Let's Mock the Monsters
"Tell that big dumb scary face to take a hike and leave you alone and if he thinks he can scare you then he's got another thing coming and the very idea of such a thing just makes you wanna HAHAHAHA-, heh LAAAAAAAUUUGH!"The heroes are walking through the dark catacombs. Is that heavy breathing? No, not wanting to imagine what could be so loathsome as to live in such a place, they dismiss it as the wind. They press on, then suddenly something terrible leaps out of the shadows and... the heroes burst into laughter. Whether it's the Caustic Critic harping on the quality of the game's monsters, or the actual characters within a story, this trope applies any time monsters are being ridiculed. Killer Whatevers, Slurpasaurs, and monsters that have suffered from a Special Effect Failure are particularly prone to being mocked. If the monster looks stupid but the characters treat it as if it were terrifying, that's not this trope. See also: Our Monsters Are Different, Monster Mash, Everything Trying to Kill You, Do Not Taunt Cthulhu, Monster of the Week. Has nothing whatsoever to do with: He Who Fights Monsters, Talking the Monster to Death, Mugging the Monster, or Bullying a Dragon.
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Anime & Manga
- One Piece is rife with targets for this trope, constantly introducing impossibly stupid-looking monsters, only to have Luffy, as an inversion, call them really cool. Sanji tends to play the trope straight though, talking about how to cook monsters while beating them senseless.
- In the second season of Slayers, Lina and company encounter a monster that looks like a floating tribal mask. Then it's body grows in and it resembles, well... a penguin wearing a tribal mask.
Lina: *laughs hysterically* Oh, you're just weird, pal.
- Calvin and Hobbes: The Series:
Jark: I WILL DESTROY YOU! And I WILL take over the planet!
- Calvin does this to several Batman villains in "Calvin's Batman Adventure".
- Jark (from "Attack of the Monsters") gets hit with this a lot as well.
MTM: Did your mummy tell you that?
- In Getting Back on Your Hooves, the Big Bad assumes the form of an alicorn to terrorize the Mane Six within a dreamscape. They mock her for it, since they've fought a real alicorn and fail to be impressed.
- Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space. When the alien invader D'Ork of the Thorkoth does his Do Not Adjust Your Set thing, everyone bursts out laughing as he looks like a bad special effect from It Conquered the World.
- Peter Venkman's specialty in the Ghostbusters franchise, although the others get in on the act. Interestingly, this doesn't kick in until after the first movie: after beating Gozer the Gozerian (and Cthulhu in the animated series), everything else seems a bit pathetic in comparison.
- In Lacuna, Liao is less than polite to the Toralii fleet that jumps in after they release the Forerunner.
- The Sword of Truth had an ancient evil appear in the form of — a chicken. That cackled. Even staunch fans of the series agree that was utterly Narmtastic.
- This is the proper way to fight boggarts in Harry Potter series — use Riddikulus charm and concentrate on something funny. The boggart will become funny and powerless.
- Any customer who walks into Clauss' garage in Unique and behaves like the customers described in Notalwaysright.com is unknowingly doing exactly this. Of course, even if they don't know that the big grey bearded biker is actually a literal Papa Wolf, that still doesn't change the fact that he's a big, grey bearded biker with hands like slabs of rawhide covered meat. Not to mention that it's just plain rude AND stupid to piss off the guy you're paying to repair the vehicle you don't know how to fix yourself.
- Harry Dresden does this as a matter of course, though it's sometimes a strategic choice — the name naagloshii evokes such terror that Harry's sarcastic nickname "Shagnasty" keeps it from becoming unbeatable.
- Doctor Who
- Find someone who's never heard of Doctor Who. Show him a picture of a Dalek and tell him it's the most dangerous creature in the universe. Odds are high this trope will be his instinctual reaction. Even in their own series they get mocked. "What are you going to do? Sucker me to death?" And so it did.
