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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The Order of Mata Nui was created specifically to allow them to do things that the Toa's moral code would forbid. That hasn't stopped some of their more morally gray missions from pushing them into Knight Templar territory for some.
    • This video theorizes that, before his character, Mata Nui's character, and the entire universe were heavily retooled by BIONICLE's extension, Makuta was originally intended to be a noble Tragic Hero and Well-Intentioned Extremist who cared for his brother and wanted to bring him peace - and the Mask of Shadows corrupted him, twisting his thoughts and making him believe that Mata Nui could only find peace in slumber, away from the risks of ruling as the Great Spirit.
    Makuta: Sleep spares him pain. Awake, he suffers.
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    • Alternatively, it could be that Makuta Teridax is a Well-Intentioned Extremist in canon: he did only decide to take over the universe after the Matoran Civil War and seeing that Mata Nui did not respond.
    • Vakama's out-of-nowhere recklessness during Web of Shadows. Is it just an Out-of-Character Moment brought on by Executive Meddling, or did it stem from the belief that had he been a more resolute and decisive Toa, Lhikan would still be alive and the Great Cataclysm wouldn't have happened, causing him to misguidedly overcompensate? The novels lean into the latter direction, showing Vakama's gradual descent into recklessness the longer it takes the Toa to return to Metru Nui right up to the point they're captured.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Considering that multiple species have been enslaved and tortured in his former body for a period of time, Mata Nui remained a pretty together guy.
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    • Almost everybody on Bara Magna seems pretty together after going through a six-way civil war and an Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Granted, it's been nearly 100,000 years since it happened. Surviving in the harsh desert world seems to take precedence over angsting over what happened, or at the very least they've moved past the angsting phase since then.
  • Anticlimax Boss: The Voya Nui Online Game ends with a three-stage fight. First, five of the six Piraka all at once. Second, Vezon, who fights alone but is plenty strong to make up for it. And third is...Zaktan, all by himself, who is not only on the weaker end of the Piraka and doesn't have the others to back him up, but waited to attack you until after you grabbed the Mask of Life.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Takanuva's revival at the end of Mask of Light. Apparently a beam of light on his mask is enough to restore him. This is not explained in the movie, and it's never brought up again.
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    • The later bits of the story were often built around ass-pulls and Shocking Swerves, as the writer openly admitted that his preferred way of writing was never planning ahead. See for instance: Velika having been a Great Being in disguise all along. Tuyet being alive and her corpse belonging to her Alternate Universe-self. Ancient's pointless reveal of having been a good guy all this time. Or the conclusion to Brothers in Arms in which the characters are sucked in by a random dimensional portal.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Given how the Doing In the Wizard aspect and the Kudzu Plot of the original continuity came under fire by a lot of fans, the reboot's regression to a tribal island setting and a relatively simple plot can be seen as one of these.
    • As the majority of the hate towards the latter years of the toys was due to the infamous "Inika Build", the reboot series had it's toys intentionally designed as a throwback to the original 2001 Toas, complete with easily-detached masks and gear functions that swung the arms. However they also managed to keep the unique body builds as well as finding a way to preserve posability (mostly with friction pegs to stop the arms from swinging on their own) of the newer sets.
  • Awesome Art:
    • Carlos D'Anda did the illustrations for the first nine BIONICLE comics, plus a few more shorter promotional comics for the Matoran and Bohrok, and he set the standard so high that no other comic artist for the rest of BIONICLE's ten-year-long run was able to meet it. Seriously, just look at the second page of the first comic. Look at that incredible attention to detail; all those minute cracks and imperfections in Kopaka's armor that made him look less like a plastic toy and more like a legendary warrior. He was also one of the few comic artists to adapt slight stylistic touch-ups to the characters, giving them some needed bulk, better proportions and convincing poses. Now imagine that same attention to detail for nine comic books straight. If first impressions are most important, then D'Anda nailed the first impressions of BIONICLE.
    • Christian Zanier was the only artist who most will agree managed rise up to D'Anda, at least with regards to attention to detail. Not only were his characters near-perfect representations of the toys yet still lifelike, he also created pretty solid designs for random background creatures which looked LEGO-like and convincing as biomechanical beings at the same time: compare his take on the mutated Takea sharks to the actual model of a normal one. Sadly, he never became a regular artist, and his occasional over-reliance on copy-pasted lineart and using badly filtered photos as backgrounds wasn't to everyone's liking.
    • Advance Copenhagen's artwork of the Mata Nui robot, shortly after his rising and during the final confrontation with Makuta. For such a grand and important moment in BIONICLE history, Advance perfectly captured its magnificence, awe, and scale.
    • Leigh Gallagher's work on the comic lasted only a year (2008 for those who don't know), but what a pretty year it was.
  • Awesome Ego:
    • Fan-favorite Toa-hero Matau. He never stops talking himself (and the other Toa Metru) up, and also tends to prove that he can deliver.
    • Makuta Teridax. Considering his Plan worked, it's hard to argue this.
