YMMV: Robot Wars

  • Badass Decay: The nature of the sport meant that the standards were raised every year. Most notable examples follow;
    • Hypno-Disc, who after reaching three consecutive grand finals (the only robot to do so) fared dismally in its series 6 semi-final and Extreme II fights, defeating only the most fragile of opponents.
    • Chaos 2 slowly fell behind the times, making few modifications between series and electing not to take full advantage of the extra 20 kilos added to the weight allowance in Extreme 1/Series 5. It finished its career with a heat final loss to a newcomer in Series 6 and a thrashing in the Extreme 2 All-Stars competition.
    • Pussycat had a powerful blade and a very precision driver, propelling it to second place in Series 4. However, opponents' armours became thicker and the team lost their driver in a tragic accident. Pussycat returned in later series but could not deliver a repeat performance.
    • In Series 6 the Wild Thing team abandoned their successful shield-on-wheels design in favour of a vertical spinner. Though this version did no worse than last series, its victories were a lot more lackluster.
    • Only seven of sixteen seeded robots made the semi-finals in series 7. Of all the seeds that year, only seven had been semi-finalists the previous series due to the rest dropping out, and of those seven only three - Tornado, Firestorm and Dantomkia - made the semi-finals again. And of the other seeds that did make it to the semis, one of them was Storm II, which was seeded for winning the New Blood tournament and was on its first appearance in the main championship.
  • Broken Base: Tornado vs. Razer in the series 6 final most notably.
  • Creator's Pet: The series 4 seedings ranked Razer and Behemoth at 3 and 6 respectively, ahead of previous champions and grand finalists, primarily because of their performance in the First World Championship (which seemed to be pretty clearly rigged in the UK's favour).
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Professor Noel Sharkey, one of the show's judges, said that the judges inspected Hypno-Disc before its first ever fight and dismissed it as a copy of something off Battlestar Galactica and they did not think it would do very well. A few minutes into the first match, according to him, the judges were crawling behind their desks to avoid the shrapnel flying everywhere as Hypno-Disc tore its opponent apart.
    • Steg-O-Saw-Us was never intended to actually compete in the series; it was pulled from the reserves when another robot broke down. It won its heat convincingly, took out a former champion and it took Hypno-Disc in the first round of the Grand Final to beat it.
  • Game Breaker: Razer (unless he's fighting Pussycat, or breaking its claw in the first 30 seconds of the fight.)
    • The ability to flip opposing robots out of the arena and thus win. It got so bad that in the last season, of all the robots that got through to the semi-finals, three (of sixteen) had no flipping capability. Though one of them eventually won the entire series.
    • In the series 6 final, Tornado employed a Game Breaker of its own - An external frame, designed to keep Razer far enough away from Tornado's body that it couldn't cause any damage. The frame was so big that Tornado wouldn't fit into the pit. Razer and Tornado fans still argue over whether the frame should have been allowed or not.
  • Ham and Cheese: Whenever Wheely Big Cheese is present, add Craig Charles and you partially literally get this.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: During the opening of the final for the third series Craig Charles made a remark about action involving Sgt. Bash being caught playing with My Little Pony.
  • Holy Shit Quotient:
    • Cassius self-righting itself for the first time in Season 2
    • Panic Attack pitting Cassius in the Season 2 final
    • Chaos 2 flipping Firestorm out of the arena in Season 3
    • Hypnodisc demolishing its first opponent in Season 3
    • Fluffy (a newcomer) sending Pussycat's blade (the #2 seed) flying in a Season 5 heat final after a head-on collision. (Unfortunately Fluffy broke down, costing it the fight, but the Pussycat team had abandoned hope between the blade being torn off and that.)
    • Diotoir pitting Tornado in the Season 5 heats.
    • Dantomkia flipping Chaos 2 out of the arena in Season 6 and ending their run of semi-final appearances.
  • Most Annoying Sound: In Series 3, after the winner of each battle was announced there would be the exact same sound clip of cheering and whistling. It's noticeable and when you realise this, the authenticity of the crowd reactions takes a nosedive. The fact that it continued to get used at least two series later doesn't help.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Coulrophobic? I'd like you to meet a good friend of mine: Conquering Clown. It was an American robot with a clown head for decoration. The clown face was creepy enough on its own, but when it was set on fire the rubber would slowly melt away and leave an empty metal face before the neck snapped completely. Brrr.
  • The Scrappy: The Refbot was highly unnecessary and annoying.
    • Refbot wasn't entirely unnecessary- he came equipped with a fire extinguisher to put out burning robots and the plough on his front allowed him, as an impartial participant, to free robots that were stuck on part of the arena but not immobolized without damaging them.
    • He was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in Extreme by giving him the electronic countdown and yellow/red card system, both of which were far more useful than the fire extinguisher (which proved highly ineffectual the first time it was used) and the ploughs which on more than one occasion only got in the way.
    • Cassius Chrome, who debuted in the final series. His weapons? Metal fists that repeatedly punched other robots (and were interchangeable with a set of spikes). They were completely useless.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The arena floor spikes which fired out of the ground in the Second and Third Wars, as on several occasions they ended a battle abruptly and unfairly when robots simply drove over them and got flipped.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The birth of the sri-mech in the Second Wars' semi-final and the first case of a robot being flipped out of the arena in the Third Wars grand final, both of which were groundbreaking at the time, but the impact is rather diluted if you didn't see them on first transmission - not having a srimech was seen as suicidal by the very next series, and being flipped out of the arena soon progressed from originator Chaos 2's signature move to the default tactic of most flippers.
  • Shocking Elimination:
    • Plenty of defeats for Razer, Bigger Brother, Behemoth, Panic Attack and Chaos 2, Hypno Disc losing to Pussycat and Bigger Brother in successive years, and even Tornado's loss to more experienced, but less serious (obviously) Diotior in Series 5.
      • The Revolutionist losing to Propeller Head in the US Series after dislodging the latter's weapon.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: 3 Stegs to Heaven, Corkscrew, and the gold version of Panic Attack.
    • Justified in that newer robots usually did suck a lot more than the original. Steg 3 was extremely weak compared to it's prequel (Which took Chaos 2 to beat) and Panic Attack's Gold version had very poor locomotion.
    • This was also the reaction of some fans when the early 'trials' were dispensed with as part of the main tournament, which was turned