all three masks, Lloyd is captured, and the Ninja (and baby!Wu) are stranded in the jungle with a giant crustacean monster right next TO THEM!! As Jay would say: They are so hooped.
    • "My Enemy, My Friend": The Ice Emperor is revealed to be Zane.
  • Wham Line:
    • "The Green Ninja":
      Kai: That's when I realized. All my training to become the best ninja wasn't in preparation to become the Green Ninja. It was... to protect him.
    • "The Titanium Ninja":
      Zane: [to Pixal] Are we compatible now?
    • "The Way Back": Jay's last wish, which ends up saving Ninjago.
      Jay: I wish... you had taken my hand, and no one ever found that teapot in the first place.
    • "The Quiet One": The Ninja realizing that the baby is Master Wu.
      Toddler Wu: Ninja never quit.
      Jay: Guys, I don't think that's Cole, Jr. ... That's... Master Wu.
    • "My Enemy, My Friend":
      Lloyd: [to the Ice Emperor] Zane?
  • Wham Shot:
    • "Tick Tock": Zane opening his chest, revealing he's a robot.
    • "The Curse of the Golden Master": After the hooded stranger blocks Lloyd's power, he removes his hood, revealing himself as Pythor.
    • "The Way Back": The Ninja have managed to hit Nadakhan with a Tiger Widow Venom dart, which slows down a djinn and kills a normal human, Jay tries to wish that Nadakhan was not a djinn, as he is too weakened to twist Jay's words. But to his horror, Jay sees that Nya has a green stain on her chest, meaning she was hit with the venom too.
    • "Dread on Arrival": So, the Ninja have stopped Harumi's plan to revive Lord Garmadon. The Sons of Garmadon are arrested, and all is well- wait. Why did the torches from the revival ceremony suddenly reignite in purple flames? Is that Lord Garmadon's HAND coming out of the alter!?!?
    • "My Enemy, My Friend": When Lloyd finally meets the Ice Emperor, his ice staff is shown to have the Scroll of Forbidden Ninjitsu encased in it, which only Zane had on him.
  • What Are Records?: Lloyd doesn't know VCRs by name, but he does recognize them as "those things Wu watches old ninja movies on" and knows how to work them.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Like almost all LEGO properties, the good guys are usually humans and the bad guys are usually inhuman (skeletons, snakes, robots, ghosts, djinn, etc). Averted in the first half of season 4 in which the villains are cultists, as well as the fact that Zane and P.I.X.A.L are heroic despite being robots.
  • Wind Is Green: Played With. Morro is the Master of Wind, and his primary color is green. However, this is due to his desire to be the Green Ninja, which is actually assigned to the Master of Energy, and later due to the fact that ghosts are green. There's no indication of what color naturally aligns with wind.
  • World-Healing Wave: Lloyd lets one loose the first time he destroys the Overlord, purging most of its traces and returning Garmadon back into a normal human.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: With the reveal that Zane was in the Never-Realm for decades, it's implied that time moves at a slower rate in the Never-Realm.note 
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Constantly. More often than not, the series revolves around the Ninja trying hard to keep the villains from getting a McGuffin to halt their plan. While they get some small victories like temporarily getting one over their opponents, ultimately the villains will get what they need to carry out their endgames.

 
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Ninjago split in two

The First Spinjitzu Master splits the continent of Ninjago in two to avoid a potential loss to the Overlord's Stone Army.

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