Naruto is an anime that is known for having a lot of filler episodes. Both Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden had a very high percentage of filler episodes – 41% each. As most people don’t actually like watching filler episodes, they usually find a list and just skip the filler episodes altogether.
But, Naruto, unlike some other anime series, has a lot of great filler episodes and we’ve decided to give you a list of those filler episodes we think are worth watching. They won’t advance the plot very much, but you can be assured that they are going to entertain you.
Naruto (ナルト) is a Japanese franchise that started off as a manga written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who seeks to gain recognition from his peers and also dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village.
The story is divided into two parts; the first set in Naruto’s pre-teen years, and the second in his teens. The series is based on two one-shot manga by Kishimoto. Naruto was serialized 1999 to 2014, and was later released in book form.
The manga was adapted into an anime television series that broadcast a total of 220 episodes in Japan from 2002 to 2007. Naruto: Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, premiered in Japan in 2007, and ended in 2017, after an incredible 500 episodes.
Besides the two anime series, Pierrot has developed eleven movies and twelve original video animations (OVAs). Other Naruto-related merchandise includes light novels, video games, and trading cards developed by several companies.
The story of Naruto today continues with Naruto’s son, Boruto Uzumaki, in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: Boruto wishes to create his own ninja way instead of following his father’s.
Now that you know all the general details, let us see the main issue.
Naruto – filler episodes worth watching
Here is the list of Naruto filler episodes worth watching with some simple reasons as to why you should do so:
“Gotta See! Gotta Know! Kakashi-Sensei’s True Face!” (EP 101)
Air Date: September 15, 2004
Synopsis: Naruto had started the idea of finding out what was under Kakashi’s mask, which the two others, Sakura and later Sasuke, agreed on after being persuaded by the former. However, they were no match against Kakashi as he threw them off his trail again and again. They soon had a low-rank mission to tend the farm. They didn’t notice that the Moya Triad was following them, who wanted revenge on Kakashi. The trio were eventually uncovered and Kakashi left them tied up like he did three years ago. As the team left for Konoha after the mission, Naruto asked Kakashi outright what was under his mask. Kakashi agreed to show them, and each of them imagined what face their mentor has. After their intense anticipation, Kakashi finally took off his mask, only to reveal another mask underneath, making Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura fall to the ground in horror while Kakashi laughed.
Rationale: Although this episode doesn’t really reveal or do anything plot-wise, it is a truly funny and entertaining episode, which is why we definitely think it’s worth watching. You might even consider it as being one of the best Naruto filler episodes.
Land of Rice Fields Investigation Mission arc (EP 136-141)
Air Date: May 25, 2005 – June 29, 2005 (6 episodes)
Synopsis: After recovering from his battle against Sasuke, Naruto joins Sakura in another attempt to save Sasuke from Orochimaru. Before crossing Konoha’s border, Jiraiya appears. He saves them from becoming labelled missing-nin from leaving the village without authorisation by allowing them to join him on a mission to gather information on Sasuke and Orochimaru. Their journey takes them to the Land of Rice Fields, the land of the Otogakure. After a couple of comedic failures to gather info due to Jiraiya’s perverted antics, Naruto and Sakura met a young kunoichi named Sasame of the Fūma clan. She revealed her desire to find her cousin Arashi, who along with the majority of her clan, went missing. The group then decide to help her while also searching for the information they need.
Rationale: This is a whole filler arc but since it consists of only six episodes, it’s not overly long. It is a fairly entertaining watch and we definitely recommend it if you need a rest from the generally thrilling main plot.
