McNinja

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J.M.R., Germany: Are there any Ninjas in Germany?

The Ninja: That forest didn't get black by itself.

Ninjas are cool—that's a simple, straightforward fact (unless you are a Pirate), that seems to be almost universally recognized. They're also very, very Japanese. Or so you thought... just as McDonald's came out of the United States and conquered the world, so the ninja have set up local branches all over the globe.

The McNinja takes advantage of the comedy potential inherent in the non-Japanese ninja. Imposing the "ninja" template on a different culture can result in anything from ninja-waiters to ninja-doctors... especially if you invoke a national stereotype or two.

It's also a convenient visible shorthand. Ninjas have a reputation for being killing machines with nearly supernatural stealth. Showing someone like this conveys the idea without the need to explain it. Plus people tend to think a ninja suit is quite suited to sneaking about, unless you stand in plain sight. In real life... Not so much. The traditional black suit of ninjas is actually horribly conspicuous, even at night. You want mottled grays for night stealth, solid black just silhouettes you. The "traditional" Ninja outfit isn't even the traditional garb of actual ninjas, who would actually have worn the everyday clothing of some low ranking nobody who had business being where they needed to go. It's the traditional garb of Japanese stage hands and signalled to theatre audiences that they were supposed to pretend the stage hand was invisible. In some plays, one of the "stage hands" would suddenly jump out and shank someone- thus revealing themself to be a ninja.

Characters who are non-Japanese but explicitly were trained in ninjitsu by real Japanese ninja usually don't count as McNinja.

Fantasy worlds that have McNinjas might also be a case of Culture Chop Suey.

Named after Doctor McNinja, the Irish-American Ninja Doctor of webcomic fame.

A.K.A. Gaijinja as a Portmanteau of gaijin (meaning foreigner) and ninja.

Examples of McNinja include:

Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • G Gundam had Schwarz Bruder, a German ninja. He even has a mask composed of the colours of the German flag. Well, okay, he was really a clone of a Japanese guy, Kyoji Kasshu, the main character's brother ("Schwarz Bruder" meaning "Black brother", though not quite correct). But he took the identity from the original Schwarz Bruder, who is a proper example.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia has the "America Ninja" sketch. Who looks a little bit like a cowboy.
  • Tiger and Bunny has Ivan Karelin/Origami Cyclone, a Russian superhero ninja working in the U.S. (or the fictional equivalent of).


Comics[edit | hide]

  • Ignoring the whole "stealth" idea, Deadpool is quite the ninja.
  • In Empowered, the ninja clan Ninjette escaped from is actually from New Jersey. "Hey, New Jersey's not all concrete and commuters, y'know... It has hidden forests and everything!"
  • Batman has the tools, the clothes, the attitude, the moves, even the backstory of training in Japan for it!
    • The ironic part about this is that Bob Kane, Batman's creator, claimed that he had never heard of ninja!
  • For that matter, there are other characters that qualify in comics, far too many to list, but some include Deathstroke, Ravager, Elektra, Psylocke, etc.
    • Daredevil himself learned his moves from a ninja master, and is currently the leader of the diabolical Hand ninja clan.
  • G.I. Joe features actual Japanese and non-Japanese ninja fighting side by side on both sides.
    • A few bonus points go to Bushido, real name Lloyd Goldfine from Hollis, Queens. Also known as "the Snow Ninja" because he learned his moves in Iceland. Oh, and, according to his filecard, his grandfather was a samurai, and that's his helmet he wears as part of his outfit. In any case, one of the few Jewish ninjas you'll ever run across. There's probably a "Jew-jitsu" joke to be made here, but frankly this stuff's already hilarious.
    • Oh, and then there's Budo. Who is a samurai. Named Kyle. He's from Sacramento. He's an infantryman in GI Joe, and he serves wearing full samurai armor and wielding a katana.
      • Budo's filecard does have some fun with the concept (after all, Hasbro makes the toys, and Larry Hama has to make sense of them in the filecards), portraying him as a Harley-riding metalhead when he's off-duty.
  • Four words: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Diabolik, the eponymous Villain Protagonist of a long-running Italian comic, wears a skin-tight black suit that leaves only his eyes exposed.
    • In a recent story we learn that Diabolik was taught martial arts and stealth in a ninja-like school in a fictional East-Asian country, and had to wear an Hollywood ninja suit during the lessons to keep his face a secret from the external students (the ones who were there to learn martial arts and not how to be better criminals). After being accidentally unmasked during a lesson, he crafted his trademark black suit because it makes him more difficult to unmask and makes grappling his clothes more difficult, as he explains when the teacher chastise him.
  • Definitely a few from Ninja High School. In fact the mother of the main character isn't even Japanese, she's technically German.
    • Wait, wasn't she Russian?
  • In the first issue of the Immortal Iron Fist spinoff miniseries Immortal Weapons, a tale is spun of Fat Cobra's life, including the time he and a bunch of kung-fu commandos faced off against Hitler's private SS Ninja squadron, led by the nefarious Herr Samurai.
  • Oedipus from The Tick (animation).
  • After her Race Lift (in which she bodyswitched accidentally with a fellow telepath), The once-English now-Japanese X-Man Psylocke does her best to be a psychic ninja. Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way, for one reason or another.
    • Until she joined Wolverine and Angel's unnoficial X-Force, where she shows just how deadly a psychic ninja can be.
  • Roxanne Richter, one of Ramona's evil exes (yeah, really) in Scott Pilgrim. Though she keeps reminding people that she's only "half-ninja".
  • While Nth Man the Ultimate Ninja plays its ninjas realistically, notice must be given to Dr. Irving Yagyu, the ninja dentist.


