Ben 10: Alien Force

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ben10Alienforce.jpg

The sequel series to Ben 10, with management taken over from Man of Action by Glen Murakami and Dwayne McDuffie of Justice League fame. Ben "10" Tennyson and his cousin Gwen, now both 15 years old, team up with a reformed Kevin Levin, who is now 16, to stop various evil aliens. Seasons 1 and 2, which were initially one entire season, has them going off against the Nazi-esque Highbreed, who are determined to eliminate all other races, leaving the "one true race". Compared to the original series, those seasons had a darker and more mature approach, as well as less filler and more continuity between the episodes.

Season 3 doesn't really have an Arc Plot, but instead tried to meld in bits of the original series, such as introducing villains of the previous serie, putting more filler and toning down the dark tone. The closest thing to an Arc Plot for this season is Vilgax's attempts to finally get his revenge on Ben.

This series' Grand Finale set up the sequel series Ben 10: Ultimate Alien.

As with the first series, Alien Force was given a Live Action Adaptation film Ben 10 Alien Swarm. General census is that its leagues better then the original's Race Against Time.

Tropes used in Ben 10: Alien Force include:
  • Aborted Arc: The Forever Knights going after the planet of alien dragons.
  • Acting for Two: Three, actually; The Con of Rath guest-stars John Dimaggio as Octagon Vreedle, Vulcanus, and the titular Rath.
    • Nevermind that Dee Bradley Baker is pretty much every Omnitrix alien, plus various others!
  • Actor Allusion: Yuri Lowenthal voicing a character with multiple personas, with battle cries while using them? I wonder ...
    • Also, both of their first transformations (Swampfire and Orpheus) have fire attacks.
    • Greg Cipes and Ashley Johnson voicing characters with a mutual attraction to each other? Teen Titans, anyone?
  • Agony of the Feet: Kevin gets acid spit on his feet.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Gwen towards Kevin.
  • All Myths Are True: All mythological creatures are actually aliens living on Earth. Except Bigfoot; that's a guy in a suit.
  • All There in the Manual: The Ask Dwayne threads, as stated above, clear up a good number of the apparent plot holes, or at least assure us that explanations are forthcoming.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Busy Box. The group has to fight off a robot who can not only copy their appearances and abilities, but combine them, too.
  • An Aesop
    • Aesop Amnesia: Particularly blatant with Kevin, who learns in "In Charm's Way" that Gwen still loves him despite his new, monstrous appearance. A few episodes later, he's back to wallowing in Wangst about how Gwen must not care about him anymore due to him looking the way he does.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The High Breed, who feel that other races "contaminate" them and want to kill all other life in the universe.
  • Animesque: Just like its predecessor.
    • Could be because it's by the same people who did Teen Titans.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: Brainstorm often indulges in this.
    • In "The Vengeance of Vilgax" this was actually the first weakness of one of Ben's new aliens (not counting Alien X) demonstrated. Spidermonkey attacked Brainstorm while he was busy prattling on. If Gwen hadn't told Ben to just absorb him with the Omnitrix he would've lost.
    • This could also be considered an example of Spock Speak
  • Apocalypse How: Alien X was unable to stop a Class X on Pluto (and a class 4 on the dinosaurs) due to its indecisiveness.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Kevin matter-of-factly informs Gwen her powers come from her alien bloodline. But he scoffs at Gwen's insistence her powers are magic-based. Turns out the Gwen's alien powers and magic are related.
    • The cops in Alan's hometown have no problem accepting the fact that he turns into an alien. But in "Inside Man", the police don't believe Tyler when he says he saw aliens. Keep in mind that Ben10 largely consisted of Ben, Gwen, and Max fighting aliens and other weird stuff, very publicly, for an entire summer.
      • Except those were not cops. They were DNAliens disguised as cops. By that point in the series, there's good chance none of them were human (At least, not anymore)
  • Artifact Title: As with the original series, Ben had much more than 10 aliens by the end of the series. He had the ten from the start of the series (sans Alien X), Cannonbolt, Diamondhead, Upchuck, Way Big, Lodestar, Rath, and possibly Ghostfreak, with a grand total of 16 aliens. And that's not if you count the Ultimate forms he gets in the Grand Finale.
    • Also, the titular Alien Force didn't exist at all until the end of the second season.
    • Additionally, Kevin 11 no longer has 11 superpowers (although he did stop using the nickname about the same time as his Heel Face Turn).
      • Though his name is still Keven E. Levin....
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: In this series, this is an interplanetary law, allowing anybody who's powerful enough to beat the strongest person on a planet control over that planet. Vilgax conquers planets this way.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: "Primus" ends with Uber-Vilgax VS Way-Big.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Alien X.
  • Badass Boast: In Con of Rath, Ben (as Rath, the Appoplexian) makes such a boast to Jarret, leader of the Pantophage.

"Lemme tell ya somethin', Jarret of Pantophage! I just jumped down your throat! And if you start a war with Luodans, I'll do it again! Only next time, I'll knit your intestines into a sweater!"

