Not to be confused with the episode.
“In each and every one of us, there are obstacles that hold us back. Only when you conquer that fear, will your heart be free.”
Wu in "Tick Tock"

A True Potential, also known as Full Potential, is the highest level of Elemental Powers accessible to an Elemental Master, tapped into through overcoming the emotional obstacles that are holding them back. When in use, the master's bodies glow, they are surrounded by the colors of their elements, and they can freely control and manipulate their elemental powers.

True Potential users

Zane's True Potential

“You will not hurt my friends. There is nothing that will hold me back. I know who I am.”
— Zane to the Treehorn queen in "Tick Tock"

Zane's True Potential

Zane unlocks his True Potential in "Tick Tock," giving him the ability to levitate and harness his Ice powers as beams or explosions. Zane was able to unlock his True Potential upon discovering his past, learning that he was a robot who nonetheless had a loving father, and then confronting the Treehorn queen in defense of his friends.

Jay's True Potential

“Whatever happens next, just remember, you are the best you.”
Nya to Jay in "Once Bitten, Twice Shy"

Jay's True Potential

Jay unlocks his True Potential in "Once Bitten, Twice Shy," enabling him to fly, teleport short distances, travel through electrical currents, gain exceptional strength, and even allowing him to use the power of Wind for a brief moment. Jay was able to unlock his True Potential through discovering Nya's feelings for him, and realizing that he simply needs to be himself.

Cole's True Potential

“Cole's found his True Potential. His relationship with his father must have been holding him back.”
Zane in "The Royal Blacksmiths"

Cole's True Potential

Cole unlocks his True Potential in "The Royal Blacksmiths," giving him increased strength, near indestructibility, and levitation. Cole was able to unlock his True Potential because his father respected him for who he was, not what he wanted him to be, strengthening their relationship.

Kai's True Potential

“I knew when I had to make a choice. I wanted the Fangblade so badly, to prove I was good enough to become the Green Ninja. But then I figured it out. All of my training to become the best ninja wasn't in preparation to become the Green Ninja. It was... to protect him.”
Kai to Zane in "The Green Ninja"

Kai's True Potential

Kai unlocks his True Potential in "The Green Ninja." In this state, he is enveloped in a sphere of fire, granting him flight, and the ability to endure extreme heat. He is also able to protect others within this sphere. Kai was able to unlock his True Potential by realizing it was not his destiny to become the Green Ninja, but Lloyd's.

Lloyd's True Potential

I am the Ultimate Spinjitzu Master!”
— Lloyd to the Overlord in "Rise of the Spinjitzu Master"

Lloyd's True Potential

Lloyd unlocks his True Potential in "Rise of the Spinjitzu Master," becoming the Golden Ninja and Ultimate Spinjitzu Master. He had all of the abilities of the First Spinjitzu Master, including massive control over the four main elements, levitation, the ability to summon the Golden Dragon, and manifest Golden Power into a protective sphere and powerful blasts of energy. These powers allowed him to defeat the Overlord and purge Ninjago of evil. Lloyd stayed in this state constantly, until the Overlord later drained him of his Golden Power. Lloyd was able to unlock his True Potential at the Final Battle when he announced that a ninja never quits and finally understood that it was his destiny to become the Ultimate Spinjitzu Master.

Nya's True Potential

“She's unlocked her True Potential!”
Kai in "Curseworld, Part II"

Nya's True Potential

Nya unlocks her True Potential in "Curseworld, Part II." In this state, she was enveloped in a vortex of water and was able to summon an enormous wave to drown the Preeminent. Nya unlocked her True Potential by accepting her past failures and realizing that the possibility of failure should not stop her from continuing to try.

Garmadon's True Potential

“As Wu had previously taught the ninja, you too can unlock your True Potential, a dark potential. But to achieve it, you must overcome the one obstacle that has always stood in your way. The one person who has always held you back.”
Harumi to Garmadon in "True Potential"

Garmadon's True Potential

Garmadon began to unlock his True Potential in the episode of the same name. After freeing Harumi and the rest of the Sons of Garmadon, Garmadon was told to unlock his True Potential by defeating Lloyd without holding back. By defeating Lloyd following their battle at Kryptarium Prison, Garmadon gains access to his true destructive powers and his dormant element of Creation, due to him being a descendent of Dragons. Later, Garmadon was also able to create a large Colossus being with both his Destruction and Creation powers.

However, in "Two Lies, One Truth," Harumi confirms to Garmadon his potential is not yet complete. To truly unlock it, rather than defeat him, he must end Lloyd's life. Garmadon came even closer to unlocking his full power when he fought Lloyd and Wu in the ninth season finale, "Green Destiny." Lloyd managed to prevent Garmadon from achieving this goal by refusing to engage in combat with him, causing him to weaken to the point of losing his power altogether. However, after sparring with the ninja, Garmadon regained his powers and can use Creation when he activates his True Potential. In "Endings," Garmadon demonstrates the full extent of his True Potential; allowing to also transform into an Oni and greatly enhance his strength, speed, endurance, and powers.

Similar phenomena

“It appears dragons go through a metamorphosis when they reach adulthood. They too have found their True Potential.”
— Zane in "Day of the Great Devourer"

In "Day of the Great Devourer," when the ninja's dragons were revealed to have molted and merged into one entity during their time at the Spirit Coves, Zane likened the process to the ninja unlocking their True Potential.