  • Awesome Music: Has its own page.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Ask around, and you'll find that Vezon is either the best Ensemble Dark Horse or the worst Scrappy in the series.
    • The BIONICLE Stars are an interesting case. Few will dispute their quality, given that they use the much-loathed Av-Matoran build, but others will argue that it was interesting to see characters redone in a different system and there is also dispute on how grateful the fandom should be since it took a lot to even convince LEGO to release sets for 2010 rather than just outright cancelling the series. Then of course there's the dispute on which characters should have been represented, particularly in the case of Gresh and Skrall.
    • The Toa Nuva, iconic as they are, haven't been viewed as favorably by some fans looking back. Main points of criticism are the less interesting weapons and the rather oversized "organic"-themed masks and details that didn't match the established aesthetic and personalities of the Toa Mata.
    • How you feel about the Toa Hordika depends largely on how you feel about the 2005 story arc as a whole and the narrative developments made in that year. Mutated "feral" Toa that lacked conventional Kanohi didn't warm up to some fans.
  • Badass Decay:
    • The Piraka are a mild case. For the most part the Piraka utterly curbstomped the Toa Nuvanote , but they're significantly easier to deal with for the Toa Inika, though still challenging foes. Zaktan gets hit with this the worst with his (admittedly unique) defeat at Nuparu's hands and his Butt-Monkey status during the Toa Hagah serial.
    • The Skrall in the battle at the end of The Legend Reborn, where they go from being literally undefeated by a Glatorian to being taken out left and right in a few hits. Word of God justifies this by saying that 1) they were scared out of their minds by this giant made out of bugs that suddenly appeared, 2) the Glatorian, not being in the arena, have an excuse to employ all of those dirty tricks that they've learned over the years, and 3) Screw the Rules, I Make Them! / Hand Wave. Also, the Glatorian had the element of surprise, plus a handful of them now had Elemental Powers.
  • Better Than Canon: Greg's ban on romance hasn't slowed down the Hewkii/Macku or Jaller/Hali Shippers at all.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The revival of Takanuva at the end of Mask of Light (see Ass Pull above). No foreshadowing or lead-up. Still makes no sense, even to this day. And it's never mentioned again.
  • Broken Base:
  • Complete Monster: See HERE.
  • Contested Sequel:
  • Continuity Lock-Out: Like you wouldn't believe. There are novels, Comics, Web serials, and Movies which some novels are adapted from.
  • Crack Pairing: Onewa and Krahka, given the sheer rage Onewa has when she gets trapped in the Zone of Shadows.
  • Designated Villain: Turaga Dume and the Vahki get struck with this in the Vahki animations. The shorts all portray Dume's rule over Metru Nui as some kind of Orwellian oppressive government with the Vahki serving as brutal secret police. The main source material instead shows Dume as a well-intentioned but stubborn ruler. Similarly, the Vahki are mindless robotic law enforcers who haven't really independently done anything that villainous in the main storyline. Makuta WAS impersonating Dume at the time, but regardless he didn't mistreat most of the Matoran using the power granted by impersonating Dume until actually kidnapping them.
  • Ear Worm: The Beach Chant will stay with you forever.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Of the original Toa Nuva, Kopaka is often considered to be the fan-favorite, thanks to his stoic, icy personality and memorable design.
    • Amongst clone sets, the Rahkshi are easily the most popular, as well as some of the most popular mooks in the series for being genuinely intimidating as well as introducing jointed limbs in the sets.
    • The Piraka receive a fair amount of love as well, mostly for being the first villain wave to have personalities that aren´t a clone set of a clone set. Their A Day in the Limelight novel, Legacy of Fear, also chronicles their lives as Dark Hunters, and is as beloved as Time Trap. And then there's the Piraka Rap.
    • Matau, see Awesome Ego. Web of Shadows is rather controversial among the fans, but Matau's increased Character Development is one of the most heavily praised aspects.
    • Speaking of the Visorak Era, Keetongu as well, thanks to his memorably unique design and rare color scheme (a character that's actually yellow!)
    • For yet another Web of Shadows character, there's Roodaka, who's well-liked for adding a unique female presence beyond the token blue Toa, and also because, well...just guess.
    • Brutaka is easily one of the most well-received characters. Set-wise, he has an intimidating and cool design that catches the eye. Story-wise, he's loved for his overwhelming power, deadpan humor, and being a Fallen Hero that gets an awesome fight with Axonn at the climax of the Voya Nui arc. This was noticed by the creators, as he showed up in several web serials, made a Heel–Face Turn, and even took on Teridax briefly in another awesome fight.
    • Takadox is easily the most popular of the Barraki. Set-wise, he's one of the only glow-in-the-dark sets the series ever produced; story-wise, he has one of the more distinctive personalities of the Barraki.
      • The Barraki in general are Darkhorses for breaking the trend of each set being a Palette swap of each other that had been the standard for years. Also, they're Nightmare Fuel. It helps that they're much more threatening villains than most previous canister sets, as they actually obtain the Mask of Life and have a plan to use it.
