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As noted in Stock Dinosaurs
, T. rex
is by far the most common dinosaur that appears in fiction. While it may not have been the biggest carnivorous dinosaur ever, it was probably among the most powerful and dangerous. It is certainly the most famous, mainly because it looks Badass
, and is also the only
dinosaur popularly known for the whole scientific name (genus Tyrannosaurus
, species rex
) instead of just the first term.
In fiction, T. rex
, like all dinosaurs, seems to really like the taste of humans
, despite the fact that we're fricking tiny compared to it (imagine passing on a turkey dinner to run a mile for Chicken McNuggets). Expect to see T. rex roaring constantly
and shaking the earth with every step
as well as always active and on the prowl, never stopping to rest in order to conserve its energy. Rule of Cool
always wins, but in Real Life
predators will tread softly and shut up while hunting; otherwise how would they ambush their prey with success
? It is also usually implied to be male, perhaps because Tyrannosaurus rex
means "Tyrant Lizard King
". Some scientists have suggested the females were larger; though this is plausible, solid scientific evidence for this hypothesis is not as strong as it used to be.
In earlier fiction especially, all
carnivorous dinosaurs on the bigger-than-a-human side tend to be confused with T. rex
, and T. rex
itself will sometimes be depicted with non-tyrannosaur features, such as three fingered hands (tyrannosaurs only have two). Sometimes the authors will dismiss T. rex
as "cliché" and use another large theropod as their Designated Villain
. The attempt to be anti-cliché will usually be self-defeating, as the other theropod will tend to be used in such an inaccurate, Pseudo-Rex fashion that they might as well have just used the obligatory T. rex
anyway. This tends to happen to poor Allosaurus
most often, despite that fact that they really don't look that much like T. rex
, aren't that closely related, and aren't nearly as large. Fortunately, as new fossil evidence helps us straighten out how the various Theropods are related, this is becoming a lost subtrope. (See that other Wiki
for more information about this.)
In older fiction, tyrannosaurs and many other bipedal dinosaurs were typically portrayed in an upright "tripod stance" like a kangaroo (pretty much the only bipedal animal with a long tail early paleoartists could use as a model; see Godzilla
). Science Marches On
, however, and by the '70s, it was generally agreed by the paleontological community that dinosaurs did not drag their tails. However, it wasn't until Jurassic Park
came along in 1993 that this view managed to filter into pop culture: just the scene of a group of humans in a jeep being chased by a T. rex
with that proper anatomic structure, and looking like she had a real chance of catching them, was enough to lock it in the public imagination. Even then, newer works still sneak in the tripod stance every so often, usually by showing T. rex
in a "triumphant" pose that resembles the stance.
Its puny arms are a staple of ridicule. Very often they are thought of as useless, scrawny, and weak. Part of this is practicality; large arms would have gotten in the way of the T. rex
's bite. Additionally, in spite of their size the arm bones show signs of large muscle attachment and thus, they were very strong and capable of lifting a ton. Because of this, T. rex
might have used them to hold onto struggling prey while it dispatched it with its jaws. Also, as with all theropods, its hands are almost always depicted as pronated, when this is now considered impossible in real life. They are supposed to face each other, like a person about to clap.
If a work of fiction involves Time Travel
, the probability of a T. rex
appearing is directly proportional to the number of episodes. If the characters time-travel once in a series, they will either end up in a hilariously inaccurate version of the late Cretaceous and meet a T. rex
or a hilariously inaccurate version of the old west — where they may meet a T. rex
anyway. Likewise, a machine that merely pulls things out of the past, or other dimensions, seemingly has a 90% chance of grabbing a T. rex
. If the work of fiction supposedly doesn't
involve Time Travel
, there's a good chance of the T. rex
nevertheless encountering critters from wildly different eras
, such as Stegosaurus
, which predates T. rex
by roughly as long as T. rex
— While we're here, a word about spelling, punctuation, and Taxonomic Term Confusion
: the correct way to refer to the species is Tyrannosaurus rex
or T. rex
— upper-case T, lower-case r, period after the T in the abbreviated version. And italicized. Not "T Rex", "T-Rex", "t-rex" and so on.
Also, there was far more than one kind of "tyrannosaur". The word "tyrannosaur" can be used to describe various relatives of T. rex
belonging to the superfamily Tyrannosauroids
. It turns out this group included members both large and powerful like the almost-identical Asian Tarbosaurus
and the smaller North American Albertosaurus
— and relatively small and quick, like the recently discovered Eotyrannus
. Primitive, feathered Tyrannosauroids are also known, such as the diminuitive Dilong
and the medium-sized Yutyrannus
Another important note: T. rex
lived only in what is now central North America (ranging from about Alberta to Texas), so don't expect your time traveler to bump into them
if they take off from anywhere else in the world (unless it's one of those time machines that can go to a different location
). This is partly due to Science Marches On
- specifically, the Asian Tarbosaurus
was long suggested to be a species of Tyrannosaurus
In addition, Tyrannosaurus rex
should never be confused for another T. rex.
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Anime & Manga
- The villains in Dinosaur King mainly use a T. rex for fighting. The word "King" isn't there for nothing.
- In One Piece, former Rear Admiral X. Drake of The Eleven Supernovas has eaten a Ancient Zoan type Devil's Fruit that turns him into this. His form is smaller than a real one, but like other Zoans, he has a yet-to-be seen half-man, half-T. rex form, and can bite through a Mecha-Mook whose head is harder than steel.
- A large number of Dinosaur-type monsters, especially the more powerful ones, in the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game are based on T. rex. The menacing looking Black Tyranno, the inaptly named Ultimate Tyranno whose effect could backfire, Super Conducter Tyranno, who currently holds the title of the most powerful monster that can be normal summoned, and finally, Tyranno Infinity, whose effect can make him the most powerful monster in the game.
- While the Zoids franchise has mecha based off all sorts of animals, one of the most common appears to be Tyrannosaurus rex. Many of them are completely fantastic and bear no resemblance to the real animal (even accounting for their being huge robots), but even then they are supposedly "Tyrannosaurus-types". Oddly enough, several Zoids that aren't Tyrannosaurus-types, such as Deadborder, Gravity Saurer and Gojulas Giga are often mistakenly identified as Tyrannosauruses, both in English and Japanese (and, for the record, are Tarbosaurus, Suchomimus and Giganotosaurus, respectively).
