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Mecha-Mooks
Not squishy anywhere.

"If you are looking for an unstoppable army of killing machines unhampered by such weaknesses as mercy and compassion, robot warriors are for you."

Neil Zawacki, How to Be a Villain

In many American cartoon series, the extraordinary violence is blunted by having the nameless bad guys (or Mooks) be, in fact, robots. This allows the protagonists to dismember, mutilate, and otherwise mess-up armies of faceless goons, in a manner unacceptable if said bad guys were squishy and red on the inside.

In many of these shows, a common sequence has the heroes fighting the mooks as normal, until one of them hits one a little too hard, revealing it to be a robot. At which point, things start to get really, really messy, as the heroes decide they don't have to hold back anymore.

Mecha-Mooks are surprisingly fragile. In extreme cases the heroes will demolish them with their fists. Mecha-Mooks go to the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, since it would be awkward if the heroes had their brainstems targeted perfectly by Mooks running a predictive kinetic model much faster than real time. Expect them to be programmed to march in eerie unison using Marionette Motion (and in a pinch provide back-up for dance numbers).

Two governing rules of Mecha-Mooks seem to be:

1) Upon being defeated, they will explode. Usually into a fireball, leaving nothing behind but a few patches of burning earth. This will usually happen no matter how they were defeated, even if it was something like turning off their power source.

2) Said explosions never produce shrapnel. A hero can be five feet from a Mecha Mook, blow him up, and somehow not be cut to pieces by the flying shards of metal. Samurai Jack is particularly guilty of this, with mooks constantly exploding in Jack's face.

This often is a form of Pragmatic Adaptation when the series is based on an earlier source which was more realistically violent, but showing that would invoke the ire of Media Watchdogs. When you've got an action-based children's show where Nobody Can Die, expect Mecha-Mooks to pick up the slack. After all, they're Just Machines. Should they not explode, then at the least you will see Eye Lights Out. On a related note, if they should be hacked or reprogrammed their Glowing Eyes of Doom will have a Convenient Color Change.

Anime, has a second, more literal type: Real Robot series' will usually have at least one class of mecha that basically acts as the "Grunt" unit for the bad guy's army. This mech is usually simply constructed, probably with a basic ranged weapon (machinegun or energy weapon or two, a close-combat weapon, and may have the option of carrying a bigger gun, depending on how much tougher the hero's armor is. These will act just like regular Mooks or Mecha-Mooks, depending on how much the writers want you to empathize with the enemy. There's usually a very good chance that the Hero's Rival will at least start out by riding in an Ace Custom version of this mecha. Tanks usually serve a similar role on the heroes' side, and said grunt will often be the only thing they can reasonably threaten.

If one wants something a bit more up the ladder in terms of "kill-tasticness" and "non-suckitude", look at Mechanical Monster. If you want the guy building the mooks, that's the Robot Master.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Shadow uses them in the F-Zero Anime. You can actually race as them in the anime based F-zero climax.
  • Jail Scaglietti's Anti-Magic Field protected Gadget Drones in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. There are four types of them. The Type I Gadgets are the Mooks among the Mecha-Mooks, the Type II Gadgets are the Airborne Mooks, the Type III Gadgets are the Giant Mooks, and the Type IV Gadgets are the Elite Mooks.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has the Tanaka-sans and the Spider-mechs and all the other robots that made up Chao Lingshen's Martian Robot Army in the Mahora Festival Story Arc.
  • The Jovians employ millions of the suckers in Martian Successor Nadesico, ranging from drone scouts to automated Wave Motion Guns, to the point where we don't see a live Jovian until halfway through the series. There are several reasons for this, including some justified Offscreen Villain Darkmatter and how the Teleporters and Transporters Phlebotinum works, but mostly it allows the ship's mostly civilian crew to blow stuff up indiscriminately, and allow for drama when actual human enemies appear.
  • Pretty frequent the Mazinger Z universe. Most of the Mooks were Cyborgs, but several of them were Ridiculously Human Robots such like the Gamia sisters, Erika, Lorelei or the Robot posed like Kouji. Just a Machine was subverted: When Kouji killed the Gamia, they were so human-looking he felt sickened and disturbed. And he felt sad when some of they died. Also, they were or were not Made of Explodium depending on the robot Erika did not explode; Kouji robot did, though.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing makes this a major plot point with the introduction of Mobile Dolls, mecha controlled by an AI program rather than a human pilot. Its introduction widens the pre-existing ideological fissure within OZ, between noble-minded soldiers who hate them for dehumanizing war, and heartless war profiteers who love them for being good business, which results in an outright civil war between the supporters of Treize (who is the former) and Duke Dermail (the latter).
  • A subversion of this trope are the Pacifistas in One Piece as they are cyborgs modified to be human weapons by the evil World Government, and they are anything but as it took the Straw Hats everything they had to beat just one of them pre-timeskip.
  • The Grimoire units from the Ride Back anime.
  • The multitude of (live) enemy troopers who would get mowed down in most episodes of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman were recast as Ridiculously Human Robots in some of its various US incarnations (e.g., Battle of the Planets).
  • Star Blazers was infamous for, as an American adaption of anime, having enemy soldiers who were killed described as "robots".
  • A subversion is featured in Texhnolyze. The creepy white Death Ray-wielding Shapes appear to be Mecha-Mooks, but are in fact humans who have (voluntarily or otherwise) undergone full-body Texhnolyzation. Their heads, concealed beneath monocular faceplates, as well as the rest of their organs, stuffed in a green cone in their chest, are all that remains of their original bodies.
  • The Bugmechs from the Viper's Creed anime.
  • The American release of the Vehicle Team Voltron had just about every enemy unit, and most friendly units, as robots. The number of "robot attack ships" and "android stormtroopeers" was staggering. This was done to follow the "nobody can die in cartoons" standard against animated violence on TV at the time.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, the obots were designed to clean up trash and other menial purposes (although the trash itself is used for darker purposes in Dr. Faker's Evil Plan). However, when the heroes launch their attack on Heartland Tower before the Final Battle of season one, Mr. Heartland manages to use them as an army of disposable soldiers, much like any other example of this Trope. (Note that at least one obot, Obomi, is at least partially sentient, becoming Yuma's friend and Robot Buddy in one episode.)
  • Zoids
    • Numerous small Zoids, such as the Molga, Godos, Zabat, Scissor Storm and Laser Storm. The most infamous, however, would have to be the Rev Raptor. While the aforementioned Zoids were depicted as being reasonably formidable in their introductory episodes, the Rev Raptor is completely pathetic right from its introduction and is *never* given an opportunity to shine, except for in one episode where Van pilots one... and uses it to destroy other Rev Raptors before getting quickly shot down himself.
    • Subverted and ultimately ignored in Zoids Genesis. The Digald empire uses legions of mass-produced Zoids piloted by robots. However, it is revealed that the robots are powered by human souls. Unfortuntely, this revelation is never explored and appears to be completely forgotten within a few episodes, used only as a cheap plot device for a Heel Face Turn for the rival.
    • Rev Raptors get so ripped to shreds in Zoids: New Century that they're mostly relegated to Stock Footage.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering
    • The Myr from the Mirrodin block. They're essentially a swarm of Mecha-Mooks with a Hive Mind community.
    • There's also the terrifying Phyrexians, who are zombie cyborgs who want to assimilate everyone.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The aptly-named Meklord Army monsters from Extreme Victory are these for the Meklords, with the Meklord Emperors being, obviously, Emperor Mooks.

