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

A made-for-TV movie was shown on Cartoon Network to promote this theme, and it was apparently successful enough that a full 13-episode TV series is in the works for late 2011 and early 2012. In the meantime, LEGO Battles: Ninjago has been released for the Nintendo DS, and an iPhone game called "Spinjitzu Scavenger Hunt" and its Mission Pack Sequel "Rise of the Snakes" are available from iTunes.

Now has a Character Page


Some LEGO Ninjago tropes:

Jay: Zane is a nindroid, Nya is the samurai, and Cole's a dancer.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Serpentine Tribes decide their leadership in this fashion.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: A giant robot attacks Zane; in order to 'disable' it, it required attacking the robot from behind. Specifically in the upper part of its back.
    • The Great Devourer has one on its forehead. Garmadon ultimately destroys it by attacking this point with the four Golden Weapons.
  • Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: "iron sharpens iron, perhaps *licks cotton candy* this Samurai will encourage you to find your true potentia... *GASP* FERRIS WHEEL! *runs towards ferris wheel*"
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Garmadon leads the Skeleton Army against the Serpentine near the end of "All of Nothing".
    • Garmadon again during "Day of the Great Devourer" when he uses the Golden Weapons of Spinjitzu to destroy the Devourer.
  • Bad with the Bone: Skeleton weapons include golden bones, axes with bones for handles, golden axes with golden bones for handles, and plain old bones.
  • Big Bad: Lord Garmadon.
  • Big Good: Sensei Wu.
  • Big No: Zane in "Tick Tock" after he discovers he's a robot.
  • Body Horror: A flashback of Sensei Wu's reveals that Garmadon looks like he does because, just before falling into the underworld, he got struck by lightning, which pretty much fried his skin and exposed his bones. Even in LEGO form, it's quite disturbing to see.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Lloyd Garmadon, up until "Never Trust a Snake".
  • Built With Lego: Played straight, being a LEGO toy line-- all the characters are LEGO minifigures. However, in some media it's subtler than in others. For instance, most of the scenery in the TV episodes is stylized heavily so there are no obvious LEGO elements.
    • LEGO Battles: Ninjago plays this straight as a tack.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: At the beginning of "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" Nya is giving a lecture theorizing that Fangpyre venom in a person's body can be counteracted by the victim increasing their heart rate, which is how Jay cures himself later on.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Zane comes off as a bit spacy to the other ninjas.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Hypnobrai are blue and gold, Fangpyre are red and white, Venomari are lime and dark green, Constrictai are black/grey and orange, and Anacondrai are violet.
    • Colour Coded Elements: The clothes of the ninjas and skeletons: red is fire, blue is lightning, white is ice, black (or dark grey) is earth, green is energy, and gray(or red, cyan, maroon) is water.
  • Cool Car: In the 2012 sets, Cole gets what amount to a ninja-Batmobile. Most of the skeleton rides count as well, especially the monster truck.
  • Covered in Gunge: After the Great Devourer is destroyed Ninjago City get covered in green slime.
  • Cain and Abel: Garmadon and Sensei Wu are brothers, and the sons of the first Master of Spinjitzu. Garmadon is the older brother; Wu is the younger brother.
  • Cute Little Fangs: When a victim is bitten by a Fangpyre, the first sign of change is a pair of tiny fangs.
  • Dem Bones: The skeletons.
  • Demoted to Extra: Nuckal and Kruncha appear as extras in several episodes before fighting the Serpentine alongside the other skeletons in "All of Nothing".
  • Does Not Understand Sarcasm: Zane. Justified in that he's a robot, and his humor switch is usually set to "off".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Four elemental warriors who have been training for sometime to protect another warrior who has the abilities to take down a major villain. Also they have no clue who that warrior is.
  • Diving Save: Cole saves his father in episode "The Royal Blacksmiths", and also gains his true potential.
  • The Dragon: Samukai, King of the Underworld, to Lord Garmadon, and Skales to Pythor.
    • Dragon Ascendant: The ending of "Day of the Great Devourer" suggest Skales will become this.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Great Devourer worshipped by the Serpentine Tribes. Its said that if unleashed, it'll consume the world in The Night That Never Ends.