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]

  • Flushed Away has French ninja, too. They are also frogs.
    • Which could be an unintentional reference to the importance of toads in Japanese folklore. Look at Naruto 's Jiraiya, for example (or the novel character he was named after and based on).
    • It could also be a Stealth Pun referring to frogmen.
  • French ninja waiters also appeared in The Rugrats Movie.


Films -- Live Action[edit | hide]

  • The ninjas in any given Joseph Lai and Godfrey Ho movie. Their ninjas are white and they wear brightly color clothes.
  • An entire series of movies: American Ninja. It even got parodied in Irish American Ninja
  • The movie Tongan Ninja.
  • The Hellboy movie's version of Kroenen is a Nazi German clockwork cyborg ninja with a gas mask.
  • The 2004 movie Ella Enchanted had this in the Red Guard, a group of Elite Mooks who appear to be Ninja in plate armor helmets and pressed military uniforms... In what is the generic Medieval setting of Middle Ages Europe. This includes the typical bright red outfits and "flipping out and killing people". Naturally, none of this was in the original novel.
  • Surf Ninjas.
  • Beverly Hills Ninja

'Haru: It is a black art, and I, Haru, am the blackest of the black. Or rather the great white black art... blackest... master.

  • Brigada Explosiva Contra Los Ninjas. The entire cast was Argentinian, even the ninjas.
    • Same goes for the Argentinian-playing-an-Asian having ninjas as her Mooks in Bañeros 3: Todpoderosos.
  • Using the Double Dragon medallion turns American villain Koga Shuko into a ninja in the movie of the same name.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra not only keeps Snake-Eyes as a Caucasian who trains under a Japanese master, but also has Storm Shadow played by Korean actor Lee Byung-hun.
  • Batman Begins transplants Bruce Wayne's martial arts training from Japan to what appears—from the look of the prison camp and the mountains—to be the south Chinese border/Tibet. That they actually practice Ninja training in the home of Kung Fu might be considered a serious case of McNinja...
    • Not to mention the ethnically-diverse membership of the League.
    • Redeemed somewhat by the fact that the apparent master of the school is definitely Japanese, even if his school is in the wrong country and his students seem to come from all over the place.
      • The apparent master of the school is played by a Japanese actor, but the real master is played by an Irish actor, and they both go by a name that's, of all things, Arabic. Definitely McNinja.
      • Technically, as it is an ancient society of evil, it's probably that they create their own style of combat combining others martial arts and, of course, ninja's ability. the school could have been changing his location along the years to avoid being discovered by their enemies.
  • Phantom Raiders features a McNinja training Vietnam Vets to be Mc Ninjas for mission that features ninja stars, grenades, and gunfire.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Discworld, the black-clad Assassins give every appearance of being very English Ankh-Morporkian ninja.
    • Technically they are more in line with the Hashishin, also the Hashishin came first by three centuries.
    • Perhaps not quite accurate for this page, but there were also the Ninja agents being used (as a throwaway gag) by the Men In Saffron (History Monks) in Thief of Time. While the MIS did, admittedly, train their members in various martial arts, Lu Tze's opinion of the ninja isn't all that high. "Agatean for 'The Passing Wind'."
      • Interesting side note however, the best of them in both cases (Vetinari and Lu Tse) are those who ditch most/all the (stereo)typical ninja stuff.
    • Ninja make a token appearance in Interesting Times, even though the Agatean Empire is more Chinese than Japanese.
  • The 1989 Space Opera novel Not for Glory by Joel Rosenberg had a whole planet of mainly Jewish-Israeli descended mercenaries who also practiced ninjutsu, though they did have a small amount of Japanese ancestry mixed in. The main character was even named after a distant Japanese ancestor.
  • While the term is never explicitly tossed around, with their penchant for throat-slitting scout and stealth work, Gaunt's Ghosts are fairly ninja-ish. Their best member got a Crowning Moment of Awesome in out-stealthing a Mandrake, who should have had the Puny Human beat easily.