    Comic Books 
  • Through the law of Conservation of Ninjutsu, The OMACs from Countdown To Infinite Crisis fell from Killer Robot to Mecha-Mooks pretty quickly
  • Doctor Doom's Doombots — both the Robot Me Doombots, and the more straightforward purple-and-gray Mecha-Mook Doombots. Oddly, the two designs rarely appear together in a story.
  • Doug Moench's Electric Warrior has a refomed Mecha-Mook as the main character.
  • Codified in an issue of Exiles, when Mimic reflects that superheroes really, really love fighting robots for the sheer pleasure of unfettered destruction.
  • In Fall Out Toy Works, Baron has several, including one he changes into a Mechanical Monster in Toymaker's dream sequence in issue 3. In issue 5, the Toymaker combines this trope with Cute Machines to storm Baron's compound.
  • One of Lex Luthor's plans to take over the United States relied upon him unleashing a horde of GI Robots that were technically property of the US army. Since Superman was apparently dealing with Brainiac that week, Batman ended up taking out all except one — that Bats had reprogrammed with the Geneva Convention. Really.
  • Marvel Comics' Kree Empire uses incredibly tough mecha mooks called Sentries (no relation).
  • In Megalex, the Shock Troopers are intelligent and evil robots.
  • The robotic aliens who hunt the title character in Omega The Unknown.
  • In Sonic the Comic has both Robotnik's Badnik, Troopers and Metallixs.
  • A major plot point in Savage from about 2007 onwards is the introduction of robot soldiers by both sides in the war. It began with the Allies deploying Hammersteins in Wales, which were so effective that the Volgans had to develop their own robots, the depraved Blackbloods, to compensate. These robots invert the normal rules of mecha-mooks by being much stronger and tougher than human soldiers, what with being made of metal and all.
  • The minor Spider-Man villain Armada is a Robot Master who likes to build little flying robots to attack enemies with. The interesting thing is that he cares about their welfare, and will freak out when they inevitably start getting destroyed. Because they can't talk and look like little toys, it's never clear to the reader whether they actually are sentient (with Unfortunate Implications for the hero who is thoughtlessly smashing them) or if they're Just Machines and Armada is crazy for worrying about them..
  • Superman is one of the few good guys to keep a contingent of Mecha-Mooks, the Superman Robots in the Fortress of Solitude. In the Silver Age, he mainly used them as decoys to preserve his secret identity, and occasionally to pinch hit for him when he'd been incapacitated by Kryptonite or some such. A bridge got dropped on the bunch of them in the Bronze Age, but they were reintroduced in the modern era and occasionally appear in the present day.
  • Spoofed in Tom Strong, where Timmy Turbo realizes that "We can be as violent as we like with these teachers, because they're just robots!"