  • Badass Long Robe: the Wrench from Season 2's "Voided."
  • Badass Normal: Grandpa Max
  • Bad Future: "Time Heals".
  • Beach Episode: In Charm's Way starts off at the beach, including Gwen in a new black bikini.
  • Berserk Button: Don't harm a child-Vilgaxian in front of Vilgax.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Gwen Tennyson and Grandpa Max, besides the obvious fact that Grandpa Max is a Badass Normal, he's super, super nice to everyone, but when you push his buttons it's not pretty. Same with Gwen, she's the nicest of the Power Trio, but when she blows up, THINGS BLOW UP WITH HER. (Obvious Example "Max Out")
  • Big Bad: The Highbreeds in the first two seasons and Vilgax in the third.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A whole parade for the season finale!
  • Big Eater: Upchuck, just like before.
  • Big No: Ben has one in "Max Out" when Grandpa Max supposedly kills himself to destroy a DNAlien factory.
  • Big Green Button The Rustbucket has one.
  • Blade Brake: Kevin does this on a collapsing space station in the episode "Vendetta".
  • Book Ends: In the first episode of the series, the first transformation Ben uses to fight is Swampfire. In the series finale, Ben uses Swampfire's Super Mode in the last fight of the series.
    • While Ben was wearing in the end Ultimatrix, last Omntrix form was also Swampfire. Also First season end too with Swampfire as last alien, just like in original series
  • Bored with Insanity: Paradox got bored of going mad after a few thousand years of it, so instead he decided to go sane. Very, very sane.
  • Born Winner: Pretty much the big issue Charmcaster has with Gwen, with the whole "stole my spellbook" thing on the side. Charmcaster had to work and study for her magic, while Gwen was born half Anodite, "made of magic", and thus her learning came easier to her.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Ben as Rath
  • Book Dumb: Kevin, who is not only very clever and resourceful but who is extremely knowledgeable about alien technology and their inner workings, but when it comes to subjects here on Earth he's clueless, due to never actually going to school. Played for laughs in one episode where he attempts to light a match in a cave and doesn't realize the crates around his labelled TNT are filled with explosives, leading to a brief Looney Tunes-esque gag.
  • Brainwash Residue: Albedo copies Ben's appearance and Omnitrix. He also gains some of Ben's characteristics, like eating junk food. After having his Omnitrix broken, stuck with Ben's color-swapped form, and taken to prison, he shouts, "BRING ME CHILI FRIES!!!"
  • Breaking in Old Habits: One of Ben Ten's alien enemies was trapped in a duplicate of Ben's body. Among his complaints: the hands, which had an alarming tendency to touch "places I suspect are inappropriate."
  • Calling Your Attacks: In this case, calling your aliens. This may be a compulsion from the Omnitirix: Vilgax's blank DNA robots in the finale do it, but Negative Ben/ Albido doesn't when using the new Ultimatrix.
    • Rath does a few of these, with the best one being "Serious Sirius Buttkicking!"
  • Cash Cow Franchise: Ben 10 is one of Cartoon Network's most popular multiseries, so natch.
  • Catch Phrase: Rath "Let me tell'ya somethin'"
  • The Cavalry: The season 2 premiere, when Ben, Kevin, a Highbreed, and a Plumber Magister are all captured by Michael Morningstar, now known as Darkstar, Gwen leads a squadron of DNAliens into the battle to stop him.
  • The Chosen One: Ben plays this up and milks it for all its worth. "Ben Tennyson, Wielder of the Omnitrix!"
  • Chronically Crashed Car: Kevin's car repeatedly gets destroyed in various ways.
  • Claustrophobia: Or as Gwen puts it:

Gwen: (defensive) "I am so not claustrophobic, I just can't stand to be in tight, closed spaces, okay? (increasingly frantic) You have a problem with that?"

  • Beat*

Ben: "Ooookay. I think I'll go first..."

Ben: "I bet I'd be a great race car driver! * Vrrroooooom!* "

