- Note: This Ben Tennyson and Reboot Ben Tennyson are a different person.
|“||It's Hero Time!||„|
|~ Ben's Catchphrase|
|“||I'm Ben Tennyson, and I'm here to save the world.||„|
|~ Ben Tennyson|
Benjamin Kirby "Ben" Tennyson is the ultimate main protagonist of the Cartoon Network series, Ben 10. He was a normal ten-year-old kid until he found the Omnitrix, a powerful watch-like device that allowed him to turn into ten different aliens. Though initially immature and clumsy, he grew to be a true hero. By the time he was sixteen, he had become famous in not only his hometown of Bellwood, but on Earth and beyond. Ben has also been deputized by the Plumbers and gained more aliens as time progressed.
In original series, Alien Ultimate, Omniverse flashback series, he is voiced by Tara Strong, who also voices Dil Pickles, Timmy Turner, Poof, Twilight Sparkle, Raven, Angel, Bubbles, Spot Chicken, Truffles, Dannan O'Mallard, Molly Winks, Ashi and Omi.
In Race Against Time, he was portrayed by Graham Phillips.
In Alien Swarm, he is portrayed by Ryan Kelley, who also portrayed Deputy Jordan Parrish
Ben's physical appearance has changed throughout the series from a ten-year-old to a sixteen-year-old. However, he retains some recurring characteristics. He has dark brown hair, green eyes (which are a darker shade of green in the sequels), pale skin, and he's quite skinny for his age, though he shows a lot of muscle definition due to being athletic.
When he was 5, as revealed in a flashback of how he first met his future frenemy Mr. Baumann, Ben wore green overalls with a white shirt underneath it. White numbers saying "5 1/2" where on a black square in front of his overalls.
In the original series and Omniverse flashbacks, Ben's usual clothes consists of a black-striped, white shirt with short sleeves, green pants and black and white shoes with black stripes. Ben wears the prototype Omnitrixon his left wrist.
In Alien Force and Ultimate Alien, Ben wears a black shirt, blue pants and a green jacket with white stripes and the number 10 on it, and black shoes. Ben wears the prototype Omnitrix in Alien Force and the Ultimatrix in Ultimate Alien on his left wrist.
In Omniverse, Ben wears a shirt which is black and has a green stripe in the middle with a white 10 and green stripes on the sides of his shirt. He wears brown pants with pockets at the knees and green and white shoes. He later gains a white hooded jacket with green stripes on both arms and a green number 10 on the right side. He wears the Omnitrix on his left wrist.
Ben is initially portrayed as a cocky, arrogant, and immature boy who tends to make jokes, even when fighting enemies. He easily gets full of himself and enjoys attention from others. This attitude can sometimes make him look obnoxious or dumb, often resulting in criticisms from Gwen later Kevin and a few others. It also causes several conflicts between him and Azmuth.
These traits, however, as hinted in The Forge of Creation, stem from Ben's attempts to hide his own fear about the situation (though he denied it and said he was actually oblivious). Even so, he's matured since the first series and although he can be goofy, he's also capable of great leadership skills and tends to get serious when the situation requires it.
Despite his immaturity, Ben is actually good-hearted, and his actions are motivated above all by a strong and sincere will to help others in need. He's shown to deeply care for other's lives, and would choose to save people by himself, even when he dislikes them (such as Cash and J.T.). This causes him to have a strong dislike for sacrifices or life compromises and occasionally acts against reason, such as when he chooses to save half-cured DNAlien Tyler over seizing the key for the Highbreed's invasion (Inside Man), or when he tries to save The Sentinel while losing the last Map of Infinity piece to Ultimate Aggregor (Perplexahedron). When meeting an enemy in trouble (like Kevin or the Highbreed), he'll usually attempt to help them rather than win the hard way. While this somehow overly idealistic nature is often criticized by Azmuth, most characters usually consider it as Ben's most important quality. Professor Paradox once even stated that he had the gift to make the right choices at the right moments.