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Elysium: Manufactured by Armadyne, these security bots take care of neutralizing any and all threats that arrive down on Earth and in Elysium. Max holds a grudge against these security robots, especially since they end up breaking his left arm when he was resisting their attempts to find out what was in the bag he was carrying.
  • The Golden Army in Hellboy II. Clockwork Mecha-Mooks that put themselves back together upon being destroyed.
  • RoboGadget from Inspector Gadget would have become this, once the initial prototype hit mass production. Scolex imagines using them as "shock-troops; kamikaze pilots; hitmen," but Kramer chimes in with "international rescue workers and teachers." Amazingly, the idea's darker side is touched upon: these troops "never get tired, never get hungry, and never say no."
  • Iron Man 2:
    Vanko: Dhrone bettuh.
    Hammer: What, "drone better?" Why is "drone better"? Why is "drone better"?
    Vanko: Peppol mek problum. Trhust meh. Dhrone bettuh.
    • The problems so averted are threefold: 1. no longer a squishy thing in the middle of the machine, which Hammer's suit design proved it had a problem working with; 2. the recovered space can be used for more processing power and more ammo; 3. there is no cognitive dissonance when our heroes blow them up. Oh, and 4: they make it easy for Vanko to betray Hammer, since he's the one programming them.
  • The Matrix: The Sentinels, squid-like robots that come in the millions.
  • The Big Bad in Space Truckers is a Corrupt Corporate Executive who is in the middle of negotiating a deal to privatize the Earth government. However, as a backup, in case the talks don't go his way, he has a Mad Scientist create an army of killer robots, each of which is capable of easily killing dozens of people and come out without a scratch. Its Eye Beams are capable of vaporizing a person, and it can fire them exremely quickly. When someone throws a grenade at it, the robot catches it, rapidly spins around, and tosses it back. They appear in an embrionic state and grow in waves, with each wave double the previous one. The titular truckers are hired to transport the container filled with these things to Earth. They end up sending the rig into an uncontrolled re-entry, destroying all robots.
  • Star Wars
    • Both The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones blew up acres of battle droids. The kid-friendliness goes away a little when you reflect they still scream as they die. The use of battle droids seems to revolve entirely around the fact that the prequels featured Jedi action scenes. Such scenes involved plenty of decapitation, bisection, and outright mutilation of said battle droids using lightsabers, all of which would have been unacceptable in theaters had the victims been living sentient beings instead.
    • Before their predecessors the clones were shown, it was popular to speculate that the Imperial Stormtroopers in the original trilogy were Mecha-Mooks, in spite of the fact that Luke Skywalker and Han Solo were capable of dressing up as them. Talk about Faceless Goons.
    • The droids vary highly by model. The basic B1 units (the "roger-roger" droids) are the most harmless and safe to kill, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars portray them as outright comic relief. The B2 and B3 (the super battle droids, from the page picture) are somewhat more dangerous, qualifying as Doom Troops. And the most advanced models like the Droideka and the MagnaGuard, qualify as Mechanical Monsters.
  • The Terminator movies depict a future where the world has been taken over by Mecha Mook armies. Subverted in that these robots are incredibly tough and not the least bit fragile.
  • The Synthetics in the Total Recall (2012) remake. The movie is somewhat original in that they're used more as bulletproof Elite Mooks rather than guilt-free disposable cannon fodder (although they are used for a couple of the more "gory" kill scenes to get the PG-13 rating).
  • RoboCop (2014) has the EM-208's humanoid robot soldiers,the ED-209 walking weapon platform and the XT-908 flying assault drone.

    Literature 
  • An unusual example of this trope occurs in A. Lee Martinez's The Automatic Detective. Near the climax of the novel, the protagonist destroys a brigade of robots... but he is himself a robot, and those he destroys are physically identical to him except for the paint jobs. He doesn't care, though.
  • In The Kingdom Keepers, the Overtakers' mooks are all Audio-Animatronics from Disney World rides brought to life. "It's a small world" is a lot less cute when the dolls are trying to kill you.
  • The Stainless Steel Rat is an Actual Pacifist who would never hit a fellow sentient with anything worse than a stun dart... but against robots he gleefully unleashes the dakka.
    • In the first page of the story that started it all, he drops something heavy on the head of a police robot. The robot isn't actually hurt by this, since as it points out its brain is in its torso. Slippery Jim replies that he knew this, but that he also knows its radio was in its head, which is now incapacitated ... allowing him a few more precious seconds in which to escape.
  • In The Dark Tower novel Wolves of the Calla, a town is being threatened by very nasty opponents who steal children and obliterate any who resist. After listening to the one survivor of a direct encounter with them, Roland deduces this trope applies to the opponents. He also deduces how to defeat them but engages in deliberate misdirection so The Mole doesn't know.
  • In Shadowboy, Doctor Omicron keeps at least a handful of bots around for general utility. He treats them as completely expendable.
    Doctor Omicron: "That's why I like that model of bot, cheap, durable, and eminently replaceable with a machine shop and a junkyard"

