Ninjago Wiki
Ninjago Wiki
Fear? Fear isn't a word where I come from!
— Cliff Gordon as Fritz Donnegan reciting his catchphrase

Cliff Gordon was an actor who played Fritz Donnegan, a fictional outer space hero in films and comic books in the Starfarer franchise. He was the husband of the previous Elemental Master of Lightning and the biological father of Jay.

Shortly after Cliff's death, Jay learned of his heritage after making a wish with a djinn named Nadakhan.

History

At some point, Cliff Gordon began his career as an actor. Prior to the battle against the Time Twins, Cliff married the Elemental Master of Lightning and the two planned to go on a honeymoon.[2] At some point before or after this, he got the role of Fritz Donnegan of the Starfarer franchise. He starred in a romance film as well.[3] At another point, he authored a book, Cliff Gordon's Handbook to Wooing Women.

Decades later, Cliff and the Master of Lightning would have a son named Jay. However, Cliff's womanizing nature got in the way of having a family,[4] and his wife to leave their son,[5] along with a key to Cliff's mansion, in the care of Ed and Edna Walker.[6]

To remember his son he never knew,[7] Cliff kept up with Jay's later life as a ninja, somehow acquiring his old ZX suit or a replica of it and collecting many pictures of Jay, but he chose not to introduce himself to his son.[6]

As "Fritz Donnegan," Cliff remained a well-known figure for several years, with one of his films repeatedly being featured at Chan's Theater by the time Jay was a teenager.[8][9]

At some point, Cliff died of unknown causes,[1][6] most likely from failing health.[10] After his son used his final wish with Nadakhan to erase the events of the alternate timeline, Cliff was temporarily "resurrected". However, his death played out the same way, as it had nothing to do with the events involving Jay.[10][11][12]

Legacy

Jay grew up believing Ed and Edna were his birth parents, while he idolized Cliff as a celebrity, having been introduced to the Starfarer franchise by Lloyd and growing to admire Fritz Donnegan as his favorite movie character.[13][14] Jay and Nya would often watch Cliff's romance film before Jay knew Cliff was his father.[15][16]

"Fritz Donnegan" also inspired Lloyd, who used a version of the famous "Fear?" quote before he gave up his childhood to defeat the Grundle.[17]

Jay was excited when the ninja went to outer space because it reminded him of his hero's Starfarer adventures, and Jay pretended to be Fritz Donnegan when fighting the Nindroids with a blaster outside the rocket.[13]

Eventually, Jay learned of his origins after making a wish with Nadakhan, and Ed and Edna gave Jay the key and address to Cliff's estate. Jay was astonished with his father's villa,[6] in which he and the other ninja briefly resided in an alternate timeline.[18]

Jay took advice from Cliff Gordon's Handbook to Wooing Women, only for it to make situations worse for him, as it convinced him to hide the truth from Nya and the others.[6][18]

Because these events were undone, Jay is still waiting to receive his inheritance.[19]

Cliff's legacy continued after his death, his film remaining a staple of at least one Ninjago City movie theater.[20]

Jay's abandonment ultimately helped him to relate to and reason with Unagami, ending the Attack from Prime Empire and reuniting Unagami with his creator, Milton Dyer.[21]

Appearances

Sets

Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu

Season 1: Rise of the Snakes

Season 2: Legacy of the Green Ninja

Season 3: Rebooted

Season 4: Tournament of Elements

Season 6: Skybound

Season 8: Sons of Garmadon

Season 11: Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu

Season 12: Prime Empire

Behind the scenes

  • The character of Fritz Donnegan, as well as Cliff's name, may have been inspired by the comic book character Flash Gordon.
    • The comic strip was produced at a time when "cliffhanger" endings were becoming popular in media.
    • Flash Gordon is also a space-faring hero who started in comics and eventually featured in movies.
  • Apart from the wizard costume, the costumes in Cliff's room use the torso designs and/or accessories of characters from LEGO's Collectible Minifigures line: Viking, Spaceman (recolored), Cowboy, and Galaxy Patrol (recolored).
  • The scarf on his neck is the same as the ones Misako and Edna have, but in red. This design originates from a recurring female City torso.