  • Elemental Powers: The ninjas, skeletons and dragons each have one of four elemental powers: Fire, Ice, Lightning and Earth. Each element also has its own magical golden weapon.
    • Playing with Fire: The ninja Kai, the skeleton Frakjaw, the skeleton king Samukai, the Fangpyre Serpentine, and the Sword of Fire.
    • Shock and Awe: The ninja Jay, the skeleton Krazi, the skeleton general Nuckal, the Venomari Serpentine, and the Nunchucks of Lightning.
    • An Ice Person: The ninja Zane, the skeleton Bonezai, the skeleton general Wyplash, the Hypnobrai Serpentine, and the Shurikens of Ice.
    • Dishing Out Dirt: The ninja Cole, the skeleton Chopov, the skeleton general Kruncha, the Constrictai Serpentine, and the Scythe of Quakes.
    • Light'Em Up: Sensei Wu.
    • Casting a Shadow: Lord Garmadon.
    • Energy Being: Lloyd
    • We later end up learning that there were more elemental masters throughout the Tournament of Elements.
  • Enemy Mine: Wu and Garmadon have one when the former needs the latter's help to save Lloyd.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Lord Garmadon genuinely loves his son Lloyd.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning
  • Evil Tastes Good: During the montage of Garmadon's stay with the ninjas in "The Green Ninja" he is shown eating "condensed evil".
  • Evil Versus Evil: Garmadon against the Serpentine.
  • Exact Words: When his students ask if one of them will become the Green Ninja if they prove themself better than all the others, Wu replies "If that's what it takes to get you motivated to train..."
  • Expy: Samukai is similar looking to General Grievous. He even has similar fighting moves and four arms.
  • Eyes of Gold: The Venomari.
  • Heel Face Turn: Lloyd Garmadon.
    • Heel Face Revolving Door: Lord Garmadon. Though its not actually his fault, considering he literally has evil in his blood thanks to being bitten by the Great Devourer.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: The "Book of Ninjago" on the official website lists exotic flora and fauna for most of Ninjago's key locations. Their exotic qualities are often wildly unrealistic and Played for Laughs.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: What the 2012 sets amount to.
  • Fantasy World Map: It's in the shape of a dragon's head.
    • Patchwork Map: Ninjago has a lot of adjacent locations with stark, unexplained contrasts.
  • Fighting a Shadow: While he was sealed in the Underworld, Lord Garmadon could project his shadow to the real world. The only way to fight it is with your own shadow, other wise it can hit you but not the other way around.
  • Five-Bad Band: The Serpentine generals can be organized as one.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flash Back: After activity his program switch, Zane remembers his past and his father.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Kai is choleric, Jay is sanguine, Cole is phlegmatic, and Zane is melancholic.
  • "Friend or Idol?" Decision: Near the end of "The Green Ninja" when the Fire Temple is flooding with lava and about to erupt Kai is forced to decide between saving Lloyd and saving the third Silver Fang Blade. Take a wild guess which one he picks.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In episode 3, there's a brightly-lit sign reading "Scrap n Junk". The S in "scrap" flickers out. Literally getting "crap" past the radar.
  • Glowing Eyes: When a ninja's true potential is unlocked.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The fight with the Great Devourer is so great a threat that giving Garmadon the Golden Weapons becomes the only option to destroy it.
  • Henshin Hero
  • Heroic BSOD: Zane. Refer to the Big No entry above to know why.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja
    • In particular when Zane's attire turned pink due to being washed.
  • Hollywood Tone Deaf: The Serpentine during "The Royal Blacksmiths".
  • Informed Ability: According to the product description for her spinner set, Nya has psychic powers. This is never even hinted at elsewhere-- the closest suggestion is the official website's statement that her specialty is "intuition".
  • I Know Karate: In the episode "Snakebit", the lights turn off in the junkyard, leaving Jay's parents Ed and Edna in darkness. Feeling danger about, Ed musters up the courage to yell to the darkness: "Whoever you are, my son knows Spinjitzu!"
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: The Green Ninja, supposedly the being destined to defeat Lord Garmadon.
  • Lethal Joke Item: In the "Spinjitzu Scavenger Hunt" iPhone game, the outfit with the second highest defense rating is a set of pajamas. The second strongest weapon is Kai's toothbrush.
    • It may be worth noting that, in the movie, Kai defeats three fully-prepared, well-armed, and stereotypically-clad ninja while wearing his pajamas and wielding his electric toothbrush.
