->[[color:pink:Y'all can]] [[KickChick do the treading]]\\
[[color:turquoise:Swing]] [[LaserBlade energy machete]]\\
[[CombiningMecha If combinationís ready,]]\\
'''[[BlingOfWar I'll]] [[color:gold:form the head!]]'''
-->--'''MC Frontalot''' (Feat. Dr. Awkward and Zealous 1): "I'll Form The Head"

CombiningMecha tend to combine in a humanoid form. It's easier for people to follow, and it's easier for the guys to get fitting rubber suits. When mecha combine, the parts will more or less match up with limbs, and it doesn't really matter what goes where.

Except when it does.

The "face" and/or torso are special parts of the combined form. They're the most identifiable, and they're generally where the cockpit is. It's why we have special importance for the locations of our brain and heart. So with mecha, the part that is most important will be formed by the personal mecha of the most important character, generally TheHero, or a [[SpotlightStealingSquad spotlight stealing]] variety of SixthRanger. Because the position is special but can only be handed to one, expect HeadbuttingHeroes or VitriolicBestBuds to compete for the lead position.

At this trope's strongest, the mecha of TheHero can be humanoid on its own, and the others will form a larger body by way of a MechaExpansionPack, thus an overlap with MetaMecha. At its strangest, TheHero ''doesn't'' form the head, but it gets double subverted by having the part that does look suspiciously matching to the mecha of TheHero.

Thanks to the LawOfChromaticSuperiority, this leads to a lot of ensemble mechas being a bit red in the face. Also, compare the color patterns on an AllYourColorsCombined attack. The main character's color illogically in the middle? This will probably be in effect when the robots show up.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* This trope dates back to ''GetterRobo'', the first CombiningMecha, where each of the Getter Machines' combined forms were controlled primarily by the pilot of the upper body. Getter-1, the form belonging to the leader of the group, was the most commonly used form.
* ''{{Voltron}}'' [[TropeCodifier codified]] this for USA audiences along with many other CombiningMecha tropes; its TransformationSequence (played, of course, OnceAnEpisode) comes with a voice-over of the team leader ordering each step of the process, ending with "...AND I'LL FORM THE HEAD!"
** Played with in ''VoltronForce'', where Voltron has [[MultiFormBalance different forms]] depending on which lion forms the torso and head.
* Played with in ''GurrenLagann''. SupportingLeader Kamina makes Simon's Ganmen the (second) head. All along, Kamina had been setting Simon up to be a true hero. However, as Kamina was still the leader at this point, his ganmen forms everything ''but'' the head of the combined ganmen, has its own head on its torso, and the combined ganmen has his trademark sunglasses on both faces.\\
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Simon, TheHero, takes the head position in his mini-mech, while the torso is taken by his [[TheLancer Lancer]], whoever that is at the time. In larger combinations, when Lagann takes over a larger mech such as the Dai-Gunzen or the Cathedral Terra, his original mech is always located within the head of the resulting gigantic mech.
* ''Anime/TheBigO'' episode 18 "The Greatest Villain". When Beck and his henchmen form their giant mecha [=RX3=], the part Beck is controlling becomes the head.
* One of the few series that averts this is ''TheBraveExpressMightGaine'', where the title mech is mostly formed from the remote-controlled supertrain Locomizer while the KidHero's vehicle and his transforming RobotBuddy form the arms.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' goes all over the place with this trope in its FusionDances - [[Anime/DigimonAdventure Omegamon]], the first identifiable example, has a unique head unrelated to its componenents, as does [[Anime/DigimonFrontier Susanoomon]]. On the opposite end of the spectrum, [[Anime/DigimonAdventure02 Imperialdramon]]'s head is pretty distinctly based on that of V-mon, the BondCreature of TheHero; its contemporaries Silphymon and Shakkoumon are both of the unique head variety. The big CombiningMecha example, ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'', is also all over the place - on most of Shoutmon's CombiningMecha forms, the head is a unique one which sometimes comes from Shoutmon but is not obviously connected to him design-wise; on others, like Shoutmon DX, he is distinctly the head.
** It is however consistent that Shoutmon's V-shaped head crest always becomes the chest piece of the Shoutmon X series, and even during the [=DigiXros=] sequences we can see his head "merging" into the chest to form that V crest.
* ''{{Aquarion}}'' used three fighter craft. Often the team would fight over whose craft would become the central head-body leader.
