[[quoteright:179:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ghidorah_the_three-headed_monster_1965_6032.jpg]]

--> "''Gentlemen, we need whatever help we are able to obtain. In this case, it makes no difference, where we finally get that help from.''"
--> ~ '''General Wado'''

--> "''Godzilla says he has no reason to save humans. They are always bullying me. Rodan agrees with him.''"
--> ~ The '''Shobijin''' translating Godzilla's FreudianExcuse makes so much sense now.

The fifth film in the ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' franchise, ''"Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster"'' marked a few changes in the series. It was the first to deviate from the tried and true "giant irradiated mutants from a LostWorld trample Tokyo" plot of the previous four films by introducing elements of the space operas and UFO culture that was prevalent in the 50's and 60's. This experiment would be expanded upon in later films. Called ''San Daikaijū: Chikyū Saidai no Kessen'' in Japan.

More importantly, ''"Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster"'' marked a change in Godzilla as a character, one that was arguably necessary for the franchise to continue. After having played the villain for four movies straight, Godzilla switches sides in the third act of this film to fight an even worse monster than himself: the planet-destroying King Ghidorah. This change in Godzilla's role would be slowly built upon in the following movies, and set the groundwork for the change in tone that would occur between the first and later halves of the Showa Godzilla series.

That's not to say it's all seriousness and high art, though. There is a fair deal of the silly and goofy atomic age monster movie weirdness one would expect from a good Godzilla movie. Magnetic meteors, assassination plots, princesses disguised as homeless prophets, tiny fairy women on talk shows, and Martians (or Venusians in the Japanese version) possessing human hosts all collide in this movie as three of Toho's biggest monsters join forces to fight a golden three-headed space dragon with "a voice like a bell."

