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“The loss of Zane will either tear you four apart or bring you closer together. The choice is yours.”

The Invitation is the first episode in the fourth season of Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu and the 35th episode overall. It first aired on February 23, 2015, in the United States on Cartoon Network.


Thinking Zane may still be alive, the Ninja is devastated, and doesn't want to come back to be ninja. They get an I'll invitation to Chen's Tournament Of Elements.[1]


A group of Nindroids patrol a jungle, unaware that Lloyd is watching them from behind some yellow flowers. Suddenly, the Green Ninja takes action, defeating the robots one by one. He then enters a cave and dodges some lasers, before using his Spinjitzu to destroy some more Nindroids. Lloyd hangs a rope by his ribs, and travels down to Borg Industries, attempting to obtain armor. It is revealed to be a test, to which Wu states that he requested for all the ninja, not just Lloyd. Lloyd attempts to explain the situation, though Borg understands that Zane's death affected all of them, revealing that he hasn't heard from P.I.X.A.L. since the memorial. Lloyd then decides to get the team back together.

Jay now hosts his own T.V. show to find a new hero for Ninjago. He introduces the player as Cathy; a returning contestant and asks why she came back after losing the last time she competed. She states, "Because ninja never quit!" and starts jumping through obstacles. However, she fails but is proud to have gotten farther than the previous time. The game is over; Jay goes to his dressing room. Unbeknownst to the Master of Lightning, Lloyd appears after sneaking in. He tells Jay to visit Wu and consider rejoining the team. Jay declines, due to his hatred against Cole for Nya's feelings towards him and Lloyd disappears, while telling him to visit him if he changes his mind.

Cole is shown to have become a lumberjack. Out of nowhere, the Green Ninja appears again. Lloyd tries to convince Cole to get on the team, but Cole refuses, being sick of fighting Serpentine, Nindroids, and Jay. Meanwhile, a huge chunk of wood rolls towards the other lumberjacks, so Cole makes rocks to stop it, revealing to the other lumberjacks that he is indeed the Ninja of Earth. Lloyd leaves, also telling Cole to visit him if he changes his mind.

Kai is now wrestling in underground Slither Pits as the Red Shogun and defeats Kruncha before taking a break. As he sips some juice, Lloyd arrives and asks Kai to return. Like his friends, Kai refuses, saying Lloyd doesn't need a team and wishing it was him who gave his life instead of Zane. Lloyd reminds him he always wants to be the one, using his obsession with becoming the Green Ninja as an example before telling him to think about someone other than himself. Lloyd goes away, telling Kai the same thing he did to his other former teammates: visit him if he changes his mind.

Kai goes to the park to see the statue of the Titanium Ninja (now covered in moss and bird poop) as well as the Falcon perched on its shoulder before deciding to take up Lloyd's offer. However, Kai isn't the only one to meet the Green Ninja at Chen's Noodle place, as Jay and Cole had also been convinced to meet Lloyd there too. The Master of Fire reaches for sushi but Lloyd stops him, telling him to explain his plan first. Lloyd informs the ninja of his new plan: hiring a new ninja. The others completely dislike the idea, saying Zane is irreplaceable and Kai states there may not be a team without Zane. They quickly get interrupted by a thug and his accomplices robbing the register. Fighting the thugs and easily defeating them, Lloyd asks how they could walk away from this kind of action. The gang immediately runs out the back, where the ninjas follow only to see the three have disappeared. The foursome soon sees a drawn picture of Zane attached to a shrine. They also see a plate of fortune cookies, each with an invitation to a Tournament of Elements hosted by Master Chen, the owner of the Noodle House. They're surprised to see the invites saying that Zane is still alive and will be freed if they participate and win. They decide to accept and avoid telling anybody due to the invite's recommendations.

At Garmadon's monastery, The former lord sees blueprints for the Destiny's Bounty and questions Nya if she plans to rebuild the ship. She says yes and asks him to see if Lloyd wants to join in. In his room, the Green Ninja finishes packing and comes close to taking his weapons when his father comes in and asks him where he's going. Lloyd lies and tells him that he and the others are going fishing to strengthen their team bonding and questions if there are other Elemental Masters, which Garmadon becomes suspicious of. Lloyd tells him to ignore the question and leaves; Garmadon soon sees that Lloyd left his fishing poles behind and upon seeing a takeout box of Chen's Noodle House, he realizes that Lloyd had lied to him.

