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YMMV / Ben 10

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YMMVs for the franchise as a whole:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Was Z'Skayr/Ghostfreak always a psychopathic monster with Vilgax-level dreams of galactic conquest, or was he driven over the deep end by being trapped in the Omnitrix for an indefinite amount of time, and stranded on a planet with a sun that could burn him to ash? He makes it clear he hated being trapped("NO! I won't Go Back!" "Now, let's see how you like being trapped in someone else!") and his irrational grudge against Ben could be interpreted as him lashing out against the child who unwittingly held him prisoner and violated his autonomy whenever he went Ghostfreak.
  • Broken Base: Every sequel following the original series only divided the fanbase further and further. By the end of Omniverse, the division could rival the one for Star Wars.
    • The different tones of each series naturally caused a huge divide on which was better. There are those who liked the original series and Omniverse for their charm and felt that the more serious tone of Alien Force and Ultimate Alien was unfitting for the franchise. Those for the more mature series feel that the mature tone was natural since the audience was growing up with the franchise, gave more opportunity for Character Development, and that the later attempts to change the tone back to the original series hampered the franchise and was ultimately what caused the reboot.
    • The series being rebooted. Some fans were happy, saying the show was best when the main characters were 10-year-old Ben, Gwen, and Grandpa Max, that the franchise had suffered so many Retcons that a reboot was needed, and that the reboot would likely bring over things people liked about the sequels in a more organic way. Others accused the reboot of being an attempt to draw more cash out of what was already a large Cash Cow Franchise (merchandise has sold over four billions at least), and hated the art-style, saying Ben looked a lot younger than 10 and more cartoonish. There's also many who wanted a sequel to Omniverse instead of a reboot, especially with the former ending's Sequel Hook that sounded really promising.
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  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Crossover Ship: Both Ben and Gwen, especially as the sequel went on, became popular characters for pairing with others not from the Ben 10 franchise.
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  • Escapist Character: Ben starts out as an ordinary kid who by coincidence ends up stuck wearing an insanely powerful device giving him the ability to shapeshift into a large variety of cool-looking aliens with a large variety of super-powers. Using those powers, he starts accomplishing heroic deeds and gets involved in all sorts of strange adventures involving everything from aliens to mutants, to magic. He eventually gets good at using his abilities, becomes famous and beloved as a hero, turns into a Living Legend and saves the Universe several times. It's pretty easy to see how everyone would love to be in his shoes.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Charmcaster. Which of her character designs is sexiest is up to debate, though.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With the Dragon Ball Z fanbase, presumably mainly thanks to 5 Years Later and a notorious video by its creator in which he makes the fairly logic-backed argument that Alien X could hypothetically defeat Goku.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Each alien in the Omnitrix belongs to an alien species with its own planet and culture, leaving huge possibilities to create various Original Characters. The Omnitrix is also stated to have at the very least 10,000 aliens (more than 1,000,000,000 after Alien Force), meaning fans have a large gap available to imagine and create their own aliens.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Go on any fan art site or shipping thread and you'll find that Ben/Gwen dominates those areas of the fandom.note  Mainly due to their constant bickering and Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moments, along with the fact that Gwen was originally planned to be one of Ben's classmates. The decision to officially pair them up with other characters in later series did nothing to deter the shippers. It's a common suspicion/theory among shippers that Gwen/Kevin and Ben/Julie were deliberate Ship Sinking efforts on the part of the writers to discourage "Bwen".
  • Friendly Fandoms: With the Danny Phantom fandom, with both shows being action shows about a Kid Hero with superpowers that aired around the same time.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series is very popular in India, more than what you would expect in America
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "Ken 10" can come off as this post-Alien Force given how Kevin is depicted as an irredeemable murderous psychopath willing to kill even his own son For the Evulz. Given Kevin's genuine Heel–Face Turn in Alien Force and how he eventually becomes a good friend and brother figure to Ben, the idea of him relapsing back to evil in a distant future is just downright tragic.
    • Word of God claims "Ken 10" is a parallel universe and not the main timeline's direct future. Still, it's disheartening seeing what Kevin could have turned into...and made worse in Omniverse where a Brainwashed and Crazy Kevin ends up with the same chin scar as Kevin 11,000 in "Ken 10", seemingly implying that Kevin ultimately goes off the deep end in this continuity...
