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YMMV / Ninjago

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  • Abandon Shipping: After The Reveal that Harumi is the Quiet One and was just using Lloyd for his Oni power, Lloyd x Harumi sank faster than the Titanic.
  • Angst? What Angst?: No one (excluding Lloyd) seems very torn up over Garmadon's banishment, and later, death. Wu and Misako, his brother and wife respectively, seem completely unaffected by it, and even the Ninja who had gotten close to Garmadon during the Tournament, and... nope, no real emotion there.
    • Could be Justified in that Lloyd was the only one out of the Ninja who forged a deep connection with him, while the other Ninja saw him as a casual ally at best. As for Wu and Misako, both of them were forced to watch Garmadon actually go to the dark side as it happened, so it may be a subtle subversion of Easily Forgiven - just because they welcomed Garmadon back into the fold after he was purified of The Corruption, doesn't mean they still don't harbor some bitterness over losing him to the darkness in the first place.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In Volume 9 of the comic, was it always Zane's plan to stay loyal to the ninja? Or was Nya bursting in at the last second just a backup plan he made in case the Overlord could not deliver what he promised, giving him the opportunity to both remain loyal and betray the ninja to potentially become human with no consequences?
    • Was Garmadon's rampage after Harumi's death really because he wanted to avenge her out of grief? or was it because he realized he had no way of pretending that he couldn't bring himself to kill Lloyd anymore (like he did when he "adopted" Harumi), therefore hoping that Lloyd would die in the ensuing chaos and not live with the guilt of doing the deed with his hands? The fact that he actually saves Lloyd's life a couple of times when he could've easily just let him die during their final battle seems to point towards the latter.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The storyboard writing behind Season 8 employing a more realistic tone, and the Ninja being given more focus in regards to their backstories with long standing plot holes being filled, won back a considerable number of fans.
    • Another complain addressed was the excessive amount of female characters that ended up as love interests (Skylor, PIXAL, Misako) , in Season 8 and 9 we get Harumi who PRETENDED to be one, Ultra Violet, Jet Jack, Mystake and Faith who all end up without a love interest of any kind.
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    • After the Season 2 finale had the Serpentine seal themselves away, cutting off any sort closure for them due to being the final season at the time, Rebooted brought them back, and revealed that they've since decided to do good, integrating themselves into Ninjago.
  • Badass Decay: Lloyd after his final battle with the Overlord. He goes from being the Ultimate Spinjitsu Master and an immensely powerful force for the heroes... only to be kidnapped and depowered the very next season.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Lloyd. Is he one of the best characters to come out of the show with his character development or is he still the annoying brat he was in early Season 1 who took the main hero spot away from Kai?
    • Morro. While considered by many to be one of the best villains in the history of the show, there is also a portion of fans who think he's a whiny Kylo Ren copy.
  • Cliché Storm: Albeit one done right. Less so as the series went on as the plots began to become more complicated.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • The Serpentine, especially Skales and Pythor, receive extensive treatment of this by the fandom. Somehow, these bloodthirsty and treacherous villains are interpreted as innocent Woobies who only want a hug. Season 3 makes this canon (Pythor excluded).
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    • Lord Garmadon suffers from this to a degree as well, though it's more justified given how he is depicted as a Tragic Villain from Season 2 onward.
    • Morro gets this a lot from the fanbase. This was bound to happen given his easily Woobie-fiable backstory, his sexy voice, and the fact that he's one of the show's younger villains despite being a ghost. Since Morro actually gets a legitimate Heel–Face Turn at the end of Season 5 and becomes a good guy in the Day of the Departed special, this is actually more justified than most examples of this trope.
    • Acronix also gets this to a lesser extent; with his Adorkable obsession with technology being played up in some fanworks.
    • Princess Harumi gets this most of all, mostly thanks to Lloyd x Harumi shippers who didn't want to let go. Although to be fair, Harumi is very manipulative, so some of that probably spread into the audience. There is also a significant portion of the fanbase that doesn't want her to be redeemed because of how effective of a villain she is, so in a way, this is averted more often than most of these kinds of characters.
