Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!

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Cliché #54: There are always giant robots. Always.

Simply put, this is when a work is not about Mecha, but throws one or more in at some point(s) anyway. Why? Because giant robots are cool, duh!

Note that perhaps no work absolutely needs mecha, but some works still center around them, especially a Super Robot show. This is when you can throw out the mecha and still have most of the work intact. But it wouldn't be as awesome, right?

A Sister Trope to Like That Show but with Mecha.

Other popular condiments for when authors feel a science fiction or adventure plot is in need of fresh flavor are giant monsters, dragons, zombies and ninja.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, Sealand asks Japan to making him like a power ranger and Sealand randomly becomes a Super Robot Mecha with a Rocket Punch. He has to call Iceland to get the fist back because The Rocket punch just kept going straight to Iceland and Iceland's head was in the way so it couldn't come back.
  • Laputa: Castle in the Sky has not a trace of Humongous Mecha until about halfway through the movie.
  • In the last episode of Kaiba, three rebels break into the ruler's palace using a giant robot that the Nutty Professor had been saving for the task. It fights off the Mecha-Mooks with a Macross Missile Massacre while the others make their way to the ruler's chamber.
  • The final battle of the School Festival arc in Mahou Sensei Negima! throws in mecha just for the heck of it. And Gundam references. Plenty of Gundam references.
  • Burst Angel. 'Course, 90% of the the plot is things they thrown in for the hell of it, so it doesn't stand out too much.
  • Code Geass both follows and subverts this trope, ironically enough. The series is a tale of war, oppression, supernatural powers and Black and Gray Morality. It also has mecha that are constantly used as the primary weapon of both sides involved in the conflict. However, the manga version of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion attempts to follow the same plot as the anime, except the Knightmares are non-existant. Instead, they wage war using other weapons such as infantry, planes, VTOL-crafts, and ships. Kururugi Suzaku is seen piloting a VTOL-craft (an armed helicopter) most of the time. While this seems like a good idea in theory, the absence of mecha in the manga makes the scale of events look quite a bit weird, especially when Zero and the Black Knights are sometimes reduced to committing simple acts of vandalism on school grounds, which can certainly be considered less awesome than engaging in mecha action sequences.
  • Guilty Crown is a story that takes place after a major viral outbreak deemed Lost Christmas has ravaged Japan and left it under martial law and foreign occupation. Ten years later, a new Phlebotinum known as the Void Genome has been developed, which allows its user to draw powerful items from people that reflect their personalities. After a terrorist group bent on liberating Japan steals this weapon, it winds up being accidentally bonded to Ordinary High-School Student Ouma Shu. It's a story that tries to show normal teenagers living under constant threat of strife and death. It also features some Conspicuous CG robots that serve mostly to give Shu some enemies to chop up with his weapon without having to kill anyone. Although prominent in the first episode, for most of the show they are mostly absent or in the background.
  • One Piece
    • Mr. 3 creates one for himself out of candle wax. It's more dangerous than it sounds.
    • After the Time Skip, Franky has a Rule of Funny-based Giant Robot with a barrel-shaped body and tiny, spindly legs.
      • It's later revealed that its initial appearance was just for laughs and that it actually is an awesome machine.
  • The finale of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha's first season had Precia summoning an army of Mecha-Mooks, including a Humongous Mecha or ten. Though considering all the mecha references in Nanoha, it's more surprising that there aren't more.
  • A few years prior, the same director had Kyosuke Date go a few rounds with giant machines in The SoulTaker.
  • Now and Then, Here and There, an anime about cruelty and child exploitation in an apocalyptic world where the majority of civilization has hit a technological regression, adds in mechas when they're entirely unnecessary. Doesn't stop the show from being terribly tragic, but sort of contradicts the Dark Age atmosphere.
  • Soul Eater is best described as a supernatural-themed Fighting Series. Towards the end, however, there's one fight scene where it manages to pull off this trope in the most absurdly hilarious way possible. And yes, it was indeed awesome.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth. Although the mecha are cool to look at, they don't particularly do anything that the Power Trio couldn't do on their own aside from scaling up the fights.
  • In the High School comedy I My Me! Strawberry Eggs old lady Lulu has a motorbike that transforms into a humanoid firefighting mecha. There is no valid reason for this other than Rule of Cool.
  • In Naruto, one of Pain's bodies is inexplicably some sort of Hollywood Cyborg, with rocket boots, a Rocket Punch, Macross Missile Massacre deployed from his other arm, and a laser beam from his head. This just seems to be part of his bloodline ability rather than actual technology. He pulls off the same moves using his own body after being resurrected by Kabuto.
  • Red Garden: Dead Girls (OVA), Because being hundreds of years in the future isn't interesting enough, Gonzo decided it was time to add some mecha. Looking back on the TV series beginning episodes, one could never imagine this is how it would all end.
  • Full Metal Panic!
    • Time: present. Location: Siberia. Scene: a jeep fleeing with two passengers, one of them a victim of illegal Soviet experimentation. As they are nearly safe, a Hind appears and blows away the jeep. The survivor is about to get shot by the Hind's chaingun when suddenly a HUGE knife flies out of the forest and impales the heli. Enter the protagonist in an M 9 E mecha using equipment that shouldn't exist for about 50 years. Seconds later we are treated to a scene of mechas jumping around like ninjas. Note again: this is the present, not the future.
    • This anachronism is actually lampshaded and becomes a major plot point later on.
  • Even though Ghost in the Shell has Spider Tanks, actual mechas are very rare and rather on the small side. The lobby fight in the first season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is already awesome, but when the mecha appears on the scene, the awesomeness instantly goes critical.
    • Not exactly a mecha, it was just a fairly large suit of Powered Armor
  • In Buso Renkin, most of the titular objects take the form of weapons. The boss of the Alchemist Army has his take the form of a giant mecha, which amplifies other weapons and abilities that are used by its other pilots.
  • Quite literal in Hanamaru Kindergarten: Tsuchida's puppet show is a fantasy fairytale...up until the handsome prince summons his giant robot, which the children think is awesome.
  • Air Gear has had a couple of these lately, starting with Caesar and Nina's AT Armors. Hell, soon enough even Kaito gets to pilot one
  • In Zettai Karen Children, one of the characters ESPer powers involves making toys real and fighting with them. Guess what he tends to fight with? (hint: it's a toy model, starts with the letter 'M' and ends with 'echa'). Aside from pure awesomeness factor, there is no justification for this.