    • On the subject of Makuta, Mutran and Krika. The internet seems to love the former likely due to his very amusing and world-building serial "The Mutran Chronicles", while the latter is admired for being a Tragic Villain with Redemption Equals Death, as well as being a very large and intimidating set.
    • The Vorox for a multitude of reasons; their unique look and use of tan after years of absence of brown, their memetic quote, and to a lesser extent their role in the story. This extends somewhat to the Zesk as well.
  • Even Better Sequel: While it undeniably has its flaws, the second Bionicle film was a far better-written and executed, not to mention far better looking than its predecessor and is far above most Merchandise-Driven direct-to DVD childrens' movies. The third and fourth films, on the other hand, fall more into the realms of Contested Sequel and Sequelitis, respectively.
  • Evil Is Cool: The Makuta, for effectively being borderline Eldritch Abominations; the Piraka for being a Faux Affably Evil group of superpowered badasses; the Barraki for being monstrous marine Badass Normal characters in comparison to the Piraka; the Rahkshi for their utter domination of the Toa Nuva in their early appearances; and Brutaka for being the most powerful and deadly villain during the Inika storyline, with a cool design and a deeper backstory in comparison to the Piraka.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Macku/Hewkii and Jaller/Hahli became this after the ship teasing moments in the 2001-2003 animations, even after Greg Farshtey declared all romance non-canon, it didn't stop the shippers.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
  • Fandom Rivalry: Mainly with the rest of LEGO fandom, the AFOL community in particular who feel the theme doesn't fit in with the spirit or aesthetic of LEGO. It tends to flare up during fan polls or tourneys over the best overall theme that inevitably get flooded with votes from BIONICLE fans. It's all largely one-sided, though, as BIONICLE fans generally appreciate the other themes.
  • Foe Yay: Vakama and Roodaka. While she was using him, Roodaka at the very least seems much more genuinely invested in him than Sidorak, who she stringed along for her own benefit. Roodaka's line to Vakama near the end of Web of Shadows comes off just as much as a Woman Scorned as it does him going against her plans.
    Roodaka: And here I thought you could have been king!
  • First Installment Wins: The Toa Mata/Nuva are still the most iconic and well-remembered Toa to this day, to the extent that they've also made the most reappearances since their debut.
  • Fridge Horror: The Boxor vehicles are made of Bohrok parts. The Bohrok Were Once Matoran, making this a case of Human Resources.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With other LEGO themes like Rock Raiders, Exo-Force, and the line's spiritual predecessor Slizers, natch. But also with other adventure stories like The Lordofthe Rings and Doctor Who.
    • Also, oddly enough, with Bronies due to uncanny similarities with the two stories especially regarding the power of teamwork and both having a villain with a shadow theme.
    • Bionicle fans get along pretty well with fans of Moana, a primary reason possibly being that their island is also called "Moto Nui." It helps that Tamatoa and Te Ka both have very Bionicle-esque designs.
  • Genius Bonus: If you've spent any significant amount of time studying Hinduism, you might notice that "Unity", "Duty" and "Destiny" are three of the primary meanings of the word dharma—a word that's notoriously difficult to concisely translate into English. Depending on the context, dharma can be understood to mean "One's ultimate place in the world, as dictated by the universe itself", "One's moral obligation to find one's place in the world and fulfill one's destiny", and "The underlying direction of the universe, which binds all living beings together in one common purpose".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the Piraka Playground from BIONICLE Heroes, there’s an activity for the Piraka that involves shooting range. Go to 3:49 and try to listen what Hakann says when Vezok knocks him unconscious with the gun after the former disrupts the latter. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Greg Farshtey's wife Jackina voiced the female characters in the story podcasts and was the namesake of the character Kiina. These fun pieces of trivia became harsher in light of the news that Jackina and Greg have since divorced.
    • Regarding Makuta Icarax's death, on the last episode of Futurama, "Meanwhile", the Professor suffered a similar fate.note 
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • It's amazing how similar the fan-created Voriki was to future events.
    • Axonn and Brutaka. The former is an axe-wielding hero with a ruthless side, the latter an Evil Former Friend of his with the power to teleport objects across tremendous distances, wing-looking things on his back, and a huge double-bladed sword. Sound familiar?
    • Fans had a field day when it turned out that the island in Moana is also called "Moto Nui." (Although they're spelled differently, the pronunciation is nearly identical.) Not only that, but in both cases the island turns out to actually be the slumbering body of their setting's god.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Ask a Bionicle fan. Any fan. None of them will never forget the day the island of Mata Nui broke apart, as the body of the actual Mata Nui was revealed...and it turned out that the island where we'd seen so much adventure was the same size as his face.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Again, The characters are not "Bionicles". While it is generally acceptable to use "Bionicle" as a catch-all term for any character (especially when talking about the sets), the term "Bionicle" is actually a combination of the words "Biological" and "Chronicle". Though to be fair, it took a long time for the actual meaning of that title to make sense.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • The Bohrok-Kal, at least set-wise (their role in the story was better-received), due to being six Palette Swaps of the Bohrok sets, which were in turn Palette Swaps of each other, thus being six more sets that were identical in everything but color and shield design to six sets that were already identical in everything but color and shield design.