- The Digimon franchise really loves loves T. rex, specifically ones that breathe fire:
- Agumon, Greymon, GeoGreymon, Tyrannomon, DarkTyrannomon, Guilmon, Growlmon and Dinorexmon are all permutations of the concept of the T. rex. Special mention goes to MetalGreymon, a missile-launching flying cyborg T. rex, and similarly to MegaloGrowlmon and RizeGreymon, who follow the same vein.
- Tyrannomon also has a Metal evolution, MetalTyrannomon, but the special prize goes to the Tyrannomon's line fully-evolved form: the Dark Master Mugendramon, a gargantuan robotic tyrannosaurus built with quite possibly every weapon imaginable. There are also anthropomorphic armoured tyrannosaur warriors (WarGreymon, VictoryGreymon, ShineGreymon). Digimon really, really, loves the rex.
- They also have Allomon, which really does look like an Allosaurus (apart from the Native American chief getup).
- The title character from Gon is one.
- The video game adaptation has him fighting a full-grown Tyrannosaurus.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, the overly elaborate School Festival includes a full-size T. rex robot built by the engineering club, apparently because "why the hell not?" It was so realistic that Negi briefly thought it was real.
- The 2006 movie has a T. rex attack the main heroes and a herd of Alamosaurus, only to be tamed by Doraemon with some Momotaro-esque dangoes. Later, the same T. rex returns and the main heroes use it to defeat some dinosaur hunters, and in a Take That to Jurassic Park III, it defeats their pet Spinosaurus.
- T. rex also appeared in other Doraemon works, namely ones about dinosaurs.
- Pretty much the first species encountered in Jura Tripper.
- One episode of Keroro Gunsou had a resurrected Tyrannosaurus that does tricks like a dog. That is, until the mind control device attached to its head comes off...
- Bouken Tyranno-san is about a T. rex named Ralph who was killed during the K-T Extinction and was reincarnated in the body of a teenaged girl named Kana.
- Dinosaur Hour! has a Tyrannosaurus that sits around looking confused and with its mouth agape... until two recurring Protoceratops characters come near it.
- Gatchaman: A Tyrannosaurus skeleton, powered by magnetism, makes an appearance in The Skeleton Curse.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard has the clan Tachikaze, an entire clan based on cyborg dinosaurs, has several units based on the T. Rex, namely Tyrant, Deathrex (which fans nicknamed Metal Greymon), Chaos Dragon, Dinochaos, Ravenous Dragon Megarex, Destruction Dragon, Dark Rex, Ravenous Dragon, Battlerex, Ancient Dragon, Baby Rex (a good example of "If you hurt the child, the parent will not be far away."), and finally Ancient Dragon, Tyrannolegend.
- Batman has a giant animatronic T. rex in the Batcave, a souvenir from one of his earliest adventures. Night of the Owls reveals that he calls it "Fido". In the same story, he gets it to stomp on some attacking Talons to buy himself some time.
- The Old Man Logan arc of Wolverine features a Tyrannosaurus. Which was infected by Venom.
- The humorous The DCU character Major Bummer features a Nazi dinosaur from a parallel universe named "Tyrannosaurus Reich◊".
- 2000 AD has rich people riding "tame" (and anatomically inaccurate) T. rexes across Mars hunting poor people. Said T. rexes were sourced by time travellers who went back to hunt dinosaurs for their "flesh".
- Monica's Gang: Horacio, a vegetarian T. rex created by Brazilian artist Maurício de Sousa (who is basically his Author Avatar, being the only of Mauricio's characters that continues to be only written by him).
- Invoked in Empowered by villain King Tyrant Lizard (the literal translation of "Tyrannosaurus rex"), although he's "just" nine feet tall and also hasn't the short arms.
- One of the many adversaries which Judge Dredd has to overcome during "The Cursed Earth" arc is cloned a T. rex named Satanus.
- Although set in the paleolithic era, Rahan sometimes features throwback dinosaurs, including a Tyrannosaurus rex in one issue. Rahan manages to kill it by planting a metal spear on its head during a thunderstorm, which then attracts lightning, frying the T. rex.
- The Marvel Comics character Devil Dinosaur is a scaly, three-fingered red T. rex. Along with his ape-like partner Moon-Boy, he is a native of "Dinosaur World", a version of Earth in a parallel universe where dinosaurs co-exist with tribes of primitive humanoid beings.
- Called shivats in Xenozoic Tales, they make a few appearances. One saves Jack's life by eating an Allosaurus that has been pursuing him. Not on purpose, of course, Jack is too insignificant for the shivat to notice.
- Pocket God has Chicken, a T. Rex who chases the pygmies in issue 3. He falls a cliff, but comes back as a zombie in issue 9, as part of the Infestation Cross Through. Nooby befriends him, but has to make him leave the island. When the pygmies are attacked by a giant octopus in issue 11, Chicken rises out the ocean to save them. The two disappear under the water and haven't been seen ever since.
- In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin in his fantasies often imagines himself as a Tyrannosaurus gorging him on hapless humans or picking a fight with the ferocious saber-toothed tiger (Hobbes). Later strips has him more accurately terrorizing other dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous. Then there was also the strip where Calvin put Tyrannosaurs in F-14s.
Eastern European Animation
Films — Animation
- One pops up in Meet the Robinsons. He's actually not so bad once the bowler hat comes off. He did hog up a lot of the ads, though. The focus on his only speaking scene lead to him becoming the Ensemble Dark Horse.
- Fantasia features a fight between a T. rex and a Stegosaurus. Guess who wins? Though some fans mistake the creature for an Allosaurus, they pretty explicitly call it a Tyrannosaurus in the intro to the Rite of Spring sequence, and concept art also refers to it as a rex. It has three fingers simply because Walt thought it looked better that way.
- Rex from Toy Story is an inversion of the usual depictions, as he is very timid and insecure. He does try to be fearsome, but he fears it might come across as annoying instead.
- Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs features a mother T. rex, who turns out not to be that bad at all. In fact, even she is afraid of the film's real Big Bad, a huge white Baryonyx (related to Spinosaurus, but lacking a sail) that goes by the unlikely name of Rudy. That still doesn't stop her from coming back in the end and kicking his ass.