The Ultra Dragon, described as the "True Potential" of the Dragons

Later, in "Island of Darkness," after losing their Golden Weapons and discovering the Island of Darkness, the ninja learned of a prophecy in Misako's scrolls that told of a ritual that would unlock their "true elemental powers." Upon enacting this ritual at the Temple of Light, the ninja received their Elemental Blades and stronger powers, similar to when they unlocked their True Potentials.

Garmadon mentioned in "The Invitation" that all the Elemental Masters have already found their True Potential and mastered their powers. This meant at some point before their appearances, they overcame their fear and became true Elemental Masters.

In "Day of the Departed," Cole was brought to the brink of despair by Yang, who mocked him for being a forgotten ghost doomed to fade away. When the other ninja arrives, Cole realizes that his friends will always be by his side, and with his hope regained, he unlocks the Earth Punch, a move that covers his arms in molten lava, and increases his strength tremendously.

In "Nyad", after Jay swallowed too much sea water and was near death, Nya, wanting to save him, decides to become one with the ocean (become embodiment of it) and wield full power over water and the ocean itself. In addition, she can create avatars of herself, whilst those are temporary and can be destroyed, she can simply create new ones, as shown in "The Turn of the Tide" after she was hit by Kalmaar and later Wojira. As such, she cannot be truly killed or destroyed (save for the destruction/evaporation of the entirety of the presumably infinite ocean).

Trivia

  • True Potential is represented in the sets as the NRG ninja variant.
  • According to Garmadon in "The Invitation," the other Elemental Masters (such as Skylor, Griffin, Neuro, etc.) have also unlocked their True Potential on their own, but the exact Elemental Masters were not specified.
  • Of the four original ninja, Zane, Jay, and Cole all have blue glowing eyes when they unlock or use their True Potentials. Kai is the only ninja to have red glowing eyes instead.
  • According to The Book of Spinjitzu, Elemental Masters can only unlock their Elemental Dragons after unlocking their True Potentials.
  • Considering Garmadon's True Potential gave him access to Creation, Wu's True Potential may give him access to his recessive power, Destruction.
    • As a result of Garmadon's True Potential, he was able to shape-shift into an Oni.
    • Considering that Wu inherited the First Spinjitzu Master's dragon heritage, it is possible that his True Potential not only allows him to use Destruction but also turn into a dragon, since Garmadon was able to turn into an Oni.
      • Although this might not be true, due to the fact that Garmadon only turned into an Oni and gaining the new enhanced powers by shapeshifting into one
  • In the Character Encyclopedia and Character Encyclopedia Updated and Expanded, it was called "full potential" instead.
  • When asked why the ninja stopped using their True Potential powers, Tommy Andreasen explained that "True potential must be maintained."[1] He had also said earlier that they may have lost the abilities once they gave their powers to Lloyd in "Island of Darkness,"[2] and while they regained their powers in "Codename: Arcturus," they no longer have them to the extent that would allow them to use their True Potential abilities.[3]
  • Forbidden Spinjitzu, accessed by the Scrolls of Forbidden Spinjitzu, is stated to have power comparable to that of accessing a True Potential. Whether the scrolls truly unlock one's True Potential as long as they wield it or it simply grants them powers similar is unknown. Aside from Zane and Lloyd, when Wu, Garmadon, and the ninja have held the scroll, they merely used the enhanced Spinjitzu and never used their Elemental Powers. Zane was able to defeat the Pyro Vipers quickly by blanketing them in ice.
    • Regardless of whether it grants the wielder access to their True Potential, the scroll's powers are shown to be so potent that Zane, as the Ice Emperor, corrupted by using it, was able to overpower Lloyd. Even with the latter's Golden Power lost, he was still the most powerful ninja, due to having the essence of Energy. This indicates that the scroll could be even stronger than a True Potential.
  • Nya's True Potential resembles the Spinjitzu Burst.
  • When Nya unlocks her True Potential, her body doesn't glow or become transparent, like the other ninja. The reason for this is unknown.
    • This may be because her element is a secondary element, rather than a primary element like the other ninja.
  • The term "full potential" can apply to other situations unrelated to this exact power, such as when Garmadon refers to the Golden Weapons' "full potential" in "Darkness Shall Rise" or Lloyd's "full potential" in "Blackout".
  • In "Wishmasters," Jay compared Nadakhan unlocking infinite wishes to unlocking his True Potential.
  • When asked if the Time Twins or Morro had unlocked their True Potentials, Tommy Andreasen stated, "[They] didn’t seem like they had overcome the obstacles within to me."[4]
  • The extended synopsis of "Awakenings" states that Kai regains his True Potential in the episode, but when asked about this, Tommy Andreasen simply said, "He was pretty fired up."[5]

Gallery

References

Ninja abilities

Martial arts

Airjitzu · Art of the Silent Fist · Spinjitzu (Forbidden Spinjitzu · Spinjitzu Burst · Tornado of Creation)

Elemental abilities

Earth Punch · Elemental creations · Elemental Dragons · Elemental shields · Fury of the Storm · True Potential

Nindroid abilities

Falcon Vision · Zane's holographic cloak · Zane's visions

Dareth abilities

Animal fighting styles · Brown Power

Dancing techniques

Electric Jaya · Triple Tiger Sashay

Other abilities

Invisibility · Magic (Dark Magic) · Shadows · Shapeshifting · Storm · Time travel

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