  • Combo-Platter Powers: All of the Alien Force alien forms to various extents, particularly Swampfire, Big Chill, and Echo-Echo.
  • Conspicuous CG: Grandpa Max's mobile home, and pretty much any flying ship
  • Context Sensitive Button: The Rustbucket at times.
  • Continuity Nod: Ben encounters other aliens and/or people which bear the same forms as his younger self was able to pull from the Omnitrix at the time.
    • Ben's soccer jersey is the same shirt design he wore during Ben10.
    • Several villains from the original series such as Volkanus (Though he appeared in an earlier episode) and Charmcaster have returned in Season 3, the latter having mentions to Ben and Gwen's encounters.
    • Time Heals starts off with Gwen back in her old Lucky Girl costume, "acquiring" the Archamada Book Of Spells.
  • Cool Car: The Rustbucket, and Kevin's Car
    • Subverted with Gwen's brother's car, the Awesomobile.
  • Cool Ship: Ship, the Galvanic Megamorph.
  • Cooldown Hug: Kevin to Gwen in the Season 2 Finale
  • Could Have Been Messy
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ben, especially by Season 3.
  • Cursed with Awesome: As of Season 3, Kevin is stuck in an ugly composite form, made of stone, crystal, metal, and wood, with no way of changing back to his normal human form. On the other hand, now he can turn his limbs into hammers and other weapons a la Metamorpho, and has been far more effectual in combat as a result.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Even Rath has to admit that the marshmallow-looking alien baby is cute.
  • Darker and Edgier: Literally. Is it ever even day in this show?
    • The implication is that this show isn't happening during summer break, so the heroes often go through school in the day.
  • Dawson Casting: The casting for the upcoming live-action movie is fine, until the actor playing Ben is revealed to be a 23-year old. Still, the last Ben wasn't 10, so...
  • Death by Origin Story: Devin Levin
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: Word for word, by Argit on seeing Season 3 Kevin.
  • Discard and Draw: The series finale sees Ben destroy the Omnitrix via voice-activated self destruct. By the end, it's replaced with the Ulti-Matrix.
  • Dungeonmaster's Girlfriend (Julie)
  • Egopolis: Vilgaxia? Seriously?? The only thing missing are ridiculous statues and art of their "king".
  • Eats Babies: From "Con of Rath", Rath!Ben jumps down the Pantophage ruler's throat (to retrieve a baby prince, or course), then threatens to do it again and knit his intestines into a sweater if he doesn't agree to a peace treaty with the Luodans.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name (Kevin Ethan Levin, or "Kevin E. Levin". Ben wastes no time in mocking him when he finds out.)
    • Ben's own middle name is Kirby.
  • Empathic Weapon (the Omnitrix)
  • Enemy Mine (In Episode 15, "Alone Together", Ben and a Highbreed have to work together when they get sent to another planet and have to find their way home. In the end, the Highbreed stays behind as he believes Ben "infected him" with human emotions after he saves Ben's life. In the Season 2 Finale, Rhiney, said Highbreed,, comes around and returns to his home, at the most opportune moment to convince the Highbreed to stop the invasion
    • Happens briefly in an earlier episode, when Ben & company must work with a Plumbers Magister AND THE D.N.ALIENS to defeat Darkstar.
    • Also, in the Season 2 Finale, the team recruits Darkstar for their attack on the Highbreed headquarters.
    • More surprisingly, Ben teams up with Vilgax of all people!
      • To fight Ghostfreak!
    • Kevin and Darkstar to solve their mutual problem with freaky appearance.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas The first thing Kevin does when he gets an official Plumber's badge is head home to show his mother. Aww.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Vilgax may be a world-conquering bastard, but he still cares about his own kind. Especially children. Although, some would consider it Villain Decay on his part.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Humongasaur
  • Everything's Better With (Spider)monkeys
  • Evil Debt Collector: The Vreedle Brothers, sent by one of Upgrade's species to retrieve Ship, whom he dumped on Ben in season 1.
  • Eviler Than Thou: The Highbreed. While Vilgax merely wants to conquer every planet in the galaxy, The Highbreed want to cleanse the universe of all other races not to mention that Word of God states that they are far more powerful than Vilgax.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Gwen's grandmother. Of course, her entire body is luminescent.
  • Expy: Hoo-boy...
    • Swampfire looks like a DNA Digivolve of Heatblast and Wildvine
      • And he has Benmummy's regeneration.
    • Similarly, Ghostfreak + Arctiguana = Big Chill
    • Humongasaur is part strong guy (Four-Arms) and part really-big guy (Waybig), who returns in season 3, yet sees little actual use, thanks to the Omnitrix's attitude.
    • EchoEcho is basically Ditto without the Animaniacness but with Benwolf-esque sonic powers
    • Chromastone replaces Diamond-Head. This is flipped around in Season 3.
    • Brainstorm combines Grey Matter's brains (but not his lack of size) with psycho-electric powers that are a tiny bit like Benviktor's.
    • Jetray replaces Stinkfly as "the flying one", and can apparently swim to make up for a lack of Ripjaws.
      • He also has XLR8's speed, and Eye Guy's eye lasers.
    • Spidermonkey has the other part of Fourarms (having.. four arms), but is more of a Lightning Bruiser, with Spider-Man's primary gimmicks.
    • Also, Paradox may be somewhere between an Expy of and an extended Homage to Doctor Who.
      • Homage to be sure. He actually says the (fourth) Doctor's iconic "I walk in eternity" line. And he's played by David "Ducky" McCallum. So is thus made of pure awesome.
      • He also resembles Dr Manhattan, with the glowy blue pulled out to form a new character. He even transports our heroes off Earth for a bit.
      • He may also be a homage to Walker from the Nightside series, owing to that pocket-watch with shortcuts to every where and when, and the smart suit he wears. If only he had a cane, though...
    • Besides the aliens, the Power Trio has its dynamic shift a little- Ben has become more like his grandpa, mature and level-headed, while the roguish and hotheaded Kevin resembles younger Ben. Gwen is about the same, though a little less bratty.
    • On top of that, Seven-Seven is just Six-Six with a better arsenal. In fact, in a marathon of the first series, they mention Seven-Seven is Six-Six's brother, so he's not so much an expy as he is an older brother.
    • The Con of Rath introduces us to a new Omnitrix alien: a broad-shouldered, feral savage with a quick temper, razor-sharp claws jutting from his knuckles, and a tendency to solve everything with violence. Sound familiar?
    • Darkstar in his debut resembles Slade with Raven's powers... technically he had the same powers he did as Morningstar, but with the FX now resembling Raven's Zinthos-mojo.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: Like its predecessor, the show is really inconsistent with regards to whether the existence of aliens, robots, and mutants is commonly accepted knowledge, or whether such things are supposed to be regarded as myth by the general public.
  • Faceless Goons: The DNAliens are a literal example, since they have no face
  • Fandom Nod: When Ben explains the current Sumo Slammers series to Kevin in the final episode, he has a few very... familiar-sounding complaints:

This isn't the best one to start with. It's not 'Sumo Slammers' classic. It's 'Sumo Slammers: Hero Generation'. [...] It's a sequel to the original show, but they kinda' messed it up. It's like five years later and the bad guy Kanko has teamed up with the hero Ishiyama. It's not very realistic, is all I'm saying.

Gwen: Find something to touch!
Beat
Kevin: (Looks to the sword he's handling) Oh, right!

