->''Roboteers, stand by.''

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[[caption-width-right:224:3... 2... 1... '''Activate!'''[[note]]this is the newly-revealed updated logo from the rebooted series[[/note]]]]

A British television show about fighting robots. The original run aired from 1997 to 2004, airing seven series (each comprising one UK championship, with a few sideshow tournaments and specials in most series) plus two series of "Robot Wars Extreme", a house show featuring several different events and mini-tournaments. The first 6 (and the two extremes) aired on [[Creator/TheBBC BBC2]] while the last season aired on ChannelFive. The latter channel's treatment of the show proved to be the death of it, but it lived on in repeats and live events organised by the roboteers. In January 2016, it was announced that [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2016/robot-wars-returns a new 6-part series had been commissioned to air on BBC 2 in 2016]], with filming taking place in March.

During the height of its fame, the show had two seasons and a Nickelodeon Kids' Series involving mainly US robots (called Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors and Nickelodeon Robot Wars respectively), two seasons involving robots from the Netherlands and Belgium (called Robot Wars: The Dutch Battles), and a German language single Series (named Robot Wars: The German Struggles) involving 12 robots from Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, which were broadcast in their native languages and used local Presenters and pit reporters. All series took place in the UK arena and used UK house robots (and the final UK series involved many big-name Dutch, Belgian and German robots). Most of the episodes are available on [=YouTube=] and if you live in the UK Challenge is currently showing reruns of all series bar 1, 3 and 4, with H2 showing Series 3 and 4. In addition, the UK version also spawned a SpinOff, ''Techno Games'', which ran for four series and was effectively a robotic Olympiad, featuring many of the same teams with new robots and sharing lots of personnel with the parent show.

The first season was hosted by [[Series/TopGear Jeremy Clarkson]], but later seasons were hosted by Creator/CraigCharles, who was more suited for this, and the 2016 revival will be fronted by comedian (and physicist) Creator/DaraOBriain. The show was originally a mix of fighting and various "trials" (games such as pinball, sumo, obstacle courses, etc.); later on, more emphasis was put on the former, with the trials first being demoted to sideshow tournaments, and by Series 5 the format was entirely combat-based.

Not to be confused with ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' ([[MarketBasedTitle which was renamed Super Robot Taisen outside of Japan due to the show]]), or with the American series ''Series/BattleBots'' with which it shares a common ancestor in the form of underground American competitions in the early 1990's. No relation at all with the 1993 GiantMecha movie of the [[Film/RobotWars same name]]. If you're looking for a trope about wars against robots, that's RobotWar.

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!!The TV show provides examples of:

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* AcePilot: Several of the most successful robots could attribute much of their success to the sheer skill of their drivers:
** George Francis, driver of Chaos 2, was considered by many to be ''the'' most fearsome driver in ''Robot Wars,'' being the man to invent the RingOut and the only roboteer to ever lift the UK championship trophy more than once in the show's lifetime (back-to-back in Series 3 and 4).
** Kim Davies, driver of Panic Attack, was another highly-feared opponent, who took his simple [[BoringButPractical flat box on wheels with a pair of lifting forks]] to claim the Series 2 championship and become one of the most respected teams on the show. Panic Attack was not actually very offensively powerful at all and almost ALL of its success could be attributed to how good Kim was at controlling it and using the lifting forks to pick enemy robots up and dump them in the pit.
** Graham Bone, driver of Firestorm, never won a UK championship (and only one trophy, the Commonwealth Carnage in Extreme 2), but his fearless, controlled driving and relentless aggression made them constant contenders for the title, holding the record for the most battles ever won in the main competition and reaching five consecutive semi-finals and three grand finals, resulting in three 3rd place finishes.
** Nick Adams, driver of Wild Thing, was considered by some to be almost like an older George Francis. Relentlessly aggressive with his agile and powerful bot, with ''incredible'' driving precision almost unseen in a 2-wheeled design, Wild Thing was never a finals contender, but was always given a healthy amount of respect. When the original Thing appeared in Series 3 even the showrunners said that they didn't think much of it- but they had to admit that by ''cripes'' could Nick Adams drive! The Series 5 semifinal clash between Wild Thing and Chaos 2 is considered to be ''easily'' one of the most awesome battles on the show due to the sheer levels of driving skill on display by ''both'' parties.
** David Gribble, driver of Pussycat, supposedly declared himself "the best driver on ''Robot Wars''" and while that might have been stretching it a bit, he could certainly walk the walk. In Series 4 Pussycat toppled such notable opponents as Razer, Thermidor 2 and Dominator 2 and even managed a shocking upset against Hypno-Disc, in no small part thanks to David's impressive driving, going all the way to lose the grand final against no less an opponent than Chaos 2. The team put in a similarly impressive showing in Series 5, going up to the 2nd round of the semifinals before falling to Firestorm. Unfortunately David's career was tragically cut short when he was killed in a motorcycle accident after Series 5.
** [[DeliberatelyCuteChild "Little" Joe Watts]] may have been the face of Team Bigger Brother, but he only managed the weapons system of the robot, while it was his father Ian Watts who steered the "Nightmare in Metal" to glorious victory after glorious victory. Their accomplishments included dealing reigning champions Chaos 2 their first ever main series defeat in the Series 5 semifinals, their UNBELIEVABLE comeback against Hypno-Disc in the first round of the finals, and defeating reigning Series 6 champions Tornado in the All-Stars tournament of Extreme 2. Ian's motto was "Power is nothing without control", so with his precise control steering Bigger Brother, it was able to bring its immense power to bear time and again.
* AchillesHeel: A universally mandated one was the removable link that had to be included on every competing robot for safety reasons- when the link was removed (which it was at all times other than when it was in the arena or the testing pits) the robot was guaranteed to be powerless and effectively dead, in order to prevent accidents. Unfortunately, the #1 cause of defeats in the arena was the link falling out after a particularly hard slam, or even purely by sheer happenstance. Over the course of the show's history, links falling out were responsible for more robot eliminations than all the House Robots and arena hazards put together (on at least one occasion a robot was carried into the arena but simply refused to move once the battle started because the roboteers forgot to put the link in)!
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: The Major Tom team had this reaction to their Series 5 battle against Kat 3, in which they shoved Kat 3 into the pit release button and then reversed away ''onto the pit as it was descending'', eliminating themselves. [[Funny/RobotWars Everyone else found it funny as well]].[[note]]It was voted the funniest battle of Series 5.[[/note]]
** Perhaps more memorable was Robogeddon's driver William Ryle laughing hysterically in his control booth as his machine was [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown helplessly torn to shreds]] by Hypno-Disc.
* AmusingInjuries: Any damage taken by a robot - especially mercy killings administered by the House Robots - fell under this, since any given robot could have been expected to cost several hundred pounds and weeks or months of construction work.
* AnachronicOrder:
** Heats F and M were swapped in the logical sequence of the 4th Wars. It is believed that this was altered so that Gemini (pegged to win Heat F) could eventually meet Chaos 2 (almost certain to win Heat A) and continue their rivalry. Unfortunately, Gemini failed in this regard, rendering the swap pointless.
** In some of the earlier episodes, it was common for roboteers from one heat to leave the arena and get interviewed by Phillipa, while roboteers from a completely different heat line up to wait for their own pre-match interview.
** Heats A and E were swapped in broadcast order for the Seventh Wars. Traditionally Heat A was the returning champion's heat, but the producers thought it made for a weak series opener because one of the robots broke down before making it into the arena.
** In Heat B of Series 4, Diotoir is seen fully assembled and functioning in the sideshow Sumo tournament, filmed after the rest of the series. One episode later in Heat C it makes its appearance in the main tournament with the team desperately trying to get it ready in time and ultimately having to send it out into the arena with no weapon and no armour (see CosmicDeadline below).
** Bulldog Breed and Atomic both won their Mayhem battles in Extreme, qualifying them for the Annihilator, but when the Annihilator was broadcast they had both had to pull out because of damage filmed in the as yet unaired series 5, filmed alongside the Extreme series. Ironically, they'd both been in the same heat and the damage had been inflicted by the same bot: Hypno-Disc.
* AndShowItToYou: Hypno-Disc pulled this off in each of its first two battles in Series 4, ripping the batteries clean out of The Predator and V-Max and (in the former example) smashing them to pieces.
* AnimalMotifs: Pussycat, Bulldog Breed, [[ScaryScorpions Dead Metal]], Razer... the wars had animal-based robots [[http://robotwars.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Animal_Based_Robots to spare]]. Taken to its logical conclusion in the Commonwealth Carnage, which saw a [[SpidersAreScary spider]][[note]]Panic Attack[[/note]], a [[AngryGuardDog dog]][[note]]Cerberus[[/note]], a [[TurtlePower turtle]][[note]]Terror Turtle[[/note]], and a [[GiantEnemyCrab crab]][[note]]Crushtacean[[/note]] in the arena at the same time.
** This trope was noticeably prevalent in the Third Wars, which featured robots based on [[NeverSmileAtACrocodile crocodiles]][[note]]Crocodilotron, Dundee, and Ally Gator[[/note]], [[TurtlePower turtles]][[note]]Terrorpin and Shell Shock[[/note]], [[AngryGuardDog dogs]][[note]]Pitbull, Bulldog Breed, and Cerberus[[/note]], [[CatsAreMean cats]][[note]]Pussycat and Kater Killer[[/note]], [[InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons dragons]][[note]]Red Dragon[[/note]], [[EverythingsBetterWithCows cows]][[note]]Robocow[[/note]], pigs [[note]]Robopig[[/note]], [[ThreateningShark sharks]][[note]]Crasha Gnasha and Shark Attack[[/note]], [[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs dinosaurs]][[note]]Max Damage, Velocirippa, and Steg-O-Saw-Rus[[/note]], [[YouDirtyRat rats]][[note]]Rattus Rattus[[/note]], aardvarks[[note]]Haardvark[[/note]], [[GiantEnemyCrab lobsters]][[note]]Thermador[[/note]], and [[BigCreepyCrawlies insects]][[note]]Evil Weevil and Milly-Ann Bug[[/note]].
* ArchEnemy: Many, many long-standing rivalries; Panic Attack vs. Firestorm, Panic Attack vs. X Terminator, Razer vs. Tornado, everyone vs. the House Robots...
** In the Dutch Series, Bamm Bamm (based on the Flintstones character and later seen in the UK series albeit very briefly) fought Lizzard 3 times over the 2 series, due to the complicated format which saw various eliminated robots allowed back into the final alongside heat winners.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: The "Fantasy Fights" in the first official magazine took this to ridiculous extremes at times; all damage was ludicrously exaggerated, Suicidal Tendencies' lifting spikes were depicted as being able to launch a robot into the air, Destruct-A-Bubble ''headbutted'' another robot despite such a move being physically impossible in reality, and Stinger was shown to somehow ride up Wheelosaurus' incredibly narrow shaft with such speed that it went flying into the air and landed in Sir Killalot's claw. (That last one really needs to be [[http://robotwars.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Drop_Zone_mk2/Scanned_in_Robot_Wars_Magazines?file=RWm13p22-23.jpg seen to be believed]].)
* AwesomeButImpractical:
** The move of flipping a robot into the pit, which whilst very cool-looking was difficult for a robot to pull off without driving in itself.
** A lot of the machines themselves fit. Generally, the more fancy a robot looks, the more vulnerable it is.
*** Hypno-Disc comes to mind. It was one of the most powerful, destructive robots on the show, capable of tearing most machines to pieces within a couple of blows. Sadly, Hypno was extremely prone to mechanical failures, presumably due to the extreme recoil caused by the impacts of the disc dislocating sensitive machinery within, and as a result, Hypno Disc would rarely win tournaments.
*** Also Razer, prior to Extreme 1/Series 5. The weapon looked awesome and, when it worked, would deal out some of the worst damage the show had seen, yet the machine was very prone to mechanical failure.
*** Wheely Big Cheese was arguably ''the'' most powerful flipper ever seen in the show, and definitely the biggest, supposedly capable of flipping 800kg. On only one occasion - its memorable Series 5 battle against Axe-Awe - did it ever truly live up to its potential; the rest of the time it was plagued by mechanical problems and simply wasn't working to its full potential. What's more, its wheels were very vulnerable and it was usually defeated by simply having them smashed off.
*** One Series 4 competitor, Saw Point, decided that regular wheels weren't cool enough and instead drove around on ''two-foot-diameter saw blades!'' In addition to looking ''[[http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/robotwars/images/f/f4/Sawpoint.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160416160337 awesome as hell]]'', it actually immobilized Oblivion 2 in its first fight just by driving over it. However, they were very inefficient means of locomotion and the machine was constantly getting knocked over. While its ''Film/BenHur''-esque axle spears allowed it to drive on one wheel, they also gave Panic Attack something to hook its lifting forks into before battering Saw Point into submission.
** Full body spinners (essentially spinning domes, cones or cylinders with blades attached in most cases) were as destructive as they were basic as they could dent or tear most armor on contact, yet were very hard to make and prone to mechanical failure, meaning they rarely did well. On top of that, most designs were also barely mobile and hard to control, so some early matches were won with the opponent essentially destroying itself in attack attempts.
** Clusterbots can come into this category. Clusterbots are effectively multiple robots, which start as one but split into two. All regulations (especially weight) count them as one robot, and the weight disadvantage means that clusterbots rarely have effective weaponry.
** Walkerbots fit this perfectly. Robots that actually walked around on legs, and were engineering marvels, but woefully inefficient when it came to fighting. (They were allowed twice the usual weight limit, but were usually slow unless they were shufflebots). With one exception...
* AwesomeMcCoolName: Some roboteers went really over-the-top when it came to naming their machine- the most prominent was probably ''Raging Knightmare.''
** The second Dutch series saw an entry called ''Blackdevil Warzone.''
* AnAxeToGrind: One of the most common weapons, though generally ineffective. Mortis in early series, and Dominator 2 and Terrorhurtz later on, were three of the few exceptions. Not to mention Shunt.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: A few robots, upon realizing they were all but beaten, would choose to drive into the pit rather than keep sustaining damage. The most notable examples were Chaos 2 in its First World Championship fight with Razer, after its flipper was disabled, and Infinity in Series 6 after it was buckled by 259.