  • Ear Worm: The opening song — "Nin-jah-go, Nin-jah-go!"...
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Out of the post-Season 2 antagonists, Morro is the most popular due to his backstory darkly mirroring the main ninja's own quest to become the Green Ninja, and having the most character growth out of the later villains, and being one of the few to redeem himself in "Day of the Departed".
    • Flintlocke is currently getting the most votes in "Who is the best Sky Pirate" poll on the Ninjago's Wikia front page.
    • Despite only appearing in one of the comics, Seliel is loved by the fandom, and many want her to have an appearance in the show.
    • Echo Zane. His adorable mannerisms immediately won over many fans.
    • The Serpentine — especially Skales.
    • Jole, who doubles as a One-Scene Wonder, has become quite popular.
    • Neuro is also very popular.
    • Griffin Turner is extremely popular with fans due to his chill personality.
    • Ronin is well-liked in the fandom.
    • Mr. E. His reveal as a Nindroid likely boosted his popularity.
  • Growing the Beard: The first 13-episode season marks an improvement over the Pilot Movie, which some reviewers found generic and un-engaging.
  • Ho Yay: Although it doesn't happen often thanks to the show's Target Audience, it still occurs on occasion.
    • In "Can of Worms", Zane rode on Cole's back the entire way up a mountain, despite the fact that he was more than capable of doing it on his own. Then, there was this particularly lovely exchange upon facing one of the Serpentine Generals.
    Skalidor (to Zane): Look who's calling who pathetic... Pinky.
    Cole: Only I call him Pinky!
    • Not to mention in "Darkness Shall Rise", there was this:
    Cole: Nindroids first!
    Zane: Oh, you are such a gentleman!
    • And then after the stressful Final Battle, the two clearly hug. Complete with Cole referring to Zane by an Affectionate Nickname!
    • Also, in the episode Spy for a Spy, Cole gives Zane a hug followed by a “Can you feel the love?”
    • Lloyd and Kai are also getting some tension. Especially in the fifth season, where the latter behaves as if he is heartbroken upon the former's possession and repeatedly tries to reach out to him.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: The Titanium Ninja. Zane, a main character no less, dies onscreen, and the scene is immediately followed by a funeral that seems to imply he is Killed Off for Real. He is then implied to be alive at the very end of the episode.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Interestingly, only same-sex pairings tend to use this:
    • Kai and Lloyd: Greenflame (Kai's elemental power is fire, while Lloyd's associated color is green)
    • Zane and Cole: Glaciershipping (ice + earth = glacier)
    • Kai and Cole: Lavashipping (fire + earth = lava)
    • Zane and Jay: Technoshipping (both characters are associated with technology; Jay is a tech whiz and Zane is a robot)
    • Kai and Zane: Steamshipping or Oppositeshipping (the former: fire + ice = steam; the latter is due to Kai being impulsive and hotheaded in contrast with Zane being calm and collected)
    • Cole and Jay: Bruiseshipping (black and blue are colors used to describe bruises; alternatively both seem to get into fights with each other more than with other ninja)
  • I Knew It!: Many fans guessed that the second Samurai X was P.I.X.A.L. Jay even lampshades it.
  • It Was His Sled / Late-Arrival Spoiler: At this point, pretty much everyone knows that Lloyd is the Green Ninja thanks to marketing and the Lego Ninjago Movie. Zane being a Nindroid and Nya being the Water Ninja are also in this category.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Lord Garmadon while he's still an antagonist, and is a textbook example of Being Evil Sucks.
    • Nadakhan is a selfish Jackass Genie. However, on the other hand, in the course of the story, he lost his loved one, his father and his whole kingdom.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Pythor P. Chumsworth. He is obsessed with restoring the Creation Devourer and ensuring Serpentine dominance over Ninjago. He is an extremely cunning and manipulative strategist, and is incredibly cruel and ruthless to his enemies. He even willingly ate his own kind in order to survive. He constantly keeps up the Affably Evil veneer, which only cracks in moments of extreme stress. He's also the oldest and most recurring villain in the entire series.
  • Memetic Mutation: GOLDEN CHAINSAW STAFFS!!!
