Created By: GiantSpaceChinchilla on February 18, 2013 Last Edited By: GiantSpaceChinchilla on April 7, 2014

Mister Missile

A sapient guided missile

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Alt titiles: Talking Rocket, Persona de Projectile, Sapient Missile Guidence, Smart Missile, Homing Mook, Projectile With Personality, Projectile Personality, Projectile Personhood, Projectile With Personality, Personified Projectile, Projectile Mook.
Very Smart Missiles

Simply put, projectiles with personality.

This is when bullets, missiles, launched grenades etc have sapience, can talk and/or express emotion. How they come to be may be a work of science (can be a complement to a Homing Projectile), magical, or, in humorous examples, they just starts talking on their own.

Sister trope of Living Weapon.

See Also: Action Bomb, Attack Drone, Abnormal Ammo, Mecha-Mook, Super-Persistent Missile, and Surveillance Drone.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Dragon Ball Z: Super Ghost Kamikaze Attacks are self distructive if comical mooks that may or may not unleash Ki attacks.
  • Galaxy Angel: Normad is the AI chip of one of these.
  • Laserbeak in Transformers Cybertron transformed into a bomb, but was never truly used as such. It was more thematic to go with his partner, Soundwave, who turned into a bomber.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie: Robotnik fires two missiles at the same time. One, a rabbit-themed missile takes off and streaks towards the target. The second one, a turtle-themed missile slowly flies off. It reappears at the end of the movie where it grabs the schematics for Metal Sonic before detonating.

Comic Books
  • Metal Men: Had recurring nemeses the Missile Men.
  • The K-Class Decepticons in IDW's run of The Transformers all turn into bombs just before impact.
  • Played with in Marvel Comics' adaptation of Star Wars. Imperial technicians are attempting to defuse a large, sentient bomb left behind on Bespin. The bomb coaches them through the process, claiming, "Hey, I don't want to blow up." However, one technician soon hears a sound which he describes as an arming mechanism engaging. The bomb responds, "It was ... suckers." It then explodes, killing all the techs and toppling Bespin.

Film
  • Dark Star: Features a bomb with delusions of godhood.
  • In The Matrix series the Machines have self-guided flying bomb robots that seek out and ram opponents, blowing up when they do so. Sentinels use them to destroy the Vigilant and the Nebuchadnezzar in The Matrix Reloaded and in The Matrix Revolutions the Machines use a swarm of them to attack the Logos as Neo and Trinity attempt to reach the Machine City.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The bullets in Eddie's Toon pistol are intelligent and can change course in flight to pursue a target. Unfortunately they're "dumb dumb" bullets (i.e. not too bright) and easily distracted.

Literature
  • The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge. Jim diGriz develops a small flying bomb with a computer brain. It enters an enemy starship, looks for the ship's warpdrive generator and throws itself against the drive, exploding and destroying it.
  • Invoked in ''Return to Rocheworld", two semi-sentient robotic orbitally-dropped kinetic probes are launched, and spend most of their time commenting on how they're gonna smash their targets.
  • Human and Turusch missiles in the Star Carrier series are piloted by weak AIs that have been known to use stealth tech to sneak-attack their enemies. They're functionally impossible to shake, so defeating them invariably involves shooting them down.
  • In the Starwars Expanded Universe projectiles like these are referred to as brilliant missiles due to the capabilities of their droid brains, some are man portable.
  • Grunts!: Features some amusing smart bullets that want to be fired.

Live-Action TV
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Had two episodes where Interstellar Weapons one of which was as large as a manned starship were guided by artificial intelligence.
  • Lexx: Despite calling itself a bug bomb a extremely small bug shaped pilotless helicopter was programmed to deliver itself to a location then explode.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

Web Comic
  • Schlock Mercenary has had a number of intelligent munitions, notably the set of superbombs attached to the Kitesfear which actually argued amongst themselves as to whether their detonation criteria had been officially met yet. However, all but the very dumbest of these were later ruled to be cruelty to AIs and were outlawed.
    • Tagon's Toughs' terripedos, were once used as outboard propulsion turning mega-structure scrap into a sapientstarship.
  • In Darths & Droids during the opening battle taken from Revenge of the Sith, the missiles fired at Anakin and Obi-Wan are sentient and quite chatty.