    Comic Books 
  • The X-Men have the Sentinels, which are towering robots meant to hunt mutants.
  • The giant Batman/Superman composite mecha created by one of the many people that go by Toyman. This particular Toyman is a Japanese teenager, so it's at least understandable.
    • A version of this character from the future later appeared in Teen Titans piloting Grendizer.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comics, Dawn (by now a giant) goes on a rampage through Tokyo, stomping on vampires and generally causing mayhem. The vampires counterattack with a Humongous Mecha version of Dawn with a Godzilla-esque tail and the two of them battle it out in the middle of the city, with Andrew giving tactics advice from a helicopter overhead.

     Fan Works 

    Film 

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Dick Tracy: At the height of the insanity during Locher's run, he introduced a Humongous Mecha called TRAZE-R to the strip.

    Roleplay 
  • Destroy the Godmodder invokes this trope repeatedly. The AGs will be going along, trampling the shreds of the godmodder's forces, then suddenly a horde of giant mechs attacks them. Again.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted: "Yeah, Bob, I like the sound of this game where you play the solar-powered demigod, but do you think there's any way we could get, I don't know, giant magic suits of power armour into this? Except we can't really call them that, so...warstriders, yeah that's a good name. Warstriders."
  • CthulhuTech: "People beating the crap out of Cthulhu Mythos creatures is becoming a bit too common... What do you guys say we do it with mecha, and make a tabletop RPG out of it?"
  • Dungeons & Dragons: "Hey, guys, I just had this awesome idea. Let's make a huuge golem out of flesh and bones, stat it up, and let necromancers possess it with Magic Jar!"
    • "Yeah, that sounds great. And then we could have, like, the dwarves or somebody build a walking city, and make it fight dragons from the moon..."
  • Gear Krieg "All the action and adventure of World War II — with mecha!"
  • Warhammer 40,000 - because what's a massive, apocalyptic battle with without skyscraper-sized mechs that can level cities with a single shot? The newer editions have been critizised for introducing more and more stompy robots to the game, invoking this trope.