  • Magnificent Bastard: See here.
  • Memetic Troll:
  • My Real Daddy: There are many Alien Force/Ultimate Alien fans who credit Dwayne McDuffie and Glen Murakami for making the characters mature and, as a result, have a hostile reaction toward Omniverse and 2016 for being Denser and Wackier and taking potshots at that era of the franchise at times.
  • Narm Charm:
    • It's a franchise about a Kid Hero with a watch transforming him into Alien Super-Heroes, fighting a Galactic Conqueror Cthulhumanoid, with the help of his Magical Girl cousin and his Hawaiian-shirt wearing grandfather who used to be part of a secret organization called the "Plumbers". It doesn't prevent the franchise from making some genuinely good stories and nightmarish villains.
    • Dr. Animo is as cliche and over-the-top as a Mad Scientist can get, but still manages to be an entertaining villain. A huge part of this is his voice by Dwight Schultz, who does not hold anything back in the part.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Man of Action Studios, due to kickstarting the franchise, tended to be looked at rather fondly with their lack of involvement with the sequels being criticized. This view significantly lessened in The New '10s after their Marvel cartoons that aired on Disney XD (with a few fans even considering them to have called attention toward existing problems with their writing that became more obvious with them), and the response toward their involvement in the reboot was much more divisive, particularly due to its goofier tone.
  • One True Pairing: Ben/Gwen, due to a perceived writing fumble. Gwen was originally planned to be one of Ben's classmates, but the writers found it difficult to justify having her tag along with him on his adventures. So they made her his cousin, except some thought the "damage" had already been done. Some viewers perceived their constant bickering as Belligerent Sexual Tension, and the slow-dance lesson scene didn't help. Not even officially pairing them off with other characters changed the shippers' minds.
  • One True Threesome:
    • Ben/Gwen/Kevin solves a few tangled problems. If people are sympathetic to Julie, they might add her in as well.
    • Also more twisted ones like Gwen/Kevin/Charmcaster or Ben/Julie/Elena. Omniverse adds Esther and Rook as possibilities.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The various console games based on the series tend to be So Okay, It's Average at best in terms of critical reception. Additionally, one of them was a pretty blatant rip-off of Mario Kart, and the first one was exclusive to the universally-hated HyperScan.
  • Sequelitis: Ben 10: Omniverse is generally seen as the worst entry of the franchise prior to its Continuity Reboot, although Alien Force and Ultimate Alien have their fair share of detractors too.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The franchise as a whole is usually seen as this by non-fans. While it has a lot going for it such as good fight choreography, creative aliens, and a lot of good talent (writers and voice actors alike), it also suffers from inconsistent writing, fairly basic characterization, and rarely goes very far into worldbuilding the universe the characters live in, with a lot of it contradicted across the shows due to the different creative teams at the helm. Even some actual fans will admit that while they love the franchise, they do wish it had been more.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The Comic-con preview clip of the reboot gained a large amount of flak on its reveal. Points of interest include Gwen and Grandpa Max having different voice actors, Diamondhead having different powers, the more simplistic designs, and the background characters having the same problem as in The Powerpuff Girls (2016). note 
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Many fans find it jarring how chummy Ben and Gwen are in the reboot. Though there are some people that liked how friendlier they were in the previous series who see this as one of the few positive aspects of the reboot.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The Original Series made heavy use of Bizarre Alien Biology to create characters with absolutely nightmarish designs, the sequels involved themes such as Nazi-esque attempts at genocide, powers with drug undertones and implied Serial Killers, and all four entries have at least one, if not multiple, cases of Vile Villain, Saccharine Show. By the time of Ultimate Alien, things had become so dark the writers decided to go Lighter and Softer in the next iteration in the franchise in order to avoid Too Bleak, Stopped Caring.

YMMVs for the Original Series:

  • Angst? What Angst?: Camille from ''Big Fat Alien Wedding" seems to get over her parents turning against her, trying to kill her fiance, and then promptly getting turned into a statue courtesy of Heatblast rather quickly.
  • Awesome Art:
    • The anime-comic book hybrid style of the series was one of its main selling points back in the day, and it still looks fantastic to this day. Arguably the best scenes are in the two episodes set in the future, "Ben 10,000" and "Ken 10", with the incredibly cool-looking future Earth city.