At the docks, the ninjas see the other Elemental Masters while realizing their suits give them away. Lloyd soon approaches and explains what happened with his father. A ferry soon arrives, and everyone begins boarding when a woman in orange looks back at Kai, causing him to ignore everything Lloyd says. A man soon stops the ninja, telling them that as masters of Spinjitzu, they'll have a favorable advantage before throwing Jay's nunchucks into the sea. They soon begin boarding the ship when Garmadon comes and tries to stop them, warning them that Master Chen is a dangerous man. Lloyd retorts by saying that if there's any chance of the ninja being a whole team again they have to get on the ship and find Zane. Against the better judgment of the man, Clouse, Chen's second-in-command, Garmadon accompanies the ninja on board, where they meet the other Elemental Masters.

On deck, Lloyd questions Garmadon about his knowing Clouse while Kai questions him about the other elements. Garmadon explains that there were things they didn't intend for them to know as they were led to believe they were special, yet never question where or how they got their powers. He then states everyone on board is a descendant of an original Elemental Master, guardians to the First Spinjitzu Master. Kai then realizes the same thing might go for his sister Nya, though he states she can't do what he can. Garmadon states that might not be the case, as he says power can only be awoken when needed most. He goes on, saying the fighters serve no master, yet unlocked their True Potentials. He uses a pale stranger turning himself invisible with the power of Light as one example, then uses Griffin Turner, Master of Speed as another. Kai questions him about the hooded girl, though Garmadon says he doesn't recognize everyone; he then warns the ninja they will gun for them as they fight with honor, which means nothing where they're going. The girl is soon being pulled by a brute wearing gauntlets, annoying Kai to take action. The brute, introducing himself as Karlof, states he only wants her cloak, though Kai begins to insult him and his gauntlets. Despite the girl and Garmadon telling him to ease up, Kai continues insulting Karlof until he punches the Red Ninja across the deck. Jay, Cole, and Lloyd attempt to intervene, but Garmadon tells them Kai needs to be the one to end what he started. The Red Ninja soon gets back on his feet and starts shooting fireballs at Karlof, however, he blocks them all with his gauntlets while also revealing his element: Metal. The two brawl all over the ship until Karlof pins Kai down; just before he finishes it, Clouse calls them off. The girl apologizes to Kai and helps him up; unbeknownst to him, strange energy flows from his arm and into hers.

Clouse announces that they've reached Chen's Island, then calls Chen, telling him that Garmadon has returned. Garmadon states he swore to never return and while the ninja wonder where they will find Zane, Chen checks up on a prisoner being kept under lock and key. As Chen says he holds all the cards, Zane, in his new Titanium Ninja form, is shown awakening in his cell.












For the transcript of the episode, click here.


  • This is the first episode to air in 2015.
  • The ninja wearing different outfits in this episode symbolizes the division in the team after the loss of Zane, and that they're unable to function properly/unite without him.[2] This was director Trylle Vilstrup's idea.[3]
  • Jay Vincent and Michael Kramer have released twelve known pieces of music used in season 4 of Ninjago. Of the twelve tracks, seven of them are from this episode, one is from "Only One Can Remain," another from "Ninja Roll," and three are from "The Corridor of Elders."
  • The Anacondrai Cultists are the first villainous faction in the series to be humans. Previously, the ninja have fought the Skulkin (who were undead humans), the Serpentine, Stone Army, and Nindroids. Before this season, the only human antagonists in the series were Lord Garmadon, Lloyd Garmadon (who was briefly an antagonist), and the original crew of the Destiny's Bounty.
  • The episode's air date was a constant debate[citation needed] until it finally aired on February 23, 2015.
  • The Weekend Whip is heard when Lloyd is packing.
  • In one scene in the place where Kai fights as "The Red Shogun," Dan and Kevin Hageman can be seen.
  • The song that plays when Eyezor enters the Noodle House is a parody of Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
  • Jay's alternate hairstyle from "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" (originally Gilderoy Lockhart's hair from LEGO Harry Potter) is seen again when he is the host for Most Ultimate Extreme Ninja Challenge Ever.
  • According to Tommy Andreasen, Cole's fortune cookie said "BURP!!!"[4]
    • As such, the full message from Chen would be "Master Chen has personally invited you to participate in his Tournament of Elements. Secrecy is of the utmost importance. Tell no one, or suffer the consequences. If you ever want to see your friend again, meet on the pier at midnight and leave your weapons behind. BURP!!!"
  • Jay's TV host torso is a recolored version of Mr. Gold's from Minifigures Series 10.
  • There is a gray-skinned figure in the Yang Tavern who is possibly Shade. When asked why the character was there, Tommy Andreasen responded, "Intrigue? Spying on the competition? Coincidence? Error? I never noticed until now."[5]
  • This is the first episode of the entire series that doesn't have an intro, excluding the pilot episodes.


