A classic move for the giant-monster
genre, from King Kong
, this is when a gigantic creature or similar menace lashes out and destroys a helicopter or other low-flying aircraft. The aircraft might be attacking the monster, circling too close to capture footage of the creature (news crews, beware this trope!), or simply passing by and/or trying to get the hell away from it. One of the many hazards of being an Acrophobic Bird
, and a standard tactic for filmmakers to justify a monster not
simply being blown away by an air-to-ground missile. Of course if the threat is groundbased, and the pilots would logically know it possessed no ranged weaponry, this may be a case of Too Dumb to Live
Often overlaps with Hellish Copter
. Bonus points if we see someone reporting from the helicopter as it gets swatted, making it Deadline News
Anime and Manga
- King Kong swats at attacking aircraft at the climax of the movie. He manages to take down three, but unfortunately it's not enough to save him.
- Near the end of Cloverfield, the monster takes down a helicopter full of evacuees the protagonists.
- Godzilla and his kaiju colleagues do this all the time.
- Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus uses the standard version when the octopus swats a fighter plane, and takes it far beyond credibility when the shark leaps 30,000 feet up to nom an airliner.
- The human protagonist of Stephen King's Battleground swats one of the attacking mini-choppers out of the air barehanded (suffering appropriate injuries to his hand), then throws a blanket over the other and stomps on it.
- The 50-foot Ginger that climbed up the Tower of Art in Moving Pictures tried to play out this trope when two wizards started strafing it from a flying broomstick.
- This is actually in music. The intro to Arockalypse by Lordi is a spoken news bulletin about a zombie invasion, including a snippet from a reporter who gets knocked out of the sky by a monster climbing a building.
- The monsters in the Arcade Game Rampage could do this to attacking helicopters.
- Can be done in Crush, Crumble, and Chomp!, though it's actually somewhat difficult. The helicopter units are fairly good at keeping their distance from the monster, and good at evading the monster's "grab" attack.
- In Monsters vs. Aliens, Ginormica does it by accident, while trying to explain how she's not dangerous at all.
- Parodied in the opening scene of Beavis And Butthead Do America.
- Taz-Mania: In "Taz in Keeweeland", Taz becomes a giant atop a skyscraper, swatting at the Kiwi in a biplane.
- In The Simpsons episode "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" the plane that the Simpsons are on going home gets attacked by Godzilla.
Pilot: Uh, folks, we're experiencing some moderate Godzilla-related turbulence at this time, so I'm going to go ahead and ask you to put your seat belts back on. When we get to 35 thousand feet, he usually does let go, so from there on out, all we have to worry about is Mothra, and, uh, we do have reports he's tied up with Gamera and Rodan at the present time. Thank you very much.
- In Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman does this with small radio-controlled choppers in a miniature diorama of Gotham City. Justified: This is the old "Gotham of the Future" monorail display, which now serves as the Joker's home base.
- The Trope Namer is the now-famous tweet joking about using a flyswatter to get rid of an annoying helicopter that was flying around town in the middle of the night. The town was Abbottabad, Pakistan, and the helicopters were carrying Navy SEALS on their way to take down Osama bin Laden. One of them did crash during the raid, but so far there have been no reports that giant monsters were involved.