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Western Animation / Ninjago

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Who will rise to become the Green Ninja?note 

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 greenlit, 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 and the ninth is told in two separate stories.


Season 10/made-for-tv movie "March of the Oni" is scheduled to debut in early 2019; with the plot concerning not only the fall out of the past two seasons, but every single thing that's led the series to this moment.

A feature film set in the universe of The LEGO Movie, titled The Lego Ninjago Movie was released in September 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.


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 ninja 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 realises 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.
  • 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.
  • Arc Villain:
    • Pilot: Lord Garmadon commands the Skullkins to steal the Golden Weapons that would create a portal for him to escape the Underworld. This is the only case of The Bad Guy Wins in the entire series.
    • Season 1: Pythor, the last remaining member of the Anacondrai, unites the Serpentine Tribes so that they could conquer and destroy Ninjago. In order to achieve their goal, they must find the four Fangblades that would allow them to unleash the fabled Great Devourer.
    • Seasons 2 and 3: The Overlord is the manifestation and source of Darkness in Ninjago that was trapped on the Island of Darkness as a result of a battle with the First Spinjitzu Master. When Lord Garmadon discovered the island in Season 2, the Overlord convinced him to join forces and assume command of the Stone Army in order to build a super weapon that would upset the balance of light and darkness in Ninjago. The Overlord then betrays Garmadon and possesses his body, which turns him into a dragon for the climactic battle against Lloyd. Despite his defeat, he returns in Season 3 as a digital virus that infects Cyrus Borg and corrupts all of the technology in New Ninjago City. This time, he aims to become the Golden Master by building himself a new body with the Golden Weapons and Lloyd's Golden Power.
    • Season 4: Master Chen, the leader of a criminal empire, organizes the Tournament of Elements as a guise to successfully steal the powers of the current elemental masters, which he then uses to turn himself and his followers into Anacondrai in order to take over Ninjago.
    • Season 5: Morro, a former student of Wu turned vengeful ghost, serves as the primary threat for most of the season following his escape from the Cursed Realm. He possesses Lloyd's body and embarks on a quest to steal the Realm Crystal in order to free his mistress, The Preeminent. In the finale, the Preeminent is revealed to be a rampaging Genius Loci Kaiju that yearns to curse the rest of the Sixteen Realms.
    • Season 6: Following his freedom from the Teapot Of Tyrahn, Nadakhan steals the Realm Crystal, reunites his band of sky pirates, and returns to his home dimension of Djinjago only to witness its collapse. He swears to his late father that he would rebuild it by tearing apart chunks of Ninjago, as well as enact revenge on those who were responsible for its collapse note . However, in order to make this a reality, he would first have to become the new king of Djinjago through marriage, which would then grant him unlimited wishes for himself (as a djinn, he can only grant other people three wishes).
    • Season 7: The Time Twins (Krux and Acronix) and their army of Vermillion Warriors seek to recover the Time Blades in order to build the Iron Doom, a machine that would allow them to travel back in time so that they could defeat the elemental masters and take over Ninjago.
    • Season 8: The Sons of Garmadon is a biker gang led by The Quiet One, who aims to conquer New Ninjago City and resurrect Lord Garmadon by collecting the Oni Masks necessary for his rebirth. This is the second case of The Bad Guy Wins in the series.
    • Season 9: In one of the Two Lines, No Waiting, Lord Garmadon and the Sons of Garmadon attempt to cement their rule after conquering Ninjago, while in the other the Iron Baron and his Dragon Hunters pursue the ninja across the First Realm in search of the Dragon Armor.
  • 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.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Serpentine Tribes decide their leadership in this fashion.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • A giant robot attacks Zane; in order 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]
  • 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 opponents 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.
  • 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 a very 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.
  • 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 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 Ovelord's portal bridging the Island of Darkness to Ninjago closes.
    • The Overlord the first time he's defeated.
  • 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 in-between Seasons 2 and 9, according to Tommy Andersen's tweets to show that the dragon is REALLY dead the throne the Iron Baron sits in is made from it's 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's 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, form 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.
  • Chained to a Railway: Jay poses as a damsel in distress to find out the identity of Samurai X, AKA Nya.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod: Throughout the whole series, which has pretty tight continuity over all 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 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.
  • Covered in Gunge: After the Great Devourer is destroyed, Ninjago City gets covered in green slime.
  • Cute Little Fangs: When a victim is bitten by a Fangpyre, the first sign of change is a pair of tiny fangs.
  • Cyber Punk: 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.
  • Darker and Edgier: As the series goes on it gradually grows darker, starting with Season 3: Rebooted. Season 8: Sons of Garmadon, being the darkest season yet.
  • 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.
  • 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: In order 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.
  • Diving Save: Cole saves his father in 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: Samukai, King of the Underworld, to Lord Garmadon, Skales to Pythor, Lord Garmadon to the Overlord, then later General Cryptor and Pythor to the Overlord.
  • 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.
    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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 realize 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 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Fun with Acronyms: P.I.X.A.L. (Primary Interactive X-ternal Assistant Life-form)
