The Grandad(dies) of them all
In contrast to the Ace Custom
and Super Prototype
, the Mookmobile is the standard craft designated for Mooks to drive around and get blown up in. May be equipped with basic armaments and little in terms of protection. The hero or heroes may trump them up for dramatic purposes, but when engaged in actual combat, the Mook Mobile just doesn't live up to snuff. People may wonder if they're made out of cardboard and intentionally designed to kill the occupant inside without damage to the hero. But at least they're cheap to make!
Will usually be the opposite of a Cool Ship
. When one these puts up a decent performance, it's probably because someone with actually decent piloting skill
is behind the wheel, or perhaps the Inverse Ninja Law
is in effect.
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Anime and Manga
- Gundam has plenty of mook mobiles in all of its incarnations - the Zaku in in the original Mobile Suit Gundam, the GINN in Gundam SEED and really just about any mobile suit that isn't a Gundam in the first season of Gundam 00. Note that with most of these, they were state of the art and the most advanced weapons around when they were invented, but then somebody had to go and invent Gundams.
- The Moebius mobile armor is considered weak and expendable compared to the above mentioned GINN.
- Lesser model Knightmare Frames in Code Geass. Especially the Britannian Empire's poor, much-abused RPI-13 Sutherland.
- The Grappal from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Mauve Shirts Gimmy and Darry try their best to fight with them, but they can never live up to real Ganmen. Also a bit unusual in that they're hero Mook Mobiles.
- The Brocken military mechs in Patlabor, hired as security forces for various unscrupulous corporations and usually destroyed en masse by the good guys. They're really no better or worse than any of the other mechs in the setting besides the cutting-edge Ingrams the heroes use, though.
- Though it wasn't always this way. In the original manga & the first OAV, the Brocken was a nearly unstoppable top of the line military machine that could take on the entire SVU with just one unit. In the TV series, however, Conservation of Ninjutsu set in & they were stuck playing backup dancer to ridiculous, gimmicky borderline-Super Robots like the Phantom. To their credit, they still vastly outperformed any civilian Labors & always managed to inflict impressive levels ofdamage on the Ingrams before finally being brought down.
- KLFs in Eureka Seven.
- Subverted with Armored Trooper VOTOMS. The Mook Mobile's are the only units there are. The Scopedog is the most common, and the unit of choice for the protagonist but other factions have their own mass produced AT. None are really better than the others. Even the Super Prototype units are simply Scopedog's with increased handling and special weapons.
- Star Wars:
- Perhaps the Ur Example is the above mentioned TIE Fighter. Supposedly one of the "symbols of the Empire", the TIE Fighter is really only seen being successful during the first (er, fourth?) movie, during the famous Death Star trench run. Other than that, it exists solely to inflate Rogue Squadron's kill count. Two simple lasers, no shields, no air, and leaving the pilot completely screwed in the face of real competition, the TIE Fighter is always seen in pushover swarms. Though to be fair the TIE is more manuverable and faster in space than the X-wing. The disparity was largely based on the Japanese Zero vs the American F4F and F6Fs which were less maneuverable but much better armored such that their pilot were more likely to survive repeated combat. Another factor is that almost all Rebel pilots had combat experience while many Imperial pilots often did not due to the size disparity between the two factions.
- Elsewhere in canon we have the Sith Empire's Mark 6 interceptors in Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: The Old Republic, who would actually be surprisingly effective were it not for Artificial Stupidity in both cases forcing the fighters to use braindead tactics that permit them to be easily downed in hordes by their more heroic foes.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic also introduces the Aurek starfighter, an unusual example of the good guys using swarms of 'expendable' starfighters.
- In WWII films or shows, enemy aircraft tend to be portrayed like this. In Real Life, the Luftwaffe mainstays, the Bf-109 and FW-190, were heavily armed fighter aircraft that were among the most capable of their day, and the highest scoring fighter aces in history flew these two aircraft, many of them with over 100 kills. In TV and flim, they'll be armed with glorified BB guns and highly suggest that the Germans simply cannot build anything other than Cannon Fodder. Even documentaries do this.
