The "Five Elements" consist of the ancient powers of fire, water, wood, metal, and earth. It was foretold that that they would one day take physical forms and become the ultimate protectors of the world.
According to myth, it was said that the world would one day be cast into darkness. At that time, the earth would take action to defend itself, and the Five Elements would appear, assuming physical forms to become the guardians of the world. When they arrived, they would seek out those they deemed unworthy, and replace the current protectors with themselves.
And so a group of five warriors, consisting of a tigard ("Earth"), a gorilla ("Metal"), a crocodile ("Water"), a flamingo ("Fire"), and a tarantula ("Wood"), appeared outside of the Jade Palace before Po and the Furious Five. Though they demanded that the Kung Fu masters step aside so they could take their places as the defenders of the Valley, Po and the Five refused, and the panda stood up to "Earth", and called on the others to attack. Not getting the cue, however, the Five were soon overwhelmed and captured along with Po.
Though Po and the Five assured the five warriors that they would not get away with this, they were taken by surprise when brought to the Palace, where Master Shifu welcomed their captors as honored guests. He congratulated them for their deeds, while Po and the others, confused and disheartened, tried to devise a plan. At one point, "Fire" yelled at a questioning Monkey, demanding utmost respect. When Po mentioned the flamingo "smells funny", the bird shot out a flame over the panda's head from his wings. Po then told the Five that he had a plan. He used his weight to make the pole that he and the others were tied to come out from the ground, and shifted to hit the five warriors while still tied up.
Soon released from the ropes, Po and Furious Five stood to do battle, declaring that they would never let the warriors enter the Jade Palace. "Metal" stepped forward, threatening Po with a giant blade, but was received with a kick in the back of the head by Shifu, who cued his students to attack. While they battled, Shifu told them that he knew he couldn't fight the five warriors by himself, so he had kept the enemy close until the Po and the others were free.
Po then told the others that the five warriors were not the real Elements, even though each of them showed a demonstration of their elemental namesakes. Po had recalled the smell from "Fire": Sesame oil, a very flammable oil used for seasoning. The group of warriors attacked in response, and the battle resumed, the "Elements" using fire, water, wooden spikes, and a metal sword to aid them as they fought. Po soon discovered the flamingo was indeed carrying a hidden supply of sesame oil to ignite his flames. Soon all but one of the warriors were brought down, leaving "Earth" surrounded.
He revealed that they had meant to deceive them so that they would be allowed into the Jade Palace in order steal its priceless treasures. He demanded they stay back, and Mantis then appeared from behind and struck him with a powerful kick, and the tigard fell. With the imposters tied up, Po and the Five uncovered how the group had made their "powers" using sesame oil and hidden containers. Shifu ended with saying "Earth" was supposedly the "brains" of the operation, as Earth is considered the ultimate element according to the Wu Xing philosophy. Po remarked that the real Elements would have been smarter, and would have done better Kung Fu.
The group seems to be used to working together and has some experience in Kung Fu. They use deception in order to intimidate, making themselves appear to have supernatural powers and hiding tools that help them, such as using a flammable substance, water blasters, etc. Each member, except for "Earth", showed the so-called ability of their namesake: "Water" shot out water, "Fire" shot out flames, "Wood" shot out wooden spikes, and "Metal" fought with a giant metal sword.
- Their species somewhat mirror the Furious Five; Earth and Tigress (Big Cats) Water and Viper (Reptiles) Fire and Crane (Birds) Metal and Monkey (Primates) Wood and Mantis (Arthropods)