Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha
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.
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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.
- 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.
- Hoofstuck: LoRaF-tan has one.
- This Warrior Cats fanfic declares that the only way Warriors could possibly be more awesome would be if the cats piloted giant mechs. And so they do.
- SailorMoon could be more awesome if Sarina was, instead of (or as well as) a Magical Girl, she was a mechwarrior. So thought Foxi-5 at Deviantart.
- MyLittlePony, on a related note, could also be more awesome. Now it is.
- When Spaceball 1 became (Dramatic Timpani) Mega Maid.
"Its a Transformer!
- Moonwalker, and the two video games modeled after it.
- Even though Starship Troopers is based on the back cover of the novel that originally introduced the whole concept of Powered Armor, it and its sequels have little to do with the original, and thus don't have the armor. Then Starship Troopers 3: Marauder "introduces" mechs just for the cool of it.
- The first three Terminator films were conducted at the human scale. Terminator Salvation shows giant mecha robots in Skynet's army that are used to round up human survivors.
- All Star Wars films since The Empire Strikes Back have added walkers such as the AT-AT and AT-ST. The Phantom Menace even introduced Transforming Mecha (specifically, droid starfighters which could shift into walkers when needed.)
- The new Gullivers Travels movie has a giant mech. Except it's used by the Liliputians, and as such is only human-sized.
- Wild Wild West. Dr. Loveless' giant steam-powered Spider Tank.
- In Aliens, Mini-Mecha loading bots are used to help load heavy missiles onto the drop ships. Ripley was trained to use those, and she utilizes it in the final battle against the alien queen, while dropping the Pre-Asskicking One Liner "Get away from her, you bitch!".
Live Action TV
- The Doctor Who episode "The Next Doctor" has a giant Steam Punk Cyberman trampling through 19th century London. Later on, a reason is given why it wasn't in the history books.
- Super Sentai and Power Rangers. Let's face it, they don't need to include the Make My Monster Grow part every episode, but nobody's really complaining about the giant robots the Rangers pull out in response. The first two Sentai series, Himitsu Sentai Goranger and J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai, had no super robots, just Gerry Anderson-esque vehicles, and the latter was not very successful — it was the introduction of super robots into the show with Battle Fever J that distinguished the show from the dozens of other Henshin Hero shows at the time and made it a Cash Cow Franchise.
- The Goliaths from H.I.V.E
- "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."
- "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?"
- "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!"
- "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?
- Ladies and gentlemen, The "Disney Megazord"◊.
- The eponymous Metal Gear mechs could be anything, really, considering the themes of the games otherwise are unrelated to giant mecha. They do make for awesome boss battles, tho'.
- Especially in Metal Gear Solid 4 when you finally get to pilot one.
- In a nice bit of lamp-shade hanging in the book of the first game, Snake reflects that Otacon even gave the thing sound effects to sound like a dragon. It doesn't get much cooler than that.
- Of course, Otacon is a Hollywood Otaku who got into robot engineering for the sole reason that he wanted to build Humongous Mecha like in anime. Of course he is going to want to snazz it up. His commentary in MGS4 suggests he and the rest of the engineering team sneaked in a lot of little features like that, just because they had the oppertunity.
- The Knights of the Holy Lance in Persona 2 are what happens when you throw this on a pot with Stupid Jetpack Hitler. They were supposed to have actual personalities and be feminine.
- Warmech from Final Fantasy I.
- Starcraft: The Goliath (and to a lesser extent the Dragoon) could've been a more normal tank-type vehicle, but that wouldn't have been nearly cool enough. The sequel adds even more.
- The first Destroy All Humans! game's second to final boss. Behold! The Roboprez!
Crypto: That is seriously messed up.
- Also, the titular mecha of Big Willy Unleashed for the Wii.
- The one-on-one duel between Sparkster and Axel Gear in Rocket Knight Adventures is fought in giant possum-shaped mecha.
- Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series suddenly introduced the Titan and Mammoth Mk II in Tiberian Sun.
- In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the Imperial Japanese faction has mecha... well, pretty much solely because it's the Imperial Japanese faction.
- Final Fantasy IV had the Giant of Babil (which inspired Alexander and Barnabas / Barnabas-Z (which was inspired by Mazinger Z).
- Final Fantasy V had the Omega Weapon as a Bonus Boss. And it had an upgrade for the Bonus Dungeon.
- Final Fantasy VI has Magitek armor, walking war machines powered by magic that are easily twice, maybe three times taller than their pilots. You start the game with you and two soldiers piloting them, and later you get to do it again in an enemy camp.
- Fallout 3 features Liberty Prime, a giant robot who memorably spouts anti-communist propaganda in battle (making him a literal Propaganda Machine.) A particularly egrarious example, as Fallout 3 takes place in a post-apocalyptic Scavenger World where the realistic odds of anybody getting a functioning giant robot are astronomical. The guy is just so damn cool though, that's he's become a Memetic Mutation.