* BlatantLies: The official merch told wondrous tales about Inquisitor and Aggrobot (in series 2 and 3 respectively) beating Razer by bravely charging in with their woefully underpowered weapons, miraculously hitting a weak point and taming the beast. The truth didn't make for quite as good a story; both breakdowns were just miniscule component failures that killed Razer's drive (and in neither case was the failure even caused by the enemy robot).
** Early publicity for the programme made all sorts of outlandish claims about the house robots, e.g. that Dead Metal had "a thermonuclear starter motor".
** One of the most controversial examples was the culmination of the ''blatant'' ExecutiveMeddling in Series 7 relating to Storm 2, especially [[http://robotwars.wikia.com/wiki/Storm_2/Controversy#Typhoon_2 the finals match against Typhoon 2]]. The battle came down to a judge's decision and the Storm 2 team had noticed that Typhoon 2 was moving sluggishly towards the end of the fight. The judges didn't come into the arena to inspect the damage on the robots in person (something they only VERY rarely did), instead relying on reports of the damage and what could be easily seen from outside. While the robots were being removed from the arena, one of the crew found a drive chain that had come off Typhoon 2 and informed Team Typhoon of the fact, but the judges were ''not'' informed of this damage. When Craig Charles was interviewing the teams after the battle, Team Typhoon boasted that their robot was "like new" and "totally undamaged" (shocking Team Storm, who had "at least expected honesty") and the judges eventually ruled in Typhoon 2's favour, largely based on damage caused. This was so jarring that, when the judges eventually found out about the deception (far too late to reverse their ruling), they each sent individual apology letters to the Storm 2 team. Storm 2 were the real champions of the 7th Wars, literally ''robbed'' of their trophy by ExecutiveMeddling.
* BoringButPractical:
** The winners of the first series, Roadblock, just made a simple wedge on wheels (it had a saw blade on the back, but that was hardly used). Admittedly in the 1st Wars a ''lot'' of robots were little more than slow-moving boxes, but Roadblock was solidly engineered, well-armoured, difficult to flip due to its size and had plenty of pushing power, so it was able to come back again and take ''third'' place in the much more competitive 2nd Wars.
** The original build of Panic Attack, that won the second series and beat Cassius? Just a box with lifting forks and a hell of a driver.
** As in AwesomeButImpractical, a lot of successful machines come to mind. Tornado was essentially a quick and resistant flat box on wheels. It had a laughably weak weapon, but was immune to just about everything opponents could throw at it and would win by mere aggressiveness and persistence as opposed to actual damage-dealing. Bigger Brother also comes to mind. Not a particularly interesting of a concept, not a very cool weapon (simple flipper), but a set of armor so heavy even Razer, known for one of the most powerful weapons, could barely make a dent. It had similarly resilient internal workings too; in its Series 5 grand final eliminator with Hypnodisc, Disc shredded its armour and broke the weapon, but BB kept on going and finally pushed them down the pit, leading to the aforementioned fight with Razer in the final which Razer won quite easily due to the damage inflicted earlier.
** The fight in the second round of the Series 5 semi-finals between Hypno-Disc and Dominator 2 involved Hypno-Disc attacking Dominator's sides until it lost drive on one side and couldn't be controlled properly any more, then staying out of harm's way until the time ran out. When the judges were delivering their verdict, they asked Craig Charles to point out that they thought it was "the most boring fight in the history of ''Robot Wars''".
** Storm II from the last wars was effectively a smaller, faster, stronger version of Tornado, relying purely on its ramming power. It was so practical it reached the Grand Final, but so boring (at least in the eyes of the executives) that it's widely believed [[ExecutiveMeddling the shows's producers]] ''[[ExecutiveMeddling actively tried to stop them from winning]]''.
** The champion of both US series were the Panzer MK pushbots, both of which were practical and fast rammers/flippers.
** Lizzard, the runner-up of the Dutch Series 1 and finalist in Series 2, was just a simple pushbot with a segmented thwacking tail (that really did almost no real damage) that got by on a combination of toughness, [[{{Determinator}} determination]] and [[BornLucky the luck of the devil]][[note]]it had actually lost its first round battle in Series 1 only to win the losers' melee to proceed through the heat, then lost the heat final and only made the series final by getting the single Wild Card spot on offer[[/note]].
** Zig-zagged by fixed spike weapons which were a very popular choice for simpler robots which lacked either the weight allowance or the engineering skill to use more elaborate weapons, especially early on. A slow-moving robot with a spike would be hard-pressed to even scratch their opponent's paintwork with it, let alone impale opponents, making them Boring And Impractical. However a really ''fast'' robot could put its entire weight behind its attacks and drive those spikes through thin armour, perhaps most notably seen when the 17mph Spikasaurus ''[[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice skewered]]'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOcG397IrBI#t=6m15s Killerhurtz on its 12-inch spikes]] during the Series 4 Northern Annihilator.
* BornLucky: The Lizzard team from the Dutch series managed to be the runners-up in the first series despite losing twice ''before'' they even reached the Grand Final! Due to the strange format of the first Dutch series, the losers of the 3 first-round battles in each heat would fight a melee to see who would be reinstated, which Lizzard entered and won after losing its initial match against Philipper. It reached the heat final after winning its second round battle, but was defeated by Bamm Bamm and looked like its run was over. However, because there were only 5 heats in Dutch Series 1, a single Wild Card spot in the final was awarded to one defeated heat finalist... and it was ''not'' supposed to be Lizzard, but rather Pullverizer (the original incarnation of [=PulverizeR=], the same robot that would go on to win the 2nd Series). However, Pullverizer couldn't repair the damage they took in the heat final in time to make the Grand Final, so the producers offered the Wild Card to Lizzard instead, who went on to survive the first-round melee against eventual champions Slicer and then get revenge on Bamm Bamm in the 2nd round before finally losing to Slicer once and for all in the final round.
* BornUnlucky: The Parthian Shot team qualified for both Series 2 & 3, and in both cases the robot broke down before making it into the arena and forfeited its place.[[note]]In Series 2 they were eliminated in the gauntlet by default, and just as they'd gotten the robot working; in Series 3 they weren't even seen on screen except for in the background in the pits very briefly.[[/note]]
** Team Power as well. In Series 1, their robot Barry was the first robot ever to be eliminated - one of the robots that beat it in the Gauntlet was a stock robot which then committed suicide in the Sumo Trial, which the team felt Barry would have done well in. They then failed to qualify for Series 2, returned in Series 3 with Sonic, which made the heat semi-final before running into a certain [[TheAce Chaos 2]], and then failed to qualify for Series 4 with two different machines. After that, they gave up.[[note]]They had significantly more luck in the spin-off ''Techno Games''; their walkerbot Tecumseh, one of the machines that failed to qualify for Series 4, won the Internal Combustion Sprint event in 2000 and came second the year after.[[/note]]
* BreakOutTheMuseumPiece: The teasers for the revival include the original House Robots covered in dust sheets having them pulled off, revealing them worn and grimy but still fully functional and ready to fight again. Subverted in the series itself as the House Robots have been [[https://twitter.com/ArPaul713/status/706221165828808704 completely rebuilt from scratch]] rather than being pulled straight out of retirement.
* BritishBrevity: Zig-zagged. Series 1 had only six heats, with the winners progressing to the Grand Final, which didn't even get its own episode. Series 2 through 7 averted it, with a minimum of 15 episodes each, then the 2016 reboot played it straight again by reverting to just six episodes (but with ''far'' more battles than Series 1, and the Grand Final gets its own episode now).
* BuffySpeak: A member of the U.F.O. team gave us this wonderful description:
--> "Well, (the main weapon is) a big lifty-uppy-spikey thing, designed to cut into the bladey thing above it, and we also have a couple of bright, lighty-shiny things at the front, and some floppy-spikey things at the back."
** During the 3rd Wars, Phillipa also described Zeus thus:
-->'''Phillipa:''' They've got a thing, and a thing, and they're going to inflict loads of damage!
* TheBusCameBack: Essentially, any robot from the old series that's returning for the 2016 reboot counts as this trope. Already there's a notable example in the form of Sabretooth, who didn't appear in Series 7 as [[TooPowerfulToLive their robot was deemed to be too dangerous]], but are returning in 2016 as seen in the second teaser trailer.
* ButtMonkey:
** Ming 3 has been trashed by spinning discs on three separate occasions. One was due to unfair meddling by a house robot.
** Robochicken too (and this show came BEFORE ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'', by the way).
** Nemesis and its successor Diotoir as well, which was prone to catching fire due to having a fur-covered body. This happened in all of its appearances due to Sgt. Bash inevitably singling it out above everyone else. Eventually there was a fight between the aforementioned Bash, Nemesis and another robot prone to fires just so everyone could watch them burn. ([[CaptainObvious Sgt. Bash won.]])
** Among the house robots, Refbot. Matilda was these in the early days before she TookALevelInBadass.
** Piece De Resistance/Death Warmed Up/Immortalis/Metalis (all built by the same guy), Humphrey, and Monad get this treatment from the fanbase.
* CallBack:
** Earlier in the series, episodes made frequent use of HowWeGotHere, as well as reminding first-time viewers of how a robot went in the previous series.
** Whenever two humor-based robots appeared and one won, expect to see the trademark of the losing robot appear on the winning one. For example, Diotoir borrowed The Steel Avenger's [[NoodleImplements colourful feather duster]] when it won and went into the heat final against Firestorm. In turn, Firestorm (and almost every other notable competitor!) has placed some of Diotoir's fur on their robot at some point.
* CameraAbuse: Sometimes, robots would destroy the ringside cameras when being flipped out of the arena.
* CargoShip: An in-universe example: Jonathan Pearce commonly suggested that Matilda was having a relationship with one of the other house robots, usually Sir Killalot, Sgt Bash or Shunt.
* CastSpeciation: Played straight in the early days, when robots all had wildly different weapons, but increasingly subverted/inverted in the later series as robots trended towards having either flipping or spinning weapons[[note]]To give you an idea, of the 16 semi-finalists in Series 7, only ''one'' - Tough as Nails - had no flipping or spinning weapons. Even [[RammingAlwaysWorks Tornado and Storm II]] had a vertical flywheel and lifting arm respectively, to get around the "no moving weapons" rule[[/note]]. With the ban on spinning weapons in the live events, this got so bad that for the 2016 reboot the producers had to enforce this trope, turning away a number of flipper robots regardless of their skill or pedigree just so they had could have a more varied line-up of robots, and nerfing their effectiveness by raising the height of the arena walls to made {{Ring Out}}s harder.
* CatchPhrase:
** "Pit! Pit! Pit!"
** "Let the wars begin!"
** "3... 2... 1... ACTIVATE!"
** Charles would finish each episode with [[MadLibsCatchPhrase a four line poem ending "on ''Robot Wars''."]]
** Charles got several introductions in the early years from the announcer, but eventually stuck with "Ladies and Gentlemen. Please welcome the master of mayhem: Craig Charles."
** Rex Garrod, the head of the Recyclopse/Cassius team, had "Well, you gotta try, ain't ya?"
** The Hypno Disc team had [[EverythingsBetterWithSpinning "Spin to win"]] as their battlecry.
* CelebrityEdition: One of the specials shown as part of Series 4 saw celebrities take over vaguely-relevant robots (Vic Reeves took control of Diotoir, the Turner sisters took Gemini, etc.)
* ChainsawGood: Averted, as chainsaws were one of the least effective weapons seen on Robot Wars. Even House Robot Matilda ditched hers after Series 4 (the new spinning disc was designed to be interchangable with the chainsaw, but the chainsaw was never used again in the UK- though it was used infrequently in the Second US Series). One US fight after 2000 in which the Matriarch of Mayhem's chainsaw can be seen is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRuN8KKaxF8 here]].
* CharacterShilling: The seeding of Ming Dienasty in the 7th Wars[[note]]where just over half of last year's semi-finalists returned and there was an increased number of heats, meaning a lot of long-standing but often overlooked robots were seeded[[/note]] was seen as very controversial due to its poor track record (all of the other seeds had made at least two heat finals or one semi-final, whereas Ming hadn't been past round 2 of any tournament); Ming made very little impact and was eliminated on a judges' decision in round 1. (They originally hadn't been seeded, but Dominator 2 pulled out so late in the day that the seedings had already been allocated.)
** Mini Morg was seeded 19th in Series 5; they had been heat finalists the previous series, but had actually been eliminated in the opening melee and reinstated when another robot broke down before the next battle, and their only other win had been a Tag-Team battle in Extreme in which most of the work had been done by their partner[[note]]they broke down after the first round and had to be substituted for the rest of the tournament[[/note]]. All five of the robots seeded below Mini Morg had much better track records (including two previous series semi-finalists), and at least two other robots (Steel Avenger and Bulldog Breed) also with more impressive histories [[DudeWheresMyRespect weren't seeded at all]].
** Also subverted on a few occasions, where robots were given curiously high seedings that they went on to justify. Notably, of the three robots to have been seeded despite having never won a main-series battle before[[note]]Killerhurtz and Stinger in Series 4, and Storm II in Series 7[[/note]], all three went on to become Grand Finalists[[note]]Stinger and Storm II in the year they were seeded, and Killerhurtz as Terrorhurtz in Series 6[[/note]].
* CharlieBrownFromOuttaTown: A lot of ''Robot Wars'' competitors also appeared in the spin-off series ''Techno Games'', which was a sort of robotic olympiad in which various machines competed in a series of disciplines. They were usually repainted, renamed, and had their weapons removed, but were still visibly the same robot. For example, "Pink Pants" was obviously just [[http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/robotwars/images/6/6a/Pink_pants.jpg.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130829204137 Pussycat with a coating of pink fur and no weapon]], whilst Transpower was literally just 101 with its logo covered with a conspicuous piece of gaffer tape.