    • The Mata Nui Story Arcs tended to fall into this trap with the Rahi, Bohrok, and Bohrok-Kal. The island of Mata Nui is in danger, and the Toa need to collect masks of power so they can go underground and defeat the villains (through working together!).
      • Specifically, there's also the fact that in the first two examples Takua goes exploring Mata Nui and helping its residents, and that Le-Koro is being taken over by the villains (Nui-Rama in 2001, Bohrok in 2002) with Lewa's mind being taken over by the villains, Onua having to save him, and Kongu and Tamaru escaping the disaster and being helped by Takua to save the village.
    • A complicated set-based example that began in 2007. On one hand, the Palette Swap trend of the past six years was ended. On the other hand, the Piraka and Inika builds from the previous years became the standard pieces for the rest of the run, and then 2008 introduced the Av-Matoran build that was used for the Agori and the Stars. This led, of course, to the fandom declaring that LEGO's set designers were being lazy and just reusing the same designs over and over.
    • The Vahki suffered this for much of the same reasons as the Bohrok-Kal due to sharing a similar build structure to the then-well received Rahkshi, which ended up causing some people to call them a rehash. Unlike the Bohrok-Kal, the Vahki only had a minimal impact on the story and due to their robotic nature didn't have much personality either.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Takua is the Seventh Toa.
    • Teridax isn't the only Makuta. For that matter, that he has a name other than "Makuta".
    • The Matoran Universe is actually a giant robot.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Sahmad and Telluris.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Mantax, as of SPIRIT's Mantax Facts P.S.A. video.
    • Onua has gained some popularity in this department.
    • It seems that the makers of The Legend Reborn were trying to invoke this with Tarix, especially with his Nonchalant Dodge. It's taken further in a deleted scene where Tarix jumps into a crowd of Bone Hunters, fights his way through and emerges without a scratch, then tosses aside his weapons to stare down and punch out a Skrall.
      • He's arguably also this in-universe, as is the now-deceased Certavus.
    • Makuta has gotten a lot respect in some circles for being one of few Evil Overlords whose Evil Plan actually worked.
    • The humanoid form of Mata Nui, when he finally awakens, is widely regarded by fans as one of the most awe-inspiring and overpowered figures in all fiction. Considering that he's a living God whose face is bigger than the entire island that bears his name, it's somewhat hard to argue with them there.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The Zyglak. Hai. I r on a Zyglak Quest. Would you liek to join me?
    • "BURN STUFF!!!"- any parody of a Toa of Fire, mainly Tahu.
    • "Beware My Stinger Tail!" and "I AM THE MIGHTY TUMA!"
    • *Insert character here* died for/to save your *Insert noun here*
    • "Who ate all the pies? Who ate all the pies?"
    • Who is Voriki?
    • "All aboard the Hype Train!"- in response to rumors of Bionicle's return in 2015.
    • Using the term "Kapura'd" as an alternative to "Ninja'd" in some fan circles.
    • The "Good Guy/Bad Guy" sets have achieved a fair bit of popularity, for being absurdly simple builds with really doofy names. In some circles, it's hit Memetic Badass levels.
    • "YO, YO, PIRAKA". From the Piraka Rap, a song that was actually produced and released by LEGO for some reason.
    • Bonkle.note 
    • "TAKUUUUUUUUAAAAAAAAA!!!"note 
    • Move Along as the unofficial franchise Theme Song.
    • The red one.note 
    • Nuvaboobs.note 
    • The still from Mask of Light of Pohatu trying to get Tahu and Gali to get along is often used to try and mediate disagreements between fans.
    • Love isn't canon.note 
    • Pohatu's hips.note 
    • BioniCALS! note 
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Ahkmou selling infected Kolhii balls to Po-Matoran in Po-Koro, leading to the outbreak of a virus.
    • Teridax takes a leap over the horizon by sending Mata Nui into a slumber and absorbing Nidhiki, Krekka, and Nivawk.
    • Nidhiki crosses it in Legends of Metru Nui when he drops Vakama toward the smelting pits even though Lhikan had surrendered.
    • Roodaka crossed it when she left a fellow member of her species for dead on the Mountain. Interestingly, this seems to be a Rite of Passage-type thing for her species.
    • The Piraka as a whole cross it by enslaving the Voya Nui Matoran. Several of them, however, have their own candidates for when they crossed it individually.
      • Reidak, Avak, and Vezok crossed it by releasing the Kanohi Dragon onto Metru-Nui.
      • Hakann crossed it by putting a hole in Vezok's Toa canister, fully intending on letting him drown.
      • Zaktan crossed it by doing...whatever he did to a Toa of Plasma.
    • The Skrall, or at least Tuma, cross it by the raid on Tajun.