Trivia

  • Cliff's death was not caused by Jay's wish in "Misfortune Rising", as one of Nadakhan's rules is that one cannot wish harm onto another. Nadakhan did not change the past, rather, he simply caused Jay to learn the information.[22][23]
    • A clue hinting that his death took place after the events of "Infamous" is the fact that the wanted poster of the ninja, seen in "Public Enemy Number One", is seen in his room in "Misfortune Rising".
      • However, the poster's appearance is more likely an error or a detail with no in-universe significance: there are other photos on top of the poster, which implies a longer time span, and there are other photos that would not make sense for Cliff to have in the first place, such as the photo of Jay at the Temple of Light in "Codename: Arcturus."
  • Cliff is the second parent to have left their child while they were an infant, the first being Misako.
    • However, unlike her, Cliff's reason for leaving Jay was self-centered, being that he "was a bit of a womanizer."[4]
  • One of Cliff's photos of Jay is actually of Jay, Nya, and Cole at Chan's Theater watching one of his movies.

Cliff supposedly in the Serpentine War (background left)

  • Tommy Andreasen implied that one of the fighters in the Serpentine War from "Spellbound" was Cliff, stating that fighting alongside an Elemental Master would have been a good way for Cliff to meet his wife.[24] However, the character he was referring simply uses the generic design of male rice farmers and does not have the same appearance as Cliff.
    • If this statement is true, it means Cliff and the Master of Lightning married shortly after meeting each other, as it was later confirmed in "The Hatching" that the Battle for All of Time took place shortly after the Serpentine War, and in "Lost in Time," the Master of Lightning stated that she and Cliff were about to go on their honeymoon.
  • According to Tommy Andreasen, Cliff's letter of inheritance to Jay "is most likely stuck in transit somewhere".[25]
  • When asked what Cliff thought of his wife's powers, Tommy Andreasen said, "Who doesn’t appreciate a beautiful electrifying woman? Cliff Gordon does!"[26]
  • When asked if there would be more background given on Jay's birth parents, Tommy Andreasen said, "The stuff I do for now will remain focused on then main cast. Other stories may be told in books, comics etc. I don't have much influence over those, though I am sometimes consulted."[27] This implies that as of early 2021, there are no plans to further explore the pasts of Cliff or his wife in the television series.
  • He is the only adult male character to be portrayed by a woman voice actor, that being Jillian Michaels.

Gallery

References

Characters

Ninja

Master Wu · Lloyd · Kai · Jay · Cole · Zane
Allies: P.I.X.A.L. · Misako · Dareth · Skylor · Ronin · Cyrus Borg · Falcon
Former Members: Master Garmadon · Nya

Skulkin

Generals: Samukai · Kruncha · Nuckal · Wyplash
Warriors: Frakjaw · Chopov · Krazi · Bonezai
Other: Skeleton figurehead

Serpentine

Anacondrai: Pythor · Anacondrai generals (Arcturus)
Hypnobrai: Skales · Slithraa · Mezmo · Rattla · Selma · Skales Jr.
Fangpyre: Fangtom · Fangdam · Fang-Suei · Snappa
Constrictai: Skalidor · Bytar · Chokun · Snike
Venomari: Acidicus · Lizaru · Spitta · Lasha · Zoltar · Snake villain
Mini-snakes: Golden Vipers · Sly Vipers · Red Vipers · Hypno Vipers · Toxic Vipers · Translucent Blue Viper · Translucent Purple Vipers · Translucent Orange Viper
Other: Great Devourer · Anacondrai serpent

NGTV News

Dan Vaapit · Fred Finely · Gayle Gossip · Vinny Folson

Pirates

Leader: Captain Soto
First Mate · No-Eyed Pete

Evil ninja

Bizarro Cole · Bizarro Jay · Bizarro Kai · Bizarro Zane

Wu's Academy students

Brad Tudabone · Finn · Gene · Marla · Sally · Tommy

Stone Army

Creator: The Overlord
Leader: General Kozu
Giant Stone Warrior · Stone Warriors · Stone Swordsmen · Stone Scouts

Nindroids

Leader: General Cryptor
Nindroid Warriors · Nindroid Drones · Min-Droid

Anacondrai warriors

Leader: Master Chen
Clouse · Zugu · Eyezor · Kapau · Chope · Sleven · Krait
Former Members: Skylor