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica (Classic). The Cylons were originally meant to be aliens in body armor, and were rewritten as robots to appease the censors. The remake calls them Centurions, and actually, they die at the same rate as fellow "skinjobs" a.k.a. the humanoid models. A similar fate seems to be with Raiders, until it is shown, through Starbuck, that they are biological beings. Regarding Centurions, it turns out that they have a personality and some degree of authority once they are freed from restrictive modules. In the end, the Rebels let them go off and find their own destiny, despite worries that they'll come back and try to destroy humanity. They think not, as they will most likely remember being freed and left to their own devices, rather than fighting their way out of slavery and still living with a plausible threat.
  • Doctor Who
    • The Robot Santas from the episode "The Runaway Bride" were robots under the control of the Queen of the Racnoss. They also appeared in "The Christmas Invasion", although there they were working by themselves.
    • Also, while the Doctor might pay lip-service to Wangst over killing those poor defenceless rampaging armies of death that are Cybermen and Daleks, imagine the difference if organic beings were killed off in similar numbers. Despite the fact that, under the armour, they are organic beings. For the record, he does regret killing even Daleks in some episodes, especially when said Dalek may be the last of its kind. This is in spite of them being Always Chaotic Evil by design. The Cybermen, while organic underneath, have had their emotions and feeling removed because of the constant horrific and intense pain their existence entails. It could literally be seen as putting them out of their misery.
    • The Second Doctor fought the Dominators and their army of Mecha-Mooks, the Quarks. The spiky-faced little dudes seem to have made an impression: when the Time Lords put him on trial, the Doctor mentions the Quarks alongside the Daleks and Cybermen in his list of cosmic evils who need to be fought.
    • The Sheriff of Nottingham's robot knights in "Robot of Sherwood".
  • About half of the time, the Mooks in Power Rangers are robots, including the Cogs (though the Putties of Mighty Morphin were actually golems). Robot or not, however, Power Rangers' mooks are almost never shown to be killed, instead teleporting away once they have been incapacitated.
    • Operation Overdrive changes this, however, with a nearly unprecedented level of mook destruction, and at least one of the two sets of mooks are indeed alive. Quite a few Rinshi in Power Rangers Jungle Fury got reduced to purple dust, too. RPM goes back to having more durable grunts. The same courtesy is seldom extended to the Monster of the Week.
    • In a bit of a retcon, Divatox's mooks in the Turbo movie were quite clearly humanoids in fish-styled armor (we even see several of them with their faceplates off), but for the series, they've been downgraded to a non-humanoid fishlike race. The "tron" in "Piranhatron" suggests they're Mecha-Mooks, but they make squishy sounds when hit.
    • The majority of Mooks in Toku tend to be either Mecha-Mooks or else mystical beings, rarely humans, except in cases where they disguise as humans such as the Space Sheriff trilogy.
    • Recent series of Super Sentai and subsequently Power Rangers have featured plenty of mook destruction. This is most likely due to the availability of cheap CG explosions.

    Pinball 
  • Justin Hammer's armored "Hammeroid" drones in Stern Pinball's Iron Man, who come in four varieties (land, sea, air, and assault) and must be defeated multiple times throughout the game.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Eberron setting of Dungeons & Dragons has an interesting variation with the Warforged. They were made to be this, but ended up developing sapience and now have to deal with integrating into a post-war society.
  • These are the main troops of the genocidal human civilization Wreathe in Mortasheen, all modeled after Pre-Cambrian creatures. In a subversion, these are usually more powerful than lower level characters.
  • Unmanned combat drones are everywhere in Shadowrun. From spy-cameras disguised as pigeons to robot tanks.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • The Necrons aren't really so much mooks, as they are unstoppable torrent of an ancient undead robot determinators, marching at you like unflinching metallic death.
    • Played straight with Tau Gun Drones, though they are only used in a supporting role to the living Tau Fire Caste soldiers.
    • Imperial Servitors are this to any Techpriest. Their biological components are more or less used to support their technological ones, rather the other way around for conventional cyborgs.

    Toys 
  • The Vahki robots in BIONICLE. Greg Farshtey, writer of the storyline, has professed a dislike of Vahki. It's extremely common for Vahki to be destroyed in downright cruel and unusual ways, particularly during the '05 arc.