  • This episode marks Chen, Clouse, multiple elemental masters, and the Anacondrai Cultists' first appearances.
  • This is the first episode where the Serpentine are seen living peacefully in Ninjago alongside its human inhabitants.
  • In this episode, Lloyd wears his Techno robes despite previously upgrading to his Stone Armor design.
  • Lloyd is shown to be pretty good at disappearing and reappearing unnoticed when convincing Jay, Cole, and Kai to get back together.
  • Lloyd remarks Kai thinking that he should have been the Green Ninja and told him to stop being selfish.
  • Kai somewhat foreshadows Nya becoming the Water Ninja by telling Sensei Garmadon that Nya can't do what he does [elemental power], with Garmadon replying with "Oh, can't she?"
  • The picture of Zane is similar to his picture from the Season 2 intro.
  • Jay's boss from "Darkness Shall Rise" is seen as the bartender at the Yang Tavern.
  • Garmadon tells the other ninja not to get involved in Kai and Karlof's battle, saying, "Kai started this. He can finish it." This is similar to when Kai told the other ninja not to help Wu battle Samukai in "Weapons of Destiny," saying, "This is Sensei's fight."
  • Zane's fate revealed in this episode mirrors Dr. Julien's original fate revealed in "The Last Voyage." In both cases, the character returned from his apparent death and subsequently imprisoned on on a remote island (in Dr. Julien's case, he was brought back by Resurrectea and was taken by Samukai to the lighthouse prison).
    • Garmadon is the first Sensei who has a new outfit in the series. Sensei Wu has had on the same outfit for the entire series up until "Winds of Change".
    • This is the second Ninjago episode where Zane does not have a speaking role, with first being "Way of the Ninja," although he does have a brief cameo at the end in both episodes.
    • Garmadon reveals there are other elemental masters besides the ninja, all of which inherited their powers from the protectors of the First Spinjitzu Master, with newly revealed elements being: Smoke, Light, Gravity, Nature, Mind, Metal, Form, Sound, Speed, Amber, and Poison, with Shadow becoming an official element.
      • He also states and implies that Nya has an elemental power that can be unlocked.
    • Skylor is introduced, as is Zane's Titanium form.


  • In a shot of Yang Tavern, No-Eyed Pete appears twice.[6]
  • In one shot when the ninja were waiting for Chen's ferry to arrive, Kai spoke with Jay's voice.
  • When the fortune cookie blows up in Cole's stomach, Cole yells in Jay's voice.
  • When they are about to go to the ferry, The ninja's positions from front to back are Kai, Lloyd, Jay, Cole; but when Master Garmadon came to their position is suddenly: Jay, Kai, Cole, Lloyd.
  • An animation overlook results in Kruncha and Nuckal's voices being switched.
  • In some scenes, Jay and Griffin Turner's hair is orange instead of brown.
  • The noodle Eyezor lands in after Cole flips him are yellow when earlier they were purple and white.
    • Also when he gets back up the noodle disappear and he somehow has sushi and shrimp on his face.
  • When Kruncha says "You said to go down in the first" his helmet clips through his eyes.



For the gallery for this episode, click here.