  • 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.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the episode "Snakebit", there's a brightly-lit sign reading "Ed & Edna's Scrap N Junk." The S in "Scrap" flickers out. Literally getting "crap" past the radar.
    • In a Freeze-Frame Bonus 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.
    CHARM !
    • This exchange between the ninja and Skales in "The Curse of the Golden Master":
    Kai: Wait, you have a son?
    Skales: Well, we've been busy since you last saw us.
  • 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 praise 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.
  • Henshin Hero
  • 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 
  • 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 waiting for Lloyd to show up with the airship several minutes later before chasing after Pythor and Wu.
  • 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.
  • 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 Season 5, when Lloyd was possessed by Morro.
  • It's Been Done: Jay when Mr. E puts on the Oni Mask of Vengeance.
    Jay: Really, four arms?! Pfft! Like that's new!
  • 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 brother, who is only ever called Wu. (Wu Garmadon? Who knows.)
  • 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.
  • Left the Background Music On: In 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.
  • 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 put 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.
  • 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 (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.
  • 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.
  • Morality Pet: Garmadon's protectiveness and love for his son Lloyd is generally the only thing that can make his original, good personality apparent.
  • 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 is the climax of the episode "Wrong Place, Wrong Time". Even though they tried Never the Selves Shall Meet, it didn't work.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, use 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 Quite Dead: Pythor survives being eaten by the Devourer, but not without becoming an Evil Albino.
  • Not So Stoic: Zane after he discovers he's a robot.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Kai escaping a volcano and saving Lloyd, gaining his true potential in "The Green Ninja".
  • 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.
  • 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.
     Tropes P - W 
  • 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 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.
  • 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".
  • Punny Name: Cyrus Borg. Appropriately enough, he gets turned into a cyborg while under the Overlord's influence.
    • Nadakhan = 'Not a con'. Describes his motis 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.
  • 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.
  • Reality Ensues: During the beginning of the second season when the ninja lose both their weapons and home to Garmadon, they have to live in a run down 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.
  • 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 that film: the uniforms of the Ninja 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.
  • Ret Gone: This almost happened to Lloyd in the Time Travel Episode.
  • 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.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Zane is revealed to be a Nindroid that can feel and express emotions almost as well as humans.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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 to 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 off of Zane, each one is fully dressed in a black ninja suit. Even Pythor wears a full on robe.
  • 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 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.
    • 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 get a Mid-Season Upgrade called "ZX". Ninja themed super hero called ZX? Sounds familiar?
    • Cole moonwalks and dances just like the King of Pop in "Island of Darkness". Saying "hee hee" with the bassline 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.
  • 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 include a Djinn, a human, a mechanical monkey, a Serpentine, an enormous female samurai ogre, and what appears to be an oni with two faces.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 come 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:
    • Lloyd himself was one in earlier seasons, being able to use all four elements in addition to his Energy element during Season 2, which made 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. Naturally, Season 3 has The Overlord drain him of most of his Golden Power while the Ninja get the rest, leaving him far weaker and with only the Energy element, but still having him as the most powerful Ninja.
      • This was brought to it's logical conclusion in Season 8 with Lloyd getting depowered completely after Emperor Garmadon beat the crap out of him. Likewise, the rest of the Ninja give him their own elemental powers in order to save his life, effectively depowering them as well to the point where they can only use their powers in short bursts.
    • Word of God confirmed that this is the reason the Ninja don't use Airjitzu and their Energy Dragons so as not to make them too overpowered.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: The First Spinjitzu Master, Dr. Julien, Jay's (adoptive) parents, Cole's father, Mother Doomsday, the Darkley's students, and most of the Elemental Masters do not have minifigures.
  • 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.)
  • 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 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.
  • 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, due to the fact that 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.
  • 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.
  • Visual Pun: In "The Royal Blacksmiths", Zane got butterflies in his stomach... literally.
  • 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 at least one ghost 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 reveals 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.
  • 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.
  • Wham Shot:
    • "Tick Tock": Zane opening his chest, revealing that he's a robot.
    • "The Curse of the Golden Master": After the hooded stranger blocks Lloyd's power, he removes his hood. Lloyd's extreme Oh, Crap! face only adds to the wham factor when he sees who it is. It's 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 Garmodon. 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!?!?
  • 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.
  • 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.