    Lloyd: I'm a ninja. And you are wearing make-up.
    Jay: Hey hey hey, it's concealer!
    • "I have to scratch my face."
    • "No Pizza for you!"
    • "THAT'S... MY... MOM"
    • From the season 5 trailer, we've got this exchange:
    Cole: How are we supposed to fight a friend?
    Possessed!Lloyd (with a much deeper voice): Let me show you!
    Jay: Whoa, Lloyd's gone through puberty!
    A HOARD OF SKULKINS run past the foreground and plot their sneak attack on Zane— but they get surprised when the Black Ninja GHOST through a solid wall!
    • From the end of the Day of the Departed trailer released in late September 2016, which was overall very dramatic and serious, we have this exchange (made funnier by the moderate lack of context):
    Wu: Is this good, or bad?
    Morro: Bad. Very bad.
    • When the promos for Season 10 were released, several fans referred to it as Ninjago: Endgame.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Vex crossed this where he Mainipulative and corruption the innocent Zane into heartless Ice Emperor and attack his own kinds out of spite.
  • Moe: A significant amount of the characters are very adorable to look at.
  • Narm: The scene where Skales tries to capture slowly descending down on a window-washing lift... outside. His knock on the window during the same scene only adds to the Narm factor.
    Garmadon: "And this time I will recreate Ninjago...[slows down] in moy oowwn immmaaaggggeee..."
  • Narm Charm: It's a little hard to take the plot twists seriously when the characters are still cute-as-a-button minifigures. This doesn't take away from awesome moments however, and the characters behave normally instead of acting like they live in some toy chest.
    • It's possible that if you've watched Ninjago for the past four years, you're no longer quite seeing them as mini-figures, particularly since the stories keep getting better and better.
  • Periphery Demographic: Not just older, but a surprising amount of the fandom is female as well.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Frequently used for the heterosexual couples. Jay and Nya is called Jaya, Cole and Nya is called Nycole or Colenya, Zane and Pixal is called Pixane, and Kai and Skylor is called Kailor.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Lloyd wasn't very well-liked in the first half of season one, being an annoying brat as a villain and The Load as a hero. Having Took a Level in Badass and generally becoming a more responsible character in later episodes may have changed that.
  • The Scrappy
    • Nya is disliked for being rather shallow and bland. Not to mention she dropped Jay for Cole because of a relationship tester machine! Although she eventually does end up with Jay.
    • A fair amount of the fandom dislikes Misako for repeatedly abandoning her son and inconsistent behavior towards Garmadon and Wu. She is also never held accountable in the show for anything she does and is a fairly one-dimensional character.
  • Seasonal Rot: Seasons 1-3 are generally considered to be the best among fans, especially those who have grown disenchanted with the show. The later seasons, while still enjoyable, tend to have more plot holes, and characterization is noticeably less in-depth and consistent.
    • This has begun to change as the writing gets better and the plots get deeper, especially with the incredibly dark and mature handling of the reveal that Harumi was manipulating Lloyd the entirety of Season 8.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Masters of Spinjitzu might be the closest thing to have a BIONICLE TV Series with the Ninjas substituting as Toa and the seasons more or less the entire Sagas.
  • Spiritual Licensee: It's certainly a better continuation to BIONICLE than its reboot.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: With Season 8, there were many who were mad that the Ninjas' appearances were changed to become more similar to The Lego Ninjago Movie. Some believed that this change alone killed any remaining interest in the show for them. When the actual season came out, however...
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The entire Possession story arc can be considered this, due to the overall interactions between the Ninja and Morro. Each individual ninja had, at one point, possessed the same ambition Morro had (wanting to be the Green Ninja), at times taking extreme lengths (especially Kai), before accepting their true roles as defenders of the Green Ninja. At best, it would have paid to see a scene where the ninja (particularly Kai) attempt to reach out to Morro over how they also wanted to be the Green Ninja, before finding satisfaction in being a part of something bigger. Yet there is no such scene, with the Ninja constantly regarding Morro as an enemy throughout.
