Remember when the Multi Shadow Clown Jutsu was an impressive feat? Or when characters died and stayed dead for the most part? Naruto told the story of the adolescent Naruto Uzumaki before he became the powerful Hokage that he is today. Out of its 220 episodes, this series has 91 fillers, and while some are almost painful to watch, others can be seen as treats for fans, often expanding upon the ninja world and giving secondary, tertiary, and even quaternary characters a few seconds in the spotlight. Be advised: some of these episodes can get pretty weird.
10 "Please, Mr. Postman" (Episode 177)
When Naruto and Jiraiya first met, it was easy to see how much of a pervert Jiraiya was. This episode stayed true to his character from the very beginning as Naruto stumbles upon Jiraiya flirting with two beautiful women. This filler had it all: a fast-paced chase scene taking place on land and on the water, a group of postmen versus Naruto's Harem Jutsu, and most importantly, a light-hearted episode of bonding between master and student. This episode gave fans a taste of what those two years Naruto and Jiraiya spent training probably looked like.
9 "Laughing Shino" (Episode 186)
At least in Naruto, Shino never truly got a chance to show what he was capable of. That wasn't helped by the fact that he lacked emotional depth. That did however, make him the perfect stand-in for a funeral in which he would not be allowed to laugh. After he falls victim to a laughing poison, Naruto takes his place, but it is revealed that the funeral was a farce, organized to teach a money-hungry family a lesson about enjoying the things that money can't buy. Shino orders Naruto not to tell anyone about a song and dance he performed towards the end of this episode, but little does he know, it was all filler, and talking about it would clash with the manga a little too much.
8 "Follow My Lead! The Great Survival Challenge" (Episode 158)
Sure, Naruto might be the only person in the Hidden Leaf with an anime named after him, but he wasn't always so deserving. Pretty much for the entirety of Naruto, the young ninja never completely grasped what it took to be a leader. When he was chosen to head Konohamaru and his friends on a survival training mission, fans knew that Naruto would try to cheat his way out of the training. But when he and his team got stuck in a fierce thunderstorm, he stepped up and put his life on the line for the others. This episode does a great job at giving other characters a chance to demonstrate their own survival skills that align so perfectly with their personalities. Fans can't deny how funny it was to see Lee have a mini power trip after being called "sensei" for the first time.
7 "Gotta See! Gotta Know! Kakashi-Sensei's True Face!" (Episode 101)
Kakashi was always one of the most enigmatic characters in the original Naruto series. It's not until Naruto Shippuden that fans were given his backstory, so when an early episode promised to expose what he was hiding under his mask, fans were just as excited as Team 7 to see what was under there. It becomes evident from the start that this episode is a complete joke when it opens with a crow flying by while letting loose an obnoxious squawk. From aloof images of Kakashi's face with exaggerated red lips to a gimmicky trio of ninja with question marks on their headbands, this episode is nothing but a light-hearted, fun-filled episode back before Sasuke and Naruto's feud ripped the team apart, although it did leave fans theorizing what exactly was under Kakashi's mask for years.
6 "Ino Screams! Chubby Paradise!" (Episode 192)
In Naruto, Ino rarely got as much screentime as her teammates Shikamaru and Choji, but when Princess Fuku desired for Ino to be her body double, fans got to see Naruto and Ino form one of the most awkward ninja teams in all of the franchise's history. This episode teetered on the edge of weird and just plain insulting, with a chubby parody of a tapdancing Elvis as the princess's love interest along with Naruto disguised as Ino while peeing all over the place. Still at its core, it's an episode about body positivity with a beautiful ending.
5 "The Last Leg: A Final Act of Desperation" (Episode 106)
When Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke are selected to accompany the young Idate, a runner who despises ninja, Team 7 finds themselves ambushed as Idate's rivals attempt to slow him down. Though the race spans over several episodes, this is its climax. Naruto manages to defeat a ninja wielding the Sword of the Thunder God after Sasuke had been beaten by the sword's power, causing the young Uchiha's feelings of rage towards his teammate to begin to brew to the surface. This sets up the next major arc of the series, since the thought of Naruto being able to defeat someone that he could not further strengthens Sasuke's desire to become stronger no matter the costs. Although this episode is filler, it comes at such as a volatile time for the Leaf Village, and becomes the last mission that Team 7 will embark on together.
4 "A Clash of Fate: You Can't Bring Me Down" (Episode 147)
Mizuki was not only the first villain in Naruto, but also the first victim of Naruto's Multi Shadow Clone Jutsu. Without Mizuki, Naruto may not have even learned that technique. This episode was part of a filler arc in which Mizuki pursued his revenge against the Leaf Village with two insanely strong twins by his side. Not only did we get to see the legendary Ino-Shika-Cho formation in action, but fans also got an emotional callback to how it all started when Naruto dove to Iruka's rescue, taking a shuriken straight to the spine. It's an awesome moment that shows just how far Naruto has come.
3 "Hot-Blooded Confrontation: Student vs. Sensei" (Episode 196)
When Guy is trapped by a ninja with the power to control wooden dummies, Lee, Tenten, Negi, and Naruto come to his aid. What follows is a fight between master and student as Lee and Guy push themselves to their limits to shatter the dummies that mimic the other's movements. Though intense, it's an emotional fight as they both ninja realize that the further they push themselves, the more vulnerable to death they'll be, and Guy even promises to die with Lee should anything happen to him. With that level of honor, it becomes clear why Lee aspires to be so much like Guy.
2 "Blaze Away, Byakugan! This is My Ninja Way!" (Episode 151)
There are many characters in Naruto that are immediately relegated to the realm of uselessness, but this episode proves that Hinata is not one of them. After her original fight with Negi during the Chunin Exams, she had already proved how tough her fighting spirit was, but when the rest of her team is captured, Hinata steps up to face three ninja on her own. Of course, the highlight of this episode is when she used her Protective 8 Trigrams 64 Palm to ward off a swarm of bees. Just like Naruto, Hinata pushed herself to her limits during her own training in order to earn the respect of her fellow ninja, providing a glimpse of the similarities between she and her future husband.
1 "Run! The Curry of Life!" (Episode 157)
If a filler episode involves Team Guy, chances are, it'll be a good one. This episode brings the "Kurosuki Family Removal" filler arc to a close as Naruto, Lee, Negi, and Tenten go up against Raiga, a former Ninja Swordsman of the Mist. Even a drunk Rock Lee couldn't beat Raiga, who struggled to come to terms with losing the only friend that he had. The tension practically flew off the screen as Raiga went completely berserk, tearing through an army of Naruto's Shadow Clones like an animal backed into a corner. This is truly an episode that will have fans crying of laughter one moment, before feeling sympathy for the villain the next. Did we also mention that Drunken Fist Lee makes an appearance?