Web Original
  • Red vs. Blue has Andy the bomb, a very foul-mouthed bomb that probably passes the Turing Test. Because he was built partially from parts scavenged from a protocol robot, he can even act as a translator. He also apparently somehow survives his own explosion and is even heard complaining that the size of the blast was disappointing.

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • February 18, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
  • February 19, 2013
    Chabal2
  • February 19, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
    • In The Matrix series the Machines have self-guided flying bomb robots that seek out and ram opponents, blowing up when they do so. Sentinels use them to destroy the Vigilant and the Nebuchadnezzar in The Matrix Reloaded and in The Matrix Revolutions the Machines use a swarm of them to attack the Logos as Neo and Trinity attempt to reach the Machine City.

    Literature
    • The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge. Jim diGriz develops a small flying bomb with a computer brain. It enters an enemy starship, looks for the ship's warpdrive generator and throws itself against the drive, exploding and destroying it.
  • February 19, 2013
    Mauri
    Well it is a missing example:

    Anime and Manga:
  • February 19, 2013
    KZN02
  • February 19, 2013
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    I did not add the Star Wars Episode III entry as the missle itself didn't seem to qualify but the droids might under Recursive Ammo. Any thoughts on this?

  • February 19, 2013
    dvorak
    Invoked in ''Return to Rocheworld", two semi-sentient robotic orbitally-dropped kinetic probes are launched, and spend most of their time commenting on how they're gonna smash their targets.
  • February 20, 2013
    Stratadrake
    So this is basically Sentient Homing Missile or something?
  • February 20, 2013
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    ^ the reasoning is a bit reductive but yes.
  • February 24, 2013
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    ... any problems with launching monday?
  • February 25, 2013
    Stratadrake
    The current title.
  • February 25, 2013
    Arivne
    And the Laconic, which doesn't fit the trope description.

    Edit: Now it does. Good work. :)
  • February 25, 2013
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    Consensus seems to be harder to get than examples, ironic no?
  • February 25, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Sad but true. :(

    You also don't have any hats of approval yet. Hats mean somebody else thinks it's ready to launch (good writeup, no unresolved issues, etc) .
  • February 25, 2013
    Surenity
    The Hay Bot in Conkers Bad Fur Day comes with "Suzie 9 Millimeter" missiles.
    Suzie 9 Millimeter: I'm right here, sweetie pie, just tell me where to shoot.
  • February 27, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
    • Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The bullets in Eddie's Toon pistol are intelligent and can change course in flight to pursue a target. Unfortunately they're "dumb dumb" bullets (i.e. not too bright) and easily distracted.
  • February 27, 2013
    DracMonster
  • February 27, 2013
    Larkmarn
    All the explosive versions are also examples of Action Bomb. I was going to say that this would be classified as a subtrope, but there are enough "bullet" examples that it's more that there is significant overlap. Maybe Projectile Mook for an example? Otherwise, I like Mister Missile. It's to the point, and missile isn't technically always about explosives.

  • February 27, 2013
    DracMonster
  • February 28, 2013
    Stratadrake
  • March 1, 2013
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    I'm a bit biased tward Mister Missile myself but I'm kinda digging Projectile + something else for a possible name.

    I think I should put a moratorium on examples untill a better name is decided on and hats are added.

    As an aside there seems to be quite a few examples of small arms missiles. it's neat.
  • March 7, 2013
    Arivne
    Don't like Personae Projectile as it's somewhat confusing.
  • March 8, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Personae doesn't work at all -- not only is the 'ae' an elusive regional diglyph, "personae" also tends to be the plural form of "persona", which itself is not relevant to the definition.
  • March 8, 2013
    MarkKB
    For the alts: "Homing Mook" and "Projectile Mook" might be mistaken for ordinary mooks being used as projectiles, and "Smart Missile" is already a pre-established term for ordinary computer-aided missiles.