- The Carnotaurus in Disney's Dinosaur is another example of the "Pseudo-Rex" trope in action. While much smaller than T. rex in reality, the filmmakers beefed it up to tyrannosaur size in the film. This issue is compounded by the fact that the animatics for the film depict a T. rex in place of the Carnotaurus, suggesting that the filmmakers merely shoehorned the Carno's into a role originally written for T. rex. Considering the film is set in North America, where the T. rex lived but not the Carnotaurus, the T. rex would actually be more accurate. Handwaved by Kron being surprised about the Carno being "this far North". No kidding.
- Sharptooth is the antagonist in The Land Before Time, and Chomper (who appeared in two of the sequels) joins the cast in the TV adaptation.
- The protagonist of the film You Are Umasou is a T. rex named "Heart", who raises a baby Ankylosaurus.
- The Big Bad of Speckles The Tarbosaurus is a Tyrannosaurus named One-Eye.
Films — Live-Action
- Jurassic Park
- The first movie has a T. rex chasing the heroes all over the place — though it's somewhat of a subversion, as the real threat is the Velociraptors. Additionally, in the original film, she is seen hunting actual dinosaurs, and at one point gives up on chasing the protagonists when they outrun her in a jeep. And finally, she comes back at the climax of the film to save the protagonists from the raptors.
- The Lost World: Jurassic Park upped this by having three, including a baby, and the Papa Rex goes on a rampage in southern California.
- Jurassic Park III has the T. rex killed by the larger Spinosaurus, which is more likely a fish eater or generalist carnivore than the unstoppable Big Bad the film made it out to be. The Spinosaurus falls under the "Pseudo-Rex" trope mentioned above. Somewhat justified, as Grant mentions, since these aren't real dinosaurs, but mutations. The animals were bred by InGen using non-dinosaur filler-DNA and raised in environments (and with other animals) they may have never otherwise encountered. This would lead to strange behavior at best, and outright mutation into new species at worst (which is essentially what happened).
- It should be noted that despite the fact that T. rex had been appearing in media since at least half a decade after its initial discovery, the Jurassic Park franchise is easily the Trope Codifier for this dinosaur's modern image.
- In Blackadder Back and Forth, Blackadder and Baldrick briefly end up in the late Cretaceous period. Guess what's waiting for them.
- King Kong
- The original (1933) King Kong battles a T. rex.
- The 2005 version, and its various merchandise, actually subverted this trope. There, the family of T. rex-like dinosaurs were called Vastatosaurus rex, apparently a kind of Tyrannosaur that had been evolving for all the 65 million years the rest of the dinosaurs were dead, into the forms seen in the film. However it does have Kong fighting no less than three of them at once, all over one tiny little human. Who one of them chased for several hundred metres, despite carrying a perfectly good dead animal in its mouth most of the way. It tore half of it off in the process, the half it lost being BIGGER than the human it was chasing.
- Godzilla's design was based on a T. rex, with the dorsal plates of a Stegosaurus and the forelimbs of an Iguanodon. In the films, however, depending on the continuity, he is either a huge, prehistoric sea monster, or a mutated specimen of the fictional "Godzillasaurus". Incidentally, a theropod from the Triassic period was later named Gojirasaurus, after the movie monster, though it bears no resemblance to Godzilla beyond being a large, bipedal reptile.
- The Ray Harryhausen film The Valley of Gwangi features the title dinosaur, Gwangi, who was billed as an Allosaurus but was modelled after a Tyrannosaurus.
- The T. rex is the Designated Villain in the B-movie Planet of the Dinosaurs.
- The So Bad, It's Good Aztec Rex featured what the Aztec In Name Only local tribe called "Thunder Lizards", worshipping them and leaving sacrifices because they keep the valley free of intruders.
- Night at the Museum has the skeleton of a T. rex coming to life at night. But it's actually very friendly. It likes drinking water out of a fountain, playing fetch with its own rib, and generally behaves like a gigantic dog.
- One T. rex appears in the 2009 Land of the Lost, nicknamed "Grumpy". Will Ferrell's character, Dr. Rick Marshall, insults him, by claiming that his brain is the size of a walnut, causing a personal grudge to develop between them. Grumpy later tosses a huge walnut at the group during the night, bigger than a baby carriage, before slinking off into the jungle with a sinister smirk on his face. After a few further chases, Grumpy swallows Marshall whole, before returning at the end of the film with Marshall on his back to save the others. Turns out, whilst Marshall was in Grumpy's stomach, he dislodged some sort of intestinal blockage, causing Grumpy to literally poop him out and be in a much better mood afterwards. The walnut joke is perhaps made funnier in that it is actually false that Tyrannosaurus had a brain that size (it was actually almost as large as a human brain). The only dinosaur considered to have a brain the size of a walnut is Stegosaurus, which is also false in that its brain was actually twice the size of a walnut.
- The Super Mario Bros. movie featured King Koopa, a tyrannical ruler whose ancestry dated back to the prehistoric T. rex. This heritage gives Koopa a feeling of entitlement and divine right, which was the pretense under which he took control of the government. After a brief stint in a devo chamber, Koopa periodically "flicks" in and out of a reptilian appearance before finally de-evolving backwards through four different stages of T. rex and then primordial sludge.
- The 2008 version of Journey to the Center of the Earth has a T. rex chasing the protagonists. They later ride a boat made out of a T. rex skull.
- The little-seen movie Tammy and the T-Rex has the brain of Tammy's boyfriend put into a robotic T. rex by a Mad Scientist for... some reason. Never really explained.
- Leigh Clark's novel Carnivore deals with a T. rex that goes on a rampage in an Antarctica research station after being hatched from a frozen egg and exposed to radioactive waste.
- Sue, the T. rex at the Chicago Field Museum shows up in The Dresden Files book Dead Beat, though mostly only as the display of bones you'd expect in a museum. Until the climax, where Harry reanimates it and rides it into battle against a horde of zombies and necromancers.
- T. rexes are featured in the Dinotopia books, obviously.