    • Annona crossed it by sending the entire Iron Tribe to extinction by feeding on their dreams.
    • The Shadowed One lives, breathes, and has taken permanent residence over the horizon for a long, long time. From ordering assassinations, to stealing treasures, conquering lands, killing every Dark Hunter who shows the slightest bit of opposition or weakness to him, and in one case, capturing the lifelong friend of a Dark Hunter without said Hunter's knowledge in order to manipulate him into joining.
    • Tridax placed himself over it by creating an army out of the alternate counterparts of Takanuva whom he had brainwashed, thus dooming many alternate realities because of his absence.
    • Really, Mutran's pure sadism in his experimentations qualify him as irredeemable.
    • Karzahni, who instead of fixing Matoran properly as he was supposed to, gave them shoddy repairs and forced them to remain on his island, an infamous Eldritch Location that is Bionicle's answer to Hell, and not giving the slightest damn about what horrific fates they end up enduring.
    • Metus sold out his and the other tribes to the Skrall, which would mean massacres and pillaging for all tribes, and enslavement for all of the survivors.
    • Takadox for hypnotizing and leaving Jaller, Hahli, and Nuparu for dead on the island of Artidax, where the whole Visorak horde has already gathered, and where the volcano was on the verge of erupting.
    • Strakk crossed it by trying to kill his opponent in the arena, when he was only supposed to defeat them in a fair fight. Strakk doubly so because Ackar had already won the match, and Strakk only had the chance to kill him because Ackar had his back turned, and due to Malum trying to do this to Strakk himself. Malum avoids this due to the redeeming qualities he has regarding his care for his pack of Vorox.
  • My Real Daddy: Greg Farshtey might've been the writer for most of the storyline, but there is a large portion of the fanbase touting concept designer and co-creator Christian Faber as the true mastermind behind BIONICLE's success. It helps that Faber regularly posted concept art that shows very interesting What Could Have Been scenarios or early designs that would eventually shape the series' aesthetics.
  • Narm: BIONICLE: The Game had some pretty dreadful dialogue all-around, but this line in particular really stands out:
  • Never Live It Down:
    • The only time a Vorox ever said "Beware My Stinger Tail" was in non-canon promotional material on the BIONICLE website. Cue the Memetic Mutation and declarations that BIONICLE had been killed by Narm.
    • The Legend Reborn receives a lot of this. For example, Kiina actually says "Woohoo!" only a few times in The Legend Reborn, but if you ask the film's critics, "Woohoo!" is the only thing that ever comes out of her mouth. Tuma, or "THE MIGHTY TUMA!", is a weakling so pathetic that it has stained all his prior appearances in canon. And based on other comments made by critics, you'd think that the character models in the film were nothing but spinning pins.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Oh, where to start... Has its own page.
  • Obscure Popularity: Was popular enough that it helped save Lego as a company, went on for ten straight years, covered almost any type of medium even outside the main toyline, including books, comics, video games and four movies, even received an (admittedly less successful) reboot in 2015... But looking at what most people seem to think about it, the mainstream only seems to remember it as "that Lego thing with the colored robots", with a lot of people not even being aware of the greater plot, or any of the sets past the first movie.
  • Pandering to the Base: Just the sheer number of Ascended Fanon cases made by the author is enough to get on a significant amount of people's nerves.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: BIONICLE: The Game and BIONICLE Heroes suffer from this, the latter going all the way to considering there's three bosses that are canonically dead and one that's actually supposed to be good.
    • Subverted in that the Heroes' case was deliberate, as the developers believed that by going past the limits of canon, they could make a more fun game. Heroes was still fairly enjoyable (especially the DS version, which is similar to Metroid Prime Hunters in terms of gameplay) despite not sticking to canon, and also subverted with the GBA RPG Maze of Shadows, a direct video game adaptation of one of the chapter books.
    • BIONICLE: The Game, on the other hand, was of... well, debatable quality in terms of gameplay, and it arguably handled the lore worse than Heroes did; the latter game simply decided to ignore the lore in favor of gameplay (not to mention the galleries in the console versions- and possibly others, I'm not sure- detailing characters and items from the story to show that, apart from a few errors, yes, they did their research), while in the former, the game seemed to actually be trying, but ended up cannibalizing it. It's like a Cut-and-Paste Translation, except they didn't even need to translate. Also, sweet mother of Karzahni in a gravy boat was the voice acting atrocious. Seriously, the only redeeming factor about it was the soundtrack, which was filled to the brim with masterpieces, and for that you can just look on YouTube.
      • The GBA version didn't fare much better, either: most of the Toa and Toa Nuva sprites are the same (except re-colored), there are only five voice samples in the entire game and they're all male (even for Gali), the controls are awful, the view is terrible, and it's insanely difficult. Again, its only redeeming quality is the highly underrated soundtrack.