Ninjago episodes
Pilot episodes 1. Way of the Ninja · 2. The Golden Weapon · 3. King of Shadows · 4. Weapons of Destiny
Mini-movies 1. Secrets of the Blacksmith · 2. Flight of the Dragon Ninja · 3. The New Masters of Spinjitzu · 4. An Underworldly Takeover · 5. Return to the Fire Temple · 6. Battle Between Brothers
Season 1: Rise of the Snakes 1. Rise of the Snakes · 2. Home · 3. Snakebit · 4. Never Trust a Snake · 5. Can of Worms · 6. The Snake King · 7. Tick Tock · 8. Once Bitten, Twice Shy · 9. The Royal Blacksmiths · 10. The Green Ninja · 11. All of Nothing · 12. The Rise of the Great Devourer · 13. Day of the Great Devourer
Season 2: Legacy of the Green Ninja 14. Darkness Shall Rise · 15. Pirates vs. Ninja · 16. Double Trouble · 17. Ninjaball Run · 18. Child's Play · 19. Wrong Place, Wrong Time · 20. The Stone Army · 21. The Day Ninjago Stood Still · 22. The Last Voyage · 23. Island of Darkness · 24. The Last Hope · 25. Return of the Overlord · 26. Rise of the Spinjitzu Master
Season 3: Rebooted 27. The Surge · 28. The Art of the Silent Fist · 29. Blackout · 30. The Curse of the Golden Master · 31. Enter the Digiverse · 32. Codename: Arcturus · 33. The Void · 34. The Titanium Ninja
Season 4: Tournament of Elements 35. The Invitation · 36. Only One Can Remain · 37. Versus · 38. Ninja Roll · 39. Spy for a Spy · 40. Spellbound · 41. The Forgotten Element · 42. The Day of the Dragon · 43. The Greatest Fear of All · 44. The Corridor of Elders
Season 5: Possession 45. Winds of Change · 46. Ghost Story · 47. Stiix and Stones· 48. The Temple on Haunted Hill · 49. Peak-a-Boo · 50. Kingdom Come · 51. The Crooked Path · 52. Grave Danger · 53. Curseworld, Part I · 54. Curseworld, Part II
Chen mini-movies (non-canon) 1. Chen's New Chair · 2. Chair Play Chen · 3. Chair Up Chen · 4. Chairful What You Wish For · 5. Bad Chair Day
Season 6: Skybound 55. Infamous · 56. Public Enemy Number One · 57. Enkrypted · 58. Misfortune Rising · 59. On a Wish and a Prayer · 60. My Dinner With Nadakhan · 61. Wishmasters · 62. The Last Resort · 63. Operation Land Ho! · 64. The Way Back
Tall Tales (non-canon) 1. The Tall Tale of Flintlocke · 2. The Tall Tale of Clancee · 3. The Tall Tale of Doubloon · 4. The Tall Tale of Dogshank · 5. The Tall Tale of Monkey Wretch · 6. The Tall Tale of Sqiffy and Bucko
Special Day of the Departed
Operation Heavy Metal 1. Operation Heavy Metal: Machia · 2. Operation Heavy Metal: Buffmillion · 3. Operation Heavy Metal: Blunck · 4. Operation Heavy Metal: Raggmunk
Season 7: The Hands of Time 65. The Hands of Time · 66. The Hatching · 67. A Time of Traitors · 68. Scavengers · 69. A Line in the Sand · 70. The Attack · 71. Secrets Discovered · 72. Pause and Effect · 73. Out of the Fire and Into the Boiling Sea · 74. Lost in Time
Wu's Teas mini-movies (non-canon) Wu's Teas
Ninjago: Decoded 1. Legacy · 2. Vehicles and Mechs · 3. Legendary Places · 4. Ninjago's Most Wanted · 5. The Digiverse and Beyond · 6. The Elemental Masters · 7. Beasts and Dragons · 8. Rise of Garmadon · 9. Prophecy of the Green Ninja · 10. Greatest Battles
Season 8: Sons of Garmadon 75. The Mask of Deception · 76. The Jade Princess · 77. The Oni and the Dragon · 78. Snake Jaguar · 79. Dead Man's Squall · 80. The Quiet One · 81. Game of Masks · 82. Dread on Arrival · 83. True Potential · 84. Big Trouble, Little Ninjago
Season 9: Hunted 85. Firstbourne · 86. Iron & Stone · 87. Radio Free Ninjago · 88. How to Build a Dragon · 89. The Gilded Path · 90. Two Lies, One Truth · 91. The Weakest Link · 92. Saving Faith · 93. Lessons for a Master · 94. Green Destiny