- The spinoff novel Dinotopia Lost explores the full implications of T. rex parents going Mama Bear! James Gurney does his homework, though, and numerous other large theropods appear as well, including Allosaurus and Giganotosaurus.
- Journey to Chandara also portrays some T. rexes who are scavengers, and don't actually hassle the unarmored human and tiny ceratopsian passing through. Given that many smaller carnivores are apparently able to live in civilization and eat fish, one wonders if these might join them.
- Robert Sawyer's End of an Era featured T. rexes.
- As did his Quintaglio Ascension Trilogy. Not only is the "Blackdeath" clearly a tyrannosaur, the Quintaglios themselves are Humanoid Animals descended from the smaller Tyrannosauroids.
- The Animorphs encountered T. rex in the time-traveling Megamorphs special, and, of course, used it as their go-to battle morph once they managed to acquire one (that morph was lost in the transition back to the present). Two of them, however, only had Deinonychus morphs. Rachel complains about this.
- In A Sound of Thunder, hunters go back in time to shoot a T. rex.
- L. Sprague de Camp's "A Gun for Dinosaur" (more time-traveling big game hunters) features Tyrannosaurus trionyches, a fictional cousin of "the famous rex."
- The first book of Steve Alten's Meg series, has a Tyrannosaurus being killed by a Megalodon (a really big prehistoric shark supposedly related to the Great White) whilst chasing Hadrosaurs in the shallow sea. This scene is factually wrong, as not only did Megalodon not even live in the same time period as any dinosaur (try almost 50 million years after they went extinct), but the scene was clearly thrown in purely to try and present ''Megalodon'' as a more lethal predator (an oceanic predator being more effective in its element than a land predator? Never!). No prizes for guessing what would happen if (in Alten's version of prehistory) a Megalodon beached itself on the shore whilst a hungry Rex was passing by.
- Nina Bangs's Gods of the Night series features 11 immortal men, 10 of which are fused with the souls of the ultimate prehistoric predators, among them (of course), a T. rex called Ty. It's worth noting that each of these characters were referred to by some shortened form of the dinosaur or predator they were fused with.
- In the first set of Dinoverse books, a boy ends up inhabiting the body of a Tyrannosaurus rex, while three others ended up possessing different prehistoric creatures. On their quest to get back to their own time and bodies, they are menaced by a "Tyrannosaurus imperator", a fictional dino even bigger than the rex but otherwise identical. This one is perhaps justified, since it was one of the Imperator's bones added to the time machine which got it to take the kids back to that period in the first place. Other books feature different kids in the bodies of different dinosaurs from other periods of time, but there's always someone in each group in a huge theropod - acrocanthosaurus, carcharodontosaurus — which gets compared to T. rex.
- The Museum of Unnatural History in the Nightside books at one point has a live one in a cage. The Collector moved the entrance to his hideout there, so he could use the creature to protect his most prized treasures.
- Subverted in Carnosaur, in which a carnivore-obsessed billionaire can't find any T. rex DNA to clone, so raises a Tarbosaurus instead. Lampshaded in that everyone who sees it assumes it's a T. rex. Tyrannosaurus do show up in the book, but only hatchlings.
- There were T. rexes in all versions of Land of the Lost.
- Any time Super Sentai/Power Rangers does a dinosaur theme, the Tyrannosaurus rex gets The Hero treatment as the Red Ranger's patron dino: Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger/Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger/Power Rangers Dino Thunder, and Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger.
- Also featured in Mirai Sentai Timeranger / Power Rangers Time Force, with the V-Rex/Quantasaurus Rex (Q-Rex) mecha. And sure enough, when Wes and Eric visit Prehistoria in Time Force, they encounter the real thing.
- There's also the T. rex-like GouJyuJin (mainly GouJyuRex mode) from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger which, fittingly enough, is intended as a Internal Homage to Zyuranger, Timeranger, and Abaranger.
- Other T. rex-themed mecha include Go-Onger's T-Line and Goseiger's Tyranno Headder, both of which stick a Tyrannosaur head on a vehicle.
- Tie-in movies featuring the Kyoryugers have loved to play up their T. rexes. Superhero Taisen Z includes a shot of all the various Rex mecha listed above (and a sauropod from Shinkenger) working together; and while the annual Versus movie is nominally Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters, the actual main selling point is that Zyuranger's and Abaranger's Red Rangers are showing up too and bringing their Tyrannosaur mecha to team up with Kyoryu Red and his Tyrannosaur.
- In Mr. Bean, our hero sees a Nativity set in a department store and stages a special drama. Guess what menaces the Holy Family before being driven off by tanks and a Dalek? See it to believe.
- On Sliders, the heroes sometimes slide into Earths where dinosaurs have survived (alongside humans or not). Initially averted, as the first big predator to chase them is an Allosaurus (and described as such). In a later episode, though, they meet the obligatory Tyrannosaurus rex.
- The last episode of Walking with Dinosaurs focused on a mother Tyrannosaurus rex trying to raise her three babies in the unforgiving Late Cretaceous. A meteorite fell, and everyone died.
- The first episode of Prehistoric Park centers on Nigel's attempts to obtain a Tyrannosaurus rex for the park. He does — two juveniles who grow up over the course of the series.
- Speaking of Impossible Pictures and dinosaurs... it was refreshingly averted in Primeval... except for one of the novels. Finally makes an onscreen appearance in the penultimate episode of series 5. Of course, by this point the show had already dealt with other large predators like Giganotosaurus and Spinosaurus, so the T. rex feels much less egregious.
- Referenced, but not seen, in an episode of Stargate Atlantis. One particular member of the expedition have begun to suspect Teyla of leading the Wraith to her team because of how often they seem to show up. When Sheppard's team is yet again running for their lives back to the gate, he immediately assumes this is the case again... when Sheppard and Ford inform him the Wraith had nothing to do with it, and they were just chased by something very much like a T. rex.
- Doctor Who
- "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" has a T. rex brought to London via Time Travel.
- Subverted in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. The characters find a fairly young T. rex sleeping (although one still big enough to at least look menacing). It gets a brief Oh Crap moment when they suspect they might have run into a nest, but wisely decide to get the heck out of there before any adults find them or the young T. rex in front of them wakes up. There's a brief but tense sequence involving their attempts to tiptoe around it, but we never actually see any other tyrannosaurs.