Kurosuki Family Removal Mission arc (EP 152-157)
Air Date: September 21, 2005 – October 26, 2005 (6 episodes)
Synopsis: With Jiraiya still gone and no idea of when he would return, Naruto decided to train anyway he could in the village. While training in the woods, he came across three weak and injured men from the village of Katabami Gold Mine. Naruto brought them back to Konoha. After they recovered and explained to Tsunade that they came to Konoha for help in ridding their village of a terrible gang, Tsunade decided to assign Naruto on the mission with Team Guy to keep him preoccupied from his obsessions of finding either Sasuke or Jiraiya. Before leaving, Naruto learned from Lee, who was told by Guy that the leader of the gang is Raiga Kurosuki, a former member of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist. Naruto saw this as another chance to find Sasuke as Raiga might know where Kisame and Itachi are, which could lead him to Sasuke.
Rationale: This is another fairly decent filler arc that is entertaining and has a lot of good humor. Also, the villain, Raiga Kurosuki, was received very well by fans and even became canon later on, as he was introduced in the manga in 2014. It is also relatively short, so you won’t lose much time on it.
“A Legend from the Hidden Leaf: The Onbaa!” (EP 185)
Air Date: May 17, 2006
Synopsis: A legendary creature, the Onbaa, attaches to Naruto’s back after falling from a hawk that had it in its claws. The Onbaa started causing havoc wherever Naruto goes. Despite Naruto’s efforts, it remains firmly attached to Naruto’s back. Tsunade mentions that Jiraiya once went on an expedition when they were kids to find the Onbaa. Tsunade refused to believe that he could find one, however, Orochimaru stated that he was “betting on Jiraiya this time” before quickly turning around so that no one could see him and began blushing with embarrassment at his sudden outburst and for the fact that he never normally agreed with Jiraiya. Jiraiya then headed into the woods around Konoha and returned sometime later having written a report on Onbaa’s, claiming that he had fought one, although Tsunade paid him no heed at the time, believing him to be a fool. The Onbaa continues to increase in size, eventually becoming larger than Naruto himself. However, during a mission, it aids Naruto, causing Naruto to reconsider their relationship, but the Onbaa’s mother appears, driving Naruto off and claiming her offspring. The child manages to calm the mother, and the two leave. As Naruto returns to the village, most of the inhabitants have Onbaa on their backs, something Naruto finds absolutely hilarious and advises Tsunade to fight the Onbaa as Jiraiya said.
Rationale: Like the other individual filler episodes, this episode doesn’t really add much plot-wise, but it’s a fairly funny episode that you can really enjoy. Likewise, the Onbaa is a very interesting addition to the narrative and it it definitely cute enough that it’s worth watching.
“Laughing Shino” (EP 186)
Air Date: May 24, 2006
Synopsis: Naruto and Shino were sent on a mission to Motoyoshi Village to help Fūta Kagetsu inherit his wealth before his greedy sister Tsukiko, by standing in at their father’s funeral, so the man won’t be tempted to laugh and lose his inheritance. On their way, they encounter an old woman who is leaving town who gives them a suspicious warning. While guarding the man and trying to prevent him from laughing, Shino eats dinner first to prevent any poison from entering their host because his insects will neutralise the poison. He ends up laughing, and the insects can’t neutralise the poison. Naruto was forced to stand in for Shino. At the funeral, the other guests tried every way to make Naruto laugh, but all in vain with the help of Shino’s bugs. In the end, it is revealed that the old lady Shino and Naruto met earlier was the deceased father Tōbei, and he had faked his own death and the ridiculous will to make the family laugh again. Shino later threatens Naruto not to ever tell anyone that he made a joke.
Rationale: The next episode is also a filler but we definitely think you should give it a go. The “Laughing Shino” episode explored a very comic side of the character and it was exceptionally funny, which is why you should definitely give it a try.
“Ino Screams! Chubby Paradise!” (EP 192)
Air Date: July 5, 2006
Synopsis: Princess Fuku is meeting her fiancé for the very first time. She is hesitant to appear to him in person, thinking that she looks unattractive because she is overweight as a result of bingeing on snacks to relieve stress. She hires Ino Yamanaka – who looks exactly like the princess except for the one obvious difference – to take her place and win the heart of her fiancé’s Chikara (who resembles Elvis Presley). Ino tries to behave like a princess worthy of the man’s admiration, but she finds his flamboyant displays of affection unbearable. Naruto, frustrated by the mission’s slow progress, takes matters into his own hands by transforming into the princess himself. His interference upsets Ino and Fuku, and accidentally reveals her as the real princess. It is revealed that the prince likes chubby women, and Ino is unable to comprehend why.