Elemental Masters

Current Elemental Masters: Ash · Bolobo · Chamille · Gravis · Griffin Turner · Jacob Pevsner · Karlof · Neuro · Mr. Pale · Shade · Skylor · Tox
Previous Elemental Masters: Cole's grandfather · Griffin Turner's grandparent · Jay's mother · Lilly · Master of Gravity · Master of Ice · Unknown Elemental Master · Master of Shadow · Master of Sound · Maya · Ray · Skylor's mother

Ghost Warriors

Leader: The Preeminent
Lieutenants: Morro · Weapon Masters (Soul Archer · Bansha · Ghoultar · Wrayth)
Ghost Ninja: Attila · Hackler · Ming · Spyder · Howla · Yokai · Wooo
Ghost Warriors: Cowler · Cyrus · Ghurka · Pitch · Pyrrhus · Wail
Other: Skreemers

Yang's students

Leader: Master Yang
Chris · Martin · "Chuck"

Sky Pirates

Leader: Nadakhan
Flintlocke · Delara · Dogshank · Doubloon · Monkey Wretch · Clancee · Bucko · Cyren
Other: Skeleton figurehead
Former Members: Sqiffy

Ninjago City Police

Police Commissioner · Tommy · Simon · Noonan · O'Doyle · Jimmy · Police Officer · Night Watchman

Djinns

Khanjikhan · Nadakhan · Nadakhan's mother

Shadow Army

Leader: Clouse

Vermillion

Leaders: Acronix · Krux
Supreme Commander Machia · Commander Raggmunk · Commander Blunck · Slackjaw · Rivett · Tannin · Vermin
Other: Buffmillion

Sons of Garmadon

Leaders: Lord Garmadon · Harumi
Generals: Killow · Mr. E · Ultra Violet
Luke Cunningham · Chopper Maroon · Mohawk · Skip Vicious · Nails · Sawyer · Scooter · Buffer · "Snake Jaguar"
Other: Colossus

Royal Family of Ninjago

Emperor of Ninjago · Empress of Ninjago · Princess Harumi · Hutchins · Royal Guards

Dragon Hunters

Leader: Heavy Metal
Jet Jack · Daddy No Legs · Muzzle · Chew Toy · Arkade · Skullbreaker · Stalwart Dangerbuff · Otto Pilot · Talon · Nitro · "Rocky Dangerbuff" · "Dangerbuff Junior"
Former Members: Iron Baron

Oni

Mystake · The Omega

Pyro Vipers

Leader: Aspheera
Char · Pyro Destroyers · Pyro Slayers · Pyro Whippers
Former Members: Mambo V · Mambo's advisor

Ninjago City Council

Andrea Thomson · May Robsen

Blizzard Samurai

Leader: Ice Emperor
General Vex
Blizzard Warriors: Grimfax
Blizzard Sword Masters · Blizzard Archers

Explorers Club

Leader: Cecil Putnam
Clutch Powers · Percy Shippelton · Security guards · Smythe · Underhill

Paperboys

Leader: Sammy
Nelson · Antonia · Leroy

Formlings

Formling Leader · Akita · Kataru · Vex

Ice Fishers

Leader: Sorla
Uthaug · Boma

Avatars/NPCs

Creator: Milton Dyer
Ballistic Missiles: Anthony Brutinelli
Chrome Domes: Hyper-Sonic
Admin Droid · Adventure-Ready Woman · Avatar Pink Zane · Okino · Racer Seven · Scott · Shifty · Successful Samurai
League of Jay: Beta Jay 137 · Dee-Jay 81 · Jaybird 64 · Jaywalkin 238

Unagami's army

Leader: Unagami
Red Visors: Red 27 · Red 29
Avatar Harumi · Sushimi · Hostess · Sushimi's sushi chefs
Allies: The Mechanic · Henchmen · Ultra Violet · Captain Soto · Richie · Ritchie

Whack Rats

Leader: Atta the Ratta
Richie · Ritchie

Re-Awakened

Leader: Skull Sorcerer
Skull of Hazza D'ur

Sky Folk

Vangelis · Queen Vania · Engelbert
Army of Shintaro: Hailmar

Munce

Queen Murtessa · Murt · Moe · Munce Sentries

Geckles

Chancellor Gulch · Gleck · Gliff · Groko · Garpo · Ginkle · Mr. Wise

Upply

Fungus · Korgran · Plundar

Keepers

Chief Mammatus · PoulErik · Rumble Keepers · Thunder Keepers

Merlopians

King Trimaar · King Kalmaar · Glutinous · Nyad
Maaray Guards: Gripe

Other classifications

Ghosts · Humans · Nindroids (ninja faction)