    Video Games 
  • German versions of computer and arcade games, notably in Half-Life, where all soldiers are replaced by robots, the Probotector (Contra) series, Space Invasion (Commando), Carmageddon, or fighting games, where blood is recoloured green or black. This is because of censorship in Germany (UCK board) disallowing displaying human deaths.
    • In the German version of Command & Conquer: Generals, the "real world" GLA soldiers were replaced with cyborg clones that bleed green. Referenced in AH.com: The Series, which has The Germans (a mercenary group of recurring characters) use "Cyborg Robots with Green Blood" as their disposable muscle.
    • The same was done with most (probably all) earlier Command & Conquer games, with soldiers being cyborgs with black "blood" (supposed to be oil) and also cyborg guard dogs... even in the booklets the pictures of these units were crossed with a bar noting "top secret" so you couldn't see the faces... in the GAME itself tho those faces were still used as the build icons, so one must wonder what that was all about.
  • Sumeragi Group, the antagonists of Azure Striker Gunvolt, mainly use various robots as their mooks.
  • Armored Core: The MTs in any of the games are this with few exceptions, especially if they're the armless "chickenwalker" variety.
  • The Loader robots make up most of Handsome Jack's forces in Borderlands 2.
  • Backyard Baseball: The mooks in the Fielder's Challenge are robots.
  • Nuts & Bolts: Without Klungo's aid to raise her army of monsters, Gruntilda resorted to create her own band of Mecha-Mooks with the Gruntbots. Thanksfully, those crud-looking mechanical mischief makers are more a nuisance than a real threat to the bear and bird duo.
  • Binary Domain: With the sole exception of Faye, you never fight a single human opponent; opponents are all Mecha-Mooks or Mechanical Monsters. With the exception of the bosses (excluding the Tsar Runner), all of them explode shortly after being 'killed'.
  • Chrono Trigger: When your party is in the future, they will encounter a very large number of these, particularly in the optional sidequest Geno Dome. Interestingly, despite destroying large numbers of Mecha-Mooks, you acquire a party member which is a Ridiculously Human Robot.
  • City of Heroes: The game generally uses the ambiguous term "defeated" regarding human enemies, but the robots used by various factions all explode spectacularly when defeated. The exception is the Clockwork, who usually just slump over, but that's because they're not really robots, but metallic constructs animated by a powerful telekinetic Brain in a Jar. Even some of the cyborg enemies explode upon defeat, most notably the Arachnos Tarantulas.
  • Crysis: The Ceph use an army of tentacled exosuits and small man-sized octopus robots to take over the Lingshan Islands. They all explode upon death (with one notable exception), but it has more to do with preventing humans from acquiring alien technologies than with dealing damage.
  • Dinosaur King: The Alpha Droids, who act as servants and guards for the Alpha Gang in the anime (often carrying out orders which lead to their own destruction), and as Random Encounter enemies in the DS game.
  • Dynasty Warriors: The games feature, as the primary enemy, tons of mooks. Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, of course, changes this to use various grunt suits (and some variants) from Mobile Suit Gundam, Zeta Gundam, Gundam ZZ, and Char's Counterattack.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, the New Vegas Strip is policed by Mr. House's heavily armed Securitron robots. In the ending where you side with him, as well as the "Wild Card" ending, the Securitrons are upgraded to outfit them with gatling lasers and rocket launchers and they proceed to conquer the Mojave Wasteland with almost effortless ease.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
  • Halo: Forerunner installations are most commonly guarded by robotic Sentinels; even the basic "Aggressor" variant is armed with a laser capable of cutting through steel. Later in Halo4, the Forerunner Prometheans are robotic units originally created to fight the Flood, with the strongest type being the Knights, which are heavily armed bipedal robots that can teleport anywhere at will. What makes the Knights unique is that most of them are prehistoric humans who were forcibly converted into machines.
  • God Hand: Has a great deal of robot enemies in the fourth level. They aren't too different from the regular type, but it helps emphasize the level's mechanical theme (as opposed to Western, wasteland, or circus, the themes of the preceding levels). The boss of the level is a mecha Giant Mook, Dr. Ion.
  • Hard Reset is about a robot uprising, so all its enemies are various robots.
  • Hyper Princess Pitch: Pits the protagonist against Mecha-Santa, his robot Elves, and toys.
  • The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer: The What Measure Is a Non-Human? part got a nice Lampshade Hanging, where Mr. Incredible spots the first robot enemies in the tutorial stage and quips, "I guess that means we don't have to play nice!"
  • Marathon: "Cyborgs," which were in the scary faceless humanoid monster gig before slenderman was cool. Instead of feet, they have treads, and Bungie refers to them as "Tank Guys." Some of them are weak, others are some of the strongest enemies in the game. All of them self-destruct upon death. According to Word of God, they used to be human space colonists.
    • The humans have some of these of their on their colony ship. They are notable for being possibly the first AI controlled allies in any game. They float above the ground and also explode upon death (Bungie has a thing for that) and are armed with machine pistols. Some of them have grenade launchers, but the ones with grenade launchers go rampant and attack anything in sight, alien or human. Similarly, in the sequels, there are "Hummers," alien-made robots that are used for recon and often respawn indefinitely. When they sight you, they make a very irritating electronic noise before attacking, hence the name. Some of them are taken over by a human-made AI and help you, and are conveniently much stronger, but they only appear twice in the whole trilogy.
    • This is not for the normal reasons, though, as the games also feature the BOBs, which are human colonists "Born On Board". They're technically on your side, but they can be killed either by enemy or friendly fire (in fact, since they tend to get in your way, it can be hard to avoid it). Later on, there are "Android BOBs" that look almost like the regular ones, but are trying to kill you (they'll run up to you yelling something like "Frog blast the vent core!" and explode).