    • Andrew Robinson's more detailed, comic-book-cover-worthy artwork of the aliens, used in the iconic opening sequence. Ben, Gwen, Vilgax, and a few others have artwork in this same style as well.
    • In the show itself, Heatblast's continously flowing flaming hands look really cool.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Base-Breaking Character: Gwen. Some fans love her, hate her, or switch feelings Depending on the Writer. Her fans praise her being a good Foil to Ben and her eventually growing into a magic-based heroine of her own, while her detractors perceive her snarky, aggressive behaviour toward Ben as her being a Jerkass and criticize the fact she is portrayed as better than Ben at practically everything and has never had any episodes where she goes through Character Development unlike Ben.
  • Cry for the Devil: With how malicious and sadistic he is, it's easy to forget that Kevin is an 11 year old boy who was shunned because of his powers, forced to live alone on the streets, and became an insane, savage monster before he could ever get real help. His grotesque, painful transformation in his second appearance is especially tragic, considering he already viewed himself as a freak, and that this is partially because Ben even showed him the Omnitrix in the first place. Kevin wasn't a good person by any means when he first showed up, but he might not have become as monstrous as he did if Ben hadn't shown him the Omnitrix and initially joined him in his crime spree.
  • Delusion Conclusion: Because of the writers being savvy enough of this trope, in the episode that focuses on a Lotus-Eater Machine, we first see Ben trying to use the Omnitrix and failing with the villain then putting him in the Lotus-Eater Machine, only for it to quickly show that Ben had managed to work his Omnitrix in time because it was Ben who was successful and had put the other guy in the Lotus-Eater Machine. Let's face it, if they didn't do that fake-out, there would be a lot of people claiming it to this day despite all the depressing (and fridge logic inducing) implications.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Kevin 11 and Charmcaster, in no small part due to their portrayals in the sequels. While they do have some Anti-Villain traits in this iteration and Word of God says they were always intended to develop more Anti-Hero traits as well, they are still mostly straight-up villains who like doing evil and reject any offers of redemption (Kevin was a even straight-up Ax-Crazy to a sociopathic degree).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Lucky Girl, who is ironically one of the leads in disguise. Her nemesis Charmcaster qualifies on the villain side of things.
    • Naturally, some of Ben's aliens are more popular than others, but the one who takes the cake is Heatblast, who is the most popular and iconic alien form in the entire franchise. He is so popular that an Ultimate Alien DVD was titled "The Return of Heatblast".
      • XLR8 is very popular with the fans, which makes it extra baffling that they went and made Fasttrack.
      • Ghostfreak is very popular with the fans mainly because of his design, abilities, and Face–Heel Turn.
      • Buzzshock and Arcticguana, two of Ben 10,000's alien forms, are surprisingly rather popular among the fanbase. They both showed up in Ultimate Alien's intro (but never in the series itself), before finally being formally unlocked in Omniverse.
      • Ripjaws has only appeared 16 times in the entire Ben 10 franchise, but he is popular with fans in addition to getting lots of Fan art and YouTube videos.
      • Diamondhead, despite having a lesser amount of appearances (16 episodes) in the original series of all the ten original aliens, is popular amongst fans thanks to his unique design, voice, and cool powers. He was so popular that he made a return in the third season of Alien Force, temporarily replacing Chromastone and being one of the few aliens to defeat Vilgax.
    • Grandpa Max, as detailed in the Just Here for Godzilla entry, even moreso as of the sequels when he's not a main character anymore.
    • Sixsix, a minor villain that’s introduced early on in the series, quickly became beloved by fans due to essentially being the Ben 10-verse's equivalent of Boba Fett. He was so popular that not only was he brought back later on in Omniverse, which also introduced his family made up of his equally badass brother and two sisters and changed him from a one-off mook to a series mainstay.
  • Evil Is Cool: This show is a master at creating awesome bad guys. Vilgax, Dr. Animo, Kevin, Ghostfreak, Hex, Charmcaster, the Forever Knights (especially the Driscoll), Sixsix and his family, and nearly all the other villains (with the exception of Sublimino, who's a No Respect Guy even among his teammates) who made up the Negative 10 could count.
  • First Installment Wins: While the the sequels have their fanbases, many of the fans are very loyal to the original series. The fact that it's the only one the actual creators worked on (until the Continuity Reboot) helps matters.
