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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/AttackOfTheClones http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1368821351000-star-wars-tech-10-1522989-1305171827_4_3_770.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Magnificent, aren't they?]]

->"''The onset of troops is like the rush of a torrent which will roll even stones along in its course.''"
-->-- '''Sun Tzu''', ''Literature/TheArtOfWar''

You've got a massive army at your disposal, but people need to see its size, not only to show off your power, but to hurt morale of anyone who stands against you. So you have them march, either in a straight line that takes all day, or massive formations that cover even the largest fields. Of course, TheEmpire can be expected to show this off.

Of course it's important that they [[BadassArmy actually fight well]], and many {{Evil Overlord}}s heed that advice, while the logistics of providing food and toilet facilities for such a huge army are usually [[EasyLogistics ignored]] or {{Hand Wave}}d. Also, doesn't work if the heroes are using a bottleneck, like a narrow bridge. [[Film/ThreeHundred Or, god forbid, a thin path between the mountain and the sea...]] In fact it's surprising how often [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy this trope]] [[ConservationOfNinjitsu goes south.]]

TruthInTelevision, going back to most ancient armies. If an EvilOverlord isn't careful, they become CannonFodder. Compare FlauntingYourFleets. Contrast SuspiciouslySmallArmy.



[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/TheLionKing'': The hyenas in Scar's VillainSong "Be Prepared", which references Nazi party rallies.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Antz}}'': The ant army of the colony does this before the Queen and her generals as they're being sent off to fight the neighboring termite colony to the death.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Happens at least once in every part of both of Peter jackson's Middle Earth trilogies:
** In ''Film/TheHobbitAnUnexpectedJourney'' Thranduil's army marching up a hill overlooking Erebor is shown in a flashback.
** ''Film/TheHobbitTheDesolationOfSmaug'' ends with Azog's legions leaving Dol Guldur.
** ''Film/TheHobbitTheBattleOfTheFiveArmies'' shows the armies of Azog, Bolg, Thranduil, Dain and Bard marching in formations.
** The army of the Last Alliance in ''Film/TheFellowshipOfTheRing'' as a flashback.
** Saruman's army in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Two Towers'' as well as Sauron's soldiers leaving Minas Morgul.
** Sauron's army outside the gates of Minas Tirith in ''The Return of the King'' and the Rohirrim coming to Gondor's aid.
* Happens at least once in nearly every ''Franchise/StarWars'' movie:
** In ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'', where battle droids are marching in formation on the Trade Federation Control Ship shortly after the movie begins, and later as they march into battle outside the city on the planet near the film's climax.
** In two scenes from ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'': Once on Kamino when the clones provide a display for Obi-Wan (seen in the page image), and again at the end when the clone army marches in formation on Coruscant as they depart for war.
** In ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', where a battalion of clone troopers marches into the Jedi Temple, led by Darth Vader.
** In ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'', just before the Empire attacks the base on Hoth.
** In ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'' when the Imperials greet Palpatine.
* Pretty much the entire point of ''Film/TriumphOfTheWill'', the most well-known Nazi propaganda film.
* The Qin army in ''Film/{{Hero}}''.
* The White Witch's army in ''Film/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe''.
* Done in ''Film/IlyaMuromets''. It actually has a world record for extras.
* In the teaser for ''Film/KungPowEnterTheFist'''s sequel, a massive army charges over a hillside... and the Chosen One just stands there trying count how many's coming at him.
* In ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'' the disciplined cohorts of a Roman legion appear over the horizon and march down in formation to take up position on the hillside opposite Spartacus's slave army. Then a second legion repeats the process - then a third also marches onto the field.

