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File:Ben 10 02.jpg

An action cartoon franchise from America; this entry covers the first series.

Ben 10 revolves around the adventures of Ben Tennyson, a 10-year-old boy. While on summer vacation with his grandpa Max and cousin Gwen, he comes into the possession of a mysterious alien device - the Omnitrix - that allows him to change into a multitude of alien heroes. At first, there are only 10 aliens (hence the name "Ben 10"), but more forms were eventually discovered.

Why isn't the device in more capable hands? Well, once it attached to Ben, it was stuck there. It won't come off.

There's more to this show than meets the eye, however. For example, while this and most other American cartoons either Never Say "Die" or push the Thou Shalt Not Kill Aesop, "people" in this show get killed with reckless abandon with hardly anyone batting an eye. The show's also infamous for the Kissing Cousins vibe between Ben and Gwen. Plus, it has plenty of Nightmare Fuel.

Currently, the Ben 10 franchise has five separate series: the original show, the Time Skipped sequel Ben 10 Alien Force, the sequel to Alien Force, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien and the sequel to Ultimate Alien, Ben 10 Omniverse. The foursome who created the original series, known as Man of Action, went on to create Generator Rex, and later work on Ultimate Spider-Man. Man of Action returned for the 2016 reboot.

Movie-wise, this (the original series) has three based on it. A Live Action Adaptation Ben 10 Race Against Time (Notable for starring Lee Majors as Grandpa Max), a regularly animated hour long flick Secret of the Omnitrix and a (originally non-canon, but now confirmed as canon) all CGI film called Ben 10 Destroy All Aliens.

Not to be confused with the Bren Ten.

