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Max Tennyson

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Maxwell Tennyson

Max standing official artwork

Max AF

Ben10-clipart 11

General Information
Species Human
½ Human ½ Lepidopterran (temporarily)
Home World Earth
Residence Bellwood
Null Void (temporarily)
Age 10 (Don't Drink the Water)
17 (Moonstruck)
59-60 (Ben 10)
60-61 (Omniverse flashbacks)
64-65 (Alien Force)
65-66 (Ultimate Alien and Omniverse)
Affiliations Plumbers
Ben's Team
DNA Force
The Air Force (formerly)
NASA (formerly)
Area 51 (formerly)
Occupation(s) Plumber
Astronaut (formerly)
Magister of Earth
Air Force Lieutenant (formerly)
Powers and Abilities
Abilities Advanced Technology and Alien knowledge
Plumber Training
Military Training
Equipment Plumber Suit and Weapons
Relatives Bill Tennyson (father)
Ashley Ethelridge (mother)
Benjamin Tennyson (grandfather)
Jedediah (uncle)
Gordon Tennyson (older brother)
Vera Tennyson (older sister)
Joel Tennyson (nephew)
Carl Tennyson (son)
Frank Tennyson (son)
Sandra Tennyson (daughter-in-law)
Natalie Tennyson (daughter-in-law)
Kenneth Tennyson (grandson)
Ben Tennyson (grandson)
Gwen Tennyson (granddaughter)
Clyde Fife (nephew)
Alias Maxy
The Wrench (formerly)
Magister Max Tennyson
Old Man (Ultimate Kevin)
Grandpa Max (Gwen)
Grandpa (Ben)
Sweet Man (Verdona)
Legendary Plumber
Magister Tennyson (Rook)
Colorful Shirt Man (Pakmar)
Partner (Phil)
Maxy Waxy (Vera Tennyson)
Alternate Counterparts Max Tennyson (Future)
Max Tennyson (RAT Timeline)
Max Tennyson (No Watch Timeline)
Voice Actor Paul Eiding (adult)
Adam Wylie (10 year old)
Jason Marsden (17 year old)
Actor Barry Corbin (Alien Swarm)
First Appearance And Then There Were 10

Magister Maxwell "Max" Tennyson or Grandpa Max as his grandchildren call him, is the paternal grandfather of Ben, Gwen, and Ken, as well as the father of Carl Tennyson and Frank Tennyson. He is a fairly overweight man in his late 50's, with a keen sense for adventure and a strange taste in food. Max ends up taking the kids on a summer vacations' road trip across the United States. Much to Ben's annoyance, Ben discovers that Gwen is joining them. Max travels in a motor home nicknamed the Rust Bucket, which he has modified with advanced technology.

Max is a semi-retired legendary Magister rank Plumber and is the mentor of Ben, Gwen, Kevin, and the Plumbers' Helpers. According to Azmuth, Max is widely considered the greatest Plumber in the Milky Way Galaxy. Max is currently Magister of Earth.


In the original series, Max wears a white shirt, covered by a red button up Hawaiian shirt with a floral design. He has grey hair and blue pants, as well as black shoes.

As Ultra Grandpa in Perfect Day, he has a stereotypical superhero costume. He wears frameless blue goggles, a cyan shirt and white pants. He also dons a white cape like Ultra Ben.

In Alien Force and Ultimate Alien, Max's appearance did not change except for his blue pants being changed to brown, he has more wrinkles, a slightly darker shirt, and whiter hair.

In Alien Swarm, Max wears a blue Hawaiian shirt instead of a red one.

In Omniverse, Max's appearance has not changed that much except for his brown pants, which are now white. He has whiter hair, more wrinkles, and his eyes have been changed to little black dashes. His white shirt that he wore under his red button up shirt has changed to black. Also, his shoes are now grey at the top and black at the bottom.



Not many details are provided on Max's childhood and background. In Permanent Retirement, Max's older sister, Vera Tennyson is introduced; she is seen as having her own weird taste in food, and is hinted as having knowledge that aliens are real. In Big Fat Alien Wedding, Max's older brother, Gordon Tennyson is introduced; in the events of the episode Gordon is also a Plumber, still on active duty, as is his wife, Betty Jean Tennyson, and their son, Joel Tennyson.

A ten-year-old version of Max was seen in the episode Don't Drink the Water.