** This was outright parodied in the first episode of the 2002 Techno Games, where the Plunderbird team showed up, claiming to be "the Smith twins... all three of us" when asked if they'd been on television before.
** Virtually ''all'' of the US-based ''Extreme Warriors'' competitors also competed in ''Series/{{BattleBots}}''. Due to ExecutiveMeddling, Transatlantic competitors had to change their robot's names and add a coat of paint before entering either arena to avoid the wrath of the lawyers.
* CheerfulChild: These appeared on a lot of teams, often as a mascot. The Bigger Brother team had two, Joe and Ellie Watts.
* ChefOfIron: Technically Diotoir when the team began putting food on it, so it would cook when the robot's fur caught fire (although when they tried this by sticking a kebab on it, the robot ended up in the pit instead).
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: A lot of teams who had been present in many (if not every) previous series disappeared in the Sixth and Seventh Wars. [[note]]No team ever competed in all seven Wars: Firestorm, Chaos, Panic Attack, Pussycat and Behemoth came closest at six apiece.[[/note]]
** In the Seventh Wars, only 7 of the 12 semi-finalists from Series 6 returned. Among those not returning were fan-favourites Razer and Hypno-Disc, as well as double champion Chaos 2[[note]]who had failed to reach the semi-finals the previous year[[/note]]. Several of them were only intending to be PutOnABus - the Hypno-Disc team were busy with family matters but intended to return for Series 8, and Dominator 2 had been forced to pull out at the last minute after suffering from a broken base - but the lack of further series after 7 turned it into this trope.
*** The winner of the first Dutch series, the wedge-shaped, tracked and destructive Slicer, did not defend its title in the second series.
* CombatPragmatist: Whenever robots were taking on the House Robots in one-off battles, they would frequently take advantage of ''each other'''s weaponry to pull off stunts that normally wouldn't be allowed in the main competition.
** In Series 7, when Gravity & Behemoth were taking on Mr. Psycho, Behemoth (with a weak scoop) started to push Gravity (who had, at that point, been immobilized but still had a functional weapon) from behind to use ''them'' as a flipper, since they had one of the most powerful flippers that series. However, both Gravity and Mr. Psycho broke down and cease was called.
** During the All-Stars Tournament, Bigger Brother lifted Shunt up so that Panic Attack could get underneath and pull its FinishingMove of trapping Shunt on top of them and then pitting them.
** During the Flipper Frenzy, the competitors all ganged up on the House Robots to [[AllYourPowersCombined combine their flipping power]] to try and get them out of the arena.
** In a non-House Robot-related example, Tornado's anti-Razer frame, which was devised after Tornado was curbstomped twice by Razer. It was, in essence, a frame surrounding the robot wide enough that Razer's claw couldn't touch the robot's main body (and incidentally turned out to be too large to fit down the pit). Razer responded by attaching a hook to the end of the claw, allowing it to lift Tornado by the frame and parade it around the arena (although it lost all three times it came up against Tornado with the anti-Razer frame equipped).
* CompetitiveBalance: Naturally, no one robot was completely invincible, and many of the roboteers developed and upgraded their robots every year.
* ContentWarning: The Nickelodeon GAS airings always ended with a voiceover [[DontTryThisAtHome stating that building a robot is extremely dangerous and should not be attempted without great care.]]
* ContinuingIsPainful: Any robot losing in the first round of the semi-finals of the Fifth or Sixth Wars could still qualify for the second round... if they won another battle against both of the other two losers.
** The method was also used in the 5 heats of the first Dutch series, though not in the grand final, which also had 6 robots. 2 out of the 5 losers' mêlées saw one robot drop out due to damage sustained in their round 1 exit, leaving the other 2 to go head to head. Three of the losers' mêlée winners capitalised on this reprieve to make the heat final, but lost it- one of them, Enderbot, losing to the same machine that beat it in round 1, Slicer. Another of them, however, Lizzard, was given a wildcard place to the finals and reached the grand finale before narrowly losing to Slicer- it actually lost 3 times during that series, having only won its heat semi-final due to Matilda's illegal incursion immobilising it.
* CoolButInefficient:
** Pneumatic-powered spikes, axes (with a few exceptions), chainsaws, and drills.
** The paramount example has to be a a robot called Niterider. Its weapon was a "disemboweler," a drill accoutred with three flanges. The idea was to dig into the opponent's innards, and the flanges would flail around and slash the electronics. In practice though, lining up an attack with such an unwieldy weapon was impossible, and most metals can't be pierced with a drill.
* CosmicDeadline: The Diotoir team arrived in Series 3 with their robot in pieces as it had been disassembled by customs. To avoid the same problem in Series 4, they took the robot disassembled anyway, thinking they'd have enough time to put it back together when they got there. When they arrived, however, they found that the time of their first fight had been moved forward and that the robot was over the weight limit. The end result was that they went into battle with their top armour removed and no power for their weapon. They did not do very well.
** [[AvertedTrope Averted]] twice in Series 2, when Pain and The Parthian Shot were both disqualified for taking too long to repair their robot. The latter only needed ''minutes'' more to get Parthian up and running, but the deadline struck.
** The Robot Wars Wiki has [[http://robotwars.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Robots_that_forfeited_a_place a page]] full of aversions.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: You're up against Hypno-Disc, a machine that tore everything in its heat to pieces. Everyone expects you to be [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown ripped apart in seconds]]. What's your tactic? [[LeeroyJenkins Ram headlong]] [[ViolationOfCommonSense into it]], of course! This is exactly what Splinter did in its Series 4 semi-final, and it proceeded to give Hypno-Disc its biggest challenge of the series so far... [[CurbStompCushion for about thirty seconds, anyway]].
--> '''Jonathan Pearce''': Craig's plan - just drive straight at Hypno-Disc? He's utterly barmy-- ''[Splinter deflects the first hit with ease]'' --or ''is he?''
** Behemoth, with its much stronger titanium scoop, went on to vindicate Splinter's tactic by successfully defeating not just Hypno-Disc, but ''every horizontal spinner it ever faced''.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Prince of Darkness in Series 1. The team had thrown it together in less than five hours, and it had wooden armour, exposed wheels, no weapons, [[http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/robotwars/images/a/aa/Prince_of_Darkness_Former.png/revision/latest?cb=20130225011132 and initially looked like this]]. It was the target of Jeremy Clarkson's infamous "worst robot I've ever seen in my life" remark, and was disparaged by Phillipa and Jonathan as well... and yet it did so well in the Gauntlet and Trial that when it went up against eventual Grand Finalists T.R.A.C.I.E. in the heat semi-final, ''it was the favourite to win''[[note]]It helps that T.R.A.C.I.E. had spent the whole Trial [[PinnedToTheWall stuck in the arena side wall]] and only went through because stock robot WYSIWYG wasn't allowed to[[/note]].
* CurbStompBattle: Naturally, there were quite a few of them over the years.
** Interestingly, the two arguably most famous examples - Hypnodisc's curb-stompings of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w04BgclPmY8 Robogeddon in Series 3]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhKB0bzmvb4 Splinter in Series 4]] - were actually [[CurbStompCushion Curb-Stomp]] ''[[CurbStompCushion Cushions]]'':
*** At the start of the Robogeddon battle, Hypnodisc was suffering from control problems and got stuck in reverse by the arena wall. They were actually seconds away from being counted out when the team finally regained control of the machine, and Robogeddon was [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown promptly torn to shreds]] in what Jonathan Pearce dubbed "the most complete destruction I think we've seen in Robot Wars, ''ever''. Hypno-Disc's early struggles [[ManipulativeEditing were all edited out in order to get to the good stuff quicker]], but were mentioned by the team during [[http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/robotwars/images/1/1b/RWm2p10-11.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160223155521 a Robot Wars Magazine interview]].
*** The Splinter battle, meanwhile, was more of a DoubleSubversion. ''Everybody'' expected Splinter to be torn to shreds in seconds, especially given the team captain's tactic: [[LeeroyJenkins drive straight-on into Hypnodisc]]. However, for the first 30 seconds ''[[CrazyEnoughToWork this actually worked]]'', with Splinter's front scoop deflecting Hypnodisc's attacks away and even enabling it at one point to shove Hypnodisc into a CPZ. Jonathan Pearce even floated the possibility of this being "[[TemptingFate one of the biggest shocks ever in Robot Wars]]"... but then Splinter hit Hypnodisc at the wrong angle, [[OhCrap the scoop was torn off completely]], and utter carnage ensued.
*** In fact, Hypnodisc's ''entire'' Series 4 run consisted of almost nothing ''but'' curb-stomps. In its heat, it tore The Predator and Raizer Blade to shreds in the melee, gutted V-Max in the heat semi-final, then in the heat final it faced Raizer Blade again, which was so badly damaged from its initial curb-stomping that it didn't stand a chance (see ForegoneVictory below).
---->'''Jonathan Pearce''': [[LampshadeHanging This is like putting the heavyweight boxing champion of the world in against... my gran.]]
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZIVhUA-te8 Razer's battle against Milly Ann Bug]] arguably rivals Hypnodisc vs. Robogeddon as one of the most horrific (or alternatively, hilarious) examples of one-sided robot destruction ever seen on the show. Razer set Milly on fire, punched a few gaping holes in her, and then got the idea to try to cut the articulated machine in half. Failing that, Razer settled on removing Milly's wheels. All four of them. Jonathan Pearce described it as a sadistic schoolboy pulling a spider's legs off one by one.
* DarkHorseVictory: Spikasaurus winning the Northern Annihilator special in Series 4, especially as it had put in a rather weak appearance in the main competition that series (knocked out in the melee by Bulldog Breed and Stinger and tied for last place in Pinball) and was seen as only being in the Annihilator to make up the numbers[[note]]The other 5 competitors in the Annihilator were Chaos 2 (the reigning champions), Dominator 2, Killerhurtz, Suicidal Tendencies 2 and Stinger (one of the robots that had knocked Spikasaurus out of the main competition), leaving them looking ''extremely'' outclassed[[/note]].
* ADayInTheLimelight: Extended to an entire series! With a majority of the most popular and successful competitors leaving after Series 6, many of their former opponents got to show off the full extent of their power in Series 7, with Bulldog Breed (who was often knocked out by Hypno-Disc) and Atomic (previously eliminated by Chaos 2 and Hypno-Disc) now reaching the semi-final. Robochicken and Judge Shred made their first heat final, too.
* DeathFromAbove: The Drop Zone. Given the competitors were already immobilized and therefore out of the running when placed on the Drop Zone, though, it's also an example of KickThemWhileTheyAreDown.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: In Robot Wars Extreme, Spawn Again teamed up with Comengetorix for a tag team match. The former's explanation of why they joined forces? "Last year we beat them, ever since we've been friends!"
* DefiantToTheEnd: Several robots sprang back to life and tried to fight back against the house robots after they'd been counted out, most commonly after being flipped over, counted out, then accidentally righted during their HumiliationConga. One of the most notable was The Big Cheese, having been flipped by Chaos 2 and counted out; Sir Killalot made the mistake of putting them on the floor flipper the right way up, and The Big Cheese promptly drove off it and ''eviscerated'' Sgt. Bash with its lifting arm.
* {{Determinator}}: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFVa5iPnQI8 Bigger Brother]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOR_BRc1y94&feature=related Wild Thing]] in their fights with Hypnodisc. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbuT66eAT6E Firestorm]] too.
* DiabolusExMachina: Mechanical failures ended many robots when they looked like winning. In the early seasons, the arena spike toppled many robots without srimechs (or functioning srimechs) - that's how Behemoth lost to Pitbull and, subsequently, how Pitbull lost to Firestorm, all in the third series. On a much more sinister and unfair level, the ''house robots'' sometimes attack perfectly-functioning robots outside of their Corner Patrol Zones. Ming 3 was a particular victim of this at the hands of Matilda.
* DoubleEntendre: In the Seventh Wars, when the Hassocks Hog team talked about how they'd upgraded their flipper weapon, which they'd described as previously being a "limp lifter", Jonathan Pearce gave us this gem:
-->'''Jonathan:''' ''[knowingly]'' Ah, [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything the old limp lifter problem]].
* DramaticIrony:
** Mick Cutter, a member of the Chaos team in Series 2, left to join the Cassius team in Series 3. Needless to say, the new Chaos 2 robot won the latter series - and the one after that. Cassius, meanwhile, crashed out early in Series 3 after Cutter accidentally drove the robot into the pit, and the team never entered Robot Wars again.
** [[http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/robotwars/images/0/0d/RWmp24-25.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160416151205 The Robot Wars Magazine's run-down of the Series 4 seeds]] was ''full'' of this:
*** 12th seed Evil Weevil's description claimed it "needed to be be on the attack more". In Series 4 it didn't do any attacking at all, as the team forgot to charge the batteries and it broke down immediately.
*** It was judged that another semi-final appearance for 16th seeds Trident would be "fantastic". In the end, Trident made no appearance at all in Series 4, pulling out at the last minute.
*** 20th seeds Cerberus' description read: "this time with a weapon, should do well, and always looks great". Its Series 4 incarnation ''didn't'' have a weapon (again), ''didn't'' do well (it went out in the first round), and didn't even look that great, as it was missing the decorative head.
*** 24th seeds X-Terminator were judged to have a "good, destructive weapon". Its axe in Series 4 was [[JokeItem anything but]].
*** 26th seeds Berserk 2 were judged to be "almost impossible to disable", but in their Series 4 heat semi-final, Tornado managed to do exactly that.
*** 29th seeds Sir Chromalot's description mentioned that a fight between them and [[ArchEnemy Plunderbird]] would be "a must-see fight". When they finally did meet in Extreme 1 it was extremely boring.
* TheDreaded: Certain robots acquired this trait as the show progressed, most notably Chaos 2, Razer, and Hypnodisc. The house robots are this in general, but Sir Killalot in particular.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** The first few series have plenty of this; a visibly more relaxed attitude to health and safety (which changed after a major incident in the pits caused somebody serious injury), a completely different set, more simple designs, lots of teams that retired in later wars, and most noticeably the Gauntlet and other 'trials' in place of a straightforward knockout competition.