Rationale: As it is the case with most Naruto filler episodes, a good filler is usually very funny. Episode 192 is an example of a very funny episode that we think you should watch. It is very entertaining and while it did frustrate Naruto, it should make you laugh.
Sunagakure Support Mission arc (EP 216-220)
Air Date: January 11, 2007 – February 8, 2007 (5 episodes)
Synopsis: Kakashi is shown investigating the Takumi Village. His ninja dogs found that the village was deserted and that the body of their founder was taken from its grave. Meanwhile, Sakura, Shikamaru and Naruto discussed the status report from Temari saying that she and her brothers are going to become involved in their village’s new shinobi training programme. After word reached Konoha that Gaara and his team needed help against a group of ninja called the Four Celestial Symbols Men from the Takumi Village who kidnapped Matsuri, Naruto joined the rest of the Konoha 11 (minus Tenten) under Shikamaru’s command to help.
Rationale: This is the last good filler arc from the original Naruto series. It provides a fairly interesting plot with a good villain, but what it does best is examine the Gaara character, providing us with some nice action. It has only five episodes, so it’s watchable.
And this concludes our list of the Naruto filler episodes that are worth watching. There’s not many of them so you can go and enjoy them as we’ve suggested. Now we’ll give you a list of the Shippuedn episodes worth watching, which is a bit longer than this one.
Naruto: Shippuden – filler episodes worth watching
Here is the list of Naruto: Shippuden filler episodes worth watching with some simple reasons as to why you should do so:
Three-Tails’ Appearance arc (EP 89-112)
Air Date: December 18, 2008 – June 4, 2009 (24 episodes)
Synopsis: Orochimaru instructed Kabuto Yakushi along with Team Guren to take a young boy named Yūkimaru to a lake. After they arrived, Kabuto forced Yūkimaru to release all of his chakra, which caused the Three-Tails to begin to surface from the lake. With Guren’s help, the beast was completely revealed, and they attempted to capture it. Their attempts proved insufficient, however, and the beast created a large tidal wave to wash its attackers away. Tsunade finds the location of Orochimaru’s hideout and sends Kakashi as temporary leader of Team 8 to locate it. They engage battle with Guren and Shino sends back one of his crystallised bugs. Then Tsunade sends Yamato, Sai, and Sakura to help them along with Naruto who meets them along the way. Team Kakashi and Kurenai follow Guren and discover that the thing they were after was the Three-Tails. Shizune, Ino, Tenten and Lee are assembled to help with the hunt for the Three-Tails. They all meet up and split into groups to seal the tailed beast in its own dimension and get Yūkimaru.
Rationale: Shippuden has more good fillers than Naruto and they are really based on the quality of content, unlike the initial fillers, which were mostly filled with good humor. This is a relatively long filler arc, but it has a good and gripping story, as well as a great villain, Three-Tails, which is great for a filler arc. Plus, the last few episodes of this arc contain canon material so they’re it’s worth giving this arc a try.
Tales of a Gutsy Ninja mini-arc (EP 127-128)
Air Date: September 24, 2009 (2 episodes)
Synopsis: During the reign of the Second Hokage, Jiraiya, Tsunade and Orochimaru are placed in a squad under Hiruzen Sarutobi, who conducts a bell test with the trio. Tsunade and Orochimaru manage to retrieve both bells while Jiraiya is tied to a stump as punishment for failure. In order to motivate Jiraiya, Hiruzen shows him his Summoning Technique, calling forth Monkey King: Enma. Jiraiya then decides to take his training seriously in order to impress Tsunade, whom he has a crush on, and to be able to use the Summoning Technique himself. After a period of arduous training, Jiraiya attempts to use the Summoning Technique without having signed a blood contract with an animal, and finds himself being transported to Mount Myōboku, home of the toads.