He is also deeply protective over his family which causes him to act impulsive and rash. When Gwen was attacked and kidnapped by Floura in Azmuth's mountain lair, Ben instinctively transformed into Four Arms, ignoring Myaax's pleas as it would only accelerate the self-destruct on the Omnitrix. He also angrily defended Max from Gwen when she joked his cooking is what killed him only to later apologise for speaking to his cousin so harshly. Ben also seems to have an attatchment to his aliens, he was reduced to tears when Malware destroyed his favourite one, Feedback in front of his eyes however he views his aliens as nothing more than blank DNA copies without their own personality, which technically they are designed to be but some possess their own character such as Z'Skyr and this makes him unintentionally malicious. Example is when his ultimate aliens become sentient and wanted revenge on Ben from treating them like slaves and attempted to kill him for their freedom. It was actually his own self-sacrifice for them to be free which highlighted what a hero he was to the ultimates.
When he sees people hurt by his fault or because of his failures, Ben tends to get mad and acts much more violent and aggressive than he usually does. For example, when Overlord kidnapped Julie, or when Aggregor successfully absorbed the Andromeda aliens, Ben went berserk and beat them up with all his strength, and, in Ultimate Aggregor's case, to the point where Gwen stopped him from attacking more. Also, when Kevin Levin mutated again shortly after stopping Ultimate Aggregor and temporarily went back to his psychotic way, hurting all the Plumbers' helpers, Ben became willing to kill Ultimate Kevin by any means necessary. He began acting ruthless, aggressive, pessimistic, cold-hearted, nasty, and even ready to fight Gwen as Way Big when she attempted to stop him. Gwen, however, was eventually able to convince him to try another way as he was about to kill Ultimate Kevin. During the episode, Ben confesses to Max he feels guilty for letting fame get into his head, and claims that he is trying to act more mature for once. Finally, in The Purge, when the Forever Knights are holding a large group of aliens hostage (and have killed some aliens already), Ben threatens to hunt the Forever Knights down for the rest of their lives if they don't let the aliens go.
Though often stated to be silly or unintelligent because of his immaturity, Ben is actually shown to be cunning and resourceful when needed, usually showing good adaptation skills when the Omnitrix doesn't provide him with the alien he wanted. When he occasionally put his immaturity aside (most especially in the first two seasons of Alien Force), he's shown to be a responsible leader as well as a very competent fighter.
It's also pertinent to note that Ben has inherited both his paternal grandparents' personality. Although Ben inherited his grandmother Verdona's spirit, sense of humor, and overconfidence, he also inherited his paternal grandfather's determination, and adventurous and self-sacrificing attitude. He is also as much of a practical joker as his Anodite paternal grandmother Verdona.
In Omniverse, Ben thinks of himself as more of a superhero than a Plumber. He often tells Rook that he is a superhero and not a cop. He's also gotten slightly more cocky, but still retains his selfless and heroic nature. His fame caused him to get a degree at Gwen's university, Friedkin University in Mystery, Incorporeal.
Powers and Abilities
Ben has been trained in hand-to-hand combat by black belt Gwen (as shown in Be-Knighted), Max, as well as various years fighting aliens, and received a basic Plumber training. Though he has only been trained on a weekly basis in order to minimize his reliance on the Omnitrixes/Ultimatrix, he is still proved to be quite exceptionally skilled in basic hand-to-hand combat as well armed and unarmed combat, being able to easily dodge shots from Manny's blasters and proceed to disarm him while in human form in Above and Beyond. Ben was able to hold his own against Pierce, and Max hinted that Ben was a highly skilled fighter, even as a human in Voided, expressing surprise about the fact he lost to Pierce (though it is then revealed that Ben had lost on purpose). Another hint of his exceptional hand-to-hand skill is when he succeeded in the Plumbers' Academy with a 95 out of a 100 (without using the Ultimatrix). He is also shown to be a crafty fighter. However, according to Matt Wayne, Ben isn't a trained fighter and that he uses freestyle fighting.
It's evident that Ben is extremely smart in some respects, possessing an above average intelligence. It was even stated by Gwen that he really isn't working up to his potential at school, and he replies, "That's what they tell me." He also has fairly moderate grades (although not at Gwen or Julie's level). Chemistry is his toughest subject, yet he still maintains a B+ average.
In Where the Magic Happens, it is shown that Ben has a good memory, as he was perfectly capable of remembering and writing down the mystic rune-like symbols for entering the inter-dimensional realm of Ledgerdomain with just one glance from a distance. He was able to write the runes down.
