Stealthy Colossus

Unknown to them all, The Minotaur is hiding in the shadows behind her. This is not an easy thing to do when you're 10- feet-tall and your head is a cow.

A Stealthy Colossus is a character or machine that is ginormously huge (relative to their size category, anyway) yet somehow manages to stay undetected whenever they want. While a Barbarian Hero might still conceivably sneak up on someone, these guys go even further. If the setting is comical, they will tiptoe behind their prey. Otherwise, they will enter the scene in a fittingly dramatic fashion, possibly with a Surprisingly Sudden Death.

Compare Surprise Vehicle and Suspiciously Stealthy Predator. Related to Impossibly Graceful Giant, Acrofatic, With Catlike Tread, and possibly Offscreen Teleportation. Compare/contrast Highly-Visible Ninja.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Gundam Wing has Death Scythe, which has the ability to cloak. When used in deep space, it fades Predator style and blends seemlessly with the surrounding field of stars; effectively becoming invisible... and makes no sound.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Middleman (comic and series), El Comelon ("the Glutton") is a Mexican Wrestler-Assassin who weighs 400 pounds, but has been known to "squeeze through spaces the diameter of a tennis racket."

    Fan Works 
  • A Keychain of Creation fan comic had the Kukla sneaking up on someone. The Kukla is a dragon the size of a mountain range. The character in question had fallen for the Look Behind You trick with regard to the Kukla multiple times, and probably chocked this under Crying Wolf.

  • Zilla from the 1998 remake of Godzilla is somehow able to sneak around and hide in the middle of New York City without anyone noticing him, for the most part.
  • Transformers: The film (almost) makes a joke of how easily massive robots can hide.
  • Megamind has the villain in a multi-storey mech at one point, sneakily hiding around corners while the Face-Heel Turn hero he created flies by at top speed.
  • In Cloverfield, the eponymous multi-ton, many-legged, several stories-high monster sneaks up on the protagonists and bites the cameraman in half.
  • Pacific Rim has the kaiju Leatherback being completely undetected until it makes its Dynamic Entry from underwater.

  • In The Wheel of Time, one of the characters that travels with Mat for a while is Chel Vanin, an exceptional former horse thief and poacher who also happens to also be particularly fat. Mat notes multiple times just how remarkable he is, given his fatness. Indeed, Mat judges him to be so good at what he does, he makes him the head scout in the Band of the Red Hand - that's right, a balding, fat head scout.
  • In Myth Adventures, Skeeve has Chumley sneak up on and kidnap his apprentices, to teach them about judging people prematurely.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Titanicus, on one occasion a Titan is able to sneak up on infantry despite literally being large enough to shake the earth when it walks.
  • The so-called "Phantom Mech" in BattleTech Expanded Universe's Warrior trilogy made the 10 story tall BattleMechs piloted by Morgan (and Patrick) Kell and Yorinaga Kurita completely invisible to all forms of electronic sensors, and all weapons fired at them would miss. It's never elaborated as to whether it's a LosTech stealth system or destiny.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Munchkin Fu card game has a mecha ninja named "Fifty Ton Master Of Stealth". Also, the Ninja Giant from the "Need for Steed" expansion.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The 3rd Edition bestiary depicts a gold dragon sneaking behind some orcs - possibly justified by magic.
    • This is often the schtick of Bugbears in D&D and its derivatives (such as Pathfinder).
  • In Warhammer 40,000:
    • General Ursaker E. Creed is capable of applying the "Scout Rule," to any unit. This means that he can take any unit on his side, and move it into flanking position of the enemy army. Instantly. This would be an inversion if all he could move are scouts, but one can perform this rule with Space Marine squads (gigantic, ten-foot-tall, multi-ton killing machines), tanks, and two-hundred feet tall mecha, appearing out of freaking nowhere. It has become a Memetic Mutation that he is capable of infiltrating any unit to any point anywhere, at any time, ever. This is known as "Tactical Genius".
    • While ork Kommandoz aren't exactly colossal, they're still over seven feet tall and green (when not painted purple), yet perfectly capable of sneaking around undetected. Why purple? As all orks know, no one's ever seen an army of purple orks, which explains how sneaky purple makes them.
  • Warhammer: Ogre Ninjas. Yes, really.
  • BattleTech:
    • Various powerful ECM systems exist, most of which are LosTech. The Chameleon Light Polarization Shield and the Null Signature System make a BattleMech completely invisible to visual detection and sensors, respectively. The Word of Blake combined the two (otherwise mutually exclusive) systems in their Void Signature System and put it to good use in their Raptor II battlemech, which could fade in and out of combat. However, excessive production costs, heat and accuracy penalties made the Void system very rare.
    • The "Phantom mech" ability seen in the BattleTech Expanded Universe made Morgan Kell and Yorinaga Kurita's battlemechs completely invisible to any sensors when in combat; radar, infrared, and magnetic sensors wouldn't pick them up, targeting computers couldn't establish a lock, and dumbfired weapons would miss entirely. It's never made clear what the Phantom Mech ability is; destiny, or an extremely potent LosTech ECM system.