  • In Codex Alera, the Canim have a specialist caste of spies/assassins known as "hunters" whose purpose is to allow the Canim lords to bypass attempts by other Canim to abuse the law - in other words, they're there to allow their Canim lords to avoid being Lawful Stupid. In effect, this makes them wolfman ninjas.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The MythBusters Ninja episode featured noticeably more ninja-costumed footage of Tory (Belleci) than of Grant (Imahara).
    • On the other hand, all things considered, it makes PERFECT sense for Tory to be the one in the ninja costume. Playing ninja offers so many exciting new ways for Tory to injure himself.
      • And then there is this...?
    • In a more recent ninja special, the professional martial artist they hired to do demonstrate arrow catching was Australian. This was lampshaded.
  • Not quite ninja, but related: Monty Python's Flying Circus features a sketch about Her Majesty's own McKamikaze Highlanders.
  • Doctor Who has Scottish Ninja Monks at the start of one episode for no adequately explored reason.
    • The Doctor himself tends to throw around obscure martial arts from time to time, particularly in his third incarnation where it seemed not an episode could go by without him mentioning his Venusian Karate.
  • The Robin Hood episode "Peace? Off!" featured Saracen ninja in 12th Century England. That's before there were ninja in Japan. But the Hashishim assassins were very much active. The word "assassin" comes from the name of their sect. They could conceivably have come on the boats returning from the crusades, like Robin Hood himself (and his Saracen bow.)
    • Viewers will no doubt be aware that the BBC adaptation of Robin Hood is not known for its historical accuracy.
  • The Super Sentai series Ninja Sentai Kakuranger featured Jiraiya (a.k.a. Ninja Black, therefore not that one), a But Not Too Foreign ninja who dressed as a stereotypical cowboy-hatted American and spoke in English most of the time (though his Japanese improved as the series went on.) The character's "foreignness" was often played up for laughs. For bonus points, he was played by Kane Kosugi, who is half-American himself.
    • For that matter Power Rangers Ninja Storm, with only one of the Rangers, Cam Watanabe, actually being Asian (and he was designated as a Samurai Ranger, to boot - noting that, in the source series, his counterpart was as ninja as the others, what with his Gratuitous English and all).
      • Power Rangers Samurai seems similar, with only one Asian on the team (Mia); but they're all supposed to be descendants of actual samurai and were trained as such so probably don't count. But Sixth Ranger Antonio does count, being both self-taught and a bit of a Mexican-American stereotype. The original Japanese production, Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, also played with this trope by having an episode where an American Funny Foreigner wanted to learn to be a samurai.
    • Additionally, Humongous Mecha aren't exactly the stealthiest of machines.
    • Also, one of the villains in Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, Miratrix, is played by New Zealander actress Ria Vandervis. She and her boss Kamdor are also good at smoke exits and activate spells by throwing sutras. (Or, well, just making ninja hand-gestures and sutras come from... somewhere... it looks cool, okay?)
    • In season 3 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers there's Ninjor, a bright blue alien Ninja with a body made of armored plates and a voice that could shatter glass; and then the Aquitian Rangers, who, due to footage from the aforementioned Kakuranger, have ninja-like suits and the powers used by the original team's Ninja Ranger forms. Of course, Ninjor's connected to them, too, so it makes in-universe sense, but still Aquatic Alien Power Ranger ninjas.
  • Mortal Kombat: Conquest features Chinese ninjas. This gets even more weird when all but a few of them are white.
    • Er, you do realize Chinese people can be white... like by being white and moving to China. Chinese is a nationality, not an skin color.
  • Alarm für Cobra 11 has occasional episodes with villains in black ninja suits ("Die schwarze Madonna," "Unter Feuer"). The Polizei SWAT team dresses in ninja-like black as well.
  • Again not exactly ninjas, but John Belushi's samurai businesses (e.f. Samurai Optometrist) on the early years of Saturday Night Live.
  • Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya, the 1988 Metal Hero series, featured numerous foreign ninjas in addition to Japanese ones (hence the title of the series, "Jiraiya: War of the World Ninjas").


