The rhino is a homely beast,
For human eyes he's not a feast.
Farwell, farewell, you old rhinoceros,
I'll stare at something less prepoceros.
— Ogden Nash
When portrayed in the media, rhinos are always hulkingly big, heavy, and intimidating animals that are known to have bad eyesight, short tempers, and a tendency to run down and trample (or gore to death)
things that piss them off. They're not very smart, but they always use their heads
. They are one of the truly Bad Ass
species of animal in the world. If they appear in a game, expect a Smash Mook
or maybe a Bullfight Boss
. If they're depicted in fiction, they're likely to be a dangerous obstacle. If it's a comedy, expect to see someone sent flying.
When a character is based on a rhinoceros, expect a tough brute capable of a lot of violence. If the character is a good guy, expect a lot of trampled Mooks
. If the character is a bad guy, expect running. Lots and lots of running.
In Real Life
, the rhinoceros isn't anywhere near as aggressive or mindlessly violent as its been portrayed in the media. It can still be a dangerous animal, but by far more humans are killed each year by elephants and hippopotami.
Fun fact: A group of rhinos is called a "crash".
Anime and Manga
- In Pokemon, two of the fiercest creatures are Rhyhorn and Rhydon, both of whom are really big rhinos.
- The Generation IV games introduced another evolution for these two, Rhyperior.
- One of Zoro's attacks is named "Sai Kuru" (Wheeling Rhino), and was also translated as "Rhino Rampage" in the 4Kids dub of Grand Adventure.
- Post Time Skip Franky has created a rhino-themed Cool Bike called the Kurosai (Black Rhino) FR-U #4.
- The Chronicles of Narnia features a rhinoceros intentionally charging ahead of the centaur General Oreius in order to save King Peter from the advancing hordes of the White Witch. The beast handily tosses aside several attackers before being brought down.
- Jumanji features several summoned rhinos, including one that casually shoulders aside a police car. This particular rhino gets its own gameplay mechanic in the tie-in boardgame. Simply put, when you land on a space with a rhino on it, you can use the rhino to block your adversaries' path.
- Subverted with another member of the rhino herd, a short, overweight specimen whose lumbering walk and weary, huffing breath are Played for Laughs.
- Subverted with the battle-rhinoceros from 300 . If the Persians had been fighting anyone other than the frigging Spartans...
- This trope was going to be used in Gladiator, but eventually decided against the idea. There were a few reasons for this, mainly lack of time and money, but also because of how unbelievable it is in real life, as the summary above mentions.
- Kung Fu Panda completely inverts this. Tai Lung goes on a rampage and thrashes all 1,000 of his rhino guards without even breaking a sweat.
- Kung Fu Panda 2 gives us Master Thundering Rhino, son of famed Master Flying Rhino. Sadly, he pretty much just exists so Shen's cannon can kill someone strong as proof of its power.
- The Gods Must Be Crazy features a rhino going around stomping out fires the characters have set up; the Narrator claims that rhinos are like the fire marshals of the forest. The Gods Must Be Crazy II features a rhino charging the female lead for getting between it and its baby.
- A rhino is the occupant on one of the cars in the circus train at the start of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
- Several cultures have folk tales that tell of a rhinoceros putting out a raging fire. By trampling it under its feet.
- The Erumpent in Harry Potter's Fantastic Beasts is basically a rhinoceros whose horn is Made of Explodium.
- Douglas Adams's unfinished novel The Salmon of Doubt has a chapter written from the point of view of a rhino which escapes from a zoo and goes on a rampage, killing several people before being shot to death.
- The Animorphs often favored morphing into rhinos (and elephants) for situations requiring lots of collateral damage. Jake originally acquired his when he needed to smash through the walls of a heavily guarded compound, and Marco got one in book 22 for pretty much the same reason (though he only ever used it the one time).
- Though the rhinos (the real ones or the instincts of the ones they morphed) weren't portrayed as being aggressive or mean, they were just really tough.
- At the start of James and the Giant Peach, both of James' parents are killed (specifically, eaten) by an escaped rhino.
- The Babar series gave us Rataxes, the aggressive King of Rhinoland and Babar's arch-rival. That the Rhinos have a destructive holiday called (you guessed it) the "Rhino Rampage" makes things all the more troperiffic!