Tales from the Monastery of Spinjitzu 1. Master Class · 2. Green and Gold · 3. The Weekend Drill · 4. Elemental Rider · 5. Blue Lightning · 6. Samurai X-Treme
Season 10: March of the Oni 95. The Darkness Comes · 96. Into the Breach · 97. The Fall · 98. Endings
Season 11: Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu 99. Wasted True Potential · 100. Questing for Quests · 101. A Rocky Start · 102. The Belly of the Beast · 103. Boobytraps and How to Survive Them · 104. The News Never Sleeps! · 105. Ninja vs Lava · 106. Snaketastrophy · 107. Powerless · 108. Ancient History · 109. Never Trust a Human · 110. Under Siege · 111. The Explorers Club · 112. Vengeance is Mine! · 113. A Cold Goodbye · 114. The Never-Realm · 115. Fire Maker · 116. An Unlikely Ally · 117. The Absolute Worst · 118. The Message · 119. The Traveler's Tree · 120. Krag's Lament · 121. Secret of the Wolf · 122. The Last of the Formlings · 123. My Enemy, My Friend · 124. The Kaiju Protocol · 125. Corruption · 126. A Fragile Hope · 127. Once and for All · 128. Awakenings
Prime Empire Original Shorts 1. Let's Dance · 2. Upgrade · 3. The Meaning of Victory · 4. The Stowaway · 5. Manhunt · 6. Gayle Gossip: A Closer Look
Season 12: Prime Empire 129. Would You Like to Enter Prime Empire? · 130. Dyer Island · 131. Level Thirteen · 132. Superstar Rockin' Jay · 133. I am Okino · 134. The Glitch · 135. The Cliffs of Hysteria · 136. The Maze of the Red Dragon · 137. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back · 138. Racer Seven · 139. The Speedway Five-Billion · 140. Stop, Drop and Side Scroll · 141. Ninjago Confidential · 142. The Prodigal Father · 143. The Temple of Madness · 144. Game Over
Season 13: Master of the Mountain 145. Shintaro · 146. Into the Dark · 147. The Worst Rescue Ever · 148. The Two Blades · 149. Queen of the Munce · 150. Trial By Mino · 151. The Skull Sorcerer · 152. The Real Fall · 153. Dungeon Party! · 154. Dungeon Crawl! · 155. Grief-Bringer · 156. Masters Never Quit · 157. The Darkest Hour · 158. The Ascent · 159. The Upply Strike Back! · 160. The Son of Lilly
The Island 161. Uncharted · 162. The Keepers of the Amulet · 163. The Gift of Jay · 164. The Tooth of Wojira
Season 14: Seabound 165. A Big Splash · 166. The Call of the Deep · 167. Unsinkable · 168. Five Thousand Fathoms Down · 169. The Wrath of Kalmaar · 170. Long Live the King · 171. Escape from Merlopia · 172. The Tale of Benthomaar · 173. The Storm Amulet · 174. Riddle of the Sphinx · 175. Papergirl · 176. Master of the Sea · 177. The Calm Before the Storm · 178. Assault on Ninjago City · 179. Nyad · 180. The Turn of the Tide
Ninjago: Reimagined 1. Golden Legend · 2. Gold Rush · 3. A Day in the Life of a Golden Ninja · 4. Sweatin' to the Goldies · 5. Golden Hour
The Virtues of Spinjitzu 1. Curiosity · 2. Balance · 3. Wisdom · 4. Honesty · 5. Generosity · 6. Courage
Season 15: Crystalized 181. Farewell the Sea · 182. The Call of Home · 183. The Shape of Nya · 184. A Mayor Problem · 185. Public Enemies 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5! · 186. A Painful Promise · 187. Ninjago City vs. Ninja · 188. Kryptarium Prison Blues · 189. Hounddog McBrag · 190. The Benefit of Grief · 191. The Fifth Villain · 192. The Council of the Crystal King · 193. TBA · 194. TBA · 195. TBA · 196. TBA · 197. TBA · 198. TBA · 199. TBA · 200. TBA · 201. TBA · 202. TBA · 203. TBA · 204. TBA · 205. TBA · 206. TBA · 207. TBA · 208. TBA · 209. TBA · 210. TBA
Unknown Ninjago 2023 installment TBA