    Personally, I like Projectile With Personality.
  • March 8, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    Projectile People? Mister Missile sounds amusing, though.
  • March 8, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    One more suggestion of an alternate trope name: Intelligent Ordnance.

    Comic Books
    • Played with in Marvel Comics' adaptation of Star Wars. Imperial technicians are attempting to defuse a large, sentient bomb left behind on Bespin. The bomb coaches them through the process, claiming, "Hey, I don't want to blow up." However, one technician soon hears a sound which he describes as an arming mechanism engaging. The bomb responds, "It was ... suckers." It then explodes, killing all the techs and toppling Bespin.
  • March 8, 2013
    Stratadrake
    "Intelligent Ordinance" sounds too broad, like it could potentially cover any autonomous homing projectile. Which isn't the trope.
  • March 8, 2013
    MarkKB
    ^^^ "Projectile People" runs into the same problem of being confused for using ordinary people as projectiles (i.e. Fastball Special, Grievous Harm With A Body).

    ^ I'm not too sure about that. Whereas "smart" usually refers to relative intelligence ("are you smart?", "smart"phones vs "dumb"phones), "intelligent" things usually convey sentience (e.g. "Is it intelligent?") That said, I see how one could confuse the issue.
  • March 10, 2013
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    @ Stratadrake: he, the more you know indeed. I was going for Dramatis Personae + Homing Projectile but made a wrong turn. sorry.

    I think I'll stick with Mister Missile for now myself, larkmarn, and tuckerscreator find it okay.

    Do I need to tweak the discription?
  • March 11, 2013
    robinjohnson
  • March 11, 2013
    Stratadrake
    No, nope.
  • April 3, 2014
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    still trope worthy?
  • April 3, 2014
    DAN004
    Description is pointless.

    May I rewrite it?
  • April 3, 2014
    StarSword
    May result in a Super Persistent Missile.

    Literature:
    • Human and Turusch missiles in the Star Carrier series are piloted by weak AIs that have been known to use stealth tech to sneak-attack their enemies. They're functionally impossible to shake, so defeating them invariably involves shooting them down.

    Web Original:
    • Red Vs Blue has Andy the bomb, a very foul-mouthed bomb that probably passes the Turing Test. Because he was built partially from parts scavenged from a protocol robot, he can even act as a translator. He also apparently somehow survives his own explosion and is even heard complaining that the size of the blast was disappointing.
  • April 3, 2014
    dalek955
    Expanding the Schlock Mercenary example:

    • Schlock Mercenary has had a number of intelligent munitions, notably the set of superbombs attached to the Kitesfear which actually argued amongst themselves as to whether their detonation criteria had been officially met yet. However, all but the very dumbest of these were later ruled to be cruelty to A Is and were outlawed.

    Possible page quote: Hi! I'm a terapedo. I assume the language you're speaking is the one you'd like me to use as I count to three. One...
  • April 4, 2014
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    Description is pointless. ouch. May I rewrite it? eh, why not
  • April 4, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    Would the bullets of Eddie Valiant's Toon Gun in Who Framed Roger Rabbit count?
  • April 4, 2014
    DAN004
    ^^ yay.
  • April 4, 2014
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    ^ you did a good job.

    ^^ yes, missed it sorry.
  • April 7, 2014
    Prfnoff
    • Calvin And Hobbes has one strip where Calvin imagines himself as a "C-bomb" with the destructive power of a million A-bombs.
  • April 7, 2014
    Antigone3
    There was a villain in Golden Age Champions that was basically a crippled Nazi pilot shoved into the nose of a V-1 — I think his name was Condor Legionnaire, but let me check that. His primary combat technique was to do a full-speed ramming attack and blow up ... at which point one of the other crippled Nazi pilots would be shoved into the nose of another V-1 and be rolled out as the one-and-only Condor Legionnaire who had "survived" his valiant attack.
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