Other groups/sub-groups

Elemental Alliance · Fast Chickens · Kryptarium inmates · Ninja Replacements · The Resistance · The Resistance (Never-Realm) · The Royal Blacksmiths · Sons of the First Spinjitzu Master · Spin Harmony · Stranded ninja · Time Twins · Treble Makers

Families

Cole's family · Jay's family · Kai and Nya's family · Lloyd's family · Royal Family of Djinjago · Royal Family of Merlopia · Royal Family of Ninjago · Royal Family of Shintaro · Skylor's family · Zane's family

Non-canon

Barracudox · Bob Rattlebottom · Cardinsto · Carridi · Cece · Christina · Chuck · Claire · Diaman · Eileen · Flerry McFloyster · Gahrann the Dreamer · Genn · Golden Ninja · Green Screen Gary · Hai · Hibiki · Ivy Walker · Jeremiah Bobblestein · Jesper · Kaito · Kirchonn the Invincible · Lar · Larry · Lloyd Garmadon (The LEGO Movie) · Mask of Malice · Mei · Moe · Neido · Phantom Ninja · Quartet of Villains · Rachel Sparrow · Robot Manager · Mr. Righty Tighty · Samurai warrior · Six-Armed Warriors · Snake villain · Spinjago Citizen · Suzie Wheeler · Time Ninja · Tito · Zoltar
Ninjago Magazine: Buffer · Nitro · Sawyer · Scooter · Talon · Master Whoosh · Mr. Wise

Creatures

Adam · Colossus · Craglings · Elemental Cobras · Fire Fang · Fluffy · Geotomic Rock Monsters · Guide Parrot · Ice Behemoth · Ice bird · Ice Serpent · The Leviathan · Monster sushi · Mud monsters · Nimbus · Pebbles · Rodrigo · Ross · Sir Chomps-A-Lot · Snickers · Stone Hawk · Treehorn queen · Wojira · Wu's chicken · Wu's dog · Yeti (Krag) · Zane's Mino
Dragons: Blue Dragon · Boreal · Chompy · Dragon keeper · Empire Dragon · Fire Dragon (Realm of Oni and Dragons) · Flame · Firstbourne · Ghost Dragons · Grief-Bringer · Ice Dragon (Realm of Oni and Dragons) · Pet dragon · Rocky · Shard · Slab · Stormbringer · Stormbringer's baby · Ultra Dragon · Wind Dragon · Wisp · YinYang Dragon (Light Dragon · Shadow Dragon)

Other

Announcer · Auto · Bank Boss · Barry · Beavers · Benny · Benthomaar · Dr. Berkman · Bob the Intern · Cathy · Circus Clown · Cliff Gordon · Construction workers · Cook · Cragger · Dr. Julien · Echo Zane · Ed · Edna · First Spinjitzu Master · Fenwick · The Fold · Fugi-Dove · Fugi-Dove's brother · Grimfax's advisor · Grumbmiller · Hageman · Hageman Brothers · Harumi's father · Harumi's mother · Jake · Jamanakai villagers · Jay Vincent · Johnny · Juggernaut · Korgran's father · Laval · Lou · Lumberjacks · Magician · Mascots · Michael Kramer · Milton Dyer's father · Miss Demeanor · Monks · Motorcycle Mechanic · Mrs. Dyer · Museum Curator · News Reporter · Nindroid Sentries · Ninjago City's mayor · Ninjago soldiers · Nobu · Patty Keys · Postman · Prison guards · Reflectra · Repo Man · Restaurant Owner · Rice farmers · Robo Usher 3000 · Roise · Rufus McCallister · Santa Claus · Security guards (Borg Industries) · Security guards (Ninjago City) Seliel · Seliel's father · Sentry General · Ship Captain · Skeleton · Stone Guardians · Sybex Tribe · Tai-D · Tour Guide · Trylle · Twitchy Tim · Vlad Tutu · Warden Noble · Dr. Yost