* The Imperial Order in the later ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' books fields an army that numbers in the millions. To put this in perspective, before they showed up, 100,000 troops was considered a large army.
* In Creator/AynRand's ''Literature/WeTheLiving'', one of the new Communist movies consists entirely of this.
* In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', at the Great Battle of the War of Wrath, Morgoth's army of Orcs, Trolls and Balrogs has grown so large that it ''fills the entire plain'' on which the previous battles were fought.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' The Dragon Reborn has armies numbering in the hundreds of thousands. In ''The Path Of Daggers'', one character thinks to himself that he can remember when 5000 men was a large army, before the [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt coming of the Dragon]]. Several scenes describe the tiresome logistics of marching and supply, though that gets (much) easier with the advent of MassTeleportation.
* Jesus' army of saints at the Battle of Armageddon in the Literature/LeftBehind book ''Glorious Appearing''. Of course, they're mostly there to praise the Lord while Jesus does all the work of [[CurbStompBattle slaying His enemies]] with the [[Literature/TheBible Word Of God]].
** Also the 200 million horsemen that sweep across the globe during one of God's Trumpet Judgments, looking for those that do not bear the Seal of God on their foreheads to slay.
* The Tyrant's army from ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheEmergedWorld''. Partly justified as 1) the troops are artificially-created soldiers. 2) he has five lands out of eight under his command. From the second book onward, this is brought UpToEleven as he [[spoiler: summon an army made from the ghosts of all those who died in battle.]]
* The children's novel ''New World Order'' takes place in a [[AlternateHistory timeline]] where [[AlienSpaceBats invaders from a parallel universe]] attack Britain during the English Civil War, using UsefulNotes/WW1 era technology; including radio, rifles, supply trains and zeppelin air support. At the end the majority of the invaders are finally repelled after almost a decade, the general leading the army is imprisoned and the portal to the other world is closed, but a large number of their forces are left behind. The remaining invaders invoke this by converging on Windsor Castle and start marching around it and performing parade manoeuvres, literally under the noses of [[TeethClenchedTeamwork King Charles II and Prime Minister Oliver Cromwell]], the message being "You can crush us but we'll take a whole mess of you down with us. Let our leader out of jail and let's negotiate". They do.
* Ungatt Trunn's Blue Hordes in the ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' book ''Lord Brocktree'' do this when they march, and number enough to be able to intimidate his enemies by causing earthquakes by jumping in sync, making the stars "fall" by lighting torches and concealing the stars in the sky, and making the land "disappear" by standing on it. Of course this is one book where EasyLogistics is averted, the good guys attacking foraging parties in an effort to make them starve. For the most part they succeed, to the point where the "siege" that happens once Brocktree and his allies are in possession of Salamandastron again is more the woodlanders pretending that they're partying it up inside while the Blue Hordes sit and wait for scraps of food to be chucked out the window.
* Cao Cao's army that was set to invade the region of Wu in ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms''. Conveniently, always referred to as a million-man-army.
* In ''[[{{Literature/Temeraire}} Blood of Tyrants]]'', three hundred soldiers does not a Million Mook March make. Three hundred dragons, on the other hand, represents the largest aerial force ever assembled in Europe (which is itself still barely a fraction of China's full aerial corps [[note]]6,288 officially enlisted (because it's a lucky number), plus an unknown number of "unofficial" reserves[[/note]]), and the sight of them all flying in formation stuns Laurence and co. to speechlessness. RealityEnsues: this massive army is only possible because China maintains an extensive network of supply depots across its territory and feeds its dragons on easily-stored grain porridge rather than expensive and logistically-intensive raw beef in the European style; finding a sustainable food supply for three hundred 20-ton dragons becomes a major concern after they cross into Russia.
* ''Literature/SecondApocalypse'': The Sranc are a genocidal [[OrganicTechnology biological weapon]] created by the Inchoroi. They are dog-sized, [[OurGoblinsAreDifferent goblin-like]] creatures with a sexual lust for violence that can survive on the most meager of nourishment and reproduce explosively. As such, their armies carpet the [[GrimUpNorth Ancient North]] in numbers that "break the back of reason."

