Ninjago Wiki
“My father wasn't just a fan of Fritz Donnegan. He was Fritz Donnegan!”
Jay realizing the truth about his father, "Misfortune Rising"

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 late husband of the previous Elemental Master of Lightning and the biological father of Jay.

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


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]


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 by Unagami and reuniting Unagami with his creator, Milton Dyer.[21]



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.


  • 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.


Season 1: Rise of the Snakes

Season 3: Rebooted

Season 6: Skybound

Season 8: Sons of Garmadon

Season 11: Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu




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


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


Anacondrai: Pythor · Anacondrai generals (Arcturus) · Pythor's mother
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
Vipers: Golden Vipers · Sly Vipers · Red Vipers · Hypno Vipers · Toxic Vipers · Translucent Blue Viper · Translucent Purple Vipers · Translucent Orange Viper
Other: Great Devourer · Anacondrai serpent


Dan Vaapit · Fred Finely · Gayle Gossip · News Reporter · Vinny Folson
Former members: Benny


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

Nindroid Army

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

Anacondrai Cultists

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: Master of Amber · 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
General: Morro
Ghost Masters: Soul Archer · Bansha · Ghoultar · Wrayth
Ghost Ninja: Attila · Hackler · Ming · Spyder · Howla · Yokai · Wooo
Ghost Warriors: Cowler · Cyrus · Ghurka · Karenn · 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

Leader: Police Commissioner
Butchie · Coast Guard · Hounddog McBrag · Jimmy · Joe · Night Watchman · Noonan · O'Doyle · Police Officer · Prison guards · Simon · Tommy


Khanjikhan · Nadakhan · Nadakhan's mother

Shadow Army

Leader: Clouse


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


Mystake · The Omega

Pyro Vipers

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

Ninjago City Council

Leader: Ulysses Trustable
Dwayne · Andrea Thomson · May Robsen
Former members: Ninjago City's former mayor

Blizzard Samurai

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

Explorer's Club

Leader: Cecil Putnam
Clutch Powers · Percy Shippelton · Security guards · Smythe · Underhill
Former members: Dwayne · Misako


Leader: Sammy
Antonia · Jonesy · Leroy · Nelson · Spokes · Ten-Speed
Former members: Knuckles


Leader: Formling Leader
Akita · Kataru · Vex

Ice Fishers

Leader: Sorla
Uthaug · Boma


Creator: Milton Dyer
Ballistic Missiles: Anthony Brutinelli
Chrome Domes: Hyper-Sonic
Admin Droid · Adventure-Ready Woman · Avatar Pink Zane · Gamer Geek · Newbie Gamer · 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


Leader: Skull Sorcerer
Hazza D'ur

Sky Folk

Leaders: King Vangelis (formerly) · Queen Vania
Army of Shintaro: Hailmar


Leader: Queen Murtessa
Manko · Meeha · Mid · Moe · Mood · Mudd · Murt · Murt Snr · Munce Sentries


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


Fungus · Korgran · Plundar


Leader: Chief Mammatus
PoulErik · Rumble Keepers · Thunder Keepers

Mary Louise's crew

Leader: Captain
Collins · Kwon · Mariano


Leader: King Benthomaar
Glutinous · Nyad
Maaray Guards: Gripe
Former leaders: King Trimaar · King Kalmaar

Warriors of Felis

Leader: Nineko

Order of Felis

Leader: Komala
Dillon · Adara


Leader: Tanabrax
Bunch · Moody


Hana · Obachan · Shin · Kenji · Uchida · Mrs. Uchida · Old Man Jiro

Snake warriors (non-canon)

Boa Destructor · Cobra Mechanic · Python Dynamite · Viper Flyer · Sneaky Snake

Red Crows

Leader: Mogra
Killow · Ultra Violet · Francis

Two Moon Village

Kenzo · Renzo · Saeko · Min

Vengestone army

Leader: Crystal King
Council of the Crystal King: Kabuki Mask · Mister F · Aspheera · Vangelis · Pythor · The Mechanic
Vengestone Warriors · Vengestone Brutes · Vengestone Guards