  • Mass Effect: The Geth are an entire race of these throughout the series. Mass Effect 2 adds a series of cheap, mass-produced robotic security troops (called "Mechs" in-universe, natch), that are roughly on-par with a B1 Battle Droid in terms of intelligence and accuracy, though the Battle Droids never had robotic dogs and giant missile-firing robots backing them up. Unlike the geth, mechs do not use true AI and so don't think for themselves and lack any self-preservation. They're also are surprisingly resilient - blowing off a limb only slows them down, and they have a taser-like device on their non-gun arm. Even if you take off its legs it'll still crawl towards you with the intent to self-destruct in your face. Usually encountered in hordes.
    • Geth themselves subvert the trope's What Measure Is a Non-Human? aspect. They have a smooth organic appearance, bleed some sort of white blood-equivalent, give off odd electronic squeals when shot, and don't explode upon death. This doesn't stop the heroes from mowing them down by the score without batting an eyelid, however. The sequel reveals that the Geth are nearly immortal, as they simply upload back into their mainframes when the humanoid frames are disabled. Destroying these mainframes can kill millions of them with a few bullets, however. Their "death screams" are actually them transmitting themselves to a new mainframe.
  • Mega Man (Classic): The Sniper Joes are the closest to this trope, but all the enemies are robots (as are the protagonist and bosses). Mega Man X made a distinction between Reploids, which possess human-like intelligence, and mechaniloids, which don't.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: The Scarabs, and the raven-like UAVs accompanying Raging Raven.
  • Mini Robot Wars: The evil-looking Machines. Also inverted as the good guys units are also mecha mooks of sorts, except cute-looking.
  • The Armada in Pirate101 consists entirely of these. They were designed as soldiers to win Valencia the Polarian War. While they were very successful, they then took over Valencia and have set sights on claiming the whole spiral.
  • Ratchet & Clank invariably features hordes of robots. While there are usually organic opponents in there as well, they will be vastly outnumbered by robots. In Up Your Arsenal, most of your organic opponents are turned into robots by the Biobliterator, simply to show how severe a threat Dr. Nefarious is.
  • Saints Row IV features the Zin's Murderbots. Naturally, they fall squarely into Demonic Spider territory as they have a lot of health and carry either miniguns or proximity mines that can easily whittle down your health, and their torsos can continue to attack you after their legs are destroyed Terminator-style.
  • SD Snatcher gives Gillian a large variety of Metal Creatures to do battle with.
  • Serious Sam 2: The Floaters, Spawners, Rollers, Rhino Cybertoys, Rocket Turrets, Fatso Fighter Planes, Seagull Bombers, and Giant Cyborg Spiders which are usually mixed in with the various other enemy types, primarily zombies, aliens, and bio-machines.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Outside of the occasional fight with Dr. Eggman and a few other choice characters, robot mooks are pretty much Sonic's only enemies.
  • Super Mario Bros. series: There are quite a few examples, but the Mecha Koopa enemies from Super Mario World onwards are the most obvious examples. Some other examples include the entire population of The Factory/Smithy Factory in Super Mario RPG, Wizzerds in Paper Mario 2 and Mechawfuls in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
  • Super Robot Wars series: Subverted and used, as times goes on, it shifts from fighting human pilots (which most of the time will get a chance to escape) to battling AI versions of robots due to the bad guys sharing AI technology since manpower gets smaller with the huge killcount our men racks up in the battlefield. In the OVA, the ATX and SRX had discovered the shocking revelation of the Bartool's ODE system and had concerns about killing more innocent captured civilians but during the final push later on, they were unmanned with no human core inside which allowed a more liberal course of destruction.
    • The series has several iconic mook mechs of it's own, most notably the Gespenst series. Mind you, in these games even a regular grunt unit can be pretty Badass in the right hands. Watch here and here as Major Kai demonstrates why you don't need no fancy Ace Custom to kick ass.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Nn entire army of Robotic Operating Buddies in Subspace Emissary, only they're anything but friendly — arm swipes, missiles, and laser fire are the norm for them. They do have a measure of AI not seen in most Mecha-Mooks, as they are at least capable of expressing sorrow; this is demonstrated when the Ancient Minister, the alpha R.O.B., looks down with regret before seeing two more disappear into the detonation of a Subspace Bomb. Nevertheless, the only one who doesn't submit to Ganondorf's — and subsequently Tabuu's — reprogramming is the alpha himself, who becomes playable after the former villain sees it fit to have him punished for questioning authority.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Mann versus Machine update added a cooperative game mode where the mercenary soldiers face off against hordes of incoming mechanical counterparts of themselves, and depending on server setting, ranging from your usual punchable-weak-toy-soldiers to outright Nightmare fuel.
  • Toon Town Online: Disney's extraordinarily "kid-friendly" MMORPG solely features an ever-replenishing army of robots as your enemies — whom you destroy with jokes.
  • Transformers: Many games have you fighting numerous generic or nameless enemy chassis (the Armada game, called simply "Transformers" in the states, coined them as "Decepti-clones"). Different from the TV shows in that every character shown was given a name.
  • Universe at War: Earth Assault: The Novus are a heroic example, a race of Mecha-Mooks Laser Guided Tykebombs working with the Ancient Astronauts Masari against the Planet Looters Hierarchy.
  • Wizardry: One of the first signs you aren't in Kansas anymore with the last two games is when your sword-and-sorcery party runs into their first Savant robot armed with a laser lance. Fully fledged battle droids also make an appearance towards the very end of VII.