Pro Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews, the "Canadian Ninjas", in SHIMMER.
  • Wrestlecrap lists Kwang, a Puerto Rican ninja, among its inductees.
    • Kwang was not actually a billed as being a ninja, he was supposed to be a martial arts expert.


Music[edit | hide]

  • "I am Ninja", by German band the Neu. "I am ninja, you are ninja, we are ninja too..."
  • South African rap/comedy trio Die Antwoord are lead by MC Ninja... who sings about little else. In a thick Afrikaans accent. It's better than it sounds.
  • Kamikaze Highlander by Andrew of Songs To Wear Pants To is not exactly about Ninja, but champions this trope in spirit.
  • Ninja" by Europe (band) is pretty much In Name Only, seeing as the song has a kind of "love during wartime" theme.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The Ninja class in a Dungeons & Dragons expansion can be taken by anybody capable of PC class levels, and the book itself states that ninja could be anyone. Given the nature of D&D settings, this means you may well encounter ninja wizards, ninja orcs, ninja Catfolk (the racial abilities really fit the class by the way), ninja barbarians (figure that one out), ninja Giants...
      • Ninja. Giant. Barbarians.
    • In The Complete Ninja's Handbook for AD&D's second edition, the ninja is an entirely separate class which was essentially a thief with reduced thief abilities, a new martial arts system, a clan, and a few new items. One kit was also capable of very limited magic, while another had a very gimped form of the fighter class's weapon specialization. Of course, for reasons unknown to posterity, elves could not be ninja, but dwarves could.
  • Warhammer Fantasy has Dark Elf ninjas and ratman ninjas, as well as more traditional Nipponese human ninjas in Fanon.
  • Ninja Burger is a card game based on a joke website about fast food delivery ninjas. (Guaranteed delivery in 30 minutes or less, or we commit Seppuku!) I'd say more, but the awesomeness that is Ninja Burger must be experienced for oneself.
    • Not just a card game. There's a tabletop RPG done by 9th Level Games, too. There's even a McNinja clan among the possible clans your ninja can hail from!
    • Naturally, Ninja Burger's arch-rivals are Pirate Pizza.
  • The Talislanta game features Mandalan Mystic Warriors and Mondre Khan Raiders in the Kang Empire, which is more Chinese than Japanese in flavor. The Rajan Assassin-Mage is apparently supposed to evoke the historical hashishin, yet carries a strong whiff of McNinja as well.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In the video game Shadow Hearts: From the New World, one of your party members is a Brazilian ninja, who hails from a hidden ninja village deep in the Amazon rain forest. Brazilian-style ninjutsu apparently centers on turning any vaguely elongated object into a sword by sticking a hilt on it. This party member is also a Highly-Visible Ninja, considering his bright red-blue costume(with a glowing deely-bopper antennae on the headpiece), and his habit of trying to hide... by holding up an American flag in front of himself. Did we mention he also works for the CIA?
    • Frank actually seems to be of Slavic descent, disappointing his father by leaving to study ninjutsu in the jungles of South America instead of taking over the family fireworks business. He later decides to bridge the eternal gap between fireworks and ninjas by sticking a hilt on a firework and using it as a sword. Even if he were less conspicuous, he's not a very good ninja, as he's constantly berated by his master—a giant talking cat who serves as second-in-command to Al Capone.
    • Ninjutsu seems to be a sport of world-wide popularity in that world, as he gains at least one skill by winning a Mini Game against a ninja from a rival German ninjutsu school.
  • Vega, from the Street Fighter series, styles himself as a Spanish ninja. He's a cage fighter, so he can afford to be highly visible.
    • Sodom from Street Fighter and Final Fight may be trying to be a ninja, or a samurai, or something else entirely. It's hard to tell because he's so very bad at trying to be Japanese.
    • Guy (one of the three heroes of Final Fight and a member of the SF roster in more recent games) plays this trope half-straight; he's a Japanese-born naturalized American, although you probably wouldn't have been able to tell this had it not been for supplementary materials.[1]
    • As of Super Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter x Tekken it's almost officially certain as being a retcon. His website lists his place of birth as the USA.
  • Sub-Zero, Frost, Smoke and a good number of other ninja-types from the Mortal Kombat series were members of the Lin Kuei, the Chinese equivalent of the ninja. Scorpion, however, was a Japanese ninja, as reflected in his suit changes and choice of sword in the 3D games.
    • The Lin Kuei claim the inverse of McNinja: the ninja tradition started when a Lin Kuei named Takeda absconded to Japan with their secrets.
    • The Lin Kuei also claim to not be Ninjas.
    • To wit: Cyrax is Motswana (meaning he's from Botswana, a country in Southern Africa), the Sub-Zero brothers are of mixed Chinese-American ethnicity, and Smoke is Czech. And, while not stated outright, we can assume Sektor to be Chinese, what with being the son of the Grandmaster and all.