In Perplexahedron, Ben is also shown to possess advanced intuition, as he was able to understand how Perplexahedron really worked with a small problem at first, but was then able to learn from the mistake and figure it out easily.
Ben is also a cross dominant, skillfully wielding tools and weapons in either hand, in human or alien form.
Ben was able to dodge Attea's punches with relative ease in Vilgax Must Croak.
Ben is the wielder of the Omnitrix (formerly the Ultimatrix and first Omnitrix), which gave him the power to modify his own genetic code in order to turn into various alien creatures, literally making him an alien shape-shifter. Traditionally, he could only transform into ten aliens at the beginning of both the original series and Alien Force, but he later gains additional forms by either unlocking them or by scanning the DNA of aliens he meets. At the end of the original series, his arsenal included twenty aliens, while his current complete list is 62 aliens discovered (Ben 10, Ben 10: Alien Force, and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, 71 if Ultimate forms are included).
When transforming into an alien, Ben gets all the creature's features, including its appearance, voice, all of its unique and special abilities and powers, strengths and weaknesses. Though he mostly retains his personality, there are some cases where the transformation causes change in it, such as Rathbeing far more aggressive, Spidermonkey acting more childish, Big Chill being affected by his reproduction instincts, Brainstorm being far more polite, or Jury Rigg having the desire to destroy/fix machines and Swampfire's maturity that caused Ben to have zits on his face. Three of the aliens, Ghostfreak, Big Chill, and Ultimate Humungousaur, even managed to actually take over Ben's personality.
Though he usually uses his alien forms to fight, there have been some occasions where he was taken for a real alien by others, humans especially (until his secret was revealed to the world). At one point, he intentionally impersonated Bivalvan as Water Hazard to convince P'andor to go home, and though he was unsuccessful at convincing him, P'andor believed him to be Bivalvan.
In addition to transforming into aliens, the Ultimatrix included what is referred as an "evolutionary function," that allowed Ben to evolve his alien forms in order to get upgraded versions of them, referred to as Ultimate Forms. It's explained that the function works by placing the selected alien form in a simulated worst-case scenario for a millennial or so, then simply modifying the old DNA to match the new DNA.
In addition to the primary transformations and evolutionary function, the Omnitrixes and Ultimatrix can both be used for various purposes. Both have a built in Universal Translator that allows Ben to communicate with most aliens that don't speak English.
During the Highbreed invasion, the prototype Omnitrix displayed the ability to manipulate and repair genetic damage, a function he used to cure DNAliens and save the Highbreed from extinction. According to Eunice in Simian Says, Ben couldn't do this with the Ultimatrix.
Azmuth also mentioned that Ben could use the prototype Omnitrix to bring back to life any species stored on Primus.
The Omnitrix also has a failsafe to help prevent Ben from dying. If Ben is in mortal danger and the Omnitrix is in recharge mode, it will automatically go into active mode.
Ben's main ability with the Omnitrix is also his main weakness. Whenever the device times out, Ben is left powerless until he either dodges or switches to a new alien form. Furthermore, in addition to gaining the selected alien's powers, he gains its weaknesses. He is also vulnerable to the alien's natural predator. Additionally, at times the natural biological behavior of certain aliens can override Ben's behavior, such as Big Chill's reproductive phase or Swampfire's "blossoming" process.
Whenever Ben unlocks a new alien form, he is at a disadvantage of not knowing its abilities and weaknesses until he gains experience with using the new alien.
Despite his experience in using the Omnitrixes and Ultimatrix, Ben still does not know every function of them. Due to his inquisitive nature and impatience, he has accidentally unlocked new functions such as the Master Control and the randomizer, which can at times do more harm than good (such as in the The Frogs of War: Part 1).
Though the current Omnitrix is designed to work only for him, Ben still has not mastered it. According to Azmuth, Ben may get the Master Control on his 18th birthday.
In For a Few Brains More, it is revealed that the Omnitrix does not mistransform, but rather it is due to Ben hitting the Omnitrix too hard, thereby causing the time-out function to select another alien at random. Apparently this did not happen as much with the original Omnitrix when Ben was younger, as he didn't have as much strength back then.
Ben has an allergy to peanuts and has a fear of peacocks (Ostriches in the Arabic dub). He also has coulrophobia (fear of clowns).
Ben's left eye twitches whenever he tells a lie, but only Kevin appears to notice this.