Rationale: This is a mixed canon/filler mini-arc that is still entertaining enough and short enough to watch. Plus, these episodes are somewhat important as they provide more gravity for the canon episodes that follow.
Six-Tails Unleashed arc (EP 144-152)
Air Date: January 21, 2010 – March 25, 2010 (9 episodes)
Synopsis: When Hotaru and her guardian, Tonbee, are being attacked at their mountaintop fort, she and Utakata escape with En no Gyōja’s secret kinjutsu, while Tonbee tries to hold off the attackers, but was easily defeated, and the attackers, the Magaki Group, go after them. Team Yamato are assigned by Tsunade to go and protect Hotaru on her way to the Tsuchigumo village. When the team find the fort, they saw Tonbee, who has been viciously attacked by the four-man bandits. Sakura stays and heals Tonbee, while Naruto, Sai, and Yamato follow Utakata and Hotaru. Naruto catches up to Utakata and Hotaru, and Utakata attacks Naruto with some of his Soap Bubble Ninjutsu. After Utakata learned that they are not attackers, he entrusts the protection of Hotaru to them.
Rationale: The beginning of this filler arc is very weak and it might discourage you from watching all of the nine episodes, but don’t let it fool you. The ending of the arc is amazing, with a strong emotional moment and a very powerful, albeit short, moment for Naruto, which is probably one of the best moments involving the protagonist of the Naruto franchise.
Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha arc (EP 180, 183, 186)
Air Date: October 7, 2010 (180); October 28, 2010 (183); November 18, 2010 (186)
Synopsis: This arc is shown as multiple flashbacks from different characters, such as Iruka remembering the time he first met Naruto and Kakashi remembering when he was appointed as leader of Team 7 from his perspective. The first flashback takes place prior to Part I while the rest all take place before the time-skip showing how Naruto had changed in the eyes of these different characters. This arc is preceded by Pain’s Assault and is followed by the Five Kage Summit.
Rationale: Digging into the history of your favourite characters can be quite entertaining and this 21-episode arc does exactly that. It is a collection of flashbacks narrated by different characters that further examines them and the situations they were in. Not all episodes are worth watching, though, so we advise you to pay attention to these episodes: “Inari’s Courage Put to the Test” (180), “Naruto: Outbreak” (183), and “Ah, the Medicine of Youth” (186).
“Naruto’s Favourite Pupil” (EP 234)
Air Date: October 27, 2011
Synopsis: Konohamaru, Udon and Moegi are training to prepare for the Fourth Shinobi World War, with Konohamaru perfecting his new technique — Fire Release: Ash Pile Burning. After asking Sakura how they could aid in the war effort, she makes them carry and stock boxes. Konohamaru, wanting something more important to do, leaves with his team ranting. They approach Shikamaru, who asks Konohamaru who the “King” he must protect is and writes the kanji for ‘king’ on a stone shaped like a shōgi piece and gives it to him. Konohamaru then goes to see Tsunade for permission to join the front lines, who outright refuses and tosses him out.
Rationale: The whole Paradise Life on a Boat arc was pretty boring, despite some great animators working on these episodes. You can skip most of it, but definitely don’t skip episode 234, which contains some great animation and ends with a very interesting fight in the end.