    • The automated Sektor, a former member of Lin Kuei, killed the clan's Grandmaster and briefly assumed leadership until the younger Sub-Zero cast him out. In response, Sektor created the Tekunin, a clan composed of cyborg ninjas. And yeah, these are (or were, as might be the case) based in Japan.
    • For the record, the Lin Kuei actually existed, and are obscure enough to qualify this as an example of Shown Their Work.
  • The Metal Gear series had quite a few: first there was Black Color the Black Ninja from Metal Gear 2, who was actually Kyle Schneider, the South African resistance leader who helped Snake in the first Metal Gear. Then there was the Cyborg Ninja in Metal Gear Solid, who was actually Gray Fox, Snake's combat buddy from the first two MSX games. And finally, there's Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, who helped Snake during the events of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, but became a Cyborg Ninja afterward (noticed a pattern?). There's also Olga Gurlukovich in MGS2, who was not actually a Cyborg Ninja, but was disguised as one when she helped out Raiden as a double agent. The Tengu Commandos in MGS2 are Elite Mooks who wear ninja-like high-tech equipment, but are all Russians.
  • Galford and Earthquake, from California and Texas, respectively (despite both states being Spanish and Mexican territories at the time) in Samurai Shodown.
  • Chipp Zanuff of Guilty Gear is an American ninja. He isn't too happy about that, either, and often bugs the Japanese native Anji to teach him Japanese so that he can at least act the part. He learn the art from a Japanese assassin (a feat in itself considering they're short in supply in-series).
  • Another American ninja: Roger Sasuke from the bullet-hell shooter Shikigami no Shiro III.
  • A Canadian ninja: Raven from Tekken 5.
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein was originally supposed to have Nazi Ninjas, but they didn't make it into the final product due to time constraints.
    • The sequel delivered, though, converting the female Elite Guards into agile, ninja-like martial artists. There's even a piece of concept art that shows they were supposed to carry swastika-shaped shurikens, but unfortunately, they ultimately went unused.
  • F.E.A.R. has clone ninjas in the form of the Replica Assassins. Although their nationality is unknown (they're Faceless Mooks), they are produced by an American corporation.
  • Mass Effect 3 has these of the cyborg variety: Cerberus Phantoms. They have biotic barriers, flip around constantly, have guns built into their gauntlets, have an instant kill melee sword combo, can Overload your shields, and can cloak once their barrier comes down. This follows the increased focus on close combat in the third game.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe (particularly the Revenge of the Sith video game) has Clone Assassins, Clone Troopers who have received ninja training to allow them to fight in melee combat against Jedi.
  • Rome: Total War features the Arcani, a secret society of fanatics who worship Jupiter. Armed with twin gladii, they wear intimidating masks, black shrouds and well-crafted armour. They can hide practically anywhere in the wilderness, they have exceptional stamina, fighting ability, speed and morale. To round it all off, they operate with less than half the number of a more conventional unit type, perhaps invoking the law of Conservation of Ninjutsu. Their role is to flank and ambush the enemy, and perform the least capably in a straight-up fight against superior numbers.
    • Are we even playing the same game? If Arcani units get the armor and weapon bonuses of a well-built-up city, they can stand their ground against Gladiators and Praetorians without much trouble. Urban Cohorts not so much.
  • The third Commander Keen game had Vortinija, a group of blue space dog ninjas.
  • In World of Warcraft, some Rogue talent builds and gear sets will result in a character pretty much exactly like a stereotypical ninja. However, of the eight races that can be rogues, only one has any Japanese influence at all (Night Elves) and even they have lots of other influences as well. This means that it's possible to play Medieval European Fantasy Ninja, Our Dwarves Are All the Same Ninja, All Trolls Are Different Ninja...
    • The decidedly Chinese-influenced Pandaren have their own ninja clan: Shado-pan.
  • The House of the Dead series has ninja zombies as well as cyborg versions of those.
  • Psylocke's status as this is somewhat emphasised in X-Men Next Dimension. As in, every move she can use includes the word "ninja" somewhere, and she speaks in an incredibly thick British accent.
  • The Ninja class series in Golden Sun is available to Venus and Mars Adepts regardless of fantasy counterpart nationality. The Ninja class itself is also available to Jupiter Adepts, but they can't use the high levels. However, for most Squishy Wizard types, Ninja classes have the best melee stat progressions they can hope for. In addition, there is a set of clothing-style armor called Ninja Garb, that can be equipped by most characters for decent defense boosts, a strong agility boost, and a weak boost to Jupiter resistance.