- In the Ionesco play Rhinocéros, everyone turns into one...
- The rhino from My Fathers Dragon. He's quite fierce and angry, but he mostly just wants people to stay out of his weeping pool.
- The picture book A Porcupine Named Fluffy features a rhinoceros character with the name of... ...Hippo.
- In Son of Spellsinger, the young travelers recruit an alcoholic rhino as both transport and bodyguard. When he's not drunk off his feet, he's an armor-wearing Badass.
- The Judoon, from Doctor Who, are a race of humanoid rhinoceros space-cops. They are so Bad Ass the Tardis can't translate their language.
- In the "Judoon platoon on the moon" episode, Martha hadn't traveled by TARDIS, explaining their incomprehensible dialect.
- Pushing Daisies. The episode "Window Dressed to Kill" has Ned resurrecting a dead rhinoceros named Aloysius for no reason really connected to the plot. But a rampaging rhinoceros is always badass...
- Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger / Power Rangers Wild Force features a Rhino-Armadillo tagteam as part of the season's enormous Mecha Expansion Pack. The Rhino forms an alternative set of legs for the combined mecha, which kicks the Armadillo at the enemy as part of a soccer-themed finishing move. The pair may or may not be a Shout Out to two American-exclusive monsters from the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, the American Football-themed Rhinoblaster & the Association Football-themed Soccadillo.
- Dominic, the (second) Sixth Ranger in Power Rangers Jungle Fury, channels the power of the rhino. Ironically, while the rhino's raw strength is played up as unrivaled in the animal kingdom, Dominic is more of a Trickster than The Big Guy you'd expect. His Japanese counterpart, Ken from Juken Sentai Gekiranger, is much the same.
- Kamen Rider Thrust from Kamen Rider Dragon Knight and his Japanese counterpart Gai from Kamen Rider Ryuki have a rhino motif and use the Advent Beast Metalgelas, a hulking humanoid armored rhino.
- Also, all across Toku, rhinos are very a popular Monster of the Week choice. Their usual tactic: smash, and then smash some more!
- An old joke: "Rhino have bad eyesight, but given his weight it's not his problem".
- Rhino Records is without a doubt the coolest media company on the planet. Except when it comes to remastering old cartoons.
- In Warhammer and Warhammer 40000, all Juggernauts of Khorne are unholy rhino-shaped amalgamations of daemon, metal, and hellfire. The Blood Crushers are especially large versions.
- Warhammer Fantasy also has "Rhinoxen" as the answer to the question "what the hell could an Ogre ride on the back of?"
- Also in Warhammer 40000 is the Rhino APC, the Space Marines' primary
METAL BOX transport vehicle.
- Crash of Rhinos is a hard-hitting card from Magic: The Gathering's Mirage expansion.
- In Dungeons & Dragons there are the Rhek, a race of hulking, anthropomorphic, Lawful Good humanoid rhinos. Their entry included one with levels in the Monk class. That's right, not only is this one a Bad Ass man-rhino, but it knows kung-fu.
- The Champions Universe features a villain named Ironhorn, who is basically a Captain Ersatz of Marvel's Rhino.
- The Fighting Fantasy series features Rhino-Men as the mooks of Big Bad Balthus Dire.
- In Donkey Kong Country one of your animal buddies is Rambi, a rhino. He automatically tramples over enemies when running and can charge a, umm, charging attack that can break through some walls. One of the few animal buddies to be most of the games, and the only one to make it into Donkey Kong Country Returns.
- The Wrath of the Lich King expansion of World of Warcraft introduced Rhinos, although in WoW they're wooly and live on arctic tundra.
- Not to be confused with the Rhino in Grand Theft Auto. Despite the fact that a good deal of players spent most or all of their playtime spawning a Rhino with a cheat code and going on a rampage.
- Atelier Iris 3 has a rhino-like Mana called Diemia, which deals physical damage to an enemy row and knocks back the targets when summoned, delaying their turns. Provided the enemies aren't resistant to physical attacks, it is arguably the strongest Mana in the entire game.
- Tunnel Rhino from Mega Man X 3, whose horn and right arm are drills that help him tunnel underground. In true rhino fashion, he mainly fights by ramming the player.