- Even fans of Doctor Who can't take the villains of "The Invasion of Time" seriously, due to some poor handling by the writer, uninspiring costumes, and a big heap of Special Effects Failure. (Which is a pity, because their basic concept, had it not been mishandled, is frankly terrifying.) When they returned in the Expanded Universe, the Doctor's companion spent several minutes riffing on the theme of "Oh, good, it's only the Vardans!" to their faces.
- "The Ribos Operation" starts off with a scene kicking off an epic Arc about Order Versus Chaos where the Doctor encounters a Sufficiently Advanced Alien who may be God. The script called for him to be in awe, and in the novelisation (based off the script) he almost grovels. However, Tom Baker insisted on playing it mockingly while trying not to laugh at how serious it all was, both much more in-character and pretty badass into the bargain.
- On The Monkees Mickey and Mike, confronted with a mummy, berate it for being dirty and smelly. The mummy retires discomfited. (Note that despite his bravado, Mickey is actually terrified.)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Xander: Who's a little fear demon? Come on. Who's a little fear demon?
Giles: Don't taunt the fear demon.
Xander: Why? Can he hurt me?
Giles: No, it's just tacky...
- Power Rangers: Every single episode.
- In Power Rangers RPM, the Darker and Edgier series couldn't always get around the goofy monster designs of the cracktastic Engine Sentai Go-onger and had to plunge in, with even the villains pointing it out. "It looks like a bottle of window cleaner. Are you going to destroy the city or give it a streak-free shine?"
- David Mitchell mentions this trope on Mock the Week when discussing the Russian-Georgian war in 2008.
"Shall we have a bit of fun? Poke the Russians! Poke the Russians! Oh my God they're coming!"
- From Headinjury dot com we have the following critiques (part 1 and part 2) of stupid Dungeons & Dragons monsters.
- For more D&D monster mockery, visit the WTF D&D!? feature at Something Awful, as it takes the piss out of the artwork in tabletop game sourcebooks, usually focusing on ridiculous monster ideas.
- Many, many PCs do this when their DM reveals a custom monster he's spent all week lovingly crafting. Not that published monsters are exempt, especially those published by 3rd party publishers.
- Lampshaded in Munchkin with the Monster The DM Made Up Himself.
- Many PCs when they encounter something that would be terrifying... about five levels ago.
- In the Pathfinder manual, before the class chapter, we are treated with Valeros saying about ogres that they "have some uglies ahead. With faces like that, no wonder they are afraid of going out during the day."
- The "Misfit Monsters Redeemed" supplement is written to avoid this trope to some degree. Basically, it takes several silly Gygax-era monsters and attempt to reimagine them as serious and digified encounters. For instance, the Flumph, originally a silly flying jellyfish prone to falling over by itself, is now a good-aligned extraplanar harbinger who seeks to warn other races of the approach of malevolent aberrations and other Eldritch Abominations. The Wolf-In-Sheep's-Clothing, which originally looked like a stump with an unconvincing rabbit-puppet sitting on it, is now a tentacled monster that uses the corpse of its last meal as a lure to draw in more victims.
- Hamlet calls a ghost a "king of shreds and patches".
- Pokémon Quartz has its Pokémon frequently made fun of.
- Kingdom of Loathing does this constantly.
In the Spooky Forest, you are attacked by one of the spookiest mummies you've ever seen. [...] This isn't saying much, though, since you've never found mummies to be particularly spooky. I mean, "Ooooh, no! I'll have to walk slightly faster if I want to escape!"
- Touhou 13: Ten Desires has Marisa meeting Mamizou Futatsuiwa, the Bonus Boss of the game, who she couldn't resist making fun of after finding out what she is despite it being a hazard to her health.
Marisa: But you're still a tanuki, right? The kind that drums on their bellies on the night of the full moon?
Mamizou: You are making light of us, are you not? What do you call yourself?
Marisa: I'm Reimu Hakurei!
Mamizou: Marisa Kirisame, is it? I'll be sure to remember that. I intend to take my revenge, so you'd best watch your back on the night of the full moon.
Marisa: Hey, go after the Miko, not me...