“Road to Sakura” (EP 271)
Air Date: July 26, 2012
Synopsis: As Ino strolls through the outlying forest of the village, considering what she should do on her day-off, she sees a bright light and hears a scream. Looking up, she sees her friend, Sakura, falling through the sky. Rushing to her aid, she finds Sakura unconscious on a tree branch. Ino then brings Sakura back to Konoha and has Tsunade check on her. Noting that Sakura had developed amnesia, a comical argument develops as Sakura unreservedly calls Tsunade’s breasts gigantic (and voices the suspicion, that Tsunade enlarged her breasts artificially) and Shizune’s underdeveloped which culminates in Ino having to stop them both from further hitting Sakura on the head, reminding them of her condition. As they go through the village and encounter the other members of the Konoha 11, Sakura notes that they look vaguely familiar but not as how she remembered them. In an attempt to jog her memory, everyone attempts to represent themselves the way Sakura remembers (which is the complete opposite of their current personalities), though this endeavour is ultimately unsuccessful. Later when Sakura realises that she had lost a pendant of a cherry blossom she had around her neck, she and Ino begin searching frantically for it. Her parents, Kizashi and Mebuki end up finding a dazed Sakura and her father returns the pendant, which she had dropped at their doorway, to her. Remembering parts of her past, Sakura runs to embrace her parents, crying. Though this puzzles her parents greatly, they depart telling her to come home later. Sakura ends up telling Ino that it was likely that she was not the Sakura she knew before disappearing again in a bright light, leaving Ino severely confused, wondering where the Sakura she knew was then.
Rationale: This episode on this list because it was quite funny and entertaining. Now why is that so important? Well, as we’ve said, good humor is very scarce in Shippuden, unlike in the original Naruto anime, where there were plenty of fun moments. This is why, when we actually found this funny episode, we had to put it on our list and recommend it for watching, as it is a rare gem among all these fillers.
Power arc (EP 290-295)
Air Date: November 22, 2012 – January 10, 2013 (6 episodes)
Synopsis: In this arc, set a short while after the Five Kage Summit amidst the looming threat of a Fourth Shinobi World War, Team Kakashi is sent on a mission to investigate the massacre of Tonika Village by Kabuto Yakushi and his reincarnated shinobi, who are searching for a treasure consisting of great power. This arc takes place in the middle of the Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation.
Rationale: Well, this small arc doesn’t really tell you much, but it is truly epic. The production gave us some movie-quality animation, while the story was actually just a series of epic, high-quality fights. You could describe it as “fillers on steroids”, but they are definitely worth watching.
Ghosts from the Past mini-arc (EP 303-305)
Air Date: March 7, 2013 – March 21, 2013 (3 episodes)
Synopsis: With the Allied Shinobi Forces on high alert because of the imposters within their midsts, their worries are further added to when Otogakure’s Sound Four is reincarnated on the battlefield. The members of Konoha’s disbanded Sasuke Recovery Team, however, make short work of these opponents, displaying just how much they had grown over the years despite the amplification of their opponent’s cursed seals. However, the Alliance’s cheers of victory are soon stifled as a seal activates around the defeated shinobi and Kiba Inuzuka, Akamaru, Neji Hyūga, Shikamaru Nara, and Chōji Akimichi. Elsewhere, as he moves towards the location, Naruto senses the malevolence on the battlefield as the seal activates, and rushes towards his friends’ location.
Rationale: This three-episode mini-arc is one of the most entertaining fillers in the whole series. Namely, it brought back some old, fan-favourite villains, which was a delight to watch, and had a truly fantastic first episode that set up the whole mini-arc.
Kakashi’s Anbu Arc: The Shinobi That Lives in the Darkness arc (EP 349-361)
Air Date: February 6, 2014 – May 8, 2014 (13 episodes)
Synopsis: The arc focuses on Kakashi Hatake’s Anbu background, while also exploring the backgrounds of others such as Yamato and Itachi Uchiha. This arc takes place in the middle of the Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax.
Rationale: This arc is pretty entertaining and although it has a total of 13 episodes, it is still worth watching. It provides us with a very interesting background for Kakashi and also has a beautifully choreographed fight scene in the end. This definitely a filler arc you’ll want to watch.