    Web Comics 
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja storyline "Death Volley," Doc is very pleased when he discovers the palace guards are robots, so he can go completely berserkers on them without compunction. Then he learns that one of the guards is actually his disguised ex-girlfriend, Hortense.
  • Employed by the Triple-I in Commander Kitty to pilot their fighters.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, when Riboflavin escapes from his prison ship, he destroys a robot guard. He expresses disappointment that the guard was not sentient, and therefore could not feel pain. Riboflavin is not a nice man.
  • Inverted in Sluggy Freelance where the Dig-bots who get bloodlessly massacred are the good guys, and the very human Hereti-Corp agents doing the massacreing are the baddies.

    Web Original 
  • Parodied in Ask a Ninja, where the ninja says that robots are no fun to kill.
  • Doctor Infanto of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe is a hyper-intelligent mutant toddler who commits crimes using remote-controlled Mecha-Mooks (among other high-tech devices).
  • Whateley Universe example: in "Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy" and "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl", Team Kimba are going through a Team Tactics course. Their first 'pop quiz' is against robots and mechanical weapons. Their big 'invading the supervillain lair' simulation includes an armada of Mecha-Mooks. In neither of these are there tons of exploding robots, except where Tennyo and Fey unleash their powers.

    Western Animation 
  • Averted very subtly in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. The Crown Agents look and sound like robots. However, they take bribes, argue, go rogue, scream and throw up their hands when their plane crashes into a tower, etc. More damning is that the Ranger Technopath Doc Hartford never used his powers against them, though he could subvert most any technology with ease. "Lord of the Sands" topped it by having Zach admit "As far as we know, Crown Agents are some kind of robot..."
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Degaton's robotic army in "The Golden Age of Justice!"
  • In Centurions, Cyborg Mad Scientist Doc Terror had several varieties of mecha-mooks to pit against the titular heroes.
  • Code Lyoko
    • XANA's various monsters can count as the virtual version of Mecha-Mooks. They do appears robot-like the two times some are materialized in the real world.
    • Then in season 4, the Big Bad is busy constructing a whole army of robots to conquer the Earth.
  • Batman: The Animated Series
    • Although most of the villains in are human, "The Last Laugh" features a robotic henchman to The Joker, called Captain Clown. In an interview, the producers admitted this was done specifically so that Batman wouldn't have to hold back in the fight.
    • Another instance, with better in-universe justification, occurs in the second part of "Heart of Steel."
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Hornets. Interestingly enough, the Robot Buddy protagonist is the target of more violence than any villain, since he's capable of being rebuilt from ridiculous amounts of damage.
  • In Challenge of the GoBots, the "robot" protagonists are actually cyborgs, living beings despite their mechanical appearance. However, the villains used nonsentient, inorganic Humongous Mecha called Zods which the heroes could destroy without any ethical quibbles.
  • Referenced in Darkwing Duck, a series famous for averting Never Say "Die" (at least in the earlier seasons, before Executive Meddling came in full force). In the first season episode "Bearskin Thug", villain Steelbeak's trained bear turns out to be a robot. Upon learning this, Darkwing says "Then I can take off the kid gloves!"
  • Duck Dodgers
    Dodgers: Uh..., those were just robot-piloted ships, right?
    Cadet: Yeah, "robots". (laughs maniacally)
  • Both the 1970s Filmation animated Flash Gordon and the 1980s Defenders of the Earth gave Ming the Merciless armies of Mecha-Mooks. Interestingly, in the Filmation series, good guy Red Shirts would get killed all the time (usually a very tidy and bloodless disintegrator shot, or else an exploding manned vehicle). Presumably because killing people is, after all, what makes the villains villains. The good guys got to fight Mecha-Mooks.
  • G.I. Joe, when there are B.A.T.s or S.N.A.K.E.s involved, the Sky B.A.T.s in G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 as well as the Zaps and Skyrenes in G.I. Joe Extreme. All five kinds of Mecha-Mooks are the only bad guys that the Joes seem to be able to hit on the first try. Not that they did them any good since B.A.T.s just keep coming and only anti-tank weapons can take them down. Or in case of the B.A.T. Mark I, a rifle-shot to the weak spot (which on the action figure's filecard is noted as the back, but inexplicably in the Sunbow cartoon, was the large window in the middle of their chest). Or Sgt. Slaughter's fists, which proved to be the most effective anti-B.A.T. weapon ever seen.
    • Flint even used the incompetence of these androids to mock Cobra Commander in one episode, asking the villain if he had programmed them himself.
  • Jonny Quest
    • The show has perhaps the most famous TV mecha-mook, Dr. Zin's robot spy. It's a spider-like robot that can take an incredible amount of punishment, as the Quest family learns when it makes its escape from a military base. They throw small arms, flamethrowers and tanks at it, and nothing makes it more than momentarily pause.
    • A whole army of them appeared in the Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures episode "The Robot Spies".
    • Modern audiences may remember this as the Walking Eye from The Venture Bros.. Walking Eye!
    • Though in general the original Jonny Quest series didn't have many problems killing off human Mooks as long as it wasn't too graphic, like the two frogmen crushed by the leaping motorboat in the title sequence.
  • In Kim Possible: So The Drama, Kim and Ron fought against an invasion of Diablos, mini-robots distributed by Drakken as free toys inside Bueno Nacho's Kids Meals, programmed to grow into giant mecha-robots when triggered by a radio signal.
  • In the French animated series The Little Prince, wind-powered clockwork mooks are used as police troops by the inhabitants of the Planet of Wind.
  • Deuce's robot army in Loonatics Unleashed.
  • The mass-produced Lin Kuei Cybers featured in Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm were basically this. Unlike Cyrax, Sektor and Smoke, they were entirely mechanical, which allowed the normally violent Earthrealm Warriors to go to town with them.
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, Doofenshmirtz-2 has an army of these, based off of Norm.
    • An early episode of has the boys construct their own horde of robot clones of themselves to increase productivity, in a rare non-violent use of this trope. They fulfill this trope better in the movie, where they're used to fight the previously mentioned Normbots.
  • In ReBoot, when Matrix and Turbo are confronted by some infected Guardians, Matrix asks if their drones "have personality chips". As soon as they heard a No, both of them shot the robots, destroying them easily.
  • Samurai Jack: nearly any opponent Jack ever actually harms will turn out to be one of Aku's evil robot minions. Regardless of what they looked like before, as soon as they get sliced in half, there will be sparks and an explosion.