  • Sacred Cow: LEGO is enough of a Sacred Cow of its own, so Bionicle is the Sacred Cow within the Sacred Cow. Its sheer history and complex Myth Arc still sets it apart from most other Merchandise-Driven franchises. So don't criticize it online if you know what's good for you.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The 2001 commercial for each Toa, but especially Tahu's, showing him rebuilding himself slowly, and turning red upon putting his Kanohi on.
    • From the films:
      • Mask of Light: Jaller's Disney Death and Takua becoming Takanuva.
      • City of Legends: Lhikan's death.
      • Web of Shadows: The mutation scene.
      • The Legend Reborn: Mata Nui and the Ignika landing on Bara Magna, followed by the creation of Mata Nui's Toa body.
    • 2006 will be remembered for the Piraka Rap...for better or worse.
    • For 2007, Matoro's sacrifice is this undoubtably.
    • The entire island of Mata Nui breaking apart as the living body of Mata Nui, which was revealed to be the same size as the entire Matoran universe, revealed himself.
    • The commercials from 2005-2008 utilizing songs by bands, but especially the ones with songs by Cryoshell, Daughtry, and The All-American Rejects.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Solek. The Av-Matoran are already disliked, due to their simplistic builds, fragile, specialized pieces, and their odd head proportions, but Solek gets this the worst since his color scheme is white and grey, as opposed to the more vibrant Tanma and Photok (lime and orange respectively). Among certain circles however, he's been elevated to the status of godhood precisely because of his notoriety. (The Agori, Shadow Matoran, and Stars escape somewhat this due to their more interesting and varied designs and color schemes.)
    • Gaardus gets this, partly for being pivotal in the loathed Red Star plotline, partly for being a massive jerk who screwed up everything for everyone, and mostly for having a build near-unanimously regarded as the ugliest in the entire franchise. Sadly, this was the final BIONICLE character made available in set form.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Toy-wise, any character with lime-green parts during and after the Mahri saga; due to a casting error, lime-green joints often broke even without play (the pieces were not properly set before they cooled, resulting in the plastic being extremely brittle). Lego tried to solve this with a new batch, but it wasn't completely solved until Phantoka, and even then most people were cautious with lime-green sets. It didn't help that sockets in general became very brittle after their redesign in 2008.
    • As mentioned above, sockets from 2008 onwards became terribly brittle, and they tended to break more often than not.
    • Red and blue pins for many, are viewed as breaking up the color scheme of sets.
    • Scrappy Weapon: The squid shooters from 2007 were extremely difficult to trigger. Notably, there wasn't even a mechanism within the launchers themselves to shoot the squid; said launchers were essentially oversized grips to hold the squid in place while you yanked back the squids' tails to fling them like rubber bands, running the risk of eventually breaking the tails off. The squids were difficult to fit into the launchers, and priming them loose enough to fire but tight enough to stay in place was a chore. The launchers also had a very loose and soft axle, presumably because they were designed to be able to be launched in your hand alone, which consequently made them prone to falling off the set when not in use.
      • Shooter weapons in general starting with the Cordak Blasters. Prior to the squid shooters, the weapons were at least comprised of pieces you'd assemble and had a fairly ingenious way of firing (even the Squid Shooters qualified). Fast forward to the Toa Mahri and the shooters became large and clunky, as well as housing special mechanisms within themselves rather than letting you build them. Lego later caught onto this and returned to having buildable shooter weapons with the Nynrah Ghost Blasters in late 2008, while the Thornax Launchers of 2009 were even more simplified.
    • The playsets were this due to Bionicle being a predominantly Technic-based series. The playsets were instead based off of the brick system, with their own minifigures as well. This didn't go well with the fanbase, who were also slowly reaching their adult years and saw the playsets as a weird gimmick at best. It didn't help either that the playsets often depicted their own non-canon story scenes rather than reproduce anything from the story proper. They would be later replaced with vehicles before the entire series was cancelled.
    • What later became known as the "Inika Build" was this for the canister toys; prior to the Toa Inikas, each generation of canister sets would have a unique build involving new parts and a mechanical function of some sort. After the Toa Inikas were released, each subsequent set often revolved around the same basic template: a basic skeleton with 13 points of articulation made from an existing set of parts with new limb and chest armor pieces and a new mask and weapon for variation. This only got worse later with the "Stars" build for the small sets; a single huge piece for the entire body with another 4 pieces for the other limbs, reducing the smaller sets to basically being disassembled action figures than true lego sets.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Jaller and Hahli have plenty of moments before and after the ban on romance.
      • At the end of the Bohrok animations, Hahli comes up to Jaller and puts a flower on his Kanohi, prompting him to stay at Ga-Koro to hang out with her instead of leaving for Ta-Koro.
      • From The Mask of Light movie.
    Jaller: Nothing gets by the Captain of the Guard. *suggestively* Unless he wishes it.
    Hahli: *flirtatiously* I'll keep that in mind.

    • They were constantly trading flirts and compliments, Hahli keeps Jaller's mask as a memento after he dies and makes a Rousing Speech about his bravery to moralize the Toa and Turaga, and after Jaller gets revived by Takutanuva, Hahli hugs him!