    Video Games 
  • In one of the ork cutscenes of Dawn of War 2: Retribution Captain Bluddflagg manages to sneak up on an inquisitor, despite being about a size of a dreadnought.
    • One of Bluddflagg's lieutenants, Spookums is an Kommando Nob, an ork stealth expert despite being about 8 feet tall and about 4 feet wide at his shoulders.
  • Rau from Mark of Kri, and its sequel Rise of the Kasai, is a huge quasi-Polynesian that's easily double the size of his enemies. Sneaking around and stealth-killing is a major part of his gameplay. However, his huge size does come in handy: he's able to stealth-kill two guys at once.
  • The Devilsaurs from World of Warcraft were notorious for being able to sneak up on players despite being T. Rex sized dinosaur-like creatures.
    • The Fel Reaver was similarly notorious, despite the ground quaking from its steps. Someone who wasn't paying attention would notice the shaking, dash wildly in a direction they can't see the reaver, and discover too late that it was approaching them from an angle and they've run right into its aggro radius.
  • A mechanized example: aerial fortress Gleipnir from Ace Combat X is enormously huge yet its cloaking system allows it to make stealth incursions into enemy territory with impunity.
  • The roadies in Brütal Legend haul enormous piles of amps on their backs to battle... but are completely invisible unless they attack. Why? Because they wear black and in the Heavy Metal-inspired setting of the game, that works as a perfect Perception Filter. Eddie, being a roadie himself, can also become invisible by jumping on top of said amps.
  • 20 to 100 ton bipedal tanks in the MechWarrior series can become absurdly good at stealth when equipped with electronic counter-measures, despite the ground shaking under the force of their footsteps. One Stealth-Based Mission in MW4: Mercenaries has the plow running from cover to cover (the cover being occupied enemy buildings) inside a densely patrolled enemy base; the people inside the buildings seem to not notice the walls shaking or the oddly painted and armed mech running around outside. In Living Legends, it's possible to become completely invisible to sensors by hiding inside an Angel ECM bubble with your sensors disabled. Apparently, sensors in the future cannot detect nuclear fusion reactors, seismic vibrations, or the solid wall of armor and weapons that make up a battlemech.
  • Player example in Team Fortress 2: One'd never think a Husky Russkie with a 300 pound minigun could be sneaky. Getting punched in the back with mittens that make you laugh uncontrollably and gunned down while you're laughing helplessly will change your mind in a hurry.

  • From The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, there's Mongo the Uberninja. He's a 7-feet-tall, colossally-muscled giant who habitually dual-wields CHAINSAWS (that is, chainsaw-chucks)... but he's still able to sneak up on ANYONE, even the main character, because... well, he's a NINJA!

    Western Animation 
  • Gossamer, the Mad Scientist's monster in Bugs Bunny cartoons.
  • Parodied in an episode of Invader Zim with the Megadoomer, an impractically large robot with a "stealth" mode. It turns invisible, but it trails its visible cord behind it, leaves enormous footprints, and doesn't cloak the rider.
  • The Megas XLR episode "Breakout" has a large group of mecha-sized alien criminals released at one point. One of them appears to be a martial artist with a cloaking device, which he uses to move around silently and use hit and run tactics on Megas. This being Megas XLR, he is defeated when Coop fires missiles in all directions at once.

    Real Life 
  • Despite their massive size, elephants are surprisingly stealthy. They actually make very little noise when walking and have been known to sneak onto farms and eat the crops without being noticed.
  • Any large submarine. That's kind of the point of being a submarine.
  • During the Battle of Cape Matapan in WWII, excellent light and noise discipline by the Royal Navy combined with the Italian lack of radar allowed two British battleships to close to within two kilometers of an Italian cruiser squadron and open fire, which is the naval equivalent of this trope. The results were predictable.