    • Heavily subverted: although Jack only ever cut the Mecha-Mooks (or Demonic Invaders) with his sword, they always seemed to be Ridiculously Human Robots, either outside or internally ("veins" and "bones" in the interior of a roach-robot Jack cut in two, for instance). This allowed the show to get away with the High-Pressure Blood trope and other extreme scenes of carnage, because it was just oil. Really.
    • Additionally subverted in one episode in which an episode is told through the perspective of a mecha-mook, and his very real, very human emotions are made painfully apparent to the viewer. (Apparently, the scientist who built him gave him emotions because "he was kind of funny that way". Then he fights Jack and gets cut up like any other robotic malcontent.
    • Also averted at least once. Jack strikes several people with his sword in the episode where the bounty hunters team up to beat him (and one gets blown up), and they're not revealed to be robots afterwards... But when fighting organic opponents the fights are noticeably bloodless.
    • This is parodied in the Duck Dodgers episode "Samurai Quack".
      *Dodgers jumps at a stranger with his sword raised*
      Stranger:: Stop! Not a robot! NOT A ROBOT!!!
      * Dodgers pauses*
      Dodgers: You are lucky I didn't cut you to ribbons.
      Stranger: Not with a Y-7 rating, you won't.
  • The army of German robots sent to attack Cassidy Williams in the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "The Midnight Zone".
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power was inconsistent about this. In some episodes, the Horde Troopers appeared completely sentient, and were defeated non-lethally by the heroes. In other episodes, they didn't get any dialogue, and could be smashed to pieces without any compunction.
  • The Brigadiers from Skyland.
  • Dr. Robotnik's Swat Bots from Sonic Sat AM.
  • An episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars has the good guys reprogramming a trio of battle droids to aid them in infiltrating a Separatist prison. These droids seemed to live much longer than ordinary battle droids by sheer virtue of being on the good side. However once the situation got dicey, these droids were promptly ordered to sacrifice themselves to buy time for their organic masters to escape.
  • An early instance is the 1941 Superman cartoon short "Mechanical Monsters", which climaxes with Supes whaling on some big ass robots. This may be the Ur Example.
  • The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon turned the original comic's Foot Ninja into a robotic army with unlimited numbers. In the Turtles' first battle with the Foot, they were evenly matched with the robot ninjas until one of them was sliced open. Then began the dismemberment.
    Michaelangelo: Robots? LET'S ROCK!
  • Teen Titans has a surprisingly wide variety of Mooks, but some fall into this category.
    • Slade's robots from the first two seasons are clearly there just to get blown up (though they serve the dual purpose of allowing him to Breaking Speech his enemies remotely from the comfort of his own home).
    • Brother Blood in the third season uses human soldiers at first, but then switches over to Elite Mecha-Mooks based on Cyborg, which are quite tough, especially when there's a lot of them.
    • In season four, the mooks are demons, which while not technically robots blow up just as nicely and painlessly.
    • The fifth season features the Brain using a pretty even mix of mechanical and human Mooks.
    • The Trope is Zigzagged in an episode where Mad Mod invades the city with an army of robots modeled after the Coldstream Guards. At first, these robots are incredibly tough, and the Titans are almost overwhelmed; however, as the episode progresses, they seem to get less efficient for some reason, until the end, where the heroes are able to junk them with as much ease as any other example of this Trope. (Of course, this is Mad Mod we're talking about...)
    • Very nearly done in Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, too. In fact it would have been, had they been robots instead of living ink.
  • Thundarr the Barbarian would often slice an enemy in half or lop off a limb, see the sparks and yell "Ookla! Ariel! They are ma chiiiiiiiines!" Note that lopping first is Thundarr's favored tactic, but he knows it would make a difference to Ariel — who arguably packs more firepower than he does, if she doesn't hold herself back.
  • A variation on this is in Transformers, where every character is a robot; this allowed it to do things like, say, kill off main characters in The Movie to make place for new ones. This didn't keep the scenes where it happens from being quite disturbing to younger viewers who idolized the fallen, original Prime and Dinobot being the best examples.
    • In episodes that aired before the movie, an important distinction was sometimes made between sentient and nonsentient robots. Several episodes involve the characters encountering armies of identical, literally faceless robots (as opposed to the individualized sentient Transformers) usually described as "drones" or some such, which were mindless and could be blasted to bits with moral impunity. The episode "Sea Change" even went so far as to establish that Transformers have souls like human beings, while the Mecha-Mooks they were fighting in that particular episode did not. The Vehicon drones of Beast Machines are the closest to a traditional army of Mecha-Mooks.
    • In the case of the aforementioned Vehicons, the common Mecha-Mooks are simply Spark-less drones often under the control of the larger Vehicon generals. Naturally, this makes the Vehicon drones the most blown-up, dropped, disemembered or crushed mooks in Transformers history.
    • Transformers Prime also has Vehicons, but they are intelligent enough to talk to one another and are just as disposeable as their predecessors. Bulkhead even disembowels one of them (to protect Miko). And tells Miko to look away before he does it (to protect Miko in a different way). She doesn't, but that says more about Miko than it does about the Vehicons.
    • There's also the Terrorcons from the five-part pilot, robot zombies whose on purpose in unlife was to get gloriously dismembered by Optimus Prime and Ratchet.
  • In Winx Club, Hagen has a guard made up of these in his castle. They're fairly tough, but go down when Bloom destroys their control unit.
  • The Jackbots in Xiaolin Showdown are this. Egregious use of The Hit Flash was deemed necessary anyway.
  • The X-Men animated series as often as not had the title heroes battling the robotic Sentinels and all manner of mechanical foes, rather than organic bad guys. Indeed, only two characters (good, bad, or background) are directly shown to die at any point in the series, and both eventually come Back from the Dead.

    Real Life 
  • Aerial combat drones are an example of this that are widely used today. Unlike most fictional Mecha-Mooks, they are actually frighteningly effective.
  • Boston Dynamics has developed numerous bipedal and quadrupedal robots for the US military, including BigDog and Atlas.

LilliputiansCartoon CharactersMobile Suit Human
Mechanical HorseRobotMechanical Monster
Mechanical HorseRobot Roll CallMechanical Monster
Mascot MookMooksMini Mook
Mook LieutenantVillainsMiddle Management Mook
Mechanical MonsterAdded Alliterative AppealMedical Monarch
Mook LieutenantAuthority TropesMistress and Servant Boy
Drop ShipImageSource/Star WarsMillion Mook March

alternative title(s): Mecha Mook; Mecha-Mooks
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