  • Foe Yay: Ben and Kevin, who have been chained to each other for an episode, and Gwen and Charmcaster, who spent a good part of one episode inside each other.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • One complaint about the sequels is how redundant some of Ben's aliens can be. The original series has many aliens who have unique abilities, but some have similar advantages to one alien that leave another alien functionally redundant (particularly Benvicktor/Frankenstrike, who on top of having super strength, has lightning abilities), indicating that there were ability and redundancy problems even before the sequels. However, back in the original series, the cases of redundancy in alien abilities were easier to let slide back then since there were just enough cases of aliens (especially amongst the original 10) each having their own fairly unique abilities to indicate that the creators and writers were genuinely putting in effort to allow each alien to stand out on their own. The same could not be said, however, for later installments as the new alien forms showed off cases of the writers resorting to ability recycling from past aliens an increasingly large number of times to the point that they now seemed to be running on fumes and no longer interested in being creative with the aliens' abilities.
    • A lesser example, but one of the major criticisms made towards Alien Force was (amongst other things) about the Plumbers being inexplicably active again despite it being stated to have disbanded in the original series. "Big Fat Alien Wedding", while not explicitly stating the Plumbers were still active, made mention of a war between them and the Sludgepuppies that was apparently still going on (the whole point of the episode was to end it), suggesting at least some of them kept fighting.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Gwen is apparently popular enough in Southeast Asia that Cartoon Network Asia gave her a website and a good amount of merchandise. A spin-off show about her was even considered at several different points in time in answer to her popularity, with her Omniverse episodes in particular serving as a Poorly Disguised Pilot.
    • The franchise is also very popular in Denmark, where many stores hold entire sections of Ben 10 merchandise.
    • The franchise has a strong following in Latin America as well, seeing as at one point nearly all of its schedule was devoted to showing Ben 10 episodes.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Tetrax's admonishment of Ben, telling him that he fails to consider the consequences of his actions until they blow up in his face, takes on a new light when it's revealed later on that Tetrax gave Vilgax a crystal that he used to destroy Petropia, which is an action he came to completely regret.
    • In "The Unnaturals" after Cash and JT win the go ahead run against a robot team, oblivious to the fact Ben was helping them, Cash goes "Hey, hey, hey.", referring to Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. This is a lot harder to listen to after Bill Cosby's conviction for rape, as Fat Albert was frequently used to mock him.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: "Ken 10" had Ben's future self Ben 10,000 name his son Ken. The sequel series Ben 10: Alien Force revealed that Ben's cousin Gwen had a brother also named Ken, which makes it rather sweet when you realize that Ben may have named his son Ken after his cousin Ken.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Remember that ending in "Gwen 10" where the Omnitrix ultimately ended up on Grandpa Max? It is revealed several episodes later by some alien named Xylene, a person from Max's past, that the Omnitrix was originally for Max. But because Ben's DNA was close to his, Ben was the one who discovered the Omnitrix and it ended up on him.
    • In the end of "Kevin 11", Ben offers Kevin to join him and become allies. Sound familiar?
    • Steve Blum (Ghostfreak) voicing another Big Bad who wants to take over someone's body is funny enough, but it's funnier when that someone is voiced by Yuri Lowenthal, who voices teenage Ben in the sequels.
    • In "The Big Tick", while trying to figure out what Cannonbolt does, Ben lists powers of aliens he will receive in the future: breathing firenote , firing freeze rays from his eyesnote , and magnetic blastsnote .
    • Vilgax is an expy of Darkseid. In the original series and Omniverse, he was voiced by Steve Blum. Guess who voiced the actual Darkseid in Justice League: War.
    • Ben's dislike of the Super Alien Hero Buddies for being bastardizations of his own alien forms in "Super Alien Hero Buddy Adventures" is funnier to look back on in light of the polarization and controversy respectively caused by Omniverse and the reboot trying to be Denser and Wackier than Alien Force and Ultimate Alien.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • The huge success this series had and the fact many fans are only loyal to it has caused many people (both fans of the sequels and people who don't particularly like the franchise) to be more critical toward it and point out its flaws.
    • Man of Action Studios used to be considered Only the Creator Does It Right for the franchise and the fact they only worked on the original series was used as a justification for not liking the sequels. Since then, their work on very unpopular Marvel cartoons have caused many people to notice flaws in their writing that already existed in the original series.