  • Girliness Upgrade: Gwen oh dear god Gwen! She went from sharp tongued Tomboy to pretty much the definition of the word Girly Girl during the timeskip. Complete with a stereotypical All Girls Want Bad Boys fixation.
  • Go Back to the Source: The Omnitrix has an artificial planet called Primus that holds the universe's DNA bank, it must return to, on occasion.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: In the series finale, Albedo's eyes glow red in his alien forms. Gwen uses this fact to recognize Ben as Swampfire at the end, because his eyes are still green.
  • Grand Finale: Aptly titled "The Final Battle"
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Verdona (except purple...and being an energy being, having no actual skin; just a vaguely female-humanoid shape)
  • Half-Human Hybrid: most of the characters introduced in this series and even retconned in for the main characters.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend
  • Heel Face Turn: Kevin, who also counts as a Heel Face Return.
    • The Highbreed
  • Here We Go Again: The end of the Season 2 Finale ends with the Omnitrix reset, leaving Ben with 10 completely new aliens, yet again.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Quite a few actually,
    • In the second episode, the plumber agent saves Kevin's life, but tears his suit - since he doesn't breathe air, he dies. This is considered part of the reason Kevin agrees to help Ben for the rest of the series.
    • Later on Max uses a weapon to send all of the D.N.Aliens and the Highbreed in the area, along with himself to the Null Void saving Ben and his friends.
    • Before that Devin Levin saved Max by jumping in front of a lethal blast from Ragnarok
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Voices like Drusilla, Sasuke,, Gretchen Grundler, Cyborg, Robin, Control Freak, Caleb, and even the Goddamn Batman himself are in this show (That's Grandma Verdona, Ben, Gwen, Manny, JT, Argit, Kevin and Alien X in that order).,
    • And Colonel Campbell as Grandpa Max! Again!
    • And Ducky as Paradox.
    • And Wesley Crusher as Darkstar.
    • And in the Japanese dub, Ben is Kira Yamato and Kevin is Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto, the latter being particularly ironic because Ben is Sasuke in the US.
    • Regarding aspects of the original entry...
      • One: Juliet Landau voiced Verdona's Anodite form, Barbara Bain voiced the human form. Landau also voiced Helena and Gwen's mother, Natalie.
      • Two: Khary Payton, in addition to voicing Manny, reprised his role from the original Ben 10 series as Hex.
      • And three: Kevin Conroy voiced Bellicus and Alien X was voiced by him, Vicki Lewis (Serena), and Yuri Lowenthal at the same time.
    • Rath is Motor Ed!
    • How can anyone forget Princess Attea being voiced by the original actress for Ben from the original series?
  • Hypocritical Humor: Kevin's mocking of Ben, Gwen and Ken's names. In If All Else Fails, we learn the name of his father: Devin.
  • Hot Mom: Ben's mother, who is based on her actress, Beth Littleford.
    • Verdona's Anodite form, if a grandmother-technicality doesn't count against her.
    • Kevin's mom, as evidenced in "Vendetta".
  • Humanity Ensues
  • Humanity Is Infectious
  • Humanoid Aliens
  • Idiot Ball: - Ben's parents in "Grounded" apparently have a matching pair. Yes, Ben lied to you. Oddly enough, not actually the most important detail in that conversation. That freak-out you're currently experiencing? That's WHY he's been lying to you.
    • Not to mention Cash and J.T. in "The Gauntlet"

J.T.: You mess up Kevin's car, and everyone will know you're bad-the baddest in town! They'll be talking about it for years.

    • Albedo for believing Vilgax when he said he was no longer interested in the Omnitrix after years of pursuing it.
      • Everyone on this show is gonna get a chance to hold the Idiot Ball at some point.
  • If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him: Gwen's afraid of this happening to Kevin in "Vendetta"
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: "Ghost Town"
  • Impairment Shot: Tyler's view of the road blurs and doubles in "Inside Man".
    • Kevin after getting zapped by a device in "Trade Off"
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum (the Omnitrix)
  • Ink Suit Actor: According to a source, Ben's parents in this series were designed from and voiced by their live action counterparts from Race Against Time.
  • Instant Expert: Alan the half-Pyronite - in the teaser, he's having trouble flying. By the end of act 1, he's trick flying and Jetray is having trouble keeping up with him. For that matter, he flies better than Ben ever did onscreen as Heatblast...
    • Not to mention Ben seeming to automatically know what his powers are when transforming into a new alien.
      • This could be because of the "updates" the Omnitrix received at the premiere, he had no clue in the original series.
  • Jerkass: Argit
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kevin
  • Kid Hero: (although a bit more mature than the original, Ben still fits into this trope.)
  • Kid With the Remote Control: Julie to Ship.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Vreedle brothers; see Cloning Blues above.
    • Kevin's dad.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Sumo Slammers: Hero Generation. That is all.
  • Large Ham: Omnitrix-newbie Rath. To quote his lesson for the episode:

Eating. Babies. Is NOT. COOL!