- The final episode of Dinosaur Revolution focused on a family of T. rexes and an antagonistic T. rex. They all die.
- Never shows up in the flesh on Terra Nova, but Taylor had a desk partly made out of a T. rex skull, because he was a Bad Ass.
- Best known for the Glam Rock hit "Bang a Gong (Get It On)", Marc Bolan's band was originally called "Tyrannosaurus Rex".
- "Your two-penny prince, he'll give you hot love, oh-ho-ho..."
- "Weird Al" Yankovic
- The Filk Song "Jurassic Park": "Someone let T. rex out of his pen I'm afraid those things'll harm me 'Cause they sure don't act like Barney..." Cut to a T. rex chomping Barney's head off, later to puke it out after getting the Heimlich maneuver from a brachiosaurus.
- "A huge Tyrannosaurus ate our lawyer, which only goes to show, they're really not all bad".
- A list here wouldn't be complete without listing "Mesozoic Mind": "I hid behind a wall of rock when Allosaurus roared". Poor Allosaurus. The Poor Man's T. rex.
- Lest we forget, the singer in the music video is a T. rex.
- School House Rock has a song called "Tyranosaurus Debt", which portrays America's national debt as a dinosaur that keeps growing larger and is always hungry for more money.
- "Gor-Gor" by GWAR is about the title giant, mutant, crack-fueled Tyrannosaur destroying America.
- As you might be able to guess from the title "The T-Rex Song" (note: curse heavy) released by The Great Luke Ski and Doug Walker in the wake of The Nostalgia Critic review of Jurassic Park. Mostly a spoken song about a talking T. rex living in modern times going about his day-to-day business till someone pisses him off and he then eats them.
- 3-D Ultra Pinball: The Lost Continent has at least one, who can eat the pinball whole. To make matters worse, the protagonist is named Rex, leading a scientist to this: "That's interesting... Rex meets T. rex."
- Atari's Middle Earth has one front and center on the playfield, as part of the game's Lost World theme.
- Prominently featured on the playfield of Data East's Jurassic Park pinball. He follows the ball during the game, and if the opportunity arises he'll bend down and grab the ball in his jaws.
- Partially subverted (like many things) in Exalted, where a Tyrant Lizard, while a seriously dangerous creature to mortals, is not only not the toughest of the animals in the world, it's not even a real challenge for an Exalt (you play an Exalt in most games). However, if you are one of the said mortals, then run. Run as fast as you can, 'cause this thing will eat you and your house and your village.
- Warhammer 40,000: While technically belonging to a birdlike species, there is no denying a Kroot Greater Knarloc◊ is just as badass.
- The Lizardmen of Warhammer can use a Carnosaur as a mount, which is essentially a T. rex in all but name.
- Tyrannosaurs, along with various other well-known dinosaurs, appear in Dungeons & Dragons as monsters. It is also possible for players to get them as allies — high-level druids can take a T. rex as an animal companion, and casters can summon celestial or fiendish versions. Yes, that's right — an evil cleric can quite literally summon a demonic T. rex.
- It wouldn't be Jurassic Park without one. The tie-in games all featured it as a boss, and The Lost World platformer had it as a playable character, wrecking havoc on the hunters.
- Dead or Alive 4 has a stage filled with dinosaurs, including a T. rex, despite taking place in the modern day. A story-mode cutscene that takes place in the stage has the dino terrorize Hitomi before Jann Lee kicks it in the face and knocks it out with one punch, saving her life. Hitomi chastises him for hurting it, the ungrateful bitch.
- Star Fox Adventures
- The RedEye tribe in is a tribe of T. rexes.
- The SharpClaw tribe is based slightly more on Allosaurus. Their leader, General Scales even seems to resemble a small, anthropomorphic Giganotosaurus a bit more than a T. rex.
- Then there was the only enemy of the "Walled City"', the "Red Eye" tribe, and Tricky's Father was to be sacrificed to "King Red Eye", who lived under the city. Both were Nightmare Fuel, and unbeatable until one learned how to kill them properly.
- The appearance of Rexy in the first Tomb Raider game was so iconic that he even made a cameo appearance in Tomb Raider II, III and Golden Mask, later returning in Anniversary. Three guesses who's on the menu each time.
- A common enemy type in Final Fantasy. See also Dinosaurs Are Dragons. To name a few:
- The Allosaurus from Final Fantasy I, as well as the Tyrannosaur.
- Tyrannosaurs from Final Fantasy VI. The Earth Dragon also took on this form.
- T-Rexaurs from Final Fantasy VIII. You will occasionally find one roaming the Training Area in Balamb Garden if you walk around long enough, which tends to be fatal if you attempt this at the start of the game.
- The Tyrant enemy class in Final Fantasy XII definitely count. Notably, the Earth Wyrm, which is larger than all the other T. rex types, and the T. rex boss from the demo.
- One of the more awesome segments of Parasite Eve takes place in a museum with a dinosaur exhibit. Her nemesis has control over a large quantity of mitochondrial goo that can apparently bring the fossilized dinosaurs back to life. The boss of the area is, of course, a T. rex. That breathes fire.
- A recurring boss from Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja. The last level took place inside it, even.
- Chrono Trigger has the heroes square off against a T. rex that breathes fire in the prehistoric era. Its descendent shows up in a later optional dungeon.
- Primal Rage has two Tyrannosaurus rex-shaped gods named Diablo and Sauron.
- Pokémon: While many prior Mons were designed after, or shared aspects, with T. rex (especially Tyranitar, which is actually a Not Zilla), Pokémon X and Y will finally introduce an unambiguously Tyrannosaurus-based Pokémon with Tyrunt and its evolution Tyrantrum, a dragon-rex revived from a fossil. As it evolves into Tyrantrum, it gains a crown and a Badass Beard, making it look like a stereotypical king.
- Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]
- The Tyranto Rex dream eater is a very colorful fire breathing one, predictably packing a truckload of HP and attack power. You fight an appropriately sized one as a mini-boss, but the rest are small by T. rex standards (though still one of the largest normal dream eater varieties), looking around to be eight feet tall or so. They also sound kind of like angry housecats.
- It also has a skeletal variant known as the Skelterwild, which is even worse/better, due to having freezing breath and the ability to detach their heads to have them attack independently of their bodies.