- If it's set in the Cold War, expect Russian MiGs to exhibit the flying and combat qualities of a poorly-thrown brick. Yes, even in documentaries, although it was Averted on History Channel's Dogfights series.
- You'll frequently see the same thing happen to their tanks.
Live Action TV
- Star Trek has several craft that could qualify, especially smaller craft - the Klingon Bird of Prey, the Dominion Fighter, and the Maquis Raider pretty much embody this trope.
- The Cylon fighters in the original 1970's Battlestar Galactica. The ships weren't very maneuverable compared to the Colonial Vipers, and it didn't help that the Centurions were such poor pilots or that they piloted in a comitate of three.
- Goa'uld death gliders in the Stargate Verse. In the movie and the first half of Stargate SG-1, they subverted the trope in that they were a serious threat to ground-bound SG teams (never mind bystanders), against which the only defense (other than running away) was a shoulder-fired missile or grenade launcher (not exactly something they carry around at all times). Once it entered service, the Tau'ri F-302 quickly proved itself far superior to the glider, which was built in line with the typical Goa'uld design philosophy.
- Sometimes used in the X-Wing Series, as you see from the page quote, but also sometimes averted. Not having shields or a hyperdrive makes a TIE fighter, or its leaner, meaner, but also unshielded and hyperdrive-less cousin the TIE Interceptor, considerably faster and more agile than any X-Wing. The Rebellion/New Republic built the A-Wing in response, which performs like a TIE Interceptor with (weak) shields, but is extremely unreliable and difficult to control, so instead of one mistake causing a blaster bolt to punch through your unshielded hull, one mistake causes you to spin helplessly out of control while TI Es skeet shoot you out of the sky.
- TIE-line fighters are really only mook mobiles when flown by Mooks. They're pretty dangerous when flown by people who aren't Red Shirts of either side. The books make it clear that the major problem for TIE pilots is getting experience: make one mistake when they're still New Meat and they're dead, while newbie republic pilots get more margin to learn from errors.
- It seems that the Empire was starting to realise this was a problem by the time of the films; the X-Wing was originally slated to enter Imperial service before the Rebels made off with the blueprints, several prototypes and most of the design staff. The TIE Defender also addressed these concerns and was arguably superior to the X-Wing, but its high per-unit cost and the political chaos after the death of the Emperor relegated it to Super Prototype status.
- A staple trope of video games, especially simulator games, though they really become just more of a mook in themselves at that point.
- The hovering Pig Mask Army transports in Mother 3.
- In certain situations, the Ghost, Wraith, and Chopper, Prowler, and Banshee of Halo. If you're on foot with only an assault rifle, they can be deadly (especially in the first game, with no boarding). But once you get a vehicle of your own, they're doomed by Artificial Stupidity and weak weaponry; the Wraiths are the only ones with weaponry that can actually damage the light Scorpion tanks you can drive, and their projectiles are slow and easy to dodge. Standout examples are a level in Halo 2 where you take a tank down a highway and destroy about 20 Ghosts along with several Wraiths and Banshees in a row, Tsavo Highway in Halo 3 where you take on almost two dozen Choppers and Prowlers around a highway overpass, and the air battle in the Covenant where you in a Hornet can single-handedly destroy a swarm of Banshees with ease.
- The PVF Anubis from the first FreeSpace game is one of the most pathetic space sim fighters of all time. Paper thin armor, no afterburners (making it so slow it can easily be run down by a GTF Hercules), crappy guns, and general inadequacy make the Anubis totally outmatched against any Terran or Shivan fighter.
- In Freelancer, the Startracker is this. Sure, it's actually a little tougher than the Starflier that Trent starts with, but it's a lightly armed, lightly armored fighter that steers like a tranquilized cow, something that a Fragile Speedster-class light vessel can't afford. You'll find that they're flown by a fair number of rogue groups, but the pilots are about as lousy as their ships. Seeing a hostile Startracker is basically a chance to score free shield and armor power-ups.
- In Transformers Prime, the Vehicons are both Mooks and Mook Mobiles.
- The chartreuse faux-Corvettes of M.E.C.H. are a straighter example.