  • Lawful Stupid: Alien X again. His mind is typically made up of a voice of rage and aggression and a voice of love and compassion. Without Ben as the voice of reason, they are too busy debating what to do next for Alien X to even move. This is not as in "just stands there" as much as it means "frozen in the exact same position, not even able to walk or blink." And they have been doing this since at least the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • Leitmotif: A snippet of the original Ben 10 theme song describing Ben can be heard in the theme song.
  • Lighthearted Rematch: Ben and Kevin have a playful fight, five years after they spent several months fighting each other with extreme enmity. Of course, that's mainly because Kevin is a drastically different character in this series.
  • Limited Wardrobe
  • Lovable Rogue: Kevin
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: The Omnitrix proves to be this after Vilgax successfully steals it, but Ben is still the only one who can activate it.
  • Magical Database: Somewhat subverted; the Codon Stream on planet Primus is the actual source of the Omnitrix's DNA samples; the Omnitrix itself is a sort of wireless reciever.
  • Magic Pants: AKA The "Broadcast Standards and Practices Modesty and Y-7 Rating Preserver." AKA, Kevin's unexplained black underpants in season 3.
  • Magic Skirt: Though Gwen wore tights, too, so even if her skirt were to fly up, we still wouldn't get a Panty Shot.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Echo Echo's other power, besides duplication. They can also transfer the concussive wave across speakers or amplify it by shouting through each-other.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: Double-subverted with D'Void, who turns out to be Dr. Animo within moments of talk that D'Void was invincible; he shook off Ben easily, thanks to newfound power, which turned out to be from the drill, which of course was later destroyed
  • Mana: The force used for magic and energy powers.
  • Matchlight Danger Revelation: Subverted in one episode where they're in a dark cavern & Kevin lights a match to see, revealing that the chamber is filled with crates of TNT. Gwen immediately blows the match out before it can set off the explosives. Annoyed, Kevin tries to light another match, only for Ben to blow that one out too. Apparently Kevin's not a very fast learner.
    • Subverted in the season 3 premiere, where Ben goes Swampfire...in the methane-filled sewer tunnels.
  • Meaningful Name: The Incursion Empire, a warmongering species.
    • Pretty much all the alien species names, such as Rath the Apoplexian.
    • The High Breed call themselves that because, obviously, they think their race is superior. However, it takes on a second meaning when in order to allow the species to breed, Ben uses the Omnitrix to mix their DNA with a variety of different alien DN As, making them a Hybrid species.
    • The Ulti-Matrix, which can evolve it's aliens to their highest forms.
    • Kevin's full name is revealed in Alien Force. Kevin means 'handsome', while his middle name, Ethan, is 'strong'. His last name, Levin, is a form of Lewin, which means 'beloved friend'. Guess how Gwen sees him?
    • Albedo is the measure of the reflecting power of a surface, just as Albedo is a reflection of Ben; albeit in a funhouse mirror.
  • Mega Manning: See All Your Powers Combined.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard Or so it seems at first
  • Messiah Creep: Ben - "No sacrifices."
  • Micro Monarchy: Zanovia, the European monarchy that called in Ben and his team to help with a revolution brewing.
  • Mind Rape: Ken Tennyson
    • By extension, any human turned into a DNAlien.
  • Misblamed: When many of fans of the original Ben 10 complained the questionable changes to the characters, they often blamed Man Of Action for it. Despite the fact Man of Action has little to nothing to do with this show.
  • Mister Seahorse: Ben himself in the form of Big Chill in Save the Last Dance
  • Mooks: The DNAliens
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Again, Big Chill
  • Monster of the Week
  • Morality Pet
  • The Movie: Alien Swarm. And another live-action one, at that. And it's good.
  • My Little Panzer: The robot that can shapeshift, mimic other peoples abilities and combine them? It's a childs toy.
    • ...from several physical dimensions over...
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: In Episode 15, "Alone Together" Ben introduces himself to a Highbreed as "Ben; Ben Tennyson". From that point on the Highbreed addresses him as "Benben Tennyson".
  • My Name Is Kevin Ethan Levin, You Killed My Father, Prepare to Die: Kevin says the whole line to Ragnarok. Verbatim.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Ragnarok
  • Never Say "Die": Averted quite a number of times in Season 2 and onwards.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: In Time Heals. Averted when Gwen travels back to the season premiere to keep Kevin from mutating, and literally when she arrives in the new present, where her alternate self was previously killed in battle by Charmcaster.
  • New Super Power: Mostly averted (many new aliens are simply combinations of the older ones) until Lodestar shows up a few episodes into the third season.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Quite literally in the Season 3 when the trio overload the watch trying to get it to access more alien forms (granted it was well intentioned). Gwen also pulls one in "Time Heals" via time travel.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Alien X. Good thing too, considering the Voices are too concerned with debating to walk.
    • Lodestar is also about as invincible.
  • No Indoor Voice. RATH.
  • Non-Linear Character: Paradox.
  • Not as You Know Them: Pretty much everyone. The most drastic change is with Kevin. In the first series, he's an eleven-year-old sociopath who couldn't care less about crashing a money and passenger train together, killing hundreds of people for some cash. Then he's suddenly a love-struck teen and friends with Ben!? No amount of Character Development could explain having a completely different personality.
    • ... Puberty, maybe?
      • It's revealed in Ultimate Alien that Kevin's insanity was caused by him regularly absorbing and releasing energy. His insanity faded once he stopped doing it. (Absorbing matter does not cause this effect.)
  • Not Quite Dead: Grandpa Max's Heroic Sacrifice in "Max Out" had actually sent him into the Null Void, as learned in Voided
  • No Kissing: Gwen/Kevin shippers have speculated through the entire season if/when Gwen and Kevin would get an on screen kiss. Dwayne McDuffie continually stated it would always stay off the airwaves. Subverted. It eventually happens at the end of the series finale. Kevin regains his human form after the original Omnitrix was destroyed and Gwen indulges in a "victory kiss".
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The final battle with Vilgax involves Vilgax going One-Winged Angel...and we don't actually get to see the fight and Ben defeats him offscreen...
  • One-Winged Angel: Both the heroic and evil versions. And the heroic version, Alien X, is both played straight and nastily subverted.
  • The Other Darrin: Ben, Gwen, and Kevin, Justified by the Time Skip. Fred Tatasciore was replaced as Cannonbolt and Way Big and Dave Wittenberg as Upchuck, both by Dee Bradley Baker when Ben transformed into them in the second season finale. If the previews for Season 3 mean anything, it'd also seems that Steven Jay Blum's been replaced as Vilgax...
    • Actually, Blum was busy with another show. They had to find a replacement. Oddly enough, this Vilgax's voice (a remarkable imitation by John Dimaggio) and characterization is much closer to the original in the video game "Vilgax Attacks".
    • When Vilgax and Azmuth use the Omnitrix in the episode Primus, their transformed states use the same voices, rather than the usual guy.
  • Papa Wolf: Rath, when he rescues the Luodan Prince Tiffin.
  • Paradox Person: A monster from 50 years in the past that accelerates time destroying a town and Ben and the gang is told the creature does not hold order in the time stream by a being whose existence himself is like a paradox.
  • Parental Bonus: In the episode "The Gauntlet," Ben brings juice for Kevin and Gwen. Kevin dismissively tells him to go away, so Ben sets the drinks down, but on second thought grabs Kevin's drink and says, "No juice for you!" This is a reference to the Seinfeld episode "The Soup Nazi," in which the eponymous character's catchphrase is "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" when proper etiquette is not followed at his soup stand.
  • Penal Colony: In the episode Voided, it's revealed the Null Void was originally created by the Galvans as one of these, and while there are still prisons there for the more dangerous criminals, several land masses are actually inhabited by the now peaceful descendants of the original prisoners.
  • Pet the Dog: In two episodes in a row, a featured villain (Charmcaster and Vilgax) save the life of a child (Charmcaster levitates a boy away from being hit by a truck, and Vilgax defends one of his species' children from Ghostfreak's minions.) The two still engage in evil-doing afterwards, though.
  • Phrase Catcher:

Ben: <some joking and/or bitter remark about Kevin being an ex-villain>
Kevin: "Let it go, Tennyson/Ben."

  • Plant Aliens
  • Plucky Girl: Julie. Gotta give the girl some credit for how she handles the whole alien thing.
  • Pluto Is Expendable: because "it was a dwarf planet".
  • Poor Communication Kills: Gwen never mentions to her Mode Locked boyfriend, even in passing, that she's been constantly searching for a way to help him. Obviously this is because...er...they couldn't have a fight about it otherwise?
  • Post Script Season: Across its first two seasons, the show tells a sprawling epic storyline of a battle against one of the oldest races in creation, culminating in a final episode in which virtually every single dangling plot thread, character and story concept the series has set up is convincingly brought together for a dramatic final battle that ended with the saving of the entire universe....aaaand then they made a third season. The season distinguished itself by bringing back the Big Bad from the original series, but ultimately achieved little other than setting up the next incarnation of the series with its finale, consisting almost entirely as it did of one-shot adventures of no consequence, with little to no use of the new ideas and concepts set up in the season premiere. The third season was quite clearly not originally planned for - the final moment of season two, in which Ben looks at the Omnitrix and claims to have a new set of ten aliens he does not recognize: quite obviously intended as an open ending that was then ignored when season three began and he had his standard ten still in place.
  • Power Echoes
  • Power Trio: Ben, Gwen, Kevin
  • Pride Before a Fall: Ben's cocky attitude, which began coming about after saving the world from the Highbreed, is a prime example. His ego results in the Omnitrix resetting to its faulty first series self, as well as turning Kevin into another amalgamated monster.
  • Product Placement: Most likely accidental; Mr. Smoothie is a real franchise of juice bars in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, and coming soon in Ohio.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: After a particularly bad Omnitrix malfunction:

Ben: YOU! ARE A PIECE! OF JUNK!

  • Punny Name: One of the Plumbers' Kids has pointy spines...and is named Pierce.
    • Kevin E. Levin, anyone?
    • Rath's species is known as an "Apoplexian".
  • Reality Warper: Alien X. Too bad the Voices are indecisive to the point of inaction.
  • Red Herring: At the end of Season 2, Ben supposedly had 10 completely different aliens. However, in Season 3, he still has all the aliens from the previous seasons (Except maybe Alien X), in addition to Cannonbolt, Upchuck and Way Big ( Also, Diamondhead replaces Chromastone if you count the premiere's ending). This could be that Ben was able to modify the Omnitrix and give it aliens he's previously transformed into. Otherwise, damn you, Second Hand Storytelling!
    • With how different many of the 'returning' aliens look in Season 3, it could be Ben dialed one up and had a cloudlander moment so he didn't recognize the differences.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Ken, who up to the only episode he has appeared is was never mentioned or even suggested about. It wasn't even suggested that Gwen had an older brother in any episode up to that point.
  • Retcon: Just a few major examples:
    • Pretty much everything about Kevin: Kevin's dad is supposed to be a Plumber that he got his powers from, but it's specifically stated before that his powers were a mutation that nobody knew the cause of, and it's what caused his parents to kick him out. His powers also changed, now simply absorbing a shell of material around his body instead of absorbing, storing, and redirecting energy (though Word of God stated he's always been able to absorb matter and energy). Also, when he mentions his Plumber father, he says that he's talking about his "real father." and in the first season finale of Ultimate Alien, it's revealed that Kevin's stepfather is actually a good person, and that Kevin wasn't kicked out, but went insane with power, destroyed the house, and ran away.
    • In "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", it was stated all magic is really reality-warping scifi-powers caused by aliens, though they've since backtracked somewhat on this and Gwen even still has Charmcaster's spellbook and now the Archamada Book Of Spells. McDuffie also said Hex and Charmcaster are human practitioners of magic, though it's since been revealed that Hex and Charmcaster themselves are from another dimension.
      • Related to this is the status of Verdona. In "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", we find out she's alive (and the reason for Gwen's powers). In the original series, in the episode, "The Visitor", it's implied (though not stated) that she was dead.
    • In the original series the Omnitrix aliens' names were just something Ben made up himself, as evident when his future self said he quit naming them because he gained so many. In this they're apparently "file names" the Omnitrix stores them under as evidence by the case of Transformation Name Announcement. Then again, Ben actively names Brainstorm after transforming into it the first time, and shouted the name after transforming each time after that. And Albedo, who creates a copied Omnitrix based on Ben's, doesn't shout out the names. So it's almost certainly still just a personal quirk of Ben's.
    • The Plumbers themselves: In the original series, they were a defunct The Men in Black-type organization, and all human (and many were very anti-alien) with Xylene only being an honorary member. In AF, they're now a still-active interstellar police force, and pretty much all of the known human members married aliens.
  • Ret-Gone: At this rate, the Ben 10,000 timeline has become an alternate one.
  • The Right of a Superior Species: The High Breed believe in this.
  • Rule of Cool
  • Save the Villain: Looks a lot like it's going to happen at the end of "Vendetta", but Kevin is not so inclined to save his father's murderer, and Ragnarok ends up spaced and thrown into the sun.
    • Played striaght in the third season finale with Krabb.