In Under Wraps, Max mentions having spent his childhood summers on his Uncle Jedediah's farm, where he learned about the merits of hard work.

In Last Laugh, a "not-quite-all-there" Max, under the effects of Zombozo's happiness-draining, mentions having been afraid of heights as a kid and then, when "enough was enough", Max "climbed up to the top of the water tower" and "scared the fear" right out of him.

In They Lurk Below, it was shown that Max had a childhood friend called Donovan GrandSmith, who sums Max up as; "growing up he always was the worrywart...never the risk-taker", like himself. 30 years earlier, Donovan and Max had both been broke when Donovan offered Max a business opportunity, which he turned down. Max later became a Plumber (most people thought Max was just a regular plumber), establishing that Max's career as a Plumber lasted for about 28 years before he retired (Max mentioned that after 28 years on the job, he'd never figured out who was behind the Bermuda Triangle).

In the episode The Return, it was revealed that Max had been an astronaut and would have been the first man on the moon, but left the program before the Apollo Moon mission. In his own words, Max said he just 'took his step for mankind in other ways'. It is later revealed that he did in fact go into space, just not with NASA.

It is unknown if Max's strange taste in food was acquired from his adventures to other planets during his career as a Plumber, or if its root can be found in his childhood.

It was revealed in Moonstruck that Max met Verdona when she was held captive by a Synthroid (a species of robotic aliens) that wants to use her Anodite powers as fuel for their planet. Max saved Verdona and Magister Labrid, the latter of whom recruited him as a Plumber.

Ben 10

Grandpa Max is a Plumber, who takes his grandchildren Ben and Gwen on a cross-country trip, during which Ben discovers an alien watch, the Omnitrix. His grandson uses the watch to become the superhero "Ben 10". Max helps his grandson fight bad guys and aliens, and he also teaches Ben to use the watch responsibly.

During their adventures, Gwen and Ben question Max's uncanny knowledge, and the fact he doesn't seem to be bothered by all the weirdness they encounter. It is eventually revealed that Max and the alien warlord Vilgax are old enemies.

In the episode Truth, Max reveals he is part of an intergalactic police force known as the Plumbers, and that he fought and defeated Vilgax years before. During the episode he meets his old partner Phil Billings. He discovers Phil stole the Null Void Projector, using it to make easy money, by freeing the aliens who the Plumbers had already captured, then fighting and catching them for profit.

In the episode Perfect Day, Max was given superpowers by Ultra Ben in Ben's dream. As Ultra Grandpa he had enhanced strength and was able to fly.

In the episode The Visitor, it is revealed the Omnitrix was originally sent to Max by the alien Xylene (who was Max's old flame) and accidentally ended up in the possession of his grandson, Ben.

Max has a strange taste for food throughout the series. 

Alien Force

Ultimate Alien


Powers and Abilities

Although Max doesn't have any super powers, he is very skilled in combat and can take on anyone who does have them as he is quite athletic for someone of his age. As a retired Plumber, he has access to a variety of various Plumber tools and weaponry, which he uses skillfully. Aside from that, his experience from his Plumber days made him knowledgeable on various species of aliens. He is also able to strategize well and is skilled in inventing new machines. In Moonstruck, it is shown that he is telepathically connected to his lover, Verdona.

Before joining the Plumbers, Max was a United States Air Force pilot, with dreams of joining NASA and going to the moon. As shown in the episode Moonstruck, he was an expert at flying an F-104 Starfighter and was able to shoot down an alien spacecraft.


Ben 10

Ben 10 Shorts

Ben 10: Alien Force

Ben 10: Ultimate Alien


Ben 10: Omniverse


Cartoon Network Action Packs

  • Ole!
  • Fast Lane
  • Snow Blind
  • Fear Itself
  • A Villain a Day
  • Techno Zombies
  • Barbershop Blues
  • Blast from the Past
  • Nemesis
  • The Height of Heat
  • Space Camp and Beyond
  • Alien Data Files: Wildmutt
  • Greasy Lightning
  • Alien Data Files: Heatblast
  • Alien Data Files: Four Arms
  • Swimming with Sharks
  • Monkey Business
  • Alien Data Files: XLR8
  • Eggs with Legs
  • Intergalactic Spazz Club
  • Aqua Nut
  • Sonic Boom
  • Pleasant Dreams
  • Alien Data Files: Upgrade
  • Captured!
  • The Once and Future Ben
  • Special Defects
  • Alien Data Files: Diamondhead
  • Mountains of Trouble
  • Alien Data Files: Ripjaws
  • Dora Flora
  • Alien Data Files: Stinkfly
  • Old Friends
  • Powerless

Chapter Books

  • Triple Threat
  • Galaxy Wars

Video Games

Ben 10: Protector of Earth

Keys of Plumbers Base

Max helps Ben in his travel around the country. He was captured by Kevin 11 and had to be rescued by Ben. He accesses to Plumber base in Mt. Rushmore and later defeats Zs'Skayr with a sun gun.