Ben appears to have a short attention span at times, and more often than not it can get him into trouble. Rook has additionally pointed out that Ben tends to rely too much on his alien forms for combat.
Though he has matured substantially since receiving the original Omnitrix, he is still a teenager with much to learn and is prone to irrational impulses and recklessness.
Benjamin is a name going back into the Tanakh (called the Hebrew Bible by Christian scholars), a name of one of the sons of Jacob. His name, "Ben," is to create a rhyming effect between his first name and the number Ten.
His middle name, Kirby, was named as reference to comic book artist Jack Kirby, according to Derrick J. Wyatt.
His last name, Tennyson, meaning the Son of Tenny. The "Tenny" part is a reference to the series name, "Ben Ten".
Born in December
|Perk Upchuck||Perk Gourmand|
|Murk Upchuck||Murk Gourmand|
|“||I just figured out there's something I'm even more afraid of than you. Losing my family to some goofball emotional vampire. In other words... you're going down, clown!||„|
|~ Ben to Zombozo|
|“||I've come too far! I've lost too much to be stopped now!||„|
|~ Ben as he transforms into Cannonbolt and breaks down Azmuth's doors|
|“||If the universe is goin' down anyway, I'm gonna have the pleasure of kicking YOUR butt FIRST.||„|
|~ Ben to Azmuth|
|“||Step off. I've got a world to save.||„|
|~ Ben to Azmuth|
|“||I though Hero Time was over. But ever since I put the Omnitrix back on, it's like there's a new threat all the time. Especially since I lost Grandpa Max to the Highbreed. Now it's all on me. Fighting aliens, keeping these knights from selling out the planet, and now car repossession. It's all on me. But I'm ready.||„|
|~ Ben Tennyson|
|“||I'm saying that it's up for someone to protect this planet. And like it or not... I think it's up to us.||„|
|~ Ben to Gwen Tennyson and Kevin Levin in Max Out|
|“|| Ben Tennyson: Sorry Azmuth, but I don't buy your argument. The Earth needs to be saved. And I'm going to do it! |
Azmuth: I won't allow it!
Ben Tennyson: How could you stop me?
Azmuth: I'll take the Omnitrix from you.
Ben Tennyson: You'll try.
|~ Ben to Azmuth|
|“||You don't need them to take on little old me... Too bad you're not fighting just little old me.||„|
|~ Ben after he knocks away Manny's blasters.|
|“||I don't know what Max would do. But I know what I wouldn't do. I don't destroy victims. I save them!||„|
|~ Ben to Kevin Levin|
|“||You think I don't know? When it's hero time, if I mess up, somebody could die. From what you told me, if we mess up, everybody could die. Maybe that's too much to have in your head when you have to win. Maybe if I pretend everything's a big joke when the time comes, I'll be able to do what I have to do.||„|
|~ Ben to Gwen Tennyson|
|“||Maybe you've forgotten something: I'm Ben Tennyson, wielder of the most powerful weapon in the universe. I stopped the Highbreed invasion, I defeated Vilgax in hand-to-hand combat and I've beaten the Forever Knights more times that I can count. Here's what's going to happen: you're going to release these prisoners, you're going to crawl back to wherever you came from and you're going to stop hunting down aliens because if you don't, I promise, you'll regret it for the rest of your very short lives..||„|
|~ Ben is running out of patience|
|“||Hey. Ben Tennyson. Save the universe a few times.||„|
|~ Ben introducing himself|
|“||Know why I always win? I don't give up.||„|
|~ Ben to Looma Red Wind|
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- Ben's teenage voice actor Yuri Lowenthal is well known for voicing Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto, The Prince from Prince of Persia, Lok Lambert from Huntik, and Simon from Gurren Lagann. Likewise, he alludes to Alan in every aspect.
- Ben is reminiscent of both Green Lantern and Beast Boy (his incarnations with 2003 and reboot) from the DC Universe, Danny Phantom and Jake Long from American Dragon: Jake Long.
- During Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Ben shout out the names of his aliens when transforming into them.
- It is revealed in Prisoner 775 is Missing, The reason why he shouts out the alien names was to strike into his enemies.
- However, In Ben 10: Omniverse, He no longer shouts out the names when transforming into the aliens because he got tired of it.