Kevin: In my defense, [Gwen] forced me to save him.

Kevin: (sees he has been mutated again) Figures that might happen.

  • Stealth Hi Bye: lampshaded when Ben heads off to rescue Kevin and Gwen from Albedo:

Max: It's only cool when I do it.

  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Well, okay, Kevin Ethan Levin.
  • Strange Bedfellows: Very briefly in the 2nd season premier: Gwen and a troop of DNAliens against Darkstar. Later, Kevin and Darkstar together, only for Darkstar to predictably turn on Kevin in the end.
    • More recently, the Power Trio and Vilgax against Ghostfreak.
  • Subverted Suspicion Aesop: Kevin is very suspicious of Ben's first invitation to the Plumbers, but both Ben and Gwen calm his fears. However, 1. Ben is oblivious, 2. Gwen turns into a victim, and 3. it's Mike Morningstar, who'd go on to be recurring villain Darkstar.
  • Suddenly Voiced: the Omnitrix
  • Super Dickery: "Above and Beyond" is about the Plumbers' Helpers trying to rescue Grandpa Max, who's being attacked by an out-of-control Ben. Of course, Ben hasn't really gone rogue. The entire scenario (sans crashing space station) was really just a test for the Plumbers' Helpers.
  • Taking You with Me: Pretty much, the Highbreed's entire plan was to take down the entire universe with their dying race.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Played straight in the final battle against the Supreme Highbreed leaders.
  • Talking to Himself: Every single alien in the Omnitrix is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, except for Alien X, Ghostfreak, and Rath.
  • Tasty Gold: Gold poop in "Fool's Gold".
  • Technopath: Cooper
  • Team Pet: Ship
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Lampshaded by Kevin when he mentions the green alien the trio has taken to calling "Tiny" can't be a girl because she'd have a big pink bow on her head. Subverted in that Tiny's mother doesn't have breasts, either.
  • That Man Is Dead: Mike Morningsta- Uh, Darkstar.
  • Theme Naming: Ben Ten(nyson) isn't 10 anymore, but is back to having 10 aliens on the Omnitrix.
    • There also seems to be a pattern of "-en" names in the Tennyson family, much to the amusement of Kevin in "Max Out":

"Gwen and Ken? What are your parents' names, Sven and Jen? I'm talking to you, Ben!"