    • The only Japanese party member in the franchise can't access the Samurai class due to a bug (though she can be a ninja, and it's probably her best option).
  • Quake 4s version of the Berserker probably qualifies, as well as being very durable and hard-hitting for its speed.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: The trope namer. In addition to the shamrock shuriken-throwing Irish-American ninja-doctor of the title, there is Frans Rayner—a former Danish ninja—and his army of American ninja Mooks. Who eventually come back from the dead as zombie ninjas.
  • In General Protection Fault, James Baud (aka Fooker) once faced off against French ninja maids in the Elaborate Underground Base of the supervillain Moldfinger...
  • In Freefall, Winston and Florence have a dinner date at a restaurant run by French ninja waiters. You'll be served an excellent meal, without ever seeing a single waiter...
    • They even go so far as to call out the difference between 'traditional' ninja gear and what one would actually dress like to complete a mission.
  • In Its Walky, one of the main villains is a group of British ninja. They're commonly referred to as 'The Britjas' in conversation.
    • The Walkyverse also gives us an American wannabe-ninja in the form of Shortpacked's Ninja Rick.
  • The webcomic No Need for Bushido features a female, blonde ninja. With big boobs. And a female ninja with an eyepatch. And big boobs.
    • You forgot the female Ninja with the fan.
  • Girl Genius has Smoke Knights, who seem to be the stealth branch of Knights of Jove.
  • In Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire, almost every race in the cosmos—from uplifted cats to ambulatory mountains to humanoid insects—has something identifiable as a ninja. This trope is shamelessly invoked and even named the Universal Ninja Puzzle -- "Many of these races cannot see eye to eye (literally) on the definition of such basic concepts as Food, Shelter, Sex and Memory, but they all have Ninja." And they all think that the others are a bunch of posers.
  • This strip of Order of the Stick features a waitress that suddenly appears next to the table, causing Vaarsuvius to angrily exclaim about waiters that sneak up on you. The waitress explains that she's putting herself through ninja school.
    • While Azure City is effectively Japan, nothing on earth could justify Redcloak's (now deceased) Goblin ninja. Replaced by Hobgoblin Ninja.
      • There's plenty of justification, you just failed your spot check looking for it.
      • Indeed, it's right here. One of the gods thought they would be fun. Done and done.
    • The prequel book Start of Darkness contains what may be the most horrifying ninja sub-breed ever conceived... Ninja Clowns.
  • Sam and Fuzzy includes an international brotherhood of ninjas, most of whom are McNinjas.
  • Wikkity from Panda Xpress. Although he claims that the only real American ninja is Michael Dudikoff.
  • Quantum Ninja, in an otherwise European medieval fantasy dimension in Casey and Andy.
  • Homestuck Dave and his Bro, self-described as "ironic rapping roof ninjas". The two employ katanas and Flash Step techniques in hash-rap battles on the rooftops of Houston, considering themselves governed solely by Rule of Cool.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • The "Panous-Panous"—Mooks in the amateur French sentai show France Five (no, really) -- have been described as "ninja-mimes".
  • The original website for Ninja Burger is dedicated to this trope- also quite literally.
  • Ask a Ninja doesn't quite count as this, but his theme song does.
  • Nex of the Whateley Universe. Ruthless mutant-powered ninja killer. Who happens to be English. Also, the 'ninjas' at Super-Hero School Whateley Academy tend to be Americans and Europeans, not Asian at all.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The public library in Jacob Two Two has a squad of highly-trained "Library Ninja" specialized in recovering overdue books.
  • Snake-Eyes from G.I. Joe a blond-haired blue-eyed white American who trained in Japan under the same master as Storm Shadow (who is a full blooded Japanese), although his backstory was not given as much emphasis in the cartoons as it was in the comics.
    • And by "not as much emphasis" we mean "none at all", at least in the Sunbow episodes. It didn't help that following the first two miniseries, the cartoon's writers had a hard time using a fully-masked mute ninja commando, so they put him in the background. The Di C seasons featured Snake-Eyes more, and he's been a core character in Sigma 6 and Renegades.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were explicitly trained by a Japanese ninja, who had moved to New York and got turned into a rat. However, they are in every other way 100% American.
  • On The Fairly OddParents, Poof becomes a ninja during the "Wishology" trilogy thanks to television.
  • Embarrassment Ninjas in Kim Possible. Drakken even lampshades this quoting "I guess in their profession, it pays to specialize."
  • Prowl and Jazz of Transformers Animated. Alien robot ninja, masters of metallikato and circuitsu. Prowl's still working on mastering processor-over-matter to unlock the really cool stuff, though.
  • My black son - alsohe'saninja!