- Kingdom of Loathing has Tyrannosaurus "Tex" as a mini-boss you might encounter during the Naughty Sorceress quest.
- In World of Warcraft, beware of the Devilsaurs in Un'goro Crater. Unless of course you're a hunter who has learned the "Tame Exotic Beasts" skill.
- Two are encountered in Northrend: A rare spawn in Sholozar Basin and an optional boss in Drak'tharon Keep.
- With the introduction of Zandalari Dinomancers in Pandaria, they've been turned into beasts of war. Oondasta was the most difficult world raid boss at the time of his release and Thok the Bloodthirsty is a boss in the Siege of Orgrimmar.
- Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. The second-to-last boss is a Hollywood Cyborg T. rex with armed Frickin' Laser Beams.
- Mega Man
- Burn Dinorex/Mattrex from Mega Man X 5, which is yet another fire-breather. Well, he is a robot.
- Another robot one shows up as a Mid Boss in Mega Man 7 in Slashman's stage. And the fossils (again, robotic?) appear in Freezeman's stage in the same game.
- Both Dino Crisis and Dino Crisis 2 (think Resident Evil meets Jurassic Park) have the protagonists being pursued by Super-Persistent Predator T. rexes. The third game features mutant undead T. rexes.
- Both Freedom Force games feature T. rexes.
- In the end of the Soviet campaign in Red Alert: Yuri's Revenge, the defeated villain Yuri highjacks a time machine and attempts to escape. Soviets manage to override the controls of the machine and overload its core and send Yuri one-way straight to prehistoric times. Gues who's waiting for him there. Note that in this case the T. rex is actually a Chekhov's Gunman, as in the first Soviet mission if you move really quickly when you're accidentally sent back there you can capture one and return it to the present — where you can send it on a rampage in present-day San Francisco. It seems to have gained much tougher skin in the time travel tripe than the dozens you have no choice but to slaughter before you make the return trip — you can take out most of the enemy base with "Rexy" alone.
- Lineage 2 has an entire island of dinosaurs. The T. rex is a raid-boss like, aggressive mob that will, occasionally, eat other dinosaurs and be surrounded by a glowing blue effect. They normally wander around a set area (per 'rex) but there's one or two that walk around the whole Primeval Forest. And they're also aggro. The developers actually kept the poor eyesight of the T. rex, and have given players a chance to run away: if you see the T. rex say "?" it means you have been noticed.
- Fossil Fighters uses T. rex as its mascot. However, the only way to obtain one without trading is during the Playable Epilogue, after beating the game! It's also the hardest single dinosaur to find. The game treats it as an Infinity+1 Sword, but it is much less so in comparison to the likes of King Dynal. The sequel, Fossil Fighters: Champions, makes it available much earlier in the game but its Infinity+1 attributes only emerge with leveling now, and it's been made only a secondary mascot after Triceratops.
- The original Ape Escape has our protagonist travel through many different eras from pre-history through to the far future... in order to catch rogue monkeys with a net. One early level featured a mini-boss monkey astride a T. rex.
- Banjo-Tooie features the Baby T-Rex and Daddy T-Rex transformations. The latter has a roar powerful enough to frighten cavemen away.
- Culdcept games feature a T. rex card as well as the "Mesozoic Song" spell which causes all of your placed monsters to become T. rexes in battle!
- Prehistoric Isle in 1930 features a Godzilla-sized T. rex as the final boss, the sequel has (sorta) normal sized ones as sub-bosses.
- Tyrannosaurus is one of the playable dinosaurs in Primal Carnage, and the toughest of any class.
- In the PC-88 version of Dragon Slayer, one of the enemies sort of looks like a Tyrannosaurus, and apparently is supposed to be one. Oddly enough, it's the second weakest enemy.
- In Adventures Of Dino Riki, the second boss is a fire-breathing Tyrannosaurus.
- The Big Bad of Lost Eden uses Tyrannosaurus, called Tyrann, as invading armies.
- E.V.O.: Search for Eden has Tyrannosaurus (called Tyrasaurus) as the boss of the Dinosaur Age level. They are very strong and hard to attack without the right features. They return again as survivors in later levels, but are reduced to mere enemies. There are also Allosaurus (Omosaurus in the game), which, while not as powerful, are also hard to inflict damage.
- Dinosaur Hunting has Tyrannosaurus with a feather mohawk. Surprisingly, in this game they are mere mooks (although one is a mini-boss), and easy to bring down if you have the right formula. Later near the end, two T. rex corpses were found, torn to pieces by an unknown gigantic predator. Implied to be a giant mutated ceratosaur who the final boss, which also kills a Spinosaurus.
- 3-D Monster Maze, the first 3-D game ever made, involves you trying to navigate a maze while avoiding a T. rex. For a game with retro graphics, it is pure Nightmare Fuel.
Rex has seen you!
- Among the more wackier enemies to appear in Serious Sam 2 is the T-Mech, a cigar smoking T.rex biomechanoid. It's backstory reveals that it is the son of the Major Biomechanoid from the previous games, explaining the resemblance.
- The Big Bad of The Adventures of Bleeposaurus is a T. rex named King Tyrannus. Interestingly, the main character is a Triceratops.
- Sonic and the Secret Rings featured a T. rex with horns and a spiked tail.
- Robot Dinosaurs That Shoot Beams When They Roar, obviously, features a player character named Tyrannosaurus X.
- Viewtiful Joe 2 has Drill Sargeant Big John, a T. rex wearing a military helmet and vest.
- In Live A Live, the final boss of the prehistoric chapter is a Tyrannosaurus who is worshipped as a god by a caveman tribe. Before your inner palaeontologist starts sobbing, this is the only non-avian dinosaur seen in the level, making it likely that's it's the Last Of Its Kind.
- The Tyrannosaur Chronicles: Several show up in Traumador's adventures, especially his cousin Larry. Traumador himself turns out to be a distinct species of Tyrannosaurus, T. traumadori.
- The website "T. Rex Trying..." highlights the numerous problems of having such tiny arms.
- LoadingReadyRun: The title Dinosaur.
- Grarrls from Neopets, which have the distinct ability (shared with Skeiths) to eat any item the user wishes.