New Ninja

Leader: Teal Ninja
Fuchsia Ninja · Orange Ninja · Pink Ninja · Yellow Ninja

Other classifications

Ghosts · Humans · Nindroids

Other groups/sub-groups

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


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 · Skales' family · Skylor's family · Zane's family

In-universe fictional characters

Britts Subskian · Commander Kiflin · Jack the Rabbit · Imperial Sludge · Master Whoosh (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 · Insect Master · Ivy Walker · Jeremiah Bobblestein · Jesper · Kaito · Kirchonn the Invincible · Lar · Larry · Lloyd Garmadon (The LEGO Movie) · Mask of Malice · Mei · Moe · Mr. Righty Tighty · Neido · Nobu · Phantom Ninja · Quartet of Villains · Rachel Sparrow · Robot Manager · Ronin's daughter · Ronin's wife · Samurai warrior · Scott Digato · Seliel · Seliel's father · Six-Armed Warriors · Snake villain · Spinjago Citizen · Suzie Wheeler · Time Ninja · Tito · Wishmaster · Zoltar
Ninjago Magazine: Buffer · Nitro · Sawyer · Scooter · Talon · Mr. Wise


Adam · Balee · Bears (Kuma) · Beavers · Colossus · Craglings · Elemental Cobras · Fire Fang · Fluffy · Geotomic Rock Monsters · Guide Parrot · Ice Behemoth · Ice bird · Ice Serpent · Leviathans · Monster sushi · Mud monsters · Nimbus · Pebbles · Rodrigo · Ross · Sir Chomps-A-Lot · Snickers · Stone Hawk · The Chroma · Treehorn queen · Wojira · Wu's chicken · Wu's dog · Yeti (Krag) · Zane's Mino
Dragons: Blue Dragon · Boreal · Chompy · Crystal beasts · Dragon keeper · Empire Dragon · Fire Dragon (Core) · 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 · Thunder Dragon · Ultra Dragon · Wind Dragon · Wisp · YinYang Dragon (Light Dragon · Shadow Dragon)

Unseen characters

Dr. Berkman · Grumbmiller · Milton Dyer's father · Sybex Tribe · Quanish the Elder · Trylle · Dr. Yost

Ninjago City residents

Barry · Benny · Brayden Nelson · The Fold · Fugi-Dove's brother · Hayley Wolfe · Jake · Jay Vincent · Jeffy · Joshua Deck · Lachlan Jansen · Michael Kramer · Mrs. Dyer · Patty Keys · Phil · Postman · Roise · Rufus McCallister · Vlad Tutu ·


Announcer · Bank Boss · Bob the Intern · Cathy · Circus Clown · Clancee's mother · Cliff Gordon · Construction workers · Cook · Cragger · Dr. Julien · Echo Zane · Ed · Edna · Egon the Extraordinary · First Spinjitzu Master · Fenwick · Fugi-Dove · Grimfax's advisor · Hageman · Hageman Brothers · Harumi's father · Harumi's mother · Jamanakai Villagers · Johnny · Korgran's father · Laval · Lou · Lumberjacks · Magician · Mascots · Mina · Miss Demeanor · Monks · Motorcycle Mechanic · Museum Curator · Nindroid Sentries · Ninjago soldiers · Nobu · Peri · Reflectra · Repo Man · Restaurant Owner · Rice farmers · Ronin · Sage · Santa Claus · Sally's parents · Security guards (Borg Industries) · Security guards (Ninjago City) · Sentry General · Shezada · Ship Captain · Skeleton · Stone Guardians · Tour Guide · Twitchy Tim · Warden Noble
Robots: Auto · Juggernaut · Robo Usher 3000 ·Tai-D