    Toys 
  • Ladies and gentlemen, The "Disney Megazord".
  • BIONICLE takes this to the logical extreme in Stars: one robot is 27 million feet tall and the other one is 40,000,000 feet tall and contains the entire Matoran Universe.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • In Babe Ruth: Man-Tank Gladiator the narrator does this to the story of Babe Ruth.
  • The Whateley Universe is arguably one of the settings where despite the best efforts of human and mutant engineers, giant mecha canonically just plain don't work. (Power armor exists, but is much more to human scale.) And yet, during the big Halloween 2006 battle, perpetual school project Tiny Tim gets a personal Crowning Moment of Awesome once it's been brought to the surface — not under its own power, mind — by demonstrating that while it may not be able to walk worth a damn, at least some of its guns are quite operational...

    Western Animation 
  • Mecha-Streisand, Barbra Streisand's Mecha-Godzilla-esque form, in South Park. She shows up in episode 12 "Mecha-Streisand" before vanishing for years... until episodes "200" and "201" a full 12 years later (1998 to 2010).
  • Reboot, but was justified, as it was in an episode parodying Power Rangers.
  • Family Guy. When Peter bans cripples from his restaurant, they come together to form "Cripple-Tron" (which, ironically, can walk).
    • When Peter becomes the producer of Lois' directorial debut of The King and I, Peter drives Lois so insane that she just gives him the director's seat out of frustration, and he eventually writes the role of Anna into A.N.N.A, Automoton Nuclear Neo-humanoid Android, a (male) sword-welding mecha when the previous actress drops out.
  • Phineas and Ferb
  • The Fairly Oddparents: Timmy's Dad made a mecha out of his car to battle his next door neighbor.
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • The eponymous character builds plenty of them.
    • When Dexter went to Japan, everybody had a Mecha from the school bullies to the teacher of the class.
  • In a Power Rangers parody, the water tower in Animaniacs becomes a Humongous Mecha.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold
  • Teen Titans: In the Teen Titans Go! comic adaptation, the various vehicles used at different times by the cast can combine into a robot. We do not see this every day, and of course their cartoon and mainstream comic counterparts get along just fine without it.
  • G.I. Joe:
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • There are Steampunk mecha owned by Hiroshi Sato, in a series about Elemental Powers. They even play a key role in attacks on Republic City.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the Grand Finale, the plot of which centers around Kuvira invading Republic City using a giant robot with an arm-mounted laser cannon. And it is awesome.
  • In Bubble Guppies, a monster truck appears for one episode, Humunga Truck, and at the end it turns out to also be a Transforming Mecha.
  • In We Are the Strange, the plot seems calm and suspenseful, only to suddenly end with a gigantic mecha battle.
  • The Steven Universe episode "Back to the Barn." has two characters, Pearl and Peridot, settle who is the best engineer by building, competing in, and finally fighting in two mecha.

    Real Life 
  • There is a real, life-size Gundam model in Japan. It was finished in July 2009 and pulled down in September. Then it was put up again in July 2010 but with a beam saber. Oh, and it also moves a little bit. Unfortunately, the 2011 earthquake collapsed it. Fortunately it was rebuilt in 2012, and was exhibited at Hong Kong in 2013.
  • According to Ars Technica, a real life showdown between the American Mega Bots Mk.III, and a Japanese Kuratas, is scheduled for August 2017.

Alternative Title(s): Everythings Better With Mecha

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