    • In ''Mata Nui Online Game II', if Hahli talks to Kylma in Ko-Koro, he offers to tell her her future, which will have happiness and pain in it. The happiness is that she will relight the darkness within Mata Nui; and the pain? "The one you love will be destroyed".
    • In the Legends Novels, there are occasions where Jaller is the one catching Hahli whenever she's in danger, it's even how he first discovered his mask power!
    • Matau comments to Nokama that the Vahki carrier they're on would make for great romantic rides together in Legends of Metru Nui.
      • There is also an issue of the comics where, while Matau is being overpowered by a mind-controlled Nokama:
      Matau: I know I said I wanted to be near-close to you, Nokama, but not this near-close!
    • Lariska and Nidhiki were "close friends." Uh huh...
  • So Bad, It's Good: The Piraka Rap.
  • Special Effect Failure: Ever so noticeable in all four movies.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Matoro's last moments as he sacrifices his life to reactivate Mata Nui and the Matoran Universe.
    • Lhikan's death will make you cry all night.
    • In the first movie Jaller's Disney Death, which leads to Takua becoming Takanuva.
    Jaller: (hands the mask to Takua) You were always different. (dies'')
  • Uncanny Valley: Thank God these prototypes didn’t make it to the final stage.
    • Bionicle: The Legend Reborn used the actual LEGO toys as its character models with an absolutely minimal amount of tweaking, to make them seem more realistic while still keeping the intended "toy look". One added feature was the rotten-looking teeth and weird lips formed by a second row of mechanical teeth that slid over the real ones, but their true jaw-line still remained apparent. When they smiled, it looked horrifying.
    • The earlier movies also had shades of this, not with the designs (which did their best to avert this by redesigning the characters from their toy looks) but the animation itself. The movements in the first two were often very choppy, with the characters turning stiff a lot. Then, there are Tahu's cheeks, which flap like tissue as he performs a skydive inside a volcano, despite his mask being supposedly solid metal. Given that the mask has an odd, organic-looking design with many tubes running across it, this flapping makes it look like he has his facial muscles exposed.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Matau, who is the Butt-Monkey and The Friend Nobody Likes, but the fans love him for being a Glory Seeker who constantly talks himself up.
  • The Un-Twist: Makuta was the mastermind behind so many evil plots, that fans quickly grew tired of how often he was revealed to be the Big Bad, especially in 2004, which featured a different setting, different heroes and two new big bads — turns out one was just a Filler Villain to the Big Bad, who was in fact Makuta in disguise. It didn't help that the movie of that year, Legends of Metru Nui, spoiled that at the very beginning and contained like three subsequent "Makuta is the villain" reveals in later scenes, some of which even contradicted each other (at one point Dume is seen relaying information to Makuta despite being Makuta himself in disguise at that point). That being said, the novel Time Trap Retcons this and instead paints a picture of Makuta as being The Chessmaster, and the 2006 storyline makes his Big Bad status more subtle, while the 2007 storyline introduces a new set of villains with their own agenda who are acting independently from Makuta. The culmination of his plans in 2008, however, makes all of his previous schemes much more fitting in hindsight.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • The change of settings from Mata Nui (tribal) to Metru Nui (futuristic) alienated a lot of fans, hence why the initial three years are often seen as the series' "golden years".
    • Almost every time a character received a new toy, this was the fandom's reaction, as with the exception of the Toa Nuva they tended to look very different.note  This applied very heavily to the Phantoka and Mistika Toa sets. The fans' complaining was actually one of the main reasons why set designers shied away from joining forums like BZPower.
    • The fan reaction to Makuta getting another name. The backlash was so strong, that Farshtey refuses to reveal the proper name he created for The Shadowed One, for fear of another outburst.
    • Depending on how you view it, either this trope (in regards to the earlier movies) or its polar opposite (in regards to the sets) can apply to the character design in The Legend Reborn. One major criticism of The Legend Reborn was that the character models were very close to their set counterparts, which critics lambasted as making the film look like it was about a bunch of toys. These same critics have no problem with the fact that all other BIONICLE media, including the comics, animations (including the much-lauded CGI animations by Ghost), online games, and videogames (sans BIONICLE: The Game), used the appearances of the sets. In fact, back in their day, the first three films were criticized by many fans for not keeping true to the set appearances.
    • Surprisingly little of this when the 2015 sets were leaked, and later revealed officially, especially considering they used Hero Factory's CCBS building systemnote  as opposed to the original BIONICLE's Technic system. Most seemed pretty fine with the designs. Though of course that doesn't mean there were no complaints.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • What would you expect from a Legoland California ride bearing the BIONICLE name? An epic romp through a recreation of environments from the stories? Well, you'll have to settle for BIONICLE Blaster, which is essentially a spinning teacup ride with a mechanical appearance and some Toa Nuva statues.