“Mecha-Naruto” mini-arc (EP 376-377)
Air Date: September 11, 2014 (2 episodes)
Synopsis: Somewhere in an underground lair, Orochimaru’s experiment is brought to life by a struck of lightning. However, Orochimaru’s plan backfires as the experiment attacks him and begins to destroy the building, forcing him and Kabuto to evacuate. The experiment is revealed to be a mechanical version of Naruto Uzumaki, whom the protagonist has to fight and defeat because it causes more trouble.
Rationale: Surely you wouldn’t expect to see a mecha character in a shinobi anime? Well, you would be wrong! This two-episode mini-arc provides probably the most fun and most entertaining filler in the whole franchise, with Naruto having to fight his mechanical counter-part. This was an unexpected, but well executed move by the producers.
“Hanabi” mini-arc (EP 389-399)
Air Date: December 4, 2014 (2 episodes)
Synopsis: Explores Hinata’s relationship with her sister Hanabi, as the latter returns to the Academy, where Hinata is training with her father.
Rationale: This small mini-arc has some great fighting scenes that are definitely worth watching. The plot, although it dwells deeper into the relationship between Hinata an Hanabi, isn’t overwhelming, but the fight scenes are definitely worth watching.
In Naruto’s Footsteps: The Friends’ Paths arc (EP 394-413)
Air Date: January 8, 2015 – May 21, 2015 (20 episodes)
Synopsis: This arc focuses on the second Chūnin Exams that took place after Sasuke Uchiha’s defection to Otogakure and Naruto Uzumaki’s departure to train with Jiraiya. This arc takes place in the middle of the Birth of the Ten-Tails’ Jinchūriki.
Rationale: Overall, this is not a bad filler arc. It explores a segment of the Naruto franchise, the Chūnin Exams, and has one brilliant fight scene that definitely stands out. It has 20 episodes so you can fast forward a little, but it’s definitely worth watching.
Itachi Shinden Book: Light and Darkness arc (EP 451-458)
Air Date: March 3, 2016 – April 28, 2016 (8 episodes)
Synopsis: The arc focuses on Itachi Uchiha’s life leading up to and following the Uchiha Clan Downfall. The arc serves as an intermission to the very start of the Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes arc.
Rationale: This was a truly amazing arc that featured a good story and great animation. The cinematography was also great and overall – this arc was a surprising success for the production team. It also provides a brief pause from the important Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes arc. The best episode in the series is “Moonlit Night” (455), so be sure to pay close attention to it.
Childhood mini-arc (EP 480-483)
Air Date: October 20, 2016 – November 10, 2016 (4 episodes)
Synopsis: This arc consists of four “paired” episodes that narrate some episodes from the characters’ pasts. Each episode has two parts (A & B), each told from the perspective of another character. The pairs are: Naruto and Hinata, Sasuke and Sakura, Gaara and Shikamaru, and – Jiraiya and Kakashi.
Rationale: This is probably the most controversial pick on our list as there are a lot of people that don’t think these four episodes are worth a watch. We, on the other hand, consider them to be true gems that in an artistically profound way examine these characters and their shared histories. This is why we definitely recommend them.
Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise arc (EP 484-488)
Air Date: December 1, 2016 – January 5, 2017 (5 episodes)
Synopsis: This arc is an anime adaptation of the Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise novel from the Naruto Shinden that focus on Sasuke’s life after the Fourth Shinobi World War. In the anime, it takes place after the Childhood arc and is followed by the Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness arc.
Rationale: This is an adaptation of a novel written by Shin Towada and published in 2015. Most people think the novels are canon because Kishimoto illustrated the covers, but they are not, which is why the adaptations are considered as filler content and not canon content. This was actually a good adaptation that examines Sasuke and is, in our opinion, the only novel adaptation that is worth watching.
And this concludes our list of Shippuden fillers worth watching. As you can see, the list was longer, but Shippuden both has more episodes than Naruto and has more high-quality filler content.
And this concludes our list of Naruto filler episodes that are worth watching. We hope you’ll listen to our advice and that you’ll have loads of fun while watching this great anime series.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!