- In keeping with series tradition, Ghostbusters: The Video Game gives us plenty of monster mockery from Peter Venkman.
Monster: I am... the Architect!Ray: Oh God... do you know what Architects do?Peter: They... dream?
- Adventurers has its infamous evil pants.
- The Order of the Stick gives us acid-breathing sharks as a not-so-subtle Take That at the quality of certain supplements (an acid-breathing shark had appeared about a year before that strip in a supplement written by one Rich Burlew).
- Bob and George regularly mixes this trope with Alternate Character Interpretation for the robot masters. While on the subject of Mega Man, the way the fandom treats him Bubble Man may as well be Aquaman's Evil Counterpart.
- Happens in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja when Dr. McNinja punches a zombie and then taunts the helpless monster.
- Torg and Riff from Sluggy Freelance do this pretty much instinctively. It comes in handy one time when they need to cause K'Z'K pain in order to exorcise him. He's invincible, but still suffers from their horrible puns about his name.
- This trope gets its name from the review of Nezumi Man where, after naming this trope, the reviewers exercise it for half of the video.
- Hadriex would go on to use this trope in many future videos, getting better at it as he went. His review of the Great Giana Sisters used it to good enough effect that Blask Forest Games linked to his video back when they were making Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd has mocked many generic or poorly conceived monsters in his run. His Action52 review has the best variety ... 'shit pickles'.
- Retsupurae does it a lot with the jump scares within the Arise series. "John Mc Cain! Why?!"
- Suburban Knights features the reviewers encountering and taunting Cat, the Cloaks, and Which Warrior. What follows is:
- Cat unleashing a Curb-Stomp Battle on them, managing to take out most of Team 1 before he is stopped.
- The Cloaks opening fire with balls of electro-magic and the fire of a thousand arrows.
- Which Warrior channeling a demon and then unleashing a lighting storm that destroy's Phelous's little friends.
- Then, before the last battle, The Nostalgia Critic mocks Jaffers. Jaffers then responds by summoning all of the above for a battle.
- raocow keeps finding every enemy in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, as well as the game as a whole, hilariously goofy.
- "Where No Fan Has Gone Before": Upon seeing Energy Being Melllvar, Bender's response is "What a cheesy effect!"
- "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch": Bender again. "What's that big, ugly thing? A frog? a toad? Or your momma?"
- "Benderama": The crew make a delivery to a giant alien and are warned not to remark on his hideous appearance. Natually, Bender (and the two clones of himself he created) let fly with the ugly jokes, and the giant attacks them. Later, the giant flies to Earth to apologize, but everyone is drunk because all water has been turned to alcohol (Bender's fault, of course) and ends up being insulted and going on the rampage all over again.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- There is a whole song about it in part 2 of the pilot, in which Pinkie Pie teaches her friends to literally laugh away their fears.
- In "A Dog and Pony Show", Rarity is initially intimidated by the Diamond Dogs who are holding her captive, but when they try to force her to find and dig up gemstones, she obstinately refuses, then goes on to mock their appearance, manners, and personal hygiene. By the time her friends show up to rescue her the dogs are begging for them to take her away, and pay them to do so.
- Later, when Rarity gets snagged by an angry, rampaging dragon (actually a transformed Spike) she chides him for his uncivilized behavior.
- The Simpsons, in a "Treehouse of Horror" episode, Homer mocks a Werewolf Flanders, while he's being mauled!
- In one Static Shock episode, the Monster of the Week introduces himself as a string of gibberish ending in "ack". Static and Gear promptly go "What kind of a name is Thumbtack?"
- In Soviet cartoon Two Epic Warriors Russian and Central Asian warriors ended up in wrong fairy tales, which made their enemies Wrong Genre Savvy. Russian warrior faced a giant daeva (kind of a demon) who was empowered by fear. He mocked him until he became small, then lured him into a narrow cave and said "I'm very afraid of you!" The daeva got stuck there.note
- This supposedly happened the first time settlers found out about the Platypus, often described as God's idea of a joke. Then we found out just how dangerous these things really are...