  • Meaningful Name: The theme name itself. The meaning of "Ninja GO!" is obvious, but it's also a portmanteau of Ninja and LEGO. The skeleton names also have fairly obvious meanings.
    • The Serpentine tribes all have names referencing their racial traits; Hypnobrai can hypnotize people, Fangpyre (portmanteau of "fang" and "vampire") can use their fangs to upgrade vehicles and transform people, Venomari can spit venom into people's eyes to make them hallucinate, Constrictai are, well, constrictors (though their main talent seems to be burrowing and Skalidor is the only one with a tail to constrict, so they may be the odd one out), and Anacondrai are the largest tribe just as anacondas are the largest species of snake in real life.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Being that this is a Lego series...yeah.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Samukai.
    • Later on Garmadon grows a second pair of arms so he can hold all four Golden Weapons at once. Unlike Samukai, he isn't destroyed by attempting to do so.
  • Mundane Utility: The first episode of the series has Kai using the Sword of Fire as a makeshift oven.
  • Mushroom Samba: Happens to victims of Venomari venom. When the combined forces of the Venomari and Constrictai are attacking the ninjas Kai sees them as angry elves and gingerbread men, and also becomes convinced there's a rope they can use to get to safety. Then an actual rope appears. Later on when they get back on the ship he sees Wu's beard moving.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: What exactly does the P stand for in Pythor P. Chumsworth?
  • Ninja
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Is it pronounced Ninja Go or NinJAHgo? The designer videos tend to use the latter pronunciation, while every significant Title Drop uses the former. The animations, however, use both: Ninja Go before spinning, and NinJAHgo when referring to the location.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Kai escaping a volcano and saving Lloyd, gaining his true potential in "The Green Ninja".
  • One-Winged Angel: Becoming the leader of one of the Serpentine Tribes results in taking on a more snake-like form.
  • Only One Name: Almost all of the main characters and villains except for Lloyd Montgomery Garmadon and Pythor P. Chumsworth.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In "The Snake King" Lloyd disguises himself as a Hypnobrai with a cap (which happens to look like the one on the Rattla figure), pair of glasses, fangs, and two maracas. Surprisingly it fools Skales, who was shown to be quite competent before, and his disguise isn't blown until he drops his maracas watching the Slither Pit match in Ouroboros.
    • The Serpentine during the talent show in "The Royal Blacksmiths".
  • Parental Favoritism: As Garmadon points out to Wu before he leaves the Underworld "You were always [their father's] favorite".
  • Plot Coupon: The four Silver Fang Blades.
  • Put on a Bus: The ninjas' dragons leave for an indeterminate amount of time for what's basically dragon puberty.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: All the skeletons as well as Lord Garmadon have glowing red eyes, rather than the Black Bead Eyes typical of LEGO minifigures. The Hypnobrai tribe also have these.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The 2012 wave.
  • Ridiculously-Human Robots: Zane the Nindroid
  • Robotic Reveal: See above.
  • Samus Is a Girl: "Samurai X has come to help the ninjas fight off the evil snakes, but won’t reveal his identity." Of course, the official images of the set don't exactly do a good job hiding the character's identity. Here there be spoilers
  • Scenery Porn: The land of Ninjago has plenty of amazing scenery, particularly the areas where the golden weapons are hidden.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Lord Garmadon was sealed in the Underworld, but manages to escape at the end of the film.
    • The Serpentine, who as pointed out were sealed away in rebellion against their rule of Ninjago.
  • Secret Identity: Cole kept his secret of being a ninja from his father.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: The ninjas are typically wrapped up head to toe, with Nya being the only protagonist with an even marginally revealing outfit (her arms are exposed). The skeletons usually have body armor, but other than that tend to wear nothing but a colored loincloth and maybe a hat (granted, they ARE skeletons). Garmadon, the Big Bad, seemingly has no clothing but a purple belt.
    • The Serpentine being snakes have little to nothing unless you count their weapons.
  • Ship Tease: When Jay learns that his team will be rescuing Nya, Kai's sister, his interest piques...