- In Mega Man ZX, we have Protectos the Goreroid. Unlike your typical rhino, he doesn't try to ram you, as he is very slow and bulky. However, he more than makes up for it by attacking you with his upper horn, which is actually a nuke missile that he can launch out of his body.
- One of the challenges in Zoo Tycoon 2's "Endangered Species" expansion-pack involves providing for a rare variety of rhino and getting it to breed.
- Sonic's Ixis Naugus is one third bat, one third rhinoceros, and one third lobster.
- There is a hero in Heroes of Newerth appropriately named as Rampage who is riding a rhino.
- The Infinity Plus One Gun in each game of the Ratchet & Clank series is usually called the RYNO.
- Gohma Chargers from Asura's Wrath, along with charging like a traditional rhino, are capable of causing small tremors by stomping it's front legs.
- In the Congo Bongo level Rhino Rampage, the enemies are rhinoceroses charging from all directions.
- The Drill Sye (Sai meaning rhino in Japanese) dream eater in Kingdom Hearts 3 D. They manage to be quite the Goddamned Bats, specializing in attacks that hit multiple times and/or send you flying, leaving you open for abuse from other enemies or in a bad position to fight back.
- The grand majority of the mooks the player encounters in Spyro: Year of the Dragon are the Rhynocs, a race of rhino-like creature under the employ of the Sorceress. They return in the handheld games, as well.
- Rocksteady from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a villainous example.
- Rhinox from Beast Wars is very badass (and part-time Number Two to Optimus Primal).
- As a subversion, he is also the resident scientist in the group.
- The original Transformers had two, Ramhorn for the Autobots and Headstrong for the Decepticons.
- Transformers Cybertron has Backstop, the Jamaican-accented pacifistic rhino. Also, one of the Japan-only G1 sequels has characters who can deploy animal-like minions from their chests a la Soundwave. One of them is a rhino.
- The Simpsons: Homer sets off a chain-reaction of events at the zoo by shooting a lemur with a slingshot, that eventually culminates in a rhino stampede.
- The halberd-carrying Mooks of Prince John in Disney's Robin Hood are rhinos. They are not portrayed as terribly bright, but they have a mean charge.
- Originally, the Disney animated film The Jungle Book was going to feature a rhinoceros character named Rocky (voiced by Frank Fontaine) that was going to appear at the end of the film (during the scene with the vultures), but the character was ultimately dropped from the final script.
- Avatar The Last Airbender: The Fire Nation uses Komodo Rhinos as mounts in battle. That's right, a rhino crossed with a freakin' komodo dragon.
- Rhinos actually appear as background characters in the Disney animated film The Lion King. One rhino appeared just right after the sunrise at the very beginning of the film (Nants ingonyama! Bagaithi baba, Sithikum ingonyama nyea!...), while two others appeared during the song "I Just Can't Wait to be King" (both of them were pestering Zazu).
- In the sequel, Kovu and Kiara scare away some birds so Timon and Pumbaa can eat the worms. Unfortunately, the birds happen to have a herd of angry rhinos on their side and like the wildebeests from the original, the rhinos stampede after Kiara and Kovu. Thankfully, no one got trampled!
- A rhinoceros actually disguises itself as a rock during the song "Following the Leader" from Peter Pan.
- The second to last animal Mad Madam Mim turns into during the Wizard Duel from The Sword in the Stone is a pink rhinoceros, which is then thrown off a cliff and into a river by Merlin (now turned into a ram), but then Mim comes out in the form of a...
- Subverted with Lulu from Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.
- Also subverted with Clam from Camp Lazlo. Played straight if you're Scoutmaster Lumpus, however.
- Carl and Frank from Ice Age, a pair of Brontotheres, which despite their appearances, aren't even actual rhinos at all! True to form, they're both portrayed as brutish thugs.
- Roy from The Penguins of Madagascar is short-tempered, but otherwise a decent fellow.
- On the Classic Disney Short African Diary, Great White Hunter Goofy goes out hunting for wild game and finds a black rhinoceros. Three guesses as to who wins that match.
- The Wallop species in Storm Hawks is based on rhinos in appearance.
- The textbook Special Relativity by T. M. Helliwell has a number of problems (and some cover art) featuring rhinoceri running at relativistic speeds.