** The first series had six heats, and the winner of each heat took part in a six-way melee at the end of the last heat, with the last robot standing declared the series champion. All other series (except the 2016 reboot) had at least twice as many heats plus semi-finals and a grand final.
*** The first series additionally didn't have any set weight limit or distinct weight classes, with the main competition featuring robots weighing anywhere between 10kg and over 110kg (although each heat would generally feature different weights, e.g. one show only featured featherweights). Combined with the aforementioned 6-man rumble for the Grand Final, this led to the laughable situation where the 11.4kg Cunning Plan ended up in the same fight as the ''84.6kg'' Robot the Bruce (Cunning Plan was so small than it was actually eliminated when it got stuck underneath the 52.9kg ''middleweight'' T.R.A.CI.E). The weight classes weren't enforced (with the main competition featuring heavyweights only) until the second series.
** Some robots had this as well. The Chaos team were legendary for their flipper, but their first series entry, the aforementioned Robot The Bruce, was just a box that rammed other robots without having any actual weaponry.
** The birth of the self-righting mechanism in the Series 2 semi-finals (which was immediately subjected to several slow-motion replays) is often accused of being overhyped, as very soon after that they were commonplace and it was considered madness to ''not'' have some form of self-righter. At the time, though, it was groundbreaking, particularly since until then Sir Killalot's greatest threat was his ability to turn robots over with the lance.
** The first series had a more CyberPunk feel. The arena looked intentionally low-budget, and Jeremy Clarkson gave narrations at the start of every episode about how robot wars "were putting the whole country into chaos".
* EldritchAbomination: A robot in Series 3 called Twn Trwn (pronounced "tun terran"). Though not as scary as typical examples of this trope, it qualifies by merit of comparison - the typical Robot Wars robot was a plain-looking metal box. Apart from the name being an abomination on its own, the robot was a miasma of faces, skulls, and creatures haphazardly stuck together. You could stare at the artwork all day and still not comprehend the robot as a whole.
** Twn Trwn is actually Welsh - it means "Broken Ring". [[AwesomeButImpractical And its impressive design was contrasted greatly with its lacklustre performance]].
** The Dutch robot Alien Destructor was another hideous design, looking like a sprawled-out alien creature of vaguely feminine appearance with its spike weapon protruding from its distended mouth. Its design was heavily influenced by [[Franchise/{{Alien}} Giger's infamous Xenomorph]].
* EnemyMine: This was a common tactic in any three-way battle from which two robots would go through; Splinter and Small Torque both teamed up against the seeded Centurion in their first round melee of Series 4, and in the round of three in the Series 7 Annihilator Kan-Opener and Ripper both united to take out Raging Knightmare.
* EpicFail:
** Many robots dived straight into the pit or never moved at all. The Killerhurtz vs. Cerberus fight in Series 3 must be mentioned; Killerhurtz hit Cerberus once, backed off, then careered around the arena and flew directly into the pit. In the case of Killerhurtz they claimed that they'd forgotten it was there after taking part in ''Series/BattleBots'', which doesn't have a pit.
*** Another special mention goes to Thunderpants in Series 7, which broke down ''while it was driving into the arena''[[note]]This was due to damage it had sustained to its drivetrain during qualifying, which had somehow gone unnoticed prior to that point[[/note]]. Jonathan Pearce was not amused.
*** There's also The Executioner's fight with Dominator 2 in Extreme 1. In a show of spectacularly poor control, The Executioner missed the pit release button three times before finally activating it, and then immediately drove in with very little input from Dominator 2. You can hear Craig Charles struggling not to crack up while announcing the results.
** One of the Series 2 "trials" was a Joust, where each robot had to cover as much ground as possible against Matilda. The fourth robot to run got stuck and was pushed back, meaning that the last robot to run had to beat a negative score (-2.10m) to qualify. It didn't move at all until it was too late, whereupon it got stuck as well, and was dragged back to -2.80m.
** Frequently during the trials, Shunt (whose "front face" is actually the twin bladed scoop, not the single one with axe) is always forced to turn around to face the competing robot. Since he doesn't have enough room to turn around on the narrow walkway, he usually ends up falling off and immobilizing himself.
** Piece de Resistance at the start of its 2nd Wars Gauntlet run decided to try and take the middle route, over the see-saws. The first obstacle it had to clear was a small wall of loosely-stacked bricks. It proved to be ''too weak to knock the bricks down,'' repeatedly backing up and slamming against the wall without budging them at all in a most pathetic manner. Eventually Killalot came in behind them, scooped them up between his lance and claw and ''threw'' them over the wall, as if to say "oh for God's sake, ''here you go then!''" If you can believe it, it actually got ''worse'' for them after this, since Killalot's interference was actually enough for them to ''pass'' the Gauntlet (another robot in the same heat actually registered the worst score in the history of the Gauntlet, a pitiful 0.2m) so they went onto the Trials, which was Skittles. Almost predictably, Piece de Resistance proved too weak to even knock over a single barrel, repeating charging against the stacks without making any impression at all, and the House Robots closed in to put them out of their misery, leaving them with a score of '''0'''. Killalot was still roasting the robot over the flame pit while Craig Charles interviewed the team afterwards.
** The Labyrinth trial in Heat E of the 1st Wars was rendered totally moot when Psychosprout - a spherical robot 'powered' by a remote control car inside - managed to roll ''backwards'', meaning the other four robots only had to get off the starting point to qualify.
** In the 5th-place playoff of the German series, Mr Psycho picked up Junkyard Queen, held it up off the ground and decided to go for a little stroll around the arena with it. Unfortunately, due to a perfect coincidence of circumstances and carelessness akin to those that sank the ''Titanic,'' he takes a corner too hard, suffers the full effects of the increased centrifugal force coming from Junkyard Queen's added weight, and ''tumbles iron arse over metal head!''
** At the start of Heat D of Dutch Series 2, Amok drove forward, onto the Disc of Doom (which for some unknown reason was already spinning when the bout started), wobbled off it again and simply stopped, making it the only robot in the history of the show to be KO'd by the ''arena spinner!''
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning:
** Hypno-Disc is perhaps the most fondly-remembered example. The team's motto was "Spin to win".
** Disappointingly averted with Gyrobot, which had some genius design elements, but sadly didn't make it far.
** Zig-Zagged with 13 Black, for whom spinning rarely works at all. As a last resort, 13 Black would spin its whole body round and round, in hopes that the other robot was dumb enough to bump into it. It's a destructive tactic, but Craig Charles rightly called them chicken. However, when facing off against [[MeleeATrois Chaos 2 and Razer]] ''[[DarkHorseVictory at the same time]]'', it was able to nearly destroy Chaos 2, and caused enough damage to Razer to make it start ''smoking''.
** And of course, Typhoon 2, who went on to win Series 7 thanks to its "gyroscopic speed".
*** Slicer in the Dutch series with its giant drum, and vertical spinner Pulverizer, ensured both dutch winners were rotating weapons.
*** The Revolutionist in the US Series, a full body spinner covered with the US flag. Remarkably, it lost a heat final to the machine Propeller Head (which had a spinning overhead bar, hence its name) in the second US series, in spite of having ripped off the Propeller-Head: it was pushed down the pit.
** Series 6 added the "disc of doom", a round disc set into the floor that could be activated by a bumper similar to the pit release that would cause it to spin, supposedly to pose a driving hazard to the robots. Results were... [[AvertedTrope less than spectacular]].
* EverythingIsTryingToKillYou: During the House Robot Rebellions in Extreme 1 and Series 7, the contestants had to deal with not only the house robots, but also ''every single arena hazard''. This didn't become apparent in the first one until Plunderbird 5 was unexpectedly thrown by the floor flipper, at which point Jonathan Pearce rammed the point home:
-->'''Jonathan''': Sorry, didn't we tell you about that? Ha ha! Too late now, isn't it, to find out what we've got up our sleeve! We've got weapons like that, and axle grinders and flamethrowers and torches, ''and goodness knows what!'' We're not gonna lose this, let me tell you!
** This also happened in the Series 7 sideshow All-Stars tournament, which the contestants only used as an excuse to attack the house robots; at one point the Drop Zone was activated in a bid to stop the contestants (and missed).
* {{Expy}}: Many designs were taken from other robots, most notably Adam Clark's machines, most of whom were heavily based on machines in ''Series/BattleBots''.
* {{Fanservice}}: Of a non-sexual kind. According to an [[http://www.wow247.co.uk/2016/03/24/new-robot-wars-filming-glasgow-eyewitness-account/ audience member]] of the 2016 TV series, some roboteers held exhibition matches between championship matches simply to amuse the audience/ themselves, and had the added benefit of allowing the other robots that just fought in the championship bouts enough time to make necessary repairs.[[note]]This was likely also down to them working out the timings as they went on - at the pilot recording they had to skip battles because they were so far behind, but by later recordings they were finishing early and started doing the exhibition bouts to fill time[[/note]]
* {{Filler}}: Constantly, especially in the Grand Final where four battles (or three; on two occasions the third-place playoff had to be cancelled due to one of the competitors being too damaged to fight again) lasting a maximum of five minutes each were milked out to the full timeslot.
** The German series was even worse- with only 12 contestants in the entire series, they had to draw the 2 heats and single Grand Final out to the maximum length (they could only have 4 battles per heat, since they needed 2 robots from each to go through to the Grand Final), resulting in ''every'' episode opening with the same complete House Robot introductions (including the flashy debut of Mr Psycho and Growler shown at the start of the 6th Wars), the battles from the Extreme series World Championship that featured the German competitors crammed in there, and recaps and extended interviews at ''every'' opportunity.
* FiveBadBand: The house robots:
** The BigBad: Sir Killalot
** TheDragon: Sgt Bash and Dead Metal
** TheDarkChick: Matilda
** TheBrute: Shunt and Mr Psycho
** SixthRangerTraitor: Cassius Chrome
** TeamPet: Growler
* FlippingHelpless: This was a common weakness in the early seasons, but eventually competitors started entering robots which were either able to work both ways up, roll back onto their wheels, or (for maximum RuleOfCool) use a SRIMECH[[note]][=Self RIghting MECHanism=][[/note]] to flip themselves back over ([[FollowTheLeader after Cassius was able to do so with its flipper in the second season]]).
* FluffyTheTerrible: Literally. There was a robot named Fluffy. It had a spinning blade that was very destructive, and nearly took out the number 2 seed on its debut appearance (unfortunately, on both this and subsequent appearances it suffered from reliability issues that stopped it from reaching its full potential).
* FollowTheLeader: Any time a weapon became really successful several teams would copy it in the following series, each with varied amounts of success. Examples include flippers (first used by Recyclopse in Series 1 but became really popular after Cassius in Series 2 and Chaos 2 in Series 3), crushers (after Razer), spinning discs (after Hypnodisc) and the [[FunWithAcronyms SRIMECH/Self-righting Mechanism]] [[Awesome/RobotWars (first used by Cassius in Series 2)]].
* ForegoneVictory: The Series 7, Heat J final involved Thermidor 2 chasing Mighty Mouse and flipping it whenever it was close enough, and Mighty Mouse endlessly running away, making no attempt at all at actually fighting, until the time ran out. Neither Jonathan Pearce, Craig Charles or the judges pretended there was any suspense over the result whatsoever.
** The Series 4, Heat P heat final battle between Hypno-Disc and Raizer Blade... wasn't a battle. It was an ''execution.'' Julia interviewed the captain of Raizer Blade before the battle (it had been touch and go to see if they could even get the robot running long enough to drive into the arena) and he cheerfully admitted that the robot was "bleeding to death"- their pneumatic lifting arm was leaking [=CO2=] so they had no weapon, they were running on about half a speed controller so they might be able to turn in circles if they were lucky for the few seconds before Hypno-Disc destroyed them. The most he was hoping for was to give the audience a good show.[[note]]The above damage was, perhaps unsurprisingly, inflicted by Hypno-Disc during their first round bout, which Raizer Blade only survived because The Predator was disemboweled more thoroughly, and Raizer Blade limped through the second round solely because their opponent (who was nervous at the prospect of facing Hypno-Disc) accidentally immobilized ''themselves'' over the flame pit[[/note]] ''Robot Wars'' has seen a lot of upsets and shocking results in its time, but this was one where there was literally only one ''possible'' outcome- the only thing that might have spared Raizer Blade was if Hypno-Disc (which was MUCH more reliable than it had been in Series 3) spontaneously suffered a catastrophic breakdown or lost its removable link. Predictably, [[CurbStompBattle the crippled Raizer Blade was knocked out]] [[OneHitKill in a single hit]], with Jonathan comparing it to "putting the heavyweight boxing champion of the world in against my gran".
* ForkliftFu: While a few robots (most notably Panic Attack) had "lifting forks", the contestant that bore the most resemblance to an actual forklift was Series 4 robot [[http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/robotwars/images/a/a0/Indefatigable_front.JPG/revision/latest?cb=20160306195153 Indefatigable]]. It lost its only fight to Chaos 2 and was hurled out of the arena.
* ForWantOfANail:
** Razer lost in Series 2 through 4 due to one thing going wrong (most notably in Series 3, when its self-righting mechanism went off at the wrong moment and left it stranded just before it got the chance to finish off a CurbStompBattle with Aggrobot).
** An almost literal example occurred in Series 2; if George Francis had only remembered to screw two small pieces of plastic onto the back of Chaos, it would have been the first robot to ever self-right during its heat final battle against Mace, and could well have then beaten Mace, reached the semi-finals[[note]]which would in the long-run have made Team Chaos the first of only two teams to reach five semi-finals; in the end only Firestorm achieved this feat[[/note]], and caused eventual champions Panic Attack to have been eliminated in the Gauntlet[[note]]Panic Attack and Mace had come joint-last in the Gauntlet, with Panic Attack winning the race-off; this in itself could qualify, for if Panic Attack had covered only a few centimetres less then it would have gone out[[/note]]. From there, it likely could have made the Grand Final[[note]]which would have made Team Chaos the only team to reach four Grand Finals[[/note]]... but on the flipside, if Chaos ''had'' gotten that far, would George Francis still have been motivated to [[TookALevelInBadass make Chaos 2?]]