* Averted in ''{{Gravion}}'', where our protagonist actually fills the role of TheLancer for the team and thus his vessel forms one of the titular mecha's legs.
* ''Anime/CombattlerV'' plays the trope straight. TheLeader forms the head, TheLancer is the chest and arms, TheBigGuy is the rest of the torso, TheChick forms the legs, and TheSmartGuy makes up the feet.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* Parodied in a back-up feature in ''Comicbook/{{Squee}}''. The series creator, Johanen Vasquez, fought beligerent fans. The fans joined together in a grotesque humanoid version of this trope with the leader forming the ass instead of the head.
* In ComicBook/TransformersRobotsInDisguise Megatron altered Devastator so that he could be remotely controlled by the Insecticon Bombshell. When Bombshell is taken out of commission, he reveals that he can simply take control of the combiner by transforming into its head and replacing its current rage driven head.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* All over the place in ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/PowerRangers'', where [[LawOfChromaticSuperiority the Red Ranger]] is usually the one to get the head- or torso-forming privileges.
** In extreme situations, the red mech makes up almost the entire mecha by itself, making the others seem purely cosmetic. This happens in ''Series/PowerRangersJungleFury''/''Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger'' (the other mecha make the legs on ''both'' of the main teams' megazords), ''Series/ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger'' (the arms), and ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder''/''Series/BakuryuuSentaiAbaranger'' (one arm, chestplate, and helmet - and in an emergency, the helmet/chestplate mecha can be skipped!).
*** Zigzagged in other series, where another team member's mecha makes the bulk of the robot, but the Red Ranger still steals head privileges by having their mecha on the top of the formation: ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce''/''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger'' and ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm''/''Series/NinpuuSentaiHurricaneger''.
*** And outright subverted with a couple of secondary mecha: In ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce''/''Series/HyakujuuSentaiGaoranger'', the SixthRanger's theme animal was the wolf, but his robot was formed mostly from an alligator mecha and the wolf mecha was only an arm. ''Mystic Force''/''Magiranger'' had a combination where the main component was made from a mecha that jointly belonged to the other four Rangers, and the Red Ranger's mecha only formed a set of wings. ''Series/EngineSentaiGoOnger''/''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' had two robots where the Rangers' mecha only made the arms, with the rest of the robot being an ''unpiloted'' mecha.
** ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' Season 2/''Series/GoseiSentaiDairanger'' and ''Series/TokumeiSentaiGobusters'' play the usual formations a little differently; rather than forming the torso and head Red gets his own humanoid robot and the other Rangers' mecha just form armor elements for it.
** Averted in the third season of ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', when the Red Ranger formed ''neither'' the head or torso of the Ninja Megazord. Instead the Pink Ranger was the head and the Yellow Ranger was the torso. (This was a straight example with its counterpart Kakure Daishogun ''Series/NinjaSentaiKakuranger'', where the Pink Ranger's counterpart ''was'' the official leader.) Played straight in both ''Power Rangers'' and ''Kakuranger'' by the Shogun Megazord/Muteki Shogun, the team's ''other'' mecha, where the Red zord ''did'' form the core (as even when he's not the leader, Red's still TheHero).
** In ''Series/PowerRangersZeo''/''Series/ChourikiSentaiOhranger'', almost the entire Megazord is either blue, black or gold, as the Blue, Pink, and Yellow Rangers' zords are mostly blue with gold accents. However, the Red Ranger's zord, which is only visible from the back and looks ridiculously out of place, makes up the head and the cockpit. Also played with by the Zeo Megazord's interchangeable helmets: the Red Phoenix helmet would usually be on top, but when another team member had a feature episode, ''they'd'' take the lead and equip the Megazord with the helmet from their own zord to finish off the enemy.
** The Mega Voyager from ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace''/''Series/DenjiSentaiMegaranger'' was an odd aversion; the head came from the Black vehicle, but not only is the head mostly red but the rest of the Black vehicle was not in any way essential for the mecha's final form. The more prominent parts of the mecha were formed from the Blue and Yellow vehicles, whilst Red (the leader) formed the lower abdomen.
** In ''Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue''/''Series/RescueSentaiGoGoFive'', Red forms the body and arms while Green forms the back and head... but the head is still red, and in the combined mecha it looks like part of the Red zord. There was an aversion, however, with the second 5-piece combination ''Supertrain''/''Grand Liner'', with the Green Ranger forming the head and torso, though this was due to it being the middle car, which allowed for an easier transition when the cars split up to combine. It ''still'' had a red face, however.