[[folder:Music Video]]
* [[{{Music/Gorillaz}} Jamie]] [[ComicBook/TankGirl Hewlett's]] music video ''Monkey Bee'' is a remix of a song from his ''Monkey: Journey To The West'' album. As expected, it is loosely based on ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest''. At the end of the video, the Monkey King is faced with a massive amry of the undead, resulting in a BolivianArmyEnding. The video can be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdZjO-i_vxg here]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' art likes to do this with the Imperial Guard, Space Marine chapters, Eldar warhosts, Ork hordes, etc. (though in the case of the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Tyranids]] it's more like a Billion Bug March). One Imperial Guard codex even used photo-editing tricks to show just how large a single regiment was, resulting in a two-page spread of four thousand toy soldiers all lined up in formation.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' video game battle sequences featured endless swarms of enemies marching past in the background. The developers actually wrote a software app called Battlemarch to produce the effect.
* This trope is invoked by the Sligs for an animation test for the canceled ''{{VideoGame/Oddworld}}'' game, Hand of Odd. Done infront of a picture of a burger.
* Invoked in cutscenes of ''VideoGame/RiseOfLegends'' by both Giacomo and the Doge of Venucci. Clockwork spiders and mechanical soldiers, bonus.
* Done at the beginning ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar 2'', complete with an inspiring speech.
* It's not actually an entire army, but when the US task force tries to arrest Liquid Ocelot in Prague in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'', it takes over three minutes for several dozens of trucks, ten patrol boats, six helicopters, and hundreds of soldiers to come out of their hiding spots and surround his boat on the river. But even with just three mooks and himself, Ocelot doesn't think about surrendering. Instead, in a terrible subversion, [[spoiler:he already has the master password to shut down all their equipment and when the soldiers are ordered to open fire, nothing happens. Then Ocelot's mooks mow down the entire Task Force in a few moments.]]
* Both ''[[VideoGame/RomeTotalWar Rome]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar Medieval II]]'' of the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' series end the intro videos for factions with this tropes.
* The intro cutscene of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' features the forces of Dalmasca doing this at one point, with ground troops, cavalry, and transport airships filling the main plaza of Rabanastre in front of the palace.
* Happens several times in the ''[[VideoGame/DawnOfWar Dawn of War]]'' series, most often when invading the faction HQ in ''Dark Crusade'' and ''Soulstorm''. Especially when the faction is the [[WeHaveReserves Imperial]] [[TankGoodness Guard]].
* Be very careful about using this in ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} V''. Obviously the best way to keep your rivals informed about the size and state of your armies is to have them visible, and the best way for them to be visible is for them to be right on the border. But if an AI player sees a force mustering on its border, it may call you up and straight-out ask if you're declaring war or not. If you answer "no" and subsequently end up fighting that rival civilization anyway, you'll take a diplomatic penalty when interacting with leaders.

* Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick makes use of this trope, with several strips showing the vastness of the hobgoblin army (30,000 strong) before and during the invasion of Azure City. %%A more specific example would be appreciated, of course.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' had one of these. Episode: 'King Yakko', a thinly disguised parody of ''Film/DuckSoup'' with Yakko in the Groucho Marx role. He and his siblings search for the invading army, until it's pointed out. Yakko ends up seeing one of these. [[BreakingTheFourthWall He figures it'd take a commercial break to come up with a viable battle plan.]]
* The opening sequence of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' contains a shot of a huge crowd of Fire Nation soldiers in front of an armada of ships.
* ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'''s pilot episode has Megabyte's mooks marching across the underground lair. They aren't going anywhere (yet, as they are waiting for Bob to open a portal), but it looks awesome and is meant to intimidate Bob.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Military Parades, most famously, the Red Army. China, India and Russia continue to mount the largest military parades in the world.
** North Korea [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMLtkp4AFkc recently had one]] to commemorate the rise of [[OverlordJr Kim Jong Un]].
* Subverted when the communists did their victory parade after taking Saigon, ending UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar. Having fought mainly as guerrilla fighters the NVA and VC forces had never been trained to march, so they had to do the parade in trucks.
* James Oglethorpe used a forest that hid where his army had come from and where it was going, and marched a small army in a circle to make it look much bigger.
** Rommel succeeded in pulling off the same "unending loop" trick, without the benefit of forest cover and with ''[[TankGoodness tanks]]''.
** Improved upon, perhaps by others in the same desert, who used trucks disguised as tanks, tanks disguised as trucks, the truck and tank disguises left behind in the front line where they would be seen, trucks pulling trailers that left the tracks of tanks, fake airfields with fake aircraft (sometimes bombed with fake bombs), fake railroads and railheads 100 miles south of the real railheads, ammo, water and fuel dumps that were sometimes fake covering the real ones. All this constructed to a realistic timetable that indicated an attack several weeks later than the actual attack. Job done. Nazis lose.[[note]]The British were known to have employed stage magicians as consultants in creating these ruses, making this a RealLife case of FunctionalMagic.[[/note]]
** The Soviets used this trick with [[UpToEleven strategic bombers]] during their military parades in the 1950s, deceiving American observers and creating the myth of the Bomber Gap. Believing their long-range bomber fleet to be massively inferior to the Soviet one, the Americans promptly invested as much as they could in research and production of [=ICBMs=]. Yes, much of the Cold War arms race was due to this ploy.
** The trick is OlderThanFeudalism. Military manuals written in Greece before the birth of Alexander the Great already feature passages detailing how to make your army look bigger than it is. Ploys include the "unending loop" as well as alternating spears to make formations seem twice as wide, marching in single file to make columns stretch endlessly, marching in hollow formations using dust clouds to hide true numbers, and dressing up women as soldiers [[ValuesDissonance ("though you should never allow them to throw missiles, for a woman immediately betrays her sex when she tries to throw")]].
** Another classic tactic is to set a lot of fake campfires when your army bunks down for the night, so your forces look much bigger than they really are
** This sort of trick has been used in other ways as well. Soldiers in a castle under siege in Austria were purported to have paraded their one cow on the battlements again and again each time painted to look differently. It supposedly worked, convincing the hostile forces outside that the castle had so many resources stocked up that it was pointless to try and starve them out in a siege. It was more of a million moo march though.
* Victorious Roman generals would be feted with "triumphs", enormous festivals meant to honour the conquering hero of the Republic. An enormous parade would begin at the Field of Mars, winding its way past shrines while crowds of plebeians roared "Io Triomphe!", before finally reaching the great Temple of Jupiter. The general was followed by his soldiers as well as a host of toga-clad senators and priests, families of prominent patricians, and the Vestal Virgins. Chariots bore the plundered loot of subjugated tribes and captured barbarians were yanked along in chains. The general, at the head of the procession, was followed by a slave who held a laurel wreath over his head while whispering "remember, you are mortal" into his ear. Later, during the Empire, only the Emperor was feted in this manner - whether he had led his troops in the field or not.
* The Trooping of the Colour can look suspiciously like this.
* The elite fighters of ancient Persia were known as 'the Immortals' not because they were particularly invulnerable, but because the fighting column was so deep as to seem never-ending to their opponents.
** Also helped that each individual dressed the same (and covered most of their body) and all generally acted stoically before battle, meaning if one did actually fall another would take its place the next time they got in formation and it would appear to be the same guy.
* The introduction of {{conscription}} during UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution meant swelling of the size of the armies into ''up to tenfold'' which they previously had been. The sheer size of the armies made up what they were sorely lacking in skill.
* Mongol armies of UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan and his successors zigzag between this and SuspiciouslySmallArmy. On the one hand, Mongol armies were rarely exceptionally large, if only because there weren't that many Mongolians to begin with. However, as a nomadic people, Mongols could divert much larger proportion of their small population into armies. Since Mongols, due to their nomadic culture and exceptional discipline, could advance far faster than any other army of the period, they could appear seemingly everywhere at once multiplying the appearance of their numbers--and in fact could ensure that their armies could converge where they were needed when they were needed in a manner that their enemies could not match. Finally, as each Mongol warrior had five or more horses, each Mongol army was accompanied by a vast herd of horses when horsed cavalry was relatively uncommon among agrarian peoples.
* As a way of intimidating the Allied Powers, who he knew would be watching, Creator/ErwinRommel staged a parade of his tanks and soldiers, a parade which went on for several hours and was several ''miles'' long. However, it was only later revealed that he had them marching around in circles to create the illusion of a vast number of tanks and men.