    • The Ignika was sentient before helping to awaken Mata Nui. Afterwards, its personality became dormant so that the focus could be on Mata Nui wandering around Bara Magna. Because it obviously wouldn't be the least bit interesting to see Mata Nui and the Ignika interact and figure out their origins together. Also, the fact that Mata Nui's body was made of sand thus possibly impervious to injury is never addressed or explored.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Besides Roodaka, nobody has any Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, so I dare you to ID one of the girls without resorting to the color-coding — and from 2004 onwards, even that's hardly foolproof (Vezok, Takadox, Gorast, Vamprah, etc.).
    • Averted with Nektann, as the fanbase by then had gotten used to blue villains being male in general and Skakdi always being presented as male in specific.
    • Hell, even Roodaka's not a good example: Her entire species looks like that, males and females. The first male of her species shown in the comics was simply a green Palette Swap of Roodaka.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The animations by Advance Copenhagen, often considered the highest-quality animations made for BIONICLE, even surpassing the direct-to-video films. Special mention goes to the Mata Nui Rising video; it really conveys the sheer scale of such a pivotal moment in the series' lore.
    • While the animation quality itself might not be so great, there's no denying the incredible level of detail put into the character models for The Legend Reborn. With the exception of Mata Nui for obvious reasons, the armor of every Glatorian, Agori, and Skrall is worn down by constant exposure to the elements and covered with cracks reminiscent of Carlos D'Anda's artstyle.
  • Values Resonance: Facing facts, Bionicle was ahead of its time. While not loud about it, it's likely that the line's set design and mechanical look helped it present to kids things that wouldn't get actively pushed for in multiple forms of media for quite some time. Using the original Toa Mata line as an example, there's varying body types note , including a fat main character who isn't mocked or less important or powerful than his peers (Pohatu). Said body types aren't wildly different for the smurfette on the team, and in fact you could easily mistake her for a man if you didn't already know.
  • Vindicated by History: Pohatu was the worst-selling of the Toa Mata. Apparently kids didn't like brown-colored characters, though the fact that he didn't come with any prominent weapons besides foot extensions and a LEGO boulder hardly helped. Later renditions of the character (along with other stone characters) made a point to give him a "cooler" look and better weapons. Adult fans revisiting the series have since fully embraced Pohatu and expressed appreciation for all the quirks of his design, like his upside-down body piece and the foot extensions as well as his Nice Guy personality.
  • Wangst: Vakama in Legends of Metru Nui. Oh god, how much he angsts... He's also like this for much of Web of Shadows, but he gets over it by the end of the film.
  • The Woobie:
    • Krika, of all characters. Yes, a Makuta is now a Woobie. He doesn't agree with the Plan and rebels whenever he can, but only goes along with it because he feels that it's all he can do. After going to Karda Nui, the Pit Mutagen in the swamp locks him into a monstrous form and robs him of so many powers that he needs to absorb heat and energy just to prevent himself from fading away. He specifically notes to Tahu that Makuta hate Toa because they're everything that the Makuta wish that they could be, and when he realizes that Teridax plans to kill them all, he tries to warn his fellow Makuta and gets killed in a truly horrific way.
    • The first two Toa of Air introduced, Lewa and Matau. The former constantly has his village destroyed and gets mind-controlled twice, in addition to the nasty situation of having Tren Krom pull a Grand Theft Me on him, while the latter gets brought down HARD in the second year of Adventures when the first part of Metru Nui they revisit is the now-wrecked Le-Metru, and then he gets mutated into an ugly beast, a curse that he in particular is quite disturbed by considering how obsessed he is with his looks. Then after all the (admittedly not unearned) vitrol Matau throws Vakama's way, Vakama snaps and pulls a Face–Heel Turn, prompting Matau to feel quite guilty about being so hard on him. And as a Turaga, he gets mind-controlled and forced to help mind-control Lewa and suffers the same destruction of his new home.
    • And Lesovikk, another Toa of Air. He lost his entire team to Zyglak just because he hesitated, his Turaga went mad and shipped his Matoran friends off to Karzahni, and he spent thousands and thousands of years trying to get them back, failing every time.
    • As Wangsty as Vakama can come across, there's no denying that he goes through a lot of crap during his time as a Toa, in addition to the universe slapping him across the mask whenever he doubts himself, especially when he gets overconfident and then brought down HARD during the second half of Adventures.
    • Savage, a minor Dark Hunter who is a Toa Hordika that was never cured and was attacked by his team when they didn't recognize him.
    • Matoro from Inferno onwards. He offered himself in place of Jaller as a sacrifice when the Ignika tested them, reasoning that the others were craftsmen or warriors, while he was just a translator, so his loss would be the least detrimental. This later foreshadowed his true Heroic Sacrifice, which just made it all the more sad because he was indeed much more important, to everyone, than he had thought.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: In The Legend Reborn, Metus is David Leisure — from the sitcom Empty Nest and the fictional (and dishonest) spokesman, "Joe Isuzu", from Isuzu car ads in the early 90s. On one hand, this does suit his introduced role as a Glatorian recruiter very well. Less so his role as the Big Bad, though his warning Mata Nui that he's not kidding around is done very well.


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