** Played with in ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce''/''Series/MiraiSentaiTimeranger'': While Red does form the head and body of the megazord, it's not at all obvious. It has two formations color-coded Red Mode and Blue Mode, and the combinations show ''those'' colors rather than the colors of the individual Rangers.
** In ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce''/''Series/HyakujuuSentaiGaoranger'', mecha had a standardized combination scheme; some were torsos, some were arms, and some were legs; and all could be switched at will. Aside from the SixthRanger's mecha, all three "torso" pieces belonged to the Red Ranger, while the other Rangers held arm/leg/other parts. And while the main formation has the head itself formed by a different mecha, it still sports a red faceplate that matches the torso. Plus in another case, a centaur-like megazord was formed using one of the Red Ranger's zords as the head + torso and an enlarged version of another as the legs.
** Taken to a logical conclusion with the robotic Gosei Knight/Robo Knight in ''Series/TensouSentaiGoseiger'' and ''Series/PowerRangersMegaforce'', who ''himself'' transforms into a giant head and mounts himself on the body of his mecha.
** Utterly averted in the latter stages of ''Series/TokumeiSentaiGobusters'', where the team's strongest combinations specifically ''avoid'' using the red mecha in favor of a stronger one that doesn't belong to any one Ranger.
* In ''TomicaHeroRescueForce'', the heroes gain a combining mecha about halfway into the series. Rescue Striker, the fire truck belonging to [[TheHero R1]] turns into the torso and head, while Rescue Saver, belonging to [[TheLancer R2]] turns into the limbs. It is even made into a minor plot point that R2's cockpit is located inside the mech's foot.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Played with in the ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsOnline'' raid, "The Chronoscope." Player characters get a bit of time travel to an earlier version of the city of Stormreach, back when it's invaded by devils from another plane. After your party lays the smackdown against five flying Abishi demons at end-game (each with an elemental mastery), they retreat and take to the air to regroup. [[CallingYourAttacks Each demon describes their contributing attack]]. The last, black in color, says "[[{{Voltron}} And I'll form the head!]]" as they magically combine into a nasty dragon-like demon.
* Barbaracle from ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' is a [[TheWormThatWalks humanoid being made up of seven barnacles]]. Although its legs and hands have minds of their own and can move independently, they usually follow the head's orders.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''MegasXLR''
** As expected, the show parodies this. The Glorft's UMD is a combining mecha made from other combining mecha, repeated for a couple of cycles. At its final stage, It is completed by Gorrath's personal mech docking in the center. Without Gorrath's part, it doesn't seem to be useable at all, enforced when he leaves the battlefield, and the dozens to hundreds of mechs and pilots that also made up the UMD. Gorrath having a NeverMyFault mentality, all of this to be expected.
** In Sentai parody episode "The Bad Guy", the "S-Force Super Ultra Dimensional Magno Extreme Robotoid Power Zorp" is equal parts Voltron (combining) and Franchise/SuperSentai (theme), with the Red Falcon at the head. Later, Coop literally forms a new mecha by sliding/smashing Megas' limbs into their robots and slapping the bird on his back. When in fights, it becomes noticeable how uncomfortable it would be to be in a limb. The actual episode's bad guy finds this treatment disrespectful to his nemeses, and of course loves it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', when JJ Venture's team spoofed ''{{Voltron}}'' with the "Ventronic." Complete with the "I form the " exclamations. The combined form had ''two'' heads, the one formed from JJ's robot, and the "left arm" clown head, shaped in a way to be recognizable and comfortable to their mentally handicapped friend Ned. Instead of just putting the clown head on top, they wound up with a stubby, useless arm, not too dissimilar to JJ himself.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SuperRobotMonkeyTeamHyperforceGo'', the head of the eponymous SuperRobot is formed with the Brain Scrambler 2, piloted by the second-in-command, [[TheObiWan Antauri]]. [[TheHero Chiro]] instead pilots the Torso Tank 1, which serves as the "heart" of the robot, as it's the main center of operations and is connected to all of the other combining vehicles.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' had Dexter and his family piloting vehicles that combined to form a giant robot. While Dexter's father wanted to be the head, as he is the "head" of the household, Dexter kept his position as head, since he made the robot in the first place.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other Media]]
* ''{{Transformers}}'' does this across all of its media.