** Typhoon 2 were losing their semi-final match against Atomic when their opponent mistimed a large flip, turned itself over and broke the flipper with the force.
* FreeWheel: Often when robots with exposed wheels went up against particularly destructive weapons. For instance, Hypno-Disc versus Ming 3:
--> '''Jonathan:''' ''There goes a '''whole wheel'''''! A ''whole wheel'' has come off! What an attack - oh, there goes the other one! Well, why not?
** A rather funny example was in Series 6 Heat A, when one of Brutus Maximus' wheels came off and (to the amusement of Jonathan Pearce) rolled straight into the pit.
* FreezeFrameBonus: The 2016 reboot teaser trailers each focus on one specific competitor, but pay close attention during the RapidFireMontage battle scenes and you can make out several others, such as [[spoiler:former FRA champion Eruption]].
* FriendlyRivalry: Because everyone was good sportsmen behind the scenes, several friendly rivalries started. Some popular examples include 101 vs King Buxton, Panic Attack vs Firestorm and Firestorm vs Diotoir.
* FunWithAcronyms: Some robots would employ these as names (for instance, SMIDSY stands for Sorry Mate I Didn't See You, which the team, a group of bikers, had heard many times from cars nearly hitting them).
** Robots without [=SRIMECHs=] (itself an acronym for Self-righting mechanism) would sometimes have PTO ("Please Turn Over") written on the bottom.
* GameBreakingInjury: The All-Stars special at the end of Series 7 was originally intended as a "Veterans" special featuring robots that had fought in at least five championships. However, S.M.I.D.S.Y., Thermidor II, Spawn Again, X-Terminator, and Bulldog Breed were all unable to participate due to damage sustained in the main tournament that year[[note]]Supernova and Ming Dienasty would also have fit the bill, but are thought to have been left out due to poor performance as they had both been eliminated in round 1 that year[[/note]]. In the end they added Dantomkia instead and rebranded the competition as an All-Stars tournament.
* GermanicEfficiency: Black Hole, champions of German Robot Wars was [[{{Badass}} VERY tough]]. During the Extreme 2 European Championship, it took out its first opponent in one attack, and only lost its next fight due to its opponent (which Black Hole had been demolishing for most of the match) suddenly ending up with a chance to push it into the pit. It's a pity [[WhatCouldHaveBeen they didn't enter the World Championships or Series 7]].
** Generally averted, though- German roboteering quality in general was ''not'' anywhere near UK standards and there were very few robots in the short-lived German Series that were really up to much (this despite the series happening in parallel with UK Series ''6''). Black Hole was good and runner-up Tsunami was passable (although it was much improved by the time it appeared in UK Series 7), but most other German robots seen during the duration of ''Robot Wars'' (both in the German series and the various International specials and World Championship events) were extremely weak. They couldn't even find the minimum 12 German robots they needed for the 2-heat series and had to substitute in 3 Dutch entrants to make up the numbers.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Sometimes the writers slipped rather rude jokes into Craig's material, such as what he said after Pussycat shredded Robochicken in the 4th Wars.
-->'''Craig:''' The cat gets the cream, but Robochicken has to cluck off!
* GlassCannon: Robots with flywheels (both horizontal and vertical) were generally this by default. Flywheels were hugely devastating weapons, capable of inflicting severe damage, but were also ''extremely'' heavy, usually taking up 20-25% of the allotted weight limit even in later series. This meant that robots with flywheels usually had to have very thin armour to compensate, making them highly vulnerable. Flywheels also typically had a high recoil, damaging the wielders' internal mechanics and making them even ''more'' fragile. Fluffy managed to solve the first problem (its compact body allowed it to bolt on polycarbonate that was ''16mm thick''), but it infamously couldn't solve the second one.
* GoneHorriblyRight: The Flipper Frenzy battle in Extreme 1 was intended to find out who had the best flipper: Bigger Brother, Chaos 2, Thermidor 2, or Wheely Big Cheese. Instead, the roboteers made a pact to gang up on the house robots (Matilda and Sgt. Bash) and try and throw one of them out of the arena[[note]]They failed; Matilda immobilized Wheely Big Cheese but the other three managed to pin Bash against the arena wall and immobilize him[[/note]]. Halfway through, Jonathan Pearce criticized the competitors for taking things so drastically OffTheRails, then admitted, "It's a flipping frenzy out there, and that's what we wanted!"
* GracefulLoser: ''[[UpToEleven Everyone]]'', since nobody took the competition seriously enough to get upset at losing. Even [[FriendlyRivalry supposed rivals]] are more than happy to shake each other's hand, help each other out in the pits, and promise to come back the following year with a better robot.
* GratuitousJapanese: The Mazakari team had no idea what it meant, despite obviously being its creators/builders and the persons responsible for its name (the most likely explanation is that they took the name from the Inner Sphere designation for the Clan mech known as the Warhawk in ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'').
** A walkerbot in the 2nd Dutch series was named Namazu (stylised as N A M A Z U on the battle boards), after the legend of the giant catfish that causes earthquakes. This proved quite appropriate, as its 175kg weight shook the arena floor panels as it walked.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: At one point in the German Series, a defeated robot (Junkyard Queen) was placed under [[DeathFromAbove the Drop Zone]], only to have the chassis of another previously-defeated robot (Golem) dropped onto it.
** On a couple of occasions the arena flipper would throw a defeated robot onto another robot that got in the way.
* HandicappedBadass: Berserk II in Series 3. All their team members were deaf, yet they built a robot that was able to survive a fight with Hypno-Disc, which had DESTROYED its last two opponents, barely unscathed.
** Also has a minor heartwarming moment attached to it, as Philippa is seen to have learned a little sign language and continues to ask them for signs so she can communicate with them throughout.
* HappyDance: After their first win in Dutch Series 2, the three members of Team Twister (a robot with a triangular spinning blade) [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xafgOfNXTC8&list=PLB394EEC0A0F4E7D8#t=7m57s all linked arms and danced around in a circle in the control pod]], replicating the spinning motion of their weapon. They did it again after mangling their 2nd round opponent.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** Chaos 2 getting flipped out of the arena by Dantomkia.
*** Chaos 2 was also knocked out of the Second World Championship in ''Robot Wars Extreme'' by driving into the pit while trying to flip another robot into it.
** Razer was immobilised in the Third Wars after it got itself stuck on the spike at the back of its weapon, which raised its wheels off the ground.
** Any time a robot activated the pit release button only to end up driving in itself, with the most hilarious example being Major Tom in Series 5.
* HumiliationConga:
** Once immobilised, the House Robots are free to come in and [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown punish the robot more]], using their own weapons plus the arena's own hazards; a lucky competitor might find themselves in the pit straight away, but there's also the floor flipper, drop zone, flamethrowers, saws...
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=_e4cHWS2758&feature=related Poor, poor Matilda.]] Not only did Razer [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything penetrate her roughly from behind with his mighty crusher]], he proceeded to ''set her on fire'' (twice!), all the while [[IgnoredEnemy completely ignoring Onslaught]][[note]]which had, admittedly, been overturned by Matilda and immobilized[[/note]]. Even the ''other house robots'' proceeded to turn against her, with [[KnightInShiningArmour Sir Killalot only coming to her defense]] after she had been thoroughly trashed. Matilda took such a brutal beating in that fight that a comment was added to confirm that Matilda would return.[[note]]The producers allowed this to happen because [[WeCanRebuildHer they were planning to]] [[CameBackStrong upgrade Matilda anyway]], so it didn't really matter if she got smashed to bits[[/note]]
** Kind of subverted in the Series 3 finale where, after flipping Hypno-Disc, Chaos 2 went after the house robots, and flipped Matilda and Shunt before they ended the round.
* HurricaneOfPuns: A lot of Craig's material was written along these lines; for example, his introduction to the second semifinal round of the 3rd Wars:
-->'''Craig:''' Now, since the Wars began seventeen shows ago, machines everywhere have been having a go. One man was attacked by a vacuum cleaner, which nearly wiped the floor with him, apparently. Then another one was nearly killed by an electric razor, which they say was a really close shave. And one bloke even got into a fight with his trouser press, but I've heard they've straightened things out.
* IncendiaryExponent: The two most common ones were fur (Diotoir, Granny's Revenge) and petrol (Reptirron, Technophobic).
* IncomingHam: Some of the more powerful and popular robots starting their careers in Series 2 began with some spectacular entrances during the round 1 Gauntlet.
** Razer was one of the only robots to grip into a House Robot and push them to the Gauntlet end line.
** Panic Attack was forced to make a spectacular jump off the see-saw and over Dead Metal after Killalot pinned down the opposite end of it to turn it into a ramp.
* InformedAttribute: The roboteers of very average robots like to pump them up with extravagant descriptions of their weapons. 'Damaging', 'Armour-piercing', 'Destructive', 'Smashing'. Perhaps these descriptions were true in tests against weaker materials. However, against fellow robots most of the weaponry proves to be ineffective. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Phillipa in Series 6:
-->'''Phillipa Forrester:''' If I had a penny for every time a bloke said to me "I've got a magnificent weapon" I would be ''rich'' by now![[note]]Ironically she said this after interviewing Team Vader, whose robot ''did'' actually have a very effective and impressive weapon[[/note]]
** Many roboteers in later seasons whose machines possessed [[EverythingsBetterWithSpinning flywheels]] would claim to be more destructive than [[TheDreaded Hypno-Disc]]. Needless to say, this wasn't reflected in the robots' performance.
* IThoughtItMeant: A common RunningGag during Craig's unique OncePerEpisode introductions from Series 2 to 4 (until his introduction was standardised to "the Master of Mayhem"), particularly in Series 4.
-->'''Stuart [=McDonald=]:''' Please welcome the man who thought a doodlebug was an addiction to drawing: Craig Charles.
* ItOnlyWorksOnce: Many defeated robots would return the following year with modifications designed to prevent them from being defeated in the same way. Hypno-Disc and Behemoth both added [=SRIMECHs=] after their Series 3 defeats, while Dominator 2 returned for Series 5 with wheelguards to prevent a repeat of its loss to Pussycat.
** Dramatically averted with regards to the Team Chaos machines, whose four main-series defeats were ''all'' the result of being unable to self-right[[note]]though for different reasons: Robot the Bruce lacked a SRIMECH; Chaos' SRIMECH didn't work due to a design flaw; and Chaos 2's SRIMECH was highly inefficient and tended to fail[[/note]].
* JokeCharacter: Granny's Revenge (and its subsequent iteration, Granny's Revenge 2) definitely counts. It was pretty much a granny in a wheelchair holding what appeared to be a [[ChainsawGood prop chainsaw]]. It supposedly had a pneumatic flipping leg, but this never saw use, thanks to it being [[ManOnFire burned to cinders]] by Sgt. Bash in a matter of moments.
** Diotoir as well, to a lesser extent. Became a LethalJokeCharacter in Series 5 after it knocked out ''Tornado''.
* {{Kayfabe}}: The Extreme series were more based around this, with "grudge matches" arranged that saw perfectly pleasant roboteers snarling at and trash-talking each other before and after the fights. The amateur acting wasn't convincing at all and fooled nobody, which made it somewhat NarmCharm.
** At least one such battle openly parodied this. The Tornado vs Stinger Vengeance battle was originally supposed to be part of the All-Stars tournament[[note]]both teams had friends and family in the audience who had come to see them fight that day and asked if the first round of the tournament could be rejigged when the filming started getting behind schedule[[/note]], but ''after'' it was filmed the producers decided they wanted the first round of the tournament to be as originally planned (with Tornado fighting 3 Stegs to Heaven and Stinger fighting Pussycat), but decided to broadcast the Tornado vs Stinger match anyway, rebranded as a Vengeance battle - even though the teams had never fought each other on television before and neither had any reason to seek vengeance on the other. Cue much BadBadActing in the pre-fight [=VTs=] about how the Stinger team had wounded Tornado by branding their robot "a boring box".
** After another Vengeance battle, in the post-match interviews with Craig the two contestants admitted that the whole thing had just been an excuse to attack the House Robots, in spite of the fact that the two robots (Bigger Brother and Comengetorix, who had fought each other in the Tag-Team Terror earlier in the series) had a legitimate reason for a grudge match:
--->'''Craig''' [''to Joe Watts of Bigger Brother'']: They really upset you, didn't they, Joe?
--->'''Joe''': No.
--->[''Much laughter'']
** A rare example from the actual series was the Widow's Revenge team from Series 5. One of their team members was engaged to one of the Razer team members, and when they were drawn in the same heat as Razer, they decided to front themselves as the collective wives of the Razer team, claiming to be out for revenge on their "husbands" who were neglecting them in favour of their robot. Everyone went along with it - Razer, the production staff, ''everyone'' - and it culminated in [[Funny/RobotWars one of the most hilarious battles in Robot Wars history]], with the teams (and Jonathan Pearce, who had a field day with his commentary) trading entirely fake insults and threats throughout.
--->'''Jonathan Pearce''': Let's be honest, Razer team, if you win... uhh... you've got no homes to go to. It's your decision.
* KillItWithFire: Could be accomplished by pushing robots onto the flame pit, with the aim of causing them to overheat, burn out, and/or catch fire. A notable example came in Extreme 1 when Behemoth dispatched Hypno-Disc by flipping it over with its scoop, pressing the scoop downwards onto Hypno-Disc so it couldn't self-right, and then holding it over the flame pit until it burned out.
** And of course, if a robot was flammable, you could be 99.9% certain that it would meet its demise in this fashion[[note]]in fact, the only flammable robot that ''didn't'' catch fire was Purple Predator in Series 3[[/note]]. The most well-known example was Diotoir, but arguably the most spectacular (and funny) was Granny's Revenge.