- Another Bethesda example: Numidium from The Elder Scrolls. A giant robot powered by the heart of a dead god (or the soul of one of the dead god's mortal avatars) that is so powerful that it breaks linear time whenever it activates, and was able to change the orbit of the moons and planets around Nirn.
- Dark Cloud 2 has Steve the Ridepod, Maximilian's upgradeable fighting robot.
- Live A Live devotes an entire chapter to buildup of piloting a giant robot. And it was awesome.
- The Jak and Daxter series has a line of mass-produced (in the distant past) Precursor Robots, used by the minuscule ottsel Precursors for much larger-scale tasks.
- Dealt in Lead The Cavalry + Mecha = Mech-cavalry. Awesomeness ensues.
- Gradius games get Cool Ship all over the place as it is, then Gaiden has to go and throw in the Metal Gear-esque Big Ducker boss, which is a huger version of one of the series' staple Mooks. WITH ROCKET SKATES.
- In the Wii A Boy and His Blob, the Eleventh Hour Superpower, available in only three out of 80 levels, lets the Blob turn into a Nigh Invulnerable mecha that can punch, hover, and break stuff. And punch balls of energy back at the boss who chucks 'em.
- In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, one of the bosses is an all-American football player backed by a squad of cheerleader assassins. He pilots a mech shaped like a football. Luckily, the player character (an Otaku) just happens to have a full-size working replica of the mech from his favorite Super Robot show lying around. That's the kind of game this is.
- When Otaku Surrogate Sanae saw the titular Hisou Tensoku of Touhou 12.3: Hisou Tensoku, she immediately assumed this trope. Oh sure, a Humongous Mecha would look out of place in a Magical Land with a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, but as Sanae says, it's a Magical Land with a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, so why wouldn't there be giant robots? Naturally, the fandom ran away with this. Alas, this gets subverted in the end, as Hisou Tensoku is revealed to be a giant, steam-operated advertisement doll rather than an actual Humongous Mecha.
- The Ride Armor from Mega Man X series.
- Welcome to Wild AR Ms, an RPG based on the wild west complete with horses and steam-powered locomotives. Your Chocobo for the game is a 30-foot tall, ancient, walking death-machine. Enjoy!
- In Henry Hatsworth In The Puzzling Adventure, the titular hero summons a steam-powered robot through the ancient, mystical ritual... of Tea Time.
- The Pokémon Golett and Golurk are very largely based upon golems, though they incorporate Humongous Mecha into their design as well. In particular, they're capable of using Fly without any sort of wings.
- The Civilization series has always been relatively realistic, so some fans were incensed when the most recent iteration allowed players to build Giant Death Robots. This became much less of an objection once it was clear that by the time players had sufficient technology and resources to build them, the game was pretty much over already.
- The Giant Death Robot's entry in the in-game encyclopedia repeatedly lampshades how spectacularly dumb the whole idea is, while admitting that it's far too cool to not include.
- The Mantis of Halo 4
- Ironclad Tactics is "A fast-paced, card-based tactics game ... set in the American Civil War ... WITH ROBOTS."
- In Mass Effect 2, the enemy was fine using the YMIR Mech as an all-purpose Giant Mecha-Mook. But in the third game, that wasn't cool enough... so they were replaced with the Atlas, seemingly just so that Shepard can shoot out the cockpit and steal one.
- Later games in the Ganbare Goemon series throw in Goemon Impact or some variation on it, because Japan, even in the Edo period, just wouldn't be exciting enough without giant robots.
- In Phantasy Star Online 2, one of the game's Emergency Quests, "Mining Base: Despair", is, as the name suggests, quite the challenge. Evening the playing field for the players, thankfully, is the A.I.S. (ARKS Interception Silhouette), a Purposefully Overpowered Mini-Mecha outfitted with a giant sword, chaingun, rocket launcher, and beam cannon. The main downside to these mechs is that they only operate for about a couple minutes at a time, but you can take out bosses and whole volumes of baddies in such a short time with this baby!
- 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...
- The Mecha-Streisand episode of South Park.
- 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 (male) sword-welding mecha when the previous actress drops out.
- Parodied in Phineas and Ferb with Norm, the Giant Robot Man, a killer robot with the personality of a mild-mannered white-collar suburbanite.
- Played relatively straight with the tree houses that turn into giant fighting robots in "Tree to Get Ready".
- "A Hard Day's Knight" has a fight between a fire-breathing robot dragon and a mecha in the shape of Queen Elizabeth I, which has laser eyes.
- The Fairly Oddparents: Timmy's Dad made a mecha out of his car to battle his next door neighbor.
- The eponymous character of Dexter's Laboratory builds plenty of them.
- Then the one time Dexter is in Japan, everybody has 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.
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the Batmobile can transform into a robot!
- 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.
- The original G.I. Joe cartoon managed to have giant robots made of water.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.