Love Interests


Although she was stated dead in Ben 10: Race Against Time, Verdona is the paternal grandmother of Ben, Gwen and Ken Tennyson. She is an Anodite, a free-spirited alien race from the distant planet Anodyne. Verdona left her home world in an unspecified time long before the original series even began to go to Earth for unknown reasons. She landed in St. Louis, Missouri where she met and fell deeply in love with Max Tennyson and the two courted each other. During this time she hid her Anodite heritage very well and blended in with society. They had two known children; Carl and Frank. She then returned to Anodyne to reconnect with her Anodite background, but later returned to Earth to see if her grandchildren had inherited her powers and abilities. Only years later, she realized that her granddaughter, Gwen, had inherited her Anodite abilities. She loved Max for his adventurous and rebellious nature, stating he was similar to Kevin.


During Xylene's early years, she met Max Tennyson, who at the time was a Plumber. She wanted Max to go to Ringa Morr with her, but Max declined it



Max's cameo in "Ben 10-Generator Rex: Heroes United"

  • According to Xylene and Azmuth, Max was supposed to get the Omnitrix, but when Ben found it, his DNA was close enough to Max's that it attached itself to his wrist instead.
  • Derrick confirmed that Max in Omniverse is a reference to the DC comic book character Shazam.[1]
  • Max was a Magister for at least 5 years.
  • In the beta version of the original series, Max originally wasn't a Plumber, he was just an average inventor.
  • In Dimension 23, Max died before the Omnitrix reached Earth, leaving Ben 23 with no mentor or moral support until Azmuth 23 takes up that position.
  • Max's cooking is a running gag throughout the franchise as most humans, (especially Ben, Gwen and Kevin) find the cuisine to be disgusting, while aliens, (Rook, Xylene and others) can't get enough of it. 
  • Characters wearing shirts identical to Max's appear throughout the series as a running gag.
  • According to Derrick J. Wyatt, Max loses his arm in the Limax War, which happens in the future.[2]
  • Verdona stated that Max was similar to Kevin when he was Kevin's age; an example being in Moonstruck with young Max saying "Hey! Watch the paint job!" and "My ride!", both of which have been said by Kevin.
Max Tennyson in Robot Chicken

Max in Robot Chicken

  • Max Tennyson made an appearance in the fifth episode of the sixth season of Robot Chicken, "Hurtled from a Helicopter into a Speeding Train".