Despite breaking the new the groundwork for the majority of the films that would follow, ''Ghidorah'' pretty much never saw theatrical distribution outside Asian and American territories for some reason. Turkey is a notable European exception.
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!!The film provides examples of
* AloofAlly: Godzilla and Rodan hate each other’s guts right up until the climax of the movie.
* AncientAstronauts: The few Venusians who escaped the destruction of the planet to Earth according to the princess.
* AntiHero: Type IV-V. Godzilla and Rodan are still very much creatures against humans where up until the last 10-15 minutes of the film they did whatever they wanted and even then it was either looking out for their fellow monster or just flat out EnemyMine.
* {{Archenemy}}: This is the film that introduced King Ghidorah, who would go on to face Godzilla eight more times across four continuities.
* AssholeVictim: Malmess and his men. His men die when one of Ghidorah's energy beams cause an avalanche that also injures Malmess. Malmess dies after another energy beam causes another rock slide.
* BadassNormal:
** Rodan is just a plain big pterosaur, but can go toe to toe with Godzilla, and pull awesome move after awesome move on the King of Terror himself. Then again, he’s a giant pterosaur capable of withstanding all known military weapons and direct hits from Godzilla and King Ghidorah’s respective breath weapons. The only thing that makes him significantly weaker than Godzilla is Rodan’s inability to breathe nuclear fire, but even then he compensates for that by being able to fly.
** Malmess. It isn't everyone who can walk away (mostly) unscathed from a landslide that crushes his car.
* BadassAdorable: The Mothra larva. Even though by comparison to Godzilla and Rodan she isn’t very powerful, she's still got enough guts not only to try to get them to stop fighting and ask them to help save the world from Ghidorah, but to then go and take on Ghidorah himself on her own (at first) when it seems the other two won't lift a claw in humankind's defense. She also refuses to stay down no matter what Ghidorah does to her. Godzilla and Rodan are quickly impressed by her courage and come to her aid.
* BadassPacifist: Mothra.
* BewareTheCuteOnes: Mothra, not Godzilla or Rodan, is the first to charge into battle against King Ghidorah and plays a key role in the dragon’s defeat.
* BigBad: King Ghidorah.
* BlowYouAway: Both Rodan and King Ghidorah can cause hurricane winds by flapping their wings, which can topple buildings and knock other kaiju off of their feet.
* BodyGuardCrush: Vibes of it with Shindo to Selina.
* BreakoutVillain: King Ghidorah
* BusCrash: One of the two Mothra larvae from [[Film/MothraVsGodzilla the previous film]] died between films for no explained reason.
* ButtMonkey: Godzilla is ''absolutely'' this in the movie in his fights with Rodan and especially King Ghidorah, with two {{Groin Attack}}s to boot.
* CallBack: Godzilla's "clapping" CharacterTic from ''Film/KingKongVsGodzilla'' is seen again briefly during the summit with Rodan and Mothra.
* CassandraTruth: Salno's predictions.
* ContinuityNod:
** The male Rodan emerges from Mt. Aso, where he had seemingly been killed at the end of ''Film/{{Rodan}}''.
** It's mentioned that [[Film/MothraVsGodzilla Godzilla was once defeated by Mothra]], and suggested that Mothra could defeat Ghidorah in the same manner.
** Mothra's tail-biting attack makes a return--this time it's used against King Ghidorah.
* CombatTentacles: King Ghidorah's necks (and the heads attached to them) behave like this.
* CopAndScientist: Shindo and Dr. Tsukamoto in the second act.
* CrisisCrossOver: The previous film linked Mothra and Godzilla but this one had Rodan coming in to join forces against a new enemy.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Though definitely monstrous in appearance, destructive, and incredibly self centered, Godzilla and Rodan are not truly evil. The lighter colored King Ghidorah, on the other hand…
* DestructiveSaviour: Godzilla and Rodan, oh so very much.
* DeathRay: Godzilla's radioactive breath, obviously. And King Ghidorah's gravity beams too.
* TheDeterminator:
** Malmess, the Selginian assassin. He pulls himself out of his crushed Mercedes after a rockslide and, bruised and bloody, immediately resumes his mission as if nothing happened.
** Mothra as well. Compared to the other monsters she's tiny. Yet she throws herself at King Ghidorah again and again. It's this show of raw courage that brings Godzilla and Rodan into the fray to help her drive off the three headed space monster.
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu:
** After watching Godzilla and Rodan swat a boulder back and forth like a volleyball, Mothra sprays Godzilla with silk to get his attention. When Rodan laughs - for lack of a better word - at Godzilla, Mothra sprays him too, causing Godzilla to laugh at Rodan.
** Later, the same larva sprays silk at King Ghidorah.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: And then defeats him and forces him to retreat with the same silk, albeit with the assistance of two much stronger monsters.
* DisneyVillainDeath: How Malmess meets his doom.
* EldritchAbomination: King Ghidorah is probably the greatest of all kaiju Eldritch Abominations, and this is him at his very best. He, as mentioned above, devastates entire worlds just for the fun of it.