  • It Was His Sled:
  • Just Here for Godzilla: While majority of the people just watched the show to see Ben transform into an alien form, there were some who just stuck around to see Grandpa Max be completely awesome. Two members of Man of Action themselves, at a convention interview, jokingly stated that Grandpa Max is the obvious REAL star of the show.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Vilgax destroying Tetrax's home planet, killing hundreds of innocent lives for no reason other than to test his brand new toy.
    • When Ghostfreak wanted to plunge Earth into darkness, the result of which is shown to be horrifying mutations of all living things. He also crossed the line in "Ghostfreaked Out" when he threatened to kill a possessed Gwen if Ben did not surrender, fully aware that Ben is only 10 years old.
      • Also note, that was just a side effect of his plan that he didn't even care about.
    • Zombozo gets his by kidnapping a 10-year-old girl and draining her of her energy until she's nothing but a shriveled husk of her former self. The fact that he speaks of it so lightly implies it's not the first time he does it.
    • As if it wasn't clear that the Forever King is more evil than Enoch, he deliberately leaves Enoch trapped forever in his Lotus-Eater Machine just to spite him for not getting the Omnitrix.
  • My Real Daddy: For fans who prefer this series yet are disappointed by Man of Action's later reboot, the head writer duo of Thomas Pugsley and Greg Klein get the "Real Daddy" position over Man of Action.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Ben 10: Protector of Earth is a pretty fun beat-em-up/adventure game which stays very very true to the show. Out of all the Ben 10 games released, it's probably the most well-known and one of the best.
  • Older Than They Think: There really was a secret organization called the Plumbers - Richard Nixon's private police who did the illegal surveillance of the Watergate hotel.
  • The Producer Thinks of Everything: One of the first line readings for the role of Ghostfreak?
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Ben and Gwen, which is an almost reverse case of the usual trope. The writers viewed them as just bickering, if still loving, cousins, and tried to write them as such. A few people took it differently. This actually created a Periphery Demographic all by itself. Some older viewers initially hated the show, partially because of what they thought of as flat, immature, two-dimensional characters. The instant they decided Ben and Gwen had crushes on each other, the characters gained two or three levels of depth, skyrocketing it to the top of a lot of teen's lists.
  • The Scrappy: Kai Green does have some fans, but mostly she has a very sizable hatedom due to her only episode portraying her as a rather unsympathetic character who Ben fell in love with for no real apparent reason before she rejected him rather callously (and unlike Julie, no effort was made by the writers to rescue her from being a Scrappy) and an obstacle to Bwen. Her return in Omniverse made it worse as she singlehandedly angered almost all the shippers by turning every other love interest up to that point into false Leads and suffering from a huge case of Strangled by the Red String and Took a Level in Jerkass.
  • Seasonal Rot: Th fourth season is generally considered the weakest due to having less impressive episodes and overall story arc than the other seasons have.
  • Self-Fanservice: Gwen has a... DISTURBING amount of fan art for a 10 year old. Some of it, emphasis, SOME, has her older than 10, while the bulk of it has her as a kid with mature features and outfits that no child should be wearing.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Xylene. She is an alien Action Girl who has cool powers and a unique design along with a big part in Ben's origin since she was the one who brought the Omnitrix to Earth and had a past relationship with Max. She appeared for exactly one episode and never appeared again. Even in the sequels, all she got is a very brief mention in a dialogue.
    • The Galactic Enforcers only show up in one episode along with an appearance in the future episode despite having included Ben in their ranks as a honorary member.
    • At the end of the third season, Ben gets three new aliens, each based off a different monster. A werewolf, a mummy, and Frankenstein's monster. Despite all of them being pretty cool, they don't appear at all for the rest of the series and it isn't until an alternate timeline episode of Ultimate Alien that any of them reappear. They aren't even properly named via being referred to as "Ben*monster name*" in the credits. It took until Omniverse for them to even be given more appearances and proper names.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Ripjaws (who is an alien in Ben’s Omnitrix) is part deep-sea creature and merMAID. While he might seem like a female, he's actually a male... though this could be a case of people calling something by a gender-specific title despite it not being that gender, similar to how female peacocks are often called "peacocks", by the general public, despite the appropriate name for a female of that species being "Peahen". Also, he also sports a lure on his head characteristic of a female anglerfish (though justified being an alien and all.)


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