** Actually averted with The Constructicons, the ''first'' of the combiners. Scrapper, the leader front-end loader of the six warriors actually forms the ''right leg'' of Devastator, whereas it is actually Hook the crane who forms the head instead. This discrepancy in placement is actually played out cleverly in Transformers fiction: Scrapper is actually a modest individual who [[ThinkNothingOfIt dismisses actual well-deserved praise]] in favor of being a very capable and [[BewareTheQuietOnes completely]] [[HumanResources psychotic]] engineer. Hook, on the other hand, is a GloryHound and InsufferableGenius with [[SmallNameBigEgo a massive ego]], and demands attention the same way black holes demand nearby matter. With personalities like these, it is only natural the work-a-day Scrapper is a leg and the self-important Hook is the chest and head.
** In the UnicronTrilogy Powerlinx has [[AccidentalInnuendo whichever Transformer is on top be in control]].
** ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' Magnaboss has Prowl, the lion (whole bunch of leader archetype imagery there) form the face and center of the torso. Silverbolt, a horribly out of scale eagle, wraps around prowl and forms the wings. Pretty much every other visible part, including the arms, legs, and rest of the torso, comes from Ironhide, a downsized elephant, to compensate for this. This results in Ironhide being rather confusingly built and prone to damage in his standalone form and Silverbolt being excessively simple.
** In the comics, G1's Dinobots force a combiner out of themselves, [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Beast_%28G1%29 Beast]], which is intentionally poorly designed, with everyone else just grafted on to Grimlock's beast mode form.
** Partially averted in the [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Combiner#Terms_for_combiners "Scramble City type"]] Combiners[[note]]which exist across multiple media, but this is mostly noticeable in the toys[[/note]], where the hands, feet and head ''may'' come from extra parts in the toy (out of nowhere in the cartoon). The leader of most teams is the torso. Limbs are thus completely interchangeable, between arrangement and even whole transformers (Scramble Power). In some cases, the leader of a team may actually be in one of those limbs, and thus the combined form could be configured without them.
** Very bizarre example in IDW's ''Comicbook/TransformersRobotsInDisguise'', where [[spoiler: Prowl, pro tem leader of the Autobots after Optimus Prime steps down, is [[BrainwashedAndCrazy cerebro-shelled]] by the Insecticon Bombshell and forced to act as the head of ''Devastator'', who had been believed permanently out of action ever since the Constructicons' former leader Scrapper was [[ObligatoryWarCrimeScene executed by humans after he had surrendered while injured]].]]
* Parodied by MC Frontalot in a song entitled, naturally, "''[[http://frontalot.com/index.php/?page=lyrics&lyricid=86 I'll Form]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3tio5xPxmQ The Head]]''". Turquoise and "[[PinkIsForSissies Lightish Red]]" argue why they should be the ones to form the head, [[TheSmartGuy Pink]] because he's the most qualified and [[TheBigGuy Turquoise]] for... [[ItsAllAboutMe other reasons]]. Gold actually offers them turns, as long as they get the job done. [[spoiler: [[YouAreTooLate They don't.]]]]
* In the picture book ''Swimmy'' by Leo Lionni, Swimmy is a small fish who convinces his school to swim around in the shape of a much bigger fish to ward off predators. Being a different color from the rest of the school, he plays the eye.
* In ''{{Bionicle}}'', of the two known Toa Kaita combo-configurations (Akamai and Wairuha, both made up of three individual Toa), Akamai's Kanohi mask is that of Tahu, the leader of the group (Tahu's true head actually ends up on his hands). Wairuha's mask, however, is Lewa's, who is just about the bottom of the command chain, but his Kanohi was the most generic-looking, thus the most suitable for a combo model. As a subversion, in the storyline, these aren't really the masks of Tahu and Lewa specifically, nor are they a Kanohi Hau and a Kanohi Miru in general, but other types of masks that happen to look like a Hau and a Miru -- out of sheer necessity, as the designers only had these pieces to work with. They're actually called Kanohi Aki and Rua, respectively. But as a DoubleSubversion (for Wairuha, at least), a special edition chromed Rua was at one point made available for purchase... and it used the mold of a Kanohi Hau, Tahu's mask type!
** The Turaga Nui figure also has Vakama's head for its real head (the other five are built into various parts of its body). Vakama is often considered the "main" Turaga of the initial six.
[[/folder]]
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