- Mutated T. rexes (intentionally misspelled "T-Rex" in keeping with its source material) are one of the four major breeds of mutant dinosaur enemies in Dino Attack RPG. They have Frickin' Laser Eye Beams, breathe nuclear radiation, and are Nigh Invulnerable. Several notable Mutant T-Rexes include one that is disguised as a human to be a spy, a T-Rex/dragon hybrid, a Cyborg T-Rex, and even the main villain's final form. Not to mention the several tyrannosaurs who appear and are shown to be extremely intelligent, having their own society, and a language that can be understood and "translated". There's even one or two that can fully comprehend English.
- The main villain of The Land Before Time series is Red Claw, the "biggest, meanest, most ferocious Sharptooth of all". Which is a HUGE example of an Informed Ability as Red Claw is probably among the least dangerous Sharpteeth to appear in the entire series (he retreated after having fruit catapulted at him), especially in comparison with the first film's antagonist, who famously killed Littlefoot's mother.
- There was a cartoon called The Adventures of T-Rex, about a group of anthropomorphic T. rexes that fight crime. Yeah.
- Naturally, there is a T. rex in Cadillacs and Dinosaurs .
- In Dino Riders, Big Bad Krulos rides a Tyrannosaurus rex into battle. In one episode, the Rulons plopped a young T. rex in the middle of the Valorians' camp and let its parents wreak havoc.
- The Big Bad of Dinosaucers was a T. rex named "Genghis Rex". Funnily enough, the leader of the heroes was an Allosaurus, the first of many Bash Brothers-ish counterparts that make up the cast, and the show also features Teryx, a very rare heroic maniraptor.
- "The Scary Door" segment in Bender's Game features "the humblest of God's creatures: The Tyrannosaurus rex" taking down alien saucers.
- Fry rides one in a kiddie park in "I Dated a Robot". He even feeds it a live pig (from a food dispenser). It eats his hands.
- Watch Teen Titans, Justice League, and several other animated series set in the DC universe and you'll eventually come to the conclusion that all the animal-specific shapeshifters had a meeting and decided that T. rex would be their go-to One-Winged Angel equivalent.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold has an episode set in Dinosaur Island. Guess what's the first species Bats and Plastic Man encounter?
- The one and only time-travelling episode of Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures features Jonny and Jessie spending a short time in the late Cretaceous being chased by a T. rex, of course.
- School House Rock depictes the National Debt as a hungry Godzilla-sized Tyrannosaurus that sits on Capitol Hill, constantly eating money received from taxpayers. And "Tyrannosaurus Debt" is still growing.
- In X-Men, Xavier and Magneto find themselves trapped in the Savage Land, an island that contains dinosaurs, among other oddities. Of course the two wind up being chased around by a T. rex.
- T-Bone from Extreme Dinosaurs is an anthropomorpic T. rex and is the leader of the heroes.
- Because it lampshades on the idea of Secret Hero Mutant Team, Kung Fu Dino Posse has one being the leader.
- Tina from The Amazing World of Gumball.
- Completely subverted in Dinosaur Train where all of the T. rex characters are friendly.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "It's About Time" (not the only time travel episode, but the only one where they go into prehistoric times), Phineas, Ferb, Candace, and eventually Isabella's entire Fireside Girl troop go back to 300 million BC and almost get eaten by a T. rex. 300M BC is waaaaaay too early to meet a tyrannosaur, but Danville... might be in Central North America...
- Tyrannor from Dink, the Little Dinosaur.
- Generator Rex follows the Time Travel corollary. In the episode "Lions and Lambs", Providence faces off against an EVO with Time Travel powers. She opens a portal and brings forth, yeah, you guessed it. Our hero, not knowing yet that he's facing a Time Master, assumes that what looks like a Tyrant Lizard King is actually an EVO, and tries to Bring It Down To Normal. Yeah, that's not going to work, because it's a real Tyrannosaurus, Rex.
- A T. rex wearing a wristwatch and sipping tea makes an appearance in one episode of Bonkers.
- One episode of Xiaolin Showdown featured a T. rex that spoke with a British accent.
- In the "Death of the Dinosaurs" episode of Albert Asks, a Tyrannosaurus shows up and chases after Albert while Zora tries to manipulate the Tempus Fidget to save him. Fortunately for Albert, an Albertosaurus shows up and battles the T. rex, giving enough time for Zora to pick him up and save him. Surprisingly, the Albertosaurus manages to win the fight.
- One of the one-time villains of Darkwing Duck is a motorcycle-riding Tyrannosaurus named Johnny T. Rex.
- I'm a Dinosaur has a Tyrannosaurus with a crown... and three fingers.
- Stanley made an episode dedicated to Tyrannosaurus, which is pretty much the only episode about dinosaurs (not counting the TV movie). Interestingly, the T. rex in this cartoon shifts from the obsolete tripod stance (without tail-dragging) to the more modern horizontal stance. Too bad it has alligator belly scales, a bendy tail, and the standard three fingers. They also state it to be solitary, possibly due to Science Marches On
- The Magic School Bus has one episode where the class travels back in time and starts hanging out with dinosaurs, except for the most part it's primarily plant eaters. Partially subverted in that when a T. rex does appear, it's just taking a nap and upon waking up, turns out to just want a quick meal without too much trouble.
- One episode of Dan Vs. has Dan trying to take down a giant dinosaur that destroyed his car.
- Timon & Pumbaa: A T. rex appeared in the episode "Timon Alone". However, even it is scared of Pumbaa's Unstoppable Rage.
- In The Angry Beavers, Dagget brings home a marine park orca that terrorizes him, Norbert, and their friends. At the end, the orca gets eaten by a Tyrannosaurus rex, which Dagget also brought home.
- Ben 10: In "Washington, B.C.", Dr. Animo uses his gadget to bring Tyrannosaurus bones to life.
- The Fairly OddParents: Tyrannosaurus appeared in the episodes "The Big Bash" and "Land Before Timmy". Wanda even turned into one in the into of the TV movie Abra Catastrophe.
- Surprisingly averted in The Flintstones. T. rex never shows up at all. It finally does in The New Fred and Barney Show and The Flintstone Kids.
- General Galapagos from Eek! The Cat.