      • Which is ironic, because Kevin (Levin)'s first and last names rhyme and gets even more ridiculous when it turns out his middle name is Ethan, which Ben mockingly points out makes him "Kevin E. Levin"...
      • ...which makes Kevin something of a hypocrite now that we know his father's name was Devin Levin. And may in the future name his son Evan.
    • The aliens' "English names" are pretty much based on their personalities and abilities:
      • Rath, a creature of blind rage is an Apopplexian.
      • Kevin, who has absorption powers, is called an Osmosian by Ragnarock.
  • This Billboard Needs Some Salt: In one episode, Charmcaster brings a Mr. Smoothie sign to life. Ben defeats it by turning into Upchuck and drinking it dry. For some reason, Charmcaster's spell made it actually full of smoothie.
    • Upchuck was also able to use that smoothie for nuclear loogies when he has to use inorganic matter, but a wizard/witch did it and none of their powers are like they used to be...
  • Those Two Bad Guys: The Vreedle Brothers.
  • Time Skip: Alien Force is five years on from Ben10.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Perhaps in response to complaints about odd characterization, Kevin became this in season 3 - actually killing a villain, war profiteering, etc. He still didn't quite undergo Character Rerailment until Ultimate Alien, though.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Tyler in "Inside Man"
  • Took a Level in Badass: D'void in Voided, who was known as Dr. Animo in the original series.
    • And recently, Julie.
    • Before that Ben took a massive level in Badass between the end of the original series and "The Return Of Ben 10" where he stopped acting like a dumb jerk and started thinking through his actions before jumping in, even asking Gwen for advice because he knows she's smarter than him, something the old Ben would never do.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Ben in season 3, he doesn't seem to care about Kevin's transformation that he caused.
    • Of course, tampering with the Omnitrix was Kevin's idea...
      • Kevin did try to warn Ben....
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Ben loves Mr. Smoothie.
    • And chili fries, which he passes on to Albedo when the latter gets stuck in a color-negative version of Ben's form.
  • Training Accident: The episode "Above and Beyond" is one of these.
  • Transformation Conventions
  • Transformation Name Announcement: Ben shouts out the alien's name after he transforms. Every. Single. Time. I guess it's his attempt at a battle cry.
    • And because the little kid viewers wouldn't be able to tell which alien without it. Yes, Word of God confirms it. Sadly. Not to mention to make it easy for kids to easily name them so when they see the toys in stores, they know which one to ask for.
    • Oddly, if Ben switches from one alien to another in mid-battle, he does not need to shout the new alien's name. It seems to happen only if he's going from Ben to an alien form.
    • Apparently, it applies to all Omnitrix aliens in the series, not just the Alien Force exclusives. In the Season 2 finale, after Azmuth unlocks the Omnitrix Master Control, Ben transforms into Cannonbolt, complete with Alien Force-style Transformation Sequence and shouting the name. When Gwen asks Ben about his choice, he replies "I was feeling nostalgic." Later, he turns into Upchuck to fight off DNAliens, and then Way Big to try and destroy the Highbreeds' Warp Gate... without calling the names of either of them.
    • It's also inconsistent whether it's automatic or if Ben does it himself. When he turns into Lodestar the first time, he does it even though he's never seen the guy before. When he tries for Waybig and gets Humongousaur, he starts "Waybi.." * looks* "Aw man... (* exasperated* ) Humongousaur."
      • This is further complicated by Brainstorm, who Ben transforms into for the first time by accidental transformation, and names him on the spot instead of having a name prepared.
    • This is overused to the point that if the Omnitrix aliens weren't capable of intelligent speech, one might mistake their self-proclamations as Pokémon-Speak.
    • When in the Season 3/Series Finale, Vilgax finally obtains the Omnitrix, his transformed robot army does it much more like Pokémon-Speak, chanting the name over and over.
  • Transformation Sequence
  • Transformation Trinket: The Omnitrix.
  • Translator Microbes: Kevin states that it's pretty common alien tech. So common, apparently, that it's even built into Plumbers' badges.
    • It doesn't explain why Sixsix and Sevenseven can't be understood, though.
      • Maybe they're using hacked tech that prevents all but similarly hacked tech from recognizing the language. It would be useful for the mercenaries to speak in secret.
  • Tricking the Shapeshifter: A variant that includes letting a character become a shapeshifter so that he can be tricked. Ben lets Vilgax activate the Omnitrix so that he can have him turn into Goop and incapacitate him by removing the gravity-device that allows Goop to function.
  • Troubled but Cute: Kevin
  • Trust Password: Done twice, time travel style, in Time Heals. Gwen first tells her past-self something they find disgusting. The second time, she just shares a detail about her (their?) locker at school.
    • Interestingly, future!Gwen takes a short glance at Kevin before telling past!Gwen the Trust Password.
  • Tsundere: Gwen towards Kevin in the beginning of the series. Given his "hero" status, it's pretty clear why.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The lead trio, obviously.
  • Verbal Tic: Octagon Vreedle has what you might call one o' these.
    • Rath starts nearly every comversation with "Let me tell you something, full name of person I'm addressing!"
  • Villains Want Mercy: In "Vendetta", Ragnarok begs Kevin to save him from the collapsing spaceship. Considering that Ragnarok killed Kevin's dad, you can imagine the outcome.
  • The Virus: DNAliens, who are humans infected with alien parasites.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting
    • Not just the Omnitrix; Ship, a blob-like symbiote spawned from a Galvanic Mechomorph(AKA the species 'Upgrade' was in the original series) , is capable of transforming into any device he's come in contact with, and in season 3, he spontaneously forms a suit of techno-armor to protect Julie and fight off a pair of bounty hunters.
  • What Could Have Been: One of the writers said that there was a big story planned for season three that involved Kevin absorbing more energy (presumably to save Gwen) and fighting against the insanity that comes with it but ultimately becoming evil. Cartoon Network approved it at first but then they chickened out at the last minute, so the writters had to scrap that story and start a new arc for the season from scratch (The third episode was supposed to be the episode that started it all). This same story was rescued for the first season of Ultimate Alien but with a different approach, in particular with a happy ending.
  • Where The Hell Is Bellwood?: In the same state as Springfield, apparently.
    • In the Alien Swarm movie, Kevin and Gwen pull up a map on the Plumbers base computer. It zooms in to an area in the upper Midwest, near the Wisconsin-Minnesota area.
  • White and Grey Morality: for the first two seasons at least; in those seasons, most characters fought by the protagonists were at worst Anti-Villains, at best misunderstood characters; even the Hightbreeds, despite being basically Nazi in space, turns out to be redeemable. Season 3, on the other hand, does give more actually evil characters.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Albedo (No, not that other white-haired pretty boy Albedo...)
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Still Charmcaster, who is now even prettier.
  • Who Dares??
  • Wolverine Claws: Omnitrix newcomer Rath, who's basically a tail-less humanoid tiger, has one large black claw jutting out of each fist, which he can extend at will.
  • Word of God: One of the main writers, Dwayne McDuffie, has a thread where he answers questions and brings foreshadowing to the series. Anyone who is majorly confused with the continuity errors in this show should check this out). It addresses many oddities and seeming plot holes.
  • The Worf Effect: Kevin, Ben on occasion.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Ben in the series finale. After Vilgax successfully steals and activates the Omnitrix, Ben uses a voice command to set it for a 30 second self-destruct (In the original series, it was charged for several days, which is why the explosion would wipe out the universe; 30 seconds would cause an explosion of a much smaller radius but still be deadly). Vilgax either removes the Omnitrix and allows Ben to reclaim it, or the Omnitrix is destroyed. Vilgax choses the second option and gets his arm blown up. He gets better.
  • You Are Grounded: When Ben's parents find out (five years after the fact) that their son does the "transform into aliens and be a superhero" thing, they freak and forbid him from Omnitrixing. Fortunately, they come to an understanding and allow him to save the world (As long as he's being honest)
  • You Fail Nuclear Physics Forever: The waste of a certain alien when it eats meat is said to be Uranium-1412; which is not only an atomic mass far greater than any isotope in existence, but also somehow explodes like dynamite when you step on it.
    • Maybe the impossibly-high atomic mass is what makes it so explosive?
      • A molecular mass of this magnitude would have a radioactive half life of (probably less then) milliseconds (means, after some milliseconds, about half of it split up on it's atomic level, another few miliseconds later, it's halved again... and again). Basically, not the "explosive" part is unrealistic, but the "when you step on it"-part: It should blow up in an nuclear explosion just for existing.
  • Yuri Lowenthal