 Jay: You never said anything about a girl! Is she hot?

Kai: She's my sister.

Jay: Hey, just wanted to know what we're getting ourselves into. Does she like blue?

    • It turns out that blue is her favorite color, and the website confirms that Jay is her favorite ninja. Whether this leads to anything remains to be seen, although being a toyline aimed at young boys anything beyond flirtation may be too much to hope for.
    • "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" ends up taking this a step futher by having the two go on a date, and also has Nya kissing Jay, with the two bordering on Official Couple by the end of the episode.
  • Shout-Out: The uniforms worn by the students in Lloyd's boarding school appear to be heavily based on the Hogwarts uniforms in the Harry Potter franchise. Namely, they look like the uniforms in the LEGO Harry Potter line recolored with a skull emblem printed on.
    • In "The Royal Blacksmiths" Cole mentions Clutch Powers, the main protagonist of a previously released LEGO film. This seems to imply that a lot of LEGO franchises are set in the same universe.
    • Instead of her regular outfit Nya has in the victory party scene at the end of "All of Nothing" the torso/leg design of the Willie Scott figure from LEGO's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom line.
  • Sixth Ranger: Well, fifth in this case; in the 2012 storyline they introduce a ninja clad in green and the other ninjas assume that one of them will become him, when in actuality it's a whole new team member. And it's Lloyd. The Anacondrai count as the Evil Counterpart of this for the team.
    • The true Sixth Ranger just so happens to be Nya.
  • The Starscream: Skales to Slithraa, up until the former defeats the latter for control of the Hypnobrai.
    • Before that Samukai to Garmadon.
  • Stealth Pun: The blue ninja is named Jay. (Blue jay, geddit?) And the 2012 line adds Xtreme Kool Letterz to the characters' names, so Jay becomes... Jay ZX.
    • The black earth ninja is named Cole, guess what else is black and come from the earth? Coal, geddit?
  • Sticks to the Back: LEGO ninja headwraps include a clip on the back for swords, so this was inevitable in the toyline.
  • Technicolor Ninjas
  • The Night That Never Ends: A mural in the Constrictai's tomb predicts that if the four Serpentine Tribes unite and find several Artifacts Of Doom, they'll be able to summon the Great Devourer to trigger this.
  • Title Scream: The theme song The Weekend Whip uses the lyrics "Ninja GO!" in a song that otherwise has no obvious connection with ninjas. The Spinjitzu gameplay instructions included in the toys also instruct players to shout this as they spin their characters.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Kai's father, as well as the first Spinjitzu master (father of Sensei Wu and Lord Garmadon).
  • Tragic Villain: Garmadon revealed to be this over the course of the series. The Great Devourer corrupting him was his start to evil and he literally can't fight that side of him. Despite this, he does want to be a good father to Lloyd, which makes it all the more sadder that his own fate has been decided despite feelings towards his family, who he must fight in future.
  • The Underworld: The base of operations for Lord Garmadon and the skeletons.
  • The Virus: The Fangpyre tribe have the power to bite vehicles and turn them into animate snake-themed vehicles which they can then use for their own goals, and can also corrupt people, though with the former it's instantaneous and with the latter it's extremely slow acting. They do this in episode 3 to Jay's parents and some of the vehicles and piles of junk his dad made, out of which is a wrecking ball (which also appears in one of the levels of Rise of the Snakes) and a giant ninja robot (which Ed claims he made in Jay's honor).
    • Later in "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" Jay becomes afflicted after getting his hand pricked on a fossilized Fangpyre skull. It's suggested that the time it takes for it to affect organic lifeforms depends on their complexity since shortly after Jay leaves a fly drinks the venom from the skull and instantly mutates.
  • Visual Pun: Zane getting butterflies in his stomach... literally.
  • Wham! Episode: "Tick Tock". Luckily, in this case it's an awesome wham.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: In "Home", when everyone's upset by their home being destroyed, Jay is fixated on the fact he's lost all his high scores.
  • X Meets Y: A Spear Counterpart Sailor Moon meets Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Super Sentai with ninjas!

Notes

  1. Answer: None of the above.
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