- Family Guy
- In a Manatee Gag, Peter has owned a T. Rex named Patches and played fetch with it... only for Patches to bring back a screaming human. Peter tells the dinosaur to repeatedly drop him, and when it does, Peter only remarks "Eww, it's got spit all over it."
- Another scene has a T. Rex preparing to watch internet porn only to find out that his arms were too short to let him masturbate. In a rage, he destroys the computer and storms off, making a random guy sing about the dinosaur.
- Recently, the science of paleontology has begun to march on, and has discovered many new predators who were either bigger or more Badass than T. rex. Among these the most likely contenders for next top Badass are the allosauroids (yes those allosauroids). These include Allosaurus (duh), who could reach sizes approaching that of the average tyrannosaur, probably hunted in packs, used its head as a hatchet to take chunks of flesh from a living prey, and could take on sauropods (at least weaker ones) many times their size. Their carcharodontosaurid relatives, like Giganotosaurus and Mapusaurus, matched in size or even surpassed the largest tyrannosaurs, had 2-meter long skulls that worked like giant serrated scissors, and were specialized on taking down giant sauropods. In packs (probably at least). Then, we have spinosaurs like the eponymous Spinosaurus, which, despite being often taken lightly due to their fish-catching lifestyle, were able to outcompete SuperCroc in its own game (better at being crocodiles that crocodiles themselves, Suchomimus was aptly named), and dealt with freshwater coelacanths and sharks like storks do with trout. Not to mention that Spinosaurus reached almost 1.5 times the size of T. rex or Giga, despite a lighter and more awkward build. Pretty useful when you live in a hot, muggy swamp with at least two rex-sized predator species running around.
- Ultimately, it's an exercise in futility to argue which dinosaur was truly the most Badass; paleontologists only ever get into the question when doing shows like Jurassic Fight Club, and we should probably remember that all these theropods were probably pretty successful at what they had evolved to do. That being said, T. rex was a very sophisticated predator very well suited to taking out prey animals quickly and efficiently. Tyrannosaurs as a group were also pretty Badass, outcompeting all other predators wherever they went; by the time the meteor was just about to hit, the allosaurs were extinct in the Northern Hemisphere, and even the dromaeosaurs were mostly reduced to being coyote-analogues, the bigger raptors having been outcompeted in the big game niche by the tyrannosaurs and carcharodontosaurs. We may make fun of T. rex and tyrannosaurs as being old news, but they were the ultimate upstarts of their time, starting out as lowly coelurosaurs and methodically making their way up to the top.
- Largest carnivore from the Hell Creek formation: Seven-ton Tyrannosaurus. Second largest was Quetzalcoatlus which weighed less than a quarter of a ton (still huge).
- There is evidence that T. rex and other tyrannosaurs hunted in packs as well. Specifically, two relatives of T. rex, Albertosaurus and Daspletosaurus, have a few bonebeds consisting of multiple individuals fossilized together, and the most famous Tyrannosaurus specimen, Sue, was found with the fragmentary remains of another T. rex. Also the largest known Mapusaurus skeleton has a frame quite lighter that that of Tyrannosaurus.
- While it IS true that there were bigger carnivores like the Spinosaurus and Giganotosaurus, the T. rex was unmatched for the sheer strength it had with its jaw. In fact, the scene in Jurassic Park III, where the spinosaur slips out of the T. rex's jaw would never have happened had they actually fought; the T. rex jaw evolved specifically to crush the bones of other large dinosaurs and even penetrate the natural body armor of creatures like Triceratops. A real-life confrontation would have the spinosaur's neck crushed as soon as Rex got its jaws around it. For a long time, T. rex was believed to have the strongest bite force of all time, only recently being dethroned by an enormous sea-dwelling reptile nicknamed "Predator X" (now known as Pliosaurus funkei).
- Also T. rex had probably the biggest brain to body size ratio out of all the similar and slightly larger sized carnivorous dinosaurs. It was, in fact, likely one of the smarter dinosaurs, though not the smartest of all (that would be the much smaller Troodon), and definitely one of the smartest large dinosaurs, which has led some to speculate that it possessed a more complex suite of hunting and fighting behaviors that might have given it an advantage in a hypothetical one-on-one battle with another large theropod. That's right, T. rex was a Genius Bruiser among dinosaurs.
- Other large theropods were no pushovers when it came to intelligence, either. While not as smart as T. rex, they were still more intelligent than crocodiles, which are not stupid, contrary to popular belief. Crocodiles are just little less intelligent than dogs. You can actually teach them tricks (if you're badass enough to teach tricks to animal that can freaking eat you that is). Most theropods being smarter than that and T.rex being smarter than other theropods...
- Dinosaur intelligence gets overstated a lot. Even the smartest dinosaurs probably only got about as smart as ostriches, not very brainy compared to modern animals, only about half as smart as a cat or dog. This is one of the reasons the hunting in packs is still very controversial. Birdbrains are, at least in some aspects, better "designed" than those of mammals, but even then T. rex, while smarter than most earlier large theropods, was no supergenius.
- While T. rex brains weren't very large; they were still smart enough to become the only large predator of its region and plenty intelligent enough to effectively hunt and kill animals its known size as a lifestyle (something even many humans can't - and shouldn't - do). Anyway, the size of the brain isn't able to determine the exact intelligence of an animal and so it could still be said Tyrannosaurus is still fairly intelligent.
- There's also evidence that T. rex had exceptional sensory perception, including an absurdly good sense of smell, meaning it could have been able to find and track prey from miles away without the prey even knowing it was being followed.
- It's recently been determined through computer analysis of their body structure that T. rex probably grew much faster and to greater weight than was previously believed. Which actually matches up pretty well with its on-screen depiction in Jurassic Park.
- Less awesome about them was that their lifespan was pretty short. Most T. rexes found are estimated to be about 18 years old. The oldest, Sue, was 28.
- A primitive Tyrannosauroid named Yutyrannus was discovered in China, which was found to have had feathers. It lived 60 million years before T. rex in a cooler climate, and the distribution of the feathers indicate they'd probably have covered its entire body, for insulation. Though smaller than Albertosaurus, at around a ton it's still the largest dinosaur confirmed to have had feathers (and also the largest animal known to have feathers.)