* LamePunReaction:
** Craig Charles got a reaction from the audience with this line about Robocow's round 1 defeat in Series 3: "Robots do not have the milk of human kindness. Udder destruction."
** He also gets this from a child roboteer after a loss. Following Crushtacean's defeat at the hands of Chaos 2 in Series 6, Craig reveals to the television viewer that the child was kicking his father because of the driver error that ended the battle. Craig then says, "That was a bit shellfish." Cue silence from the child and mild laughter from the studio audience.
--> '''Craig''': "I don't know why I bother."
* LargeHam: Craig Charles and Jonathan Pearce.
** The host of the two Dutch series, Rob Kamphues, was every bit as over-the-top as Craig Charles... only, y'know, [[CaptainObvious in Dutch]].
** The Sir Chromalot team as well.
** The International Wreck Crew, of Plunderbird and Plunderstorm infamy. They were a lot better at rapping than robot building.
* LeftStuckAfterAttack: Happened every so often, typically with robots getting their weapons stuck in their opponents. The House Robots were allowed to come in and free any robot that suffered this so that they could keep fighting, but occasionally it ended in a case of HoistByHisOwnPetard, such as when Kan-Opener got its claws stuck in Demolition Man in its Series 6 first-round melee and was promptly torn apart by Fluffy.
* LetsFightLikeGentlemen: The Recyclopse/Cassius team were known for generally trying to defeat their opponents without overly damaging them, and then if the house robots tried to damage the helpless opponent, they would use that as an excuse to attack the house robots (and show no mercy).
** Several teams throughout the series had similar "gentlemen's agreements" in place, whereby the two teams agreed not to cause too much damage to one another. This was often because one of the robots knew they were about to be [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomped]] (such as Raizer Blade v Hypnodisc in Series 4) and wanted to minimize the repair job. The brief enmity between the Razer and Pussycat teams was the result of Pussycat allegedly violating such an agreement during their battle.
* LighterAndSofter:
** Most noticeably after Series 1, with the removal of the often downright rude Jeremy Clarkson, and the contestants no longer swearing on camera. The theme slowly drifted away from futuristic apocalypse towards straight-up competition.
** Justified in ''Nickelodeon Robot Wars'', the kids' version of the American import '''Extreme Warriors.''' They deactivated all flame based arena hazards (including Sgt Bash's flame thrower) and referred to Sir Killalot as [[NeverSayDie Sir K]].
* LightningBruiser: Many of the more successful robots. [[ImplacableMan Tornado]], [[TheDreaded Razer]] and [[TheAce Chaos 2]] come to mind.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Up to 128 robots in a single season, not counting side events. You're introduced to a minimum of 6 robots and their team members per episode.
* LovelyAssistant: Arguably Philippa Forrester and Julia Reed.
* MadeOfIron: While most of the competitors were literal examples, there were also quite a few robots that were known for their hardiness, with perhaps the most famous examples being Bigger Brother and Wild Thing.
* ManipulativeEditing: Fights would occasionally be edited to avoid controversy (the events in the Second Wars semi-final surrounding Mortis, as noted under ExecutiveMeddling, only came to light after the programme had been broadcast as they were all cut out), or just to provide the most entertaining programme (Robogeddon vs. Hypno-Disc actually started out as a CurbStompCushion before the destruction started).
* ManOnFire:
** Or rather Robot On Fire. Particularly Diotoir, with its flammable fur coating.
** Granny's Revenge took it UpToEleven.
** ''Sir Killalot'' caught fire a couple of times during the early series, by virtue of being petrol-powered.
* MetaphoricallyTrue: The Channel Five series heavily hyped the fact that for "the first time", "a cash pot of over £20,000 was on offer". Every previous series had offered cash prizes, but as they were broadcast on the license fee-funded BBC this couldn't previously be referred to, and the total of the "cash pot" was (contrary to what the phrasing implied) reached by adding up how much each roboteer was paid; the winner received £5,000 from it.
* MiniGame: The Trials became this in Series 3 & 4 when the decision was made to have the main tournament entirely combat-based, with a number of tournaments being played between rounds (most notably the Pinball Warrior Tournament in both series, plus Robotic Soccer in Series 3 and Sumo in Series 4.)
* MoodWhiplash: Done intentionally with the teaser trailers for the reboot, which each feature a team gazing lovingly at their robot while cheesy love music plays in the background, followed by a rapid-fire montage of said robot getting flipped and bashed around the arena.
* MutualKill: Several times in the multi-robot battles, most notably when T.R.A.C.I.E. and Cunning Plan took each other out in the Series 1 grand final.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:N-Z]]
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast:
** Most notably the house robots: Sir Killalot, Dead Metal, Mr. Psycho, Shunt.
** Also subverted. Many of the most dangerous robots on the show either had fairly functional names (Hypno-Disc, Razer) or aggressive, but not over-the-top ones (Chaos). Killalot, on the other hand, is slow enough that "really fast" isn't that relevant.
* NiceHat: The captain of S3 sported a nice trilby hat, and a team member from The Stag donned a very nice hat with lights and moving parts!
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Prior to its Series 5 battle against Spawn Again, the team captain of Evolution put a brick inside the robot's rotating turret weapon, to try and give it some extra force. What ''actually'' happened was that the extra weight made the turret too heavy, Evolution was stuck spinning on the spot, and Spawn Again promptly [[CurbStompBattle threw it out of the arena]].
* NonGameplayElimination: The best remembered example is Pussycat's disqualification from Series 3 for using an illegal weapon. Notably, several robots failed to make it into the arena.
* NonIndicativeName: The majority of the first two series were taken up with the Gauntlet and Trials before they got to the actual fighting.
** The Grudge Matches special at the end of the second series only featured two actual Grudge Matches. The remainder were various exhibition battles (such as a melee between robots that hadn't qualified for the main series), including one obvious joke match that was just being done for laughs (Sgt Bash vs Nemesis[[note]]the equally-inflammable forerunner to Diotoir[[/note]] and a sacrificial flammable robot).
** Series 3 featured a one-time contestant named Flipper that was armed with - you guessed it! - an ''axe''. It was supposedly able to work as a flipping arm as well, but they were defeated in their first match by Ultor and never got the chance.
* NumberedSequels:
** Some of the follow up robots' names (e.g. Chaos was followed by Chaos 2).
** Got somewhat ridiculous with Firestorm who changed its number yearly and was up to 5 by Series 7. It was generally just referred to as Firestorm though.
** The series/seasons themselves. The First Wars, The Second Wars, all the way up to the Seventh Wars.
* OddlyNamedSequel:
** Again, the names of some follow-up robots (e.g. Scutter's Revenge was followed by Spawn of Scutter and then by Spawn Again).
** Barber-ous was followed by Barber-ous 2, then "Barber-ous 2 and a Bit".
** After Judge Shred came Judge Shred 2, then Judge Shred 2 1/2.
* OffModel: The comic strip in the first incarnation of the official magazine tended to depict robots in this way, such as its depictions of Behemoth and Wild Thing [[http://robotwars.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Drop_Zone_mk2/Scanned_in_Robot_Wars_Magazines?file=RWm11p20-21.jpg here]].
* OffTheRails: Any non-competition match or event was capable of turning into this at a moment's notice (such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jhjwkR5RZM this bout in the Seventh Wars All-Stars sideshow tournament]]).
** One of the most memorable examples was the "Flipper Frenzy" battle in the first Robot Wars Extreme. It was meant to be a titanic tussle between the four most feared flippers in the wars (Bigger Brother, Chaos 2, Thermidor 2 and Wheely Big Cheese). Instead, the four competitors made a pact to try and throw one of the house robots out of the arena. They failed, and all but Thermidor were knocked out in the process, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2W_7LiEtPk but by god it was glorious.]]
** The Tag Team Terror side event was meant to be a series of tag-team matches between teams of two robots, with one from each team fighting while the other waited in a CPZ to be tagged out by their teammate. Unsurprisingly, these matches tended to degenerate into 2-on-2 melees (or even free-for-alls) in short order.
* OffWithHisHead: Any competing robots with heads are bound to be decapitated by Shunt. Season 4 saw Major Tom's head being smashed to pieces by Shunt, and poor Banshee was decapitated as well, with Shunt attaching her head to his axe, setting it on fire, and parading it around the arena.
* OhCrap: During the Series 4 semi-finals, the look on Isabelle Adams' (Wild Thing) face upon hearing who their next opponent would be: [[spoiler: Hypno-Disc]].
** Generally, any contestant whose next opponent was Chaos 2, Hypno-Disc, or Razer was liable to have this sort of reaction.
* OneHitKill:
** In the early days, tipping a robot over via a wedge or lifting arm was generally this, as most robots weren't invertible or couldn't self-right. Roadblock won Series 1 and reached the Grand Final of Series 2 in this manner. The hated arena spikes could accomplish the same thing.
*** Flippers took this one step further. If you couldn't self-right, a single flip would knock you out. If you ''could'' self-right, a powerful enough flipper could ''still'' knock you out in one flip by simply [[RingOut throwing you out of the arena]]. This became pretty much the de facto tactic for all flipping machines starting with about Series 6.
** There are plenty of examples of this throughout the Wars. In the first round of Series 3 alone, Firestorm beat Crasha Gnasha simply by ramming it once, Trident stopped Twn Twrn with a single axe blow, and Sumpthing managed to pull this on ''itself'', as the first swing of its axe caused it to break down.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted on a few occasions:
** There were two separate robots named "Spin Doctor". The first fought in Series 2 and was notable for breaking off one of Matilda's tusks during its Trial run; the second fought in Series 6 and 7 and did nothing of note whatsoever.
** There were two unrelated bots named "Saw Point". The first fought in Series 4, and the second in Extreme 2 and Series 7 (confusingly under the name "Sawpoint 2". Neither did particularly well.
** On the human side of things, there was a frankly ''bizarre'' number of roboteers entering the wars with the surname "Pritchard". Most famously there were the brothers Anthony and Michael Pritchard, who created Behemoth with their dad Edward (and were later joined by their mother Liz), but there was also Marlon Pritchard of X-Terminator, Ian, Judy and Graham Pritchard of ICU (which bore a bizarre resemblance to the Series 3 model of X-Terminator, but this was apparently just a coincidence), Ian Pritchard from S3 and Kevin Pritchard from Panic Attack's team in Series 2 and 7 (and also the Evil Weevil team). None of the teams were related to each other, but the name was more common than [[MrSmith Smith]]!
** Enforced in Series 6 with the robot "Spam"; they'd originally wanted to call it "Can Opener", but changed it when they discovered there was already a robot called "Kan-Opener".
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Sumpthing team captain Richard Dig is only ever referred to as Mr Dig or just Dig[[note]]except for one time in Sumpthing's 4th Wars melee where Jonathan called him by his full name: "...and Richard Dig, to give him his full name, is doing splendidly here!"[[/note]].
* OpeningNarration: In the first 4 series (and the first episode of the 5th) this acted as a [[PreviouslyOn ''Last time on Robot Wars...'']] sequence, but in Series 6 and 7 this acted as a preview of the upcoming episode (which did of course lead to [[SpoilerOpening spoilers]] but this decreased somewhat in Series 7).
* OriginsEpisode: The first incarnation of the official magazine had a comic strip that acted as this for each of the house robots. (With the show's shift to LighterAndSofter the comic was subsequently changed to "fantasy fights".)
* OutOfOrder: Heats B and D of the Second Wars were swapped round when broadcast, this is obvious when the heat winners are introduced in the semi-finals in heat order and Mace (winner of the broadcast Heat B) comes out 4th and Behemoth (the winner of the broadcast heat D) comes out second.
** The episodes themselves are also filmed out of order; it's not uncommon for robots from a completely different episode to appear in the background, lining up for their fight. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] due to the long time needed to make necessary repairs to robots versus the short timeframe for filming.
* OverlyLongName: Lampshaded by Craig Charles once. At the end of each battle, he liked to shout out the result; one fight featured a robot called "Cataclysmic Variabot", and when he managed to say it without tripping up he added "Thanks for that!"
** Another example was Fourth Wars entrant "Arnold, Arnold Terminegger".
* PinballZone: The Pinball trial in the Series 2 semi-finals, which was retained as a sideshow tournament in Series 3 and 4.
* PissTakeRap: The Plunderbird team's intro in the first three seasons.
--->We are the crew and we're here to tell you - we're gonna bash them, we're gonna trash them. In the wars you know we're gonna thrash them. The forecast's bad. You better get running. It's gonna be tough. There's a Plunderstorm coming!
* PrestigiousPlayerTitle: The show called its contestants "Roboteers".
* PunnyName: For example, Axe-C-Dent.
** 3 Stegs to Heaven (after Steg-O-Saw-Us and Steg 2).
** Wheely Big Cheese.
** Iron Awe
** There's a [[http://robotwars.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Robots_with_puns_for_names complete list]] on the wiki. Let's just say that roboteers are a punny bunch.
* PyrrhicVictory: A few of them. The most notable is Bigger Brother's famous victory over Hypno-Disc in the Series 5 Grand Final eliminator. Sure, it was one of the greatest Crowning Moments of Awesome in the entire series, but the damage they received meant that they didn't have a hope in hell of beating Razer (they at least took it to a judges' decision, but it wasn't a particularly close one).
** Hypno-Disc itself was on the "victory" end of a PyrrhicVictory in Series 3, when it beat Steg-O-Saw-Rus in the Grand Final eliminator. It took them so many hits to knock Steg-O-Saw-Rus out that the recoil started damaging the machine's internals and by the end of the match the disc mechanism has pretty much shredded itself. The team managed to get Hypno-Disc running in time for the final against Chaos 2, but it clearly wasn't working to its full potential and Chaos 2 took full advantage.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: Played straight to a surprising degree. "Rambots", as they were called, were often highly effective even in later series: half the Grand Finalists in Series 1[[note]]Robot the Bruce, T.R.A.C.I.E., and Bodyhammer[[/note]] ''and'' Series 7[[note]]Tornado and Storm II[[/note]] had this as their primary tactic. Tornado won Series 6 (and Storm II ''[[ExecutiveMeddling almost]]'' won Series 7) in this manner.