* EnemyCivilWar: Two of the film's key antagonists, Godzilla and Rodan, spend the bulk of their screen time fighting each other instead of focusing on their personal vendettas against mankind. They only stop when Mothra convinces them to pull off a HeelFaceTurn.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Godzilla only decides to fight King Ghidorah when the space dragon attacks the much weaker Mothra larva.
* EvilerThanThou: Godzilla and Rodan are both fairly huge threats, but both cease being villains once Ghidorah makes the scene because they simply cannot compete.
* EvilLaugh: Ghidorah has an iconic cackle which he uses constantly
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Selina's ignored warnings to the ship's crew. Averted in the U.S. version, where the characters' dialogue make it pretty clear Godzilla's gonna be back in the game soon.
* FreudianExcuse: This film gives Godzilla one; stating that he doesn't like humans because humans attack him. This may be justified as Godzilla tends to mind his own business since ''Film/GodzillaRaidsAgain'' and humans usually respond by attacking him, pissing him off to no end. Rodan agrees with him as well.
* GroinAttack: Poor Godzilla was in the receiving end of two of these. One when Rodan drops him on an electrical tower, and the other when King Ghidorah shoots him with his gravity beam.
* GlobalWarming: The worldwide heatwave in the middle of January. Emphasized less in the U.S. cut.
* HeelFaceTurn: Godzilla and Rodan quit waging war on humanity (and each other) to face the threat of King Ghidorah. This is also the beginning of Godzilla's change towards a heroic defender of Earth.
* HumanAliens: The Venusian/Martian. Maybe… really, her whole deal is something of a MindScrew.
* ImplacableMan:
** King Ghidorah is nearly unstoppable, requiring the combined efforts of three kaiju to chase him off.
** Malmess as well.
* JumpCut: Ghidorah is the victim of a very prominent one, during his otherwise fantastic materialization shot.
* LightIsNotGood: Ghidorah is a beautiful, golden, shiny dragon. Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra Larva are duller, darker-toned entities, with Godzilla being nearly black and Mothra resembling a [[UglyCute large, mobile piece of dung]].
* {{Lilliputians}}: The Shobijin, for obvious reasons. In fact, they are only one foot high.
* LittlePeopleAreSurreal: The Shobijin, again. They talk in unison, can teleport, and are priestesses of a gigantic-ass caterpillar deity.
* MasterOfUnlocking: One of the assassins. He makes a show of picking the lock on Selina's hotel room door.
* NoPronunciationGuide: Naoko's name isn't really pronounced correctly most of the time in the English version.
* NotQuiteDead: The male Rodan from ''Film/{{Rodan}}'' survived diving into the volcano Mt. Aso at the end of the movie, and emerges a third of the way through this movie.
* NoSell: Rodan is completely unfazed by Godzilla blasting him point-blank with his Atomic Breath.
* RecycledSoundtrack: While other major themes are widely known to be from Ifukube's earlier work, Ghidorah's theme is in fact a modified form of the lunar motif from ''Film/BattleInOuterSpace''.
* SealedEvilInACan: Ghidorah arrives within a meteorite. Subverted when Ghidorah breaks out without any help from outsiders. Averted when it becomes known that this is simply how Ghidorah travels between planets and conserves energy--there is no sealing up of any kind by anyone.
* SirSwearsAlot: If what the Shobijin say is accurate in their translation, Godzilla is this, though the "Oh Godzilla, what terrible language!" line was just an addition of the dubbing studio to add some more humor to the scene. In the Japanese version of the scene, Rodan and Godzilla come close to ''agreeing'' with Mothra at that point instead.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Gojira, Godzilla, Mosura, Mothra, Radon, Rodan, Ghidrah, Ghidorah...
* StaringDownCthulhu: Mothra, in her generally helpless larval stage, faces down King Ghidorah, the King of Terror who wrecks worlds for the fun of it. Alone (initially). She's outmatched and she knows it. But she does it anyway.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Naoko and Selina, depending on which personality the latter has, can go each way. Selina can do it in one body with her natural personality being quite feminine, even not so assertive, and her ancestral possession being a bit tomboyish and also suddenly very independent and assertive.
* TheUnfettered: Malmess again. To him, a giant, golden, lightning-spewing space dragon is a negligible inconvenience to his mission to kill a princess. Then again, Malmess was threatened by his boss with death as punishment if he returned home without completing his mission, so he actually has a valid reason to keep going.
* UpToEleven: Malmess turns the clinic's voltage up to 3,000 for insurance, even though any current above 500 would've proved fatal to the Princess.
* WorfBarrage: Godzilla's ray proves all but useless against Rodan. This is especially notable when taken into perspective, where in earlier films Godzilla's breath was used mostly as a last resort and often had devastating effects on opponents.
** Averted in Mothra's case, as her silk spray, once used from a proper vantage point, defeats the invincible Big Bad. Again.
** Godzilla, the strongest monster in the entire kaiju universe so far, marches up to, and prepares to fight [[TitleDrop Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster]]. [[CurbStompBattle He gets brutally trounced by Ghidorah in a few seconds]].
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