    • Harumi's confrontation with Lloyd in Game of Masks could have made a lot more sense; since Lloyd was the one who actually freed the snakes that resurrected the Great Devourer, giving Harumi a more reasonable motivation for hating him. Instead, her motivation seems to be as simple as "you couldn't stop the giant snake, only Garmadon could", which, while somewhat sensible as her motivation for bringing Lord Garmadon back, makes very little sense as a reason for hating Lloyd specifically out of all the Ninja.
    • Season 9 also got hit with this pretty hard. Wu was de-aged and Lloyd lost his powers, which seemed to be setting up the ninja to train him to defeat Garmadon in a role-reversal of what happened in earlier seasons. This happened to an extent in the show proper, but ultimately he doesn’t do much upon acquiring the Dragon Armor and it’s ultimately up to Lloyd to save the day once again. In addition to this, several ideas were apparently cut from production, such as a girl-team up after Lloyd is captured note  and the reveal that Mr. E would have been Echo Zane upgraded by the Quiet One, confirmed by the Hageman Brothers but ultimately removed from the show. As the icing on the cake, going to the realm of Oni and Dragons could have provided a perfectly good opportunity to help explain how the ninja’s powers work, the subject of Continuity Snarl for most of the show.
  • Ugly Cute: Some of the Serpentine fall under this on certain occasions, when they're serving as a comic relief rather than serious villains.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Lord Garmadon having glowing red eyes and paler yellow skin when he was younger. This comes off as unnerving in comparison since the other characters have standard LEGO faces. This is somewhat downplayed when later seasons clarified that Garmadon did look normal through flashbacks, and that his paleness was the result of further succumbing to the venom from the Great Devourer.
    • When Lord Garmadon is possessed by the Overlord, something about his face looks... off. Given that this series gave us cool reptilian faces such as the Great Devourer and, eventually, the Overlord's final form, there's something not quite right about the design of this face.
  • Unexpected Character: Clutch Powers was the last person people expected to appear in season 11. He was mentioned in an earlier episode, but LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers is rather obscure among the LEGO fanbase.
  • Unfortunate Implications: If this thread is anything to go by, Ninjago's westernization of Japanese culture does not go over so well with some fans.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The rise of the dark half of Ninjago is an awesome blend of style and 3D animation.
    • The entire final battle between Destroyer-possessed Garmadon and the ninja is made of this. Lloyd's Golden Dragon is particularly impressive.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Seasons 7 and 8 began winning back fans who thought the show began undergoing a Seasonal Rot; Season 8 in particular, due to the new designs for the ninja being more realistic, villains being more compelling and more serious as threats, expansion into the Ninjas' backstories, answering questions that had been long left unanswered (such as Cole's missing mother being mentioned, and how Zane gained the elemental ability of Ice despite not being blood related with the previous Elemental Master), and the return of genuinely shocking plot twists (like Harumi being the leader of the Sons of Garmadon).
  • What an Idiot!:
  • The Woobie:
    • Zane's No Social Skills and his frustration that he can't be like other people because of him being a robot can make him this at times.
    • Lloyd. He was tricked and kidnapped by Pythor as a misguided kid, and then thrown into his prophecy of defeating his father and devoting most of his life to training. His entire childhood was then literally taken away from him in a single night. He also had to watch his father banish himself into the Cursed Realm, and was unable to save him when they met for the last time. And thanks to Morro, was a victim of Demonic Possession. Seriously, the universe seems to have it out for him. And then Season 8 happens and throws him straight past the Despair Event Horizon, utterly breaking him in every way imaginable - he's betrayed by the girl he loved, and then has to listen to his father (whom he had already been through the ringer to redeem) disown him after being revived as a hollow shell of himself. The guy's gonna need some serious freaking therapy, especially since, as of the Season 8 finale, he now believes that he had to watch all his friends save for Nya die (although, thankfully, they didn't, instead they were merely transported to another realm).
    • Iron Woobie: While it may have started as early as season 2, Garmadon falls firmly into this trope in the second half of season 4. From being painfully transformed against his will (once again!) into an Anacondrai to Chen taunting him about his past deception in front of Wu and Misako to having to make a Heroic Sacrifice, the last three episodes are basically a Trauma Conga Line for him.

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