** There is, however, a distinction to be observed between "rambots" like Tornado and Storm 2 and "shovebots" like Robot the Bruce and Scutter's Revenge. Rambots aim to inflict damage by violently bashing into opponents and slamming them against the walls until they broke down, and were often armed with spikes or blades to add extra damage. Shovebots were slower and more methodical, aiming to use mechanical muscle to control the fight, pushing the opponent around and into hazards like the House Robots and the Pit of Oblivion, and they often fitted scoops for this purpose.
* RageQuit: A unique example that was more "righteous anger" than "rage", but famous and highly regarded roboteer Rex Garrod (inventor of Series 1 finalist Recyclopse and Series 2 finalist Cassius) [[http://robotwars.wikia.com/wiki/Team_Cassius#Garrod.27s_Protest resigned from Robot Wars after the 3rd series in protest]] of what he saw as the incompetent and inadequate safety standards of the show, enforcing petty and trivial rules while being lax enough with serious hazards to enable actual injuries to happen.
-->'''Rex Garrod:''' For one accident to occur is bad, but for two of the exact same fault to occur in my book is nothing short of criminal. I have no intention of returning to Robot Wars until I'm satisfied that safety is up to the standards I am used to in my profession (Special effects for T.V, Films & Advertising). After these almighty cock-ups things have taken a giant step forward, but from information received by many of the last wars contestants, it still has a long way to go. And self-important people still rule, both in safety and common courtesy.
* {{Redshirt}}: There weren't enough entries to the first series, so the numbers were made up by stock robots supplied by the production team. Said robots weren't allowed to reach the arena stage and so had to be disposed of in the trials.
** The last of these robots, Eubank the Mouse, attained MauveShirt status by coming first in the Gauntlet and going on to pass the Trial only to abruptly "break down". Another, W.Y.S.I.W.I.G., was eliminated in its trial despite Dreadnaut having broken down.
* RetiredGameshowElement: The initial setup involved the Gauntlet and a different Trial in every show where the worst performing robot was eliminated before the arena stages began. Series 3 & 4 saw the main competition become entirely combat-based, but the more interesting trials such as Football, Sumo and Pinball were retained as sideshows (alongside other events such as Walker and Lightweight battles). Starting with Extreme the show was entirely combat-based.
* RingOut: First accomplished by Chaos 2 in the Series 3 final against Firestorm, as the only way of getting around an opponent with a srimech; in Series 4, the ringside area was redesigned in expectation of this happening much, ''much'' more.
** By contrast, [[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ce6H-3kXEAApiPG.jpg:large the arena for the reboot series]] looks to have been designed deliberately to ''avoid'' these- while there are still open gaps near the four cardinal points to make it possible with sufficiently good driving, most of the arena wall is topped by an extended plexiglass shield which increases its height by several feet until it's almost as tall as a man. Only the most ''incredible'' flipper bots would be able to throw a robot ''that'' high[[note]]in the classic series, only Wheely Big Cheese and ''maybe'' Gravity would have realistically had a chance[[/note]]!
* RuleOfCool
* RunningGag:
** Virtually ''everything'' Diotoir has done would become one.
*** Diotoir catching on fire. It reached the point where they began putting food (and presenters began making requests) on it.
*** Diotoir's fur appearing in completely random and unexpected places. It's not uncommon for some random robot to have some of Diotoir's fur attached to their antenna or elsewhere on the robot ''or on the roboteer''.
*** Jonathan Pearce or the pit reporter would frequently [[LampshadeHanging wonder aloud]] how on Earth the team had managed to get hold of so much polka-dot fur, especially when Diotoir [[ManOnFire caught fire]] in its previous battle yet reappears again and again looking as good as new.
*** The team frequently [[{{Troll}} engaged in (harmless) pranks]] post-Series 4.
*** Off the screens, it's not uncommon for a random roboteer's (such as Hypno-Disc) website to highlight how the Diotoir team's expertise helped with the repairs of their robot.
** Iron Awe getting flipped out of the arena (Axe Awe by Wheely Big Cheese in Series 5; Iron Awe 2 by Chaos 2 in Series 6 and Dantomkia in Extreme 2).
*** This became RunningGagged in the last series, when it was highly fancied to go the same way against Bigger Brother in its heat, only to pull off one of the biggest upsets in history by flipping Bigger Brother out itself. It stayed in the arena, only to be [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown torn to pieces by Typhoon 2]].
* SingleStrokeBattle:
** More than a few battles were decided with only [[OneHitKill a single attack]]. Perhaps the most spectacular example was Wheely Big Cheese's fight against Axe Awe in Series 5: Axe Awe got in a single blow on Wheely Big Cheese that did nothing, and five seconds later, Wheely Big Cheese got in a single flip that threw Axe Awe over the arena wall ''[[Awesome/RobotWars from fifteen feet away]]''.
** Then, of course, there was the battle between fellow flippers Gravity and Dantomkia in Series 7, which was all over in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgTrqRI4M6M a single flip]] and ''six seconds''.
* SirVerbaLot: Sir Killalot the house robot.
** Sir Chromalot... [[CaptainObvious who has a lot of chrome]].
** Sir Force A Lot in the US series.
* SituationalSword: Flippers. Against some robots they could cause a OneHitKO. However the number of such robots dwindled over the years, with most robots either being impossible to flip over or having self-righting mechanisms, making flippers much less useful barring the incredibly powerful ones like Chaos 2's, which were able to cause an outright RingOut. That being said, most self-righting robots were flippers and all flippers required [=CO2=] for their weapons to work. No [=CO2=] = Dead in the water, as bots like Bigger Brother found out against Firestorm. Most self-righting mechanisms either worked sporadically or didn't work at all, still allowing flippers to defeat them.
** Ground clearance worked a bit like this as well. A ground clearance of even just a centimetre was enough (especially in later series) for wedge robots to get in underneath you and flip you. However, in the first two series, you ''needed'' some kind of ground clearance in order to be able to clear the Gauntlet (as Vector of Armageddon proved), and even in later series, a zero ground clearance was risky because your armour could then snag on the arena floor, hindering your movement or even immobilizing you entirely[[note]]This was how Oblivion 2 went out in Series 4; Saw Point's saw-blade wheels bent the armour down so it snagged against the arena floor and pinned Oblivion in place[[/note]]. Some robots (like Cassius 2) got around these problems by using an adjustable suspension system, but most teams didn't have the time, money, or spare weight to implement such a system.
* SoreLoser: Almost ''completely'' [[AvertedTrope averted]]- thanks to [[StiffUpperLip British stoicism]] you can count the number of times that someone made a big fuss after losing in ''nine series'' on the fingers of a single hand (and even then they were mostly pretty mild cases). Pretty much every team would admit to being no more than, at worst, "disappointed" when they lost and they would always shake their opponents by the hand. No hissy fits here.
** In Series 1, Mortis weren't happy that the judges gave the heat final to Recyclopse over them and the episode ended with Jeremy Clarkson announcing that the team wished to register a protest. A formal protest was not actually registered, however, so this was possibly just {{Kayfabe}}; however, Mortis ''were'' genuinely upset by the result.
*** Inverted in Series 2 where Mortis actually lodged a protest when [[ExecutiveMeddling the producers intervened unfairly]] ''[[PrinciplesZealot on their side.]]'' They were still (unfairly) portrayed as poor sports by the editing and [[NeverLiveItDown got stuck with an undeserved reputation as a result]].
** In Series 3, Daisy Chopper were defeated by Griffon by a judges' decision and formally requested a recount. The judges did reconsider but ruled in Griffon's favour again, albeit closer this time (a split decision).
** Ian Lewis of Razer threw a temper tantrum when Pussycat ripped up his robot in the Series 4 heat final, considering them to have violated the "gentleman's agreement" not to cause unnecessary damage to an immobilised opponent- after the battle he refused to attend the interview, instead rushing off to check on Razer, and [[TheStinger at the end of the episode]] there was a clip of him ranting to the camera about how unsporting it was of Pussycat to rip into Razer like that. Averted by his teammates, though, who went up cheerfully for the interview and congratulated Pussycat for a battle well-fought. This was probably the most notable instance of poor sportsmanship in the history of the show.
** In Series 6, Corkscrew was eliminated when it was deflected off Kronic 2 and onto the pit just as it started to descend, taking Corkscrew down with it. After the battle, captain John Heatlie protested that the pit had opened without the release button being hit, requesting to see the tapes of the battle. After he was shown the relevant footage of Kronic 2 hitting the button, he apologised and accepted the result with good grace (although it must be noted that Kronic 2 had hit the button ''thirty seconds'' before the pit started to open under Corkscrew, so he probably had a point).
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: When Sir Killalot joined the show he dwarfed the other House Robots and rather [[VillainDecay upstaged them]].
* SpikedWheels: Attempted by a few bots, but wholly impractical because the opponents rarely ended up side-to-side.
* SpoilerOpening: At least in Series 6.
* StealthPun: During House Robot introductions before a fight, sometimes Sir Killalot would turn from side to side, alternately raising and lowering his claw and lance arms in different directions. That's right, he was dancing ''The Robot.''
* TheStinger: [[IThoughtItMeant No, not the Series 4 grand finalist]].
** Series 2 had one at the end of every episode, where the heat winner would pit the disabled robot, but if it's already pitted, the team would get up to shenanigans either on and off the arena.
** [[spoiler:At the end of Series 3, Heat D, Ultor approached the Big Brother team and explained how they felt the judges' decision was wrong, and they were giving the win to Big Brother.]]
** The end of Series 4, Heat B featured an [[BerserkButton extended rant]] by Ian Lewis of Team Razer after their robot was severely damaged from their heat final loss to Pussycat. He stated that virtually every roboteer works under an assumed GentlemansAgreement not to do too much unnecessary damage to recurring competitors[[note]]Excluding JokeCharacter[=s=] since they're expected to finish the battle in pieces, and roboteers who give the O.K. for their opponent to smash up their robot[[/note]], noting how Razer had immobilised [[JokeCharacter Milly Ann Bug]] by ''only'' removing the wheels, since their team had installed expensive equipment inside their robots' domes which they would have to pay to replace before their assumed return in Series 5.
* StockFootage: The show would use it from time to time, usually when showing the two House Robots that had been selected for each battle from Series 5 on.
** StockFootageFailure: This happened occasionally, particularly with one bit of footage they repeatedly used to accompany the "3... 2... 1... Activate!" countdown at the start of every battle, which showed three kids in the audience holding up large signs with "3", "2" and "1" on them. What made this so obviously noticeable was that the kid with the "1" sign [[EpicFail was holding it sideways]].
* TakeThat: Against ''Franchise/{{RoboCop}}'' in Series 3 Heat O:
-->It's the show that Robocop deplores,
-->'Cause we're good after three sequels of Robot Wars.
* TankGoodness: Series 5 competitor Evolution was [[http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/robotwars/images/9/95/Evolution.gif/revision/latest?cb=20090405233235 a large model tank]], [[MadeOfPlasticine armoured in mostly MDF]]. The turret had two sharp blades on the end and span around at high speed to damage opponents. An earlier competitor, Terminal Ferocity, [[http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/robotwars/images/0/0f/Terminal_ferocity.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100307213913 was built to resemble an artillery turret]].
* TemptingFate: Hypnodisc's infamous battle against Splinter in Series 4 had a hilarious example courtesy of commentator Jonathan Pearce, after the underdog Splinter appeared to be gaining the upper hand:
-->'''Jonathan:''' Could this be one of the biggest shocks ''ever'' in Robot Wars? If they [Splinter] keep attacking on a frontal collision with that spinning disc [using their front scoop to deflect the disc away], they'll protect their more vulnerable sides, of course. And maybe, who knows- *Hypnodisc [[OhCrap smashes the scoop clean off]]* -'''[[LargeHam OH NO THEY WON'T!]]'''
** During Dundee's only battle, against Cassius in Series 3, Jonathan Pearce remarked that it was doing better than the team's previous robot Loco (which had coincidentally been knocked out by Cassius in Series 2). No sooner had Pearce said this than Cassius proceeded to flip Dundee over, eliminating it.
** Double subverted with Backstabber, a robot deemed by its team to be "Razer-proof". While Razer did indeed have trouble sinking its claw into Backstabber due to its awkward shape, there was nothing stopping it from shoving Backstabber down the pit instead.
* TheWorfEffect: Flipping a house robot was a common way for a robot to achieve this. It helped that their armour fell apart at the slightest touch.
* ThirteenIsUnlucky: 13 Black had two huge spinning discs for massive destructive potential, and yet it never lived up to its capabilities. Their motto was "unlucky for some..." As Craig Charles said, it only lasted about 13 seconds in Series 5 (it actually lasted longer, but was easily beaten on a judges decision in a colourless battle) -- although in Series 6 it reached the Semi-Finals, and managed to take out Chaos 2 and Dominator 2 in the All-Stars Tournament.
** Lampshaded by the Gravedigger team, who were seeded 13th in Series 4 and promptly crashed out in Round 1 as their flipper arm wasn't working.
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: The reaction of roboteer Luke Jackman (of Spawn Again) when he's informed by Philippa Forrester that their next opponent is Terrorhurtz while he's attempting to fix an unspecified major problem with the robot.
* ThrowTheDogABone: The large number of non-returning semi-finalists in the Seventh Wars combined with the increase in number of heats allowed for several long-standing but often overlooked robots to be seeded.
* TookALevelInBadass:
** Killerhurtz becoming Terrorhurtz during Series 5. Atomic's new design in Series 7. The reason why nobody remembers the original Chaos.
** Terrorhurtz was a double-subversion; in its first series it failed to do any better than Killerhurtz despite the look, won only one battle (and that was because a house robot interfered) and only in the Sixth Wars did it really get going.
** House Robot Matilda in Series 5, after its flimsy chainsaw was replaced with a gigantic vertical flywheel that would flip contestant robots clean into the air upon striking them.