See Also

Tennyson Family Ben TennysonGwen TennysonMax TennysonCarl TennysonSandra TennysonFrank TennysonNatalie TennysonKenneth TennysonGordon TennysonBetty Jean TennysonJoel TennysonCamille Mann-TennysonVera TennysonManny TennysonClyde FifeBen's DogBig Chill's OffspringVerdona
Levin Family Kevin LevinMrs. LevinDevin LevinZedHarvey Hackett
Rook Family Rook BlonkoRook DaRook BrallaRook SharRook ShimRook ShiRook Ben
Plumbers Magister PatellidayMagister ArnuxMagister PykeMagister HulkaMagister Coronach
HobbleMolly GuntherBranniganZorian
Alan AlbrightHelen WheelsManny ArmstrongCooper DanielsLucy Mann
BrykChortleTackWat-SennScoutJerryI.M. WerfzelLeadfootMortyElliotBromebaStick DougRobucketFistinaPlen Stroff
Magister LabridMagister Prior GilhilVictor ValidusPierce Wheels
Secondary Characters Cash MurrayEsterHexIgnacius BaumannJ.T.Jimmy JonesJulie YamamotoKai GreenPakmarProfessor ParadoxRad DudesmanReinrassic IIIShipSkurdTetrax Shard
Galvan AzmuthBlukicDribaLuhleyUjinTeacherFergiChadzmuthY-itDuffyZennithRetaliatorSoldiersMajor
Andromeda Aliens AndreasBivalvanGalapagusP'andorRa'ad
Freed Ultimate Versions Sentient Ultimate Big ChillSentient Ultimate CannonboltSentient Ultimate Echo EchoSentient Ultimate HumungousaurSentient Ultimate SpidermonkeySentient Ultimate Swampfire
Forever Knights Sir GeorgeWinstonforeverduke838
Actors Abel NorthCerebrocrustacean ActorDeefus VeeblepisterFridgeGourmand ActorGwenettesHughJennifer NocturnePiscciss Volann ActorSwampsVilgax Actor
Atrocians Blue-WorstGreen-WorstOrange-WorstPink-WorstPurple-WorstShe-WorstSlim-WorstViolet-Worst
Others Alien KidAlton AlabasterAmazing AlanAndyAnicetoArnoldBaby CelestialsapienBahrvadBailiffBarryBen's TeacherBezelBill GacksBillyBlowfishBobDr. BorgesBradPrivate BrownbagAgent BrysonCaitiffCarol SmithSergeant Cast IronCentur SquaarChicken AlienCicelySergeant CookmeisterCow AlienDeckaDJJudge DomstolDonovan GrandSmithDougDragonEarlEctonurite TwinsEddie GrandSmithEdithEdnaEgorElsgoodElvesEmilyE-NEuniceMr. FangMrs. FangFistinaFitzFritzFrolicGar Red WindGaterboyGenaroGil SteptoeGilbertGlutoGrick and GrackGeneral GroffHaplorHaroldHectorHelena XaglivHelioHervéHighbreed CouncilorsHotel GuardHugoIgnaceousImmovable ObjectIshiyamaJamieJeffJoan MaplewoodJoeMrs. JonesJonesyJuliusK8-EDr. KellyKrakkenKwarrelKyle MonitorLacknoLaurence WainrightKenkoLepidopterran KidCouncilwoman LiangLillimusha DiForestiniLobster ManAgent LockeLoovis SlerdlerkLuLucyLukikMadisonMadison's FatherMad HarangueMad RookMaliceMandyMargieMartySheriff MasonMaureen NocturneMechamorph GuardMedicMildredML-EML-E's MotherMoldywarpMother CelestialsapienMyaxxN-8N-DNaljian MotherNatalie AlvarezMegawhattsOrbParts DealerDr. PervisPetersonPierce's GirlfriendPorcupinePresidentProbityPyxiQuinceRayonaRogerColonel RozumSanctuary GuardiansScreegitSentinelSheelaneShelbyDr. ShuemanSmoothy VendorSmuggled PsycholeopterranSock VendorSpellbinderLieutenant SteelSteve CummingsSugiliteSumo Slammer Collecting BoyTackTechnorgTentacle VendorTetramand PriestThaddeus J. CollinsThomas JinglesTiffanyTiffinTim DeanTiniTinyTiny's FatherTiny's MotherToby MonitorTodd MaplewoodTrinaTrukkTwotwoTylerUltimosVance VetteroyVexxViktoriaWaltWarriorMr. WebbOfficer WellsWes GreenWolf BlitzerMr. YamamotoYetiZabinZaw-VeenullMr. Zu
Future Ben TennysonGwendolyn TennysonKen TennysonMax TennysonRook BlonkoKai GreenKevin LevinKevin's SpouseDevlin LevinArgitJ. Jonah JonesKen's Pet
Ben 10,000 (Ultimate Alien)
RAT Timeline Ben TennysonGwen TennysonMax TennysonEdward WhiteLouise DaltonMr. HawkinsMr. WhittingtonMr. EnguellsMr. JenyxMrs. CarlayConstantine JacobsOld Man
Gwen 10 Universe Gwen TennysonBen TennysonMax Tennyson
Gwen Tennyson (Omniverse)
Dimension 23 Ben TennysonTetrax ShardSevensevenAzmuth
No Watch Timeline Ben TennysonMax Tennyson
Generator Rex Rex SalazarRebecca HolidayBobo HahaAgent SixCaesar SalazarDiane FarrahWhite KnightDinosaur EVO
Secret Saturdays Zak SaturdayDoc SaturdayDrew SaturdayFiskerton SaturdayKomodoZon

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