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Ninjas themselves could be considered the 14th-century-onwards equivalent of the 11th century Hashishin, now Nizari.
    • So ninjas are Hashishin-san.
    • And the equivalent of many special forces units like SAS, Navy SEAL s, Spetznaz—what do the JSDF have?
      • The JGSDF's SF unit is the Special Forces Group, modeled after Delta Force. The JMSDF has the Special Boarding Unit, modeled after the British SBS. The latter had requested Navy SEAL assistance, but they didn't have the time to do so which is why they turned to the British instead.
  • Bizarrely, a lot of American ninjutsu enthusiasts actually went to the trouble of learning Ninjutsu from actual Japanese practitioners. These practitioners learned it in clear lines of delineation from Masaaki Hatsumi himself. Effectively, this means that there actually are a bunch of guys in Kentucky and other VERY American places who knows ninjutsu as much as any of the "legitimate" practitioners in Japan today.
    • It should be noted that Masaaki Hatsumi's version of ninjutsu is unverified as legitimately descended from whatever form was practiced in older times. Then again, so is everybody else's, since the ninja were careful to not leave detailed records
    • Some would say that being able to convince the world that his particular variety of ninjutsu was actually descended from ninja proves that - as a properly trained ninja is a master of deception - even if it isn't, he still qualifies as a true ninja.
  • Knife and martial arts enthusiasts tend to refer to people who seem to have more interest in being cool than practical as "mall ninjas", and their concept of martial arts as "bullshido". The terms are obviously not complimentary.
  1. Just to clarify, Guy's nationality was originally stated to be Japanese in Final Fight and his "real name" was even written in kanji in manuals and such. From the Alpha series and onward, his nationality was changed to American, but it is unknown if this was a retcon or if he became a naturalized American after Final Fight.