Tropes used in Ben 10 include:
  • Abusive Parents: Kevin's, who apparently threw him onto the street. Later Kevin himself, using his son Devlin to get his revenge on Ben.
    • It's hinted that it's not the case with Kevin: he either ran away on his own and was thus lying, or his parents threw him out for being freaking nuts and not because of his powers, but in Kevin's mind, his "freakish" powers were the reason.
    • It is revealed in Ultimate Alien that while they were disturbed by his powers, they never intended to kick him out. But in Kevin's mind, they may as well have.
  • Action Girl: Gwen, sometimes. More so in the future.
  • Actor Allusion: Ditto is not Rob Paulsen's first role as a black-and-white wisecracking being of indeterminate species.
    • In one episode where Ben and Gwen get sucked into a video game, Grandpa Max tells them to turn the game console off.
      • One video on Youtube explicitly noted that, like his role as Colonel Roy Campbell, he carries many, many secrets and often acts as mission control.
  • The Alcatraz: Incarceron, the prison satellite. Also, the Null Void.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Averted, aliens in this series are no more evil than humans are. Even Vilgax's race is by no means Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Aliens Speaking English: A surprising amount of aliens are capable of speaking English fluently. Vulpimancers are the exception as they are rather animalistic in nature.
  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: The biker gang in "The Alliance."
  • All CGI Cartoon: The "Destroy All Aliens" film.
  • All Myths Are True: On average, for every five or six that can be attributed to aliens, there's one that can't.
  • All There in the Manual: Pop-up commentary by the creators during a Ben 10 marathon revealed a lot of facts that aren't stated in the show, most notably an extensive backstory for Ghostfreak.
    • They also spoke about characters that would appear in later series, like SevenSeven, older brother of SixSix, and Race Against Time mentioned a "Paradox" in their pop ups.
  • Animesque
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The show has a different ending theme for the Japanese version called "Ladybird Girl", a love song, which is not very fitting for a show about transforming into multiple aliens.
  • An Aesop: Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.
    • Broken Aesop: Over and over and over again.
      • Maybe it would be better put with great power comes great opportunity to abuse that power.
      • Almost every episode he abuses his power ends up with him accidentally angering someone and setting off the plot. A good many of his villains are his villains just because he's tried to be selfish with his powers, such as Kevin.
  • Artifact Title: From the moment Ben discovered the eleventh alien in the Omnitrix.
  • The Atoner: Tetrax.
  • Author Appeal: ALIENS AND SUPERHEROES...COMBINED!
  • Author Avatar: The kid Ben tries to save in the pilot episode? That's Glen Murakami.
  • Ax Crazy: Kevin 11 becomes this after being exposed to too much electricity...as well as energy from the Omnitrix.
  • Badass Family: Max Tennyson and his grandchildren travel the country fighting world-threatening aliens.
  • Badass Grandpa: Max Tennyson.
  • Badass Normal: Also Max.
    • Ben himself in the episode "Gwen 10" where Ben loses his powers, Ben still proves to be pretty badass, even using Grandpa Max's BFG with no problem.
      • In "Grudge Match", Ben manages to defeat an alien robot even after his Omnitrix times out. Admittedly, he already weakened it as Diamondhead, but it was still more than capable of killing him.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The beginning of an episode has Ben easily thwart a robbery. At the end of the preview, he outright states if there's anyone who can give him a challenge. Just so happens, it was the Negative 10 episode.
  • Berserk Button: Let's just say that if you ever hurt anyone Ben cares about, you're going to regret it. A LOT.
    • Kevin learned that the hard way in "Ken 10".
  • BFG: Some of Max's guns.
  • Big Bad: Vilgax in season 1, Kevin Levin in season 2, Ghostfreak in season 3, and the Forever King in season 4.
    • Vilgax, being the Arch Enemy, also had the role of secondary Big Bad in seasons 2 and 4.
  • Big Damn Movie: Secret of the Omnitrix.
  • Biker Babe: Rojo, who's also a Hot-Blooded (bordering on Ax Crazy) Badass Biker.
  • Black and White Morality: Played straight with the heroes and the villains. However, J.T. and Cash are more neutral characters who are bullies that don't threaten the galaxy.
  • Black Box: The Omnitrix itself. Even its creator doesn't know exactly what he's made.
  • Black Magician Girl: Charmcaster.
  • Body Horror: Kevin after he is forced to be a conglomerate of Ben's original 10 forms.
  • Brake Angrily
  • Came From the Sky: This is how Ben got the Omnitrix.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Ben can't abuse the power of the Omnitrix or he'll get in trouble.
  • Can't Live Without You: Ben and Kevin in the Chained Heat episode -- their shackle is set up so if one of them dies, so does the other.
  • Canon Immigrant: Eon, a movie villain, actually makes an appearance in Ultimate Alien.
  • Cape Busters: The Forever Knights
  • Captain Ersatz: Ben10 himself... sort of.
    • Waybig. This troper Lol'd the first time he appeared.
    • There's a shocking number of comic book characters in "Ready to Rumble" getting the treatment: Wolverine, Cyclops, Wonder Man, Killer Croc, even a gang boss based somewhat on Kingpin. The clincher? Wolverine and Killer Croc were adopted by Aunt May.
    • Fourarms actually switches to Goro's wardrobe later in Ultimate Alien.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While the series never loses its humor side, it gets a lot more serious and dramatic when a season finale is approaching. Last chapters? Fighting the Knight of Cerebus. First chapters? Fighting Mega-Whatts, a bugman, and a doctor who has a device that basically destroys any laws of biology through use.
  • Chained Heat: "Grudge Match", with Ben and Kevin. Ironically, Kevin would eventually undergo a Heel Face Turn.
  • Christmas Episode: During the summer, no less.
  • Circus of Fear
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The Omnitrix.
  • Conspicuous CG: Max's mobile home.
  • Conservation of Ninjitsu: Ben's alien form Ditto.
    • Kevin 11 (pre-Time Skip)
  • Conveyor Belt O' Doom: "Ready to Rumble" - The mother of two mutant kids was tied to a conveyor belt in an old wood mill. She was heading towards a wood saw that's right between her legs.
  • Cool Car: The Rustbucket.
  • Could Have Been Messy
  • Cousin Oliver: Debatably, Cooper.
  • Cowardly Lion: Gilbert in "Camp Fear". When he's not running around screaming his head off, he's quite helpful fighting off the mushroom monsters and protecting the younger campers.
  • Creepy Child: Meet Kevin, eleven years old and willing to kill a subway load of people without a second thought.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Tara Strong as Ben.
  • Cute Monster Girl: In "My Big Fat Alien Wedding" the majority of the shapeshifting aliens are very ugly non-humanoid sludge monsters in their true form. The non-evil one (who's marrying a human) oddly looks like a fairly attractive purple-skinned woman in her true form. Despite being the daughter of the episode's villains.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Charmcaster to Hex (though it's more of a case of Uncle's Little Villain).
  • Dark Action Girl: Rojo
  • Dark Magical Girl: Played with in regards to Charmcaster. She does sincerely have the background of a normal DMG (raised and trained by an evil, abusive guardian,) but she actually chooses to be evil rather than join her Magical Girl counterpart. Since, you know, Evil Is Cool (not to mention sexy.)
  • Determinator: Vilgax.
  • Description Cut: Vilgax, in the first episode, prattles on about how no one in the universe can stop him. Then the scene cuts to Ben, in school, throwing a paper airplane at his teacher before the bell rings.
  • Disney Death: Happens multiple times in The Movie.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Great One from "The Big Tick".
    • The Mycelium in "Camp Fear".
  • Elemental Powers: Several of Ben's alien forms have powers based on a specific element, the most obvious one being Heatblast.
  • Emerald Power: The Omnitrix glows green when active.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Omnitrix.
  • Enemy Mine: Ben makes one with Kevin in Chained Heat...ironically, Kevin ends up changing his ways in Ben 10.
  • Enemy Without: Ghostfreak.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While Kevin 11 shows how immature Ben can be, Ben shows that he has a conscience when he refuses to murder innocent people for money.
  • Evil Counterpart: Kevin 11 is one to Ben...initially.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Hex
  • Expository Theme Tune:

 It started when an alien device did what it did

And stuck itself upon his wrist with secrets that it hid

Now he's got super powers, he's no ordinary kid

He's Ben 10! (Ben 10, Ben 10!)

  • Expy: Zombozo demonstrates similar behavior to Pennywise, he even turns into a giant spider in a hallucination(?)!
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: As a Fantasy Kitchen Sink show borderlining on Planet Eris, it's 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.
  • Face Fault: Look hard enough, Gwen in Charmcaster's body in "A Change Of Face" has these.
  • Flanderization: Early on, the Omnittrix is fairly reliable, only transforming Ben into the wrong alien once every few episodes, and Ben is justifiably surprised when it happens. Fast forward to the Season 3 finale, and out of the four times Ben transformed in the first part, he only got the alien he wanted once, and he's reduced to frantically begging the Omnitrix to please cooperate with him this time...
    • Justified in that he totaled the controls a few episodes back to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Sometimes justified by the sci-fi setting, but really...where are ordinary gang members, mall cops, and other assorted armed Muggles getting their sci-fi firearms?
  • Foreshadowing: There are many hints that Max wasn't just a normal Plumber, such as knowing that Heatblast is not a monster but an alien, and mentions of Vilgax making him tense.
  • Franchise Zombie: Man of Action Studios only worked on this series. The three following sequel shows were Cartoon Network's doing.
  • Freaky Friday Flip: Gwen and Charmcaster in "A Change Of Face".
    • Later on happens to Gwen and Ben in the same episode.
  • Freudian Excuse: Kevin being abandoned by his parents and mocked by peers for being a "freak". Once he couldn't take it no more, he decided "to show them just how much of a freak he could be." It's later shown that absorbing electricity or energy from the Omnitrix drives him insane.
  • Full-Contact Magic: Played perfectly straight; mixing a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and magic alien energy-manipulation powers gives Gwen dynamic and fluid fighting scenes.
  • Future Badass: Ben 10,000, Gwendolyn, and cyborg Max. That is all.
  • Future Me Scares Me: When Ben and Gwen go to the future, Future Ben is pretty much a jerk.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar Redheaded Gwen: "Next year, I am so going to band camp!"
    • Also, in "Camp Fear:"

  Ben: "You guys know way too much about mushrooms!"

  Grampa: "Yeah. I still got the right stuff.

 Gwen [nervously]: Couldn't you just slip the watch off?

Vilgax: And what fun would that be?