** Sting 1 and 2 were very average robots with no weapons or success whatsoever. Then the team entered S3 (considered to be Sting 3) two series later, which was a completely different design. The spinning blade and unique shape ensured this entry only lost in the second round of the semis when they entered the main competition.
** X-Terminator in the Seventh Wars; after a massive redesign that involved replacing the often ineffectual axe with a flywheel, it went on to finish 4th, and also managed a RingOut without a dedicated lifting weapon, one of the few robots to perform such a feat.
** ''The arena'' will be taking one in the 2016 reboot, which the announcement that the floor will be made of 6mm steel rather than the old wooden boards. Just as well, since the weight allowance has been increased to 110kg, meaning the contestants will be deadlier than ever.
** [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2016/robot-wars-filming According to the producers]] the four returning House Robots (Matilda, Dead Metal, Shunt and Sir Killalot) are being upgraded to modern-day roboteering standards. Prepare for terror.
*** [[spoiler:[[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cfy0IxaXIAAJkn2.jpg And they've finally been seen.]] While the full extent of the upgrades aren't yet entirely clear, they look like a roboteer's worst nightmare.]]
* TookALevelInJerkass: Almost everyone in the first Robot Wars Extreme. Only the most polite teams ever said anything sportsmanlike about or to their opponents, and this was usually done in the aftermath of a fight.
** [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] during the several Extreme Vengenace battles. The reason why many of the roboteers end up picking a fight with other random roboteers for inane and petty reasons is really because [[ExecutiveMeddling the executives]] need two robots in the ring for a "Vengeance Match" and they can make up whatever ridiculous reason along the way, [[AllThereInTheManual according to the Tornado website and Robot Wars Wiki]].
* TooPowerfulToLive: Chaos 2 flipped its way to become Champion in Series 3 and 4 with often minimal damage and effort, and came close to repeating the feat in Series 5. This trope was invoked in one of the Series 4 Annihilators when in the very first round, ''every single other robot'' united to take it out before anyone else; BadassDecay set in later in Series 6 and the Extreme II All Stars.
** The same thing happened to Hypno-Disc in its Annihilator: nobody else so much as touched each other until the deadly spinner was dispatched.
** A few robots were so powerful that they weren't allowed to fight, for safety reasons. These included Mauler, the Series 7 version of Sabretooth, and during the show's hiatus, pretty much ''any'' robot with a spinning weapon.
* UnderdogsNeverLose: Over the course of the Seventh Wars, Tornado and Firestorm were both beaten by main competition debutant Storm 2, Bigger Brother was beaten by Iron Awe in Round 2, Spawn Again was beaten by Raging Knightmare in the heat final, Pussycat was beaten by [=M2=] in Round 2, Behemoth was beaten by Mute in Round 2, and Mighty Mouse, Judge Shred, and Robochicken all made the heat final for the first time (recording better or the same competition finishes than over half the seeds).
* UndignifiedDeath: Any match that didn't go to the judges was highly likely to end in this for the losing robot.
* {{Unperson}}: The VHS release of "The First Great War", a collection of highlights and behind-the-scenes material of Series 1, removed any footage of or reference to Jeremy Clarkson, and the video itself was presented by Craig Charles. No tie-in media mentions Clarkson at all, and many people watching Series 1 for the first time since broadcast are surprised to find someone other than Charles as host.
** It seemed like that season was never broadcast in the US.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: Jack Charles, son of host [[Creator/CraigCharles Craig Charles]], occasionally joins Diotoir's team, most notably throughout the team's Fifth Series campaign. You'd think the Pit Reporter or ''his own father'' would make a big deal of this, but he's barely mentioned when he appears.
* VictoryByEndurance: A valid tactic when a lot of robots simply weren't reliable enough to take a few bumps without breaking down- no matter how impressive your weapon is, if your drive system breaks down you're out. Very often the winner of a battle was simply the one that didn't stop moving. This was particularly common in the Annihilator battles, where 6 robots would fight at once and one would be removed each round until only one was left, as seen by the DarkHorseVictory of Spikasaurus in the Series 4 Northern Annihilator (where it limped to victory when Dominator 2 suddenly stopped moving) and the back-to-back wins in Extreme 2 and Series 7 by Kan Opener, who were never any good in the main competition but were experts at simply ''going the distance.''
* ViewersAreGoldfish:
** The profiles of the House Robots that were shown before ''every single fight'' in the Fifth Wars, even if said house robots had already appeared on the episode. If they'd cut those out, they could probably have included an extra battle with the time saved.
** Starting with the Third Wars the heat final battles showed a short montage of how the competitors had managed to get to that stage, despite the fact that the clips were from battles between half an hour and three minutes before.
* WeInterruptThisProgram: The filming of a Series 3 heat once had to be stopped when a member of the audience was found to be in possession of a controller. It was subsequently found that they'd brought their own antweight robot with them.
* WhamEpisode:
** In the early days, a viable piece of advice was "don't worry too much about armour, the robots' weapons don't actually do that much damage." Then came Series 3, Heat H, and in it Hypno-Disc.
** In the early days, a robot being flipped was essentially out, as there was no means of recovery. In fact, the winner of the first series, Road Block, was literally a moving ramp that would force the enemy to drive over it and fall over. Come the Series 2 semi-finals, a robot named Cassius was flipped during the Trial and presumed doomed. Then, its flipper weapon was used to right itself, to the astonishment of commentator Jonathan Pearce, and presumably everyone else except the Cassius team themselves. Since this now made the most powerful weapon in the series much less useful, they stormed to second place. From the third series on, not having a SRIMECH was considered risky bordering suicidal, until Chaos 2 (see below) found a way to render them redundant.
** From later on in Series 3, Chaos 2 flipping Firestorm out of the arena. This new method of winning would be performed by many many flippers (and a few vertical spinners), culminating with 34 occurrences in the final season and a semifinal comprised almost entirely of bots with RingOut potential. Firestorm, like many others, thought their SRIMECH would protect them from flippers. Against the most powerful version ever seen, however...
* {{Whammy}}: All too often, a robot would dominate in its battle, only to lose due to due radio interference, a dislodged safety link, or some other technical malfunction that causes it to stop dead. Razer and Fluffy were particularly notable for this. Robots who ended up unexpectedly in the pit also qualified, especially if they were dominating the fight before their downfall. This was usually due to dodgy driving, the opponent managing to wriggle out of the way from the edge of the pit as their would-be destructor charged towards them, or the dominated robot being such a {{Determinator}} that they got a HeroicSecondWind or some luck and drove their opponents in.
* WinsByDoingAbsolutelyNothing: A potential tactic in any battle that wasn't "last robot standing"; Atilla the Drum managed to make it to the penultimate round of the Southern Annihilator in spite of very little offense (although it was also helped by the fact that its design made it very difficult to attack), and this was also a tactic of Mighty Mouse in first round melees.
** In the second series' "Reserve Rumble" (a fight between a group of robots that hadn't qualified for the main competition) Jim Struts was the only walker robot. Either because the other robots didn't think it posed a threat or weren't sure how to tackle a robot more than twice as heavy, it ended up the last robot standing as all the others were taken out by the House Robots.
* TheWorfEffect: The house robots often fell victim to this, as roboteers knew that taking one on and winning was an easy path to Robot Wars immortality. Spin Doctor smashing Matilda's tusks in Series 2, The Big Cheese eviscerating Sgt. Bash in Series 3, Gravity flipping Dead Metal (and just about every other house robot it dared to) in Series 7... the list goes on.
* YankTheDogsChain: Behemoth got the challenge belt in Extreme 1 as a consolation prize for the world championship. They just had to beat out 3 challengers and it would be theirs to keep - even if a later challenger defeated them. The first two matches were a walk in the park, but their third opponent was the nigh-invincible at the time Tornado, who knocked them down and snatched the belt away. Behemoth would never win a trophy - unless you count the antweight version - and ended up with the most battle losses of any robot in Robot Wars.
* YouHaveNoIdeaWhoYoureDealingWith: Some of the more successful teams, such as Chaos 2 in Series 4, would [[InvertedTrope invert]] this during their introductions as a form of BadassBoast. The effect was: "You should know ''exactly'' who we are, and it should ''[[TheDreaded scare the living daylights out of you]]''."
* YourHeadAsplode: Happened to a robot called Major Tom in Series 4. Major Tom had a plastic head (salvaged from a bubblegum machine) at the back of it, and in its battle with 101, got immobilised in Shunt's CPZ. Shunt brought his axe down on Tom's head, which made it shatter into a million pieces.
* ZeroEffortBoss: On occasion, some robots don't even move off their starting area, which essentially gives the victory to the other robot. On other occasions, robots only need a tap before they stop moving and are eliminated.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Board and Video Games]]
* ArtificialStupidity: It is often incredibly easy to get the AI robots in the computer games to drive into the pit simply by driving your robot to the other side of the pit, whereupon the AI robot will charge forward, straight into the pit.
** In ''Metal Mayhem'', you can often do the same thing with the [[OneHitKill arena spikes]] or the flame pit. ''Especially'' the flame pit.
** The 'Football' mode on ''Extreme Destruction'' is just a regular head-to-head battle with a ball and goal, meaning that the competitor robot ignores the ball and just attacks you.
** Also from ''Extreme Destruction'', if an AI competitor robot is placed next to a CPZ at the beginning of the battle, there is a chance that when the fight begins the competitor will immediately drive into the CPZ and attack the house robot.[[note]]This is probably because of the introduction of the Refbot in ''Extreme Destruction'' marking a change in the house robot AI, as they could now break the rules and make unprovoked attacks so the Refbot could then send them back into their CPZ by giving them red and yellow cards.[[/note]]
** For some reason, the house robots in the Kilimanjaro arena in ''Arenas of Destruction'' are incredibly unresponsive and will only attack (and even then only barely) if a competitor robot actually attacks them first.
* ArtisticLicenseEngineering:
** Chassis, armour, wheels, motors, power source, weapons, and you're good to go.
*** It's even simpler in ''Metal Mayhem'' due to the Game Boy Color's limitations: body shell, drive motors, gear ratio, weapon. That's it.
** Armour, wheels and even ''weapons'' will fly off in massive chunks as a robot gets hit. Even if the other robot is attacking with an axe it is enough to tear off whole sheets of metal.
* AWinnerIsYou: Completing "Competition" mode on ''Extreme Destruction'', [[spoiler: which presents you with 'CONGRATULATIONS - enjoy your special prize' and a revolving image of a small carriage clock]]. PlayedForLaughs a little, [[spoiler: as if you stay on the screen a while the clock falls apart.]]
* BlandNameProduct: You can equip your bot with motors from a "Dosch" drill, or a "Yuarta" battery. Funnily enough, in ''Arenas of Destruction'', [[EpicFail the latter still has the actual brand name clearly printed on it]].
* BonusFeatureFailure: The computer games allowed you to unlock competitor robots to play as as you progressed through the various tournaments. Unfortunately, several of these- Dominator II or Pussycat in ''Extreme Destruction'' and Panic Attack or Razer in ''Arenas of Destruction'', for example- were so poor compared to their real-life counterparts that they just weren't worth bothering with.
* CaptureTheFlag: Found on both ''Arenas of Destruction'' and ''Extreme Destruction''.
* DiscOneNuke: Wheely Big Cheese in the PC/Xbox version of ''Extreme Destruction'' is unlocked early on and has an incredibly powerful flipper.
** Likewise, in the Game Boy Advance version- if you know which Gauntlet event to complete ([[spoiler: The Slalom on Silver Difficulty]]), you can unlock [[LightningBruiser Chaos 2]] right off the bat.
* DummiedOut: ''Metal Mayhem'''s box art includes a screenshot depicting Ultor, implying it was going to be playable at some point before being removed from the final game.
* EarlyBirdCameo: Terrorhurtz appeared as a playable robot in ''Arenas of Destruction'' well before it had actually appeared in the UK series. This was down to ''Battlebots'' owning the rights to the image of the team's current machine, Killerhurtz, so its successor was used as their representative instead.
* [[EveryCarIsAPinto Every Bot Is A Pinto]]: In ''Metal Mayhem'', when a bot takes terminal damage, it catches fire. This would make sense for [[JokeCharacter Diotoir]], or if the bot was killed by the flame pit, but kill a robot with your flipper and it will still catch fire.
* GameBreaker: Chaos 2 is exactly as nasty in the games as he was in real life, so much so that you have to beat the ''World Championship'' (entry fee: 25,000 credits) in order to access him!
* GravityScrew: The Mars arena in ''Extreme Destruction'' includes an anti-gravity switch.
* LullDestruction: In ''Extreme Destruction'' at least, Jonathan Pearce never. Shuts. Up. ''Ever''. While he's a borderline MotorMouth in the TV show, his commentary in the game is a never-ending stream of repetitive, over-enthusiastic, and often hyperbolic comments. It gets annoying fairly quickly.
* OffModel: The in-game version of Crasha Gnasha in ''Metal Mayhem'' looks nothing like the actual robot whatsoever, being purple instead of blue and missing both of the real robot's weapons- it doesn't have its saw, and the side-to-side hammer has been replaced with a physically improbable overhead whip.
* OneHitPointWonder
* SecondPlaceIsForLosers: No prizes for finishing second or below, here.
* UnexpectedCharacter: One of the reasons ''Metal Mayhem'' (based on Series 3) was [[TheProblemWithLicensedGames so poorly received by fans]] was because of its bizarre roster choices. Five of the playable robots - Crasha Gnasha, Terminal Ferocity, Dundee, Milly-Ann Bug, and Purple Predator - lost in the first round that year, the former two in [[SingleStrokeBattle ten seconds flat]], and all but Milly-Ann Bug never appeared on the show again. Meanwhile, two of the four grand finalists[[note]]Hypno-Disc and Steg-O-Saw-Us[[/note]] and three of the fan favourites[[note]]Cassius 2 (who'd beaten Dundee in the first round), Mortis, and Razer[[/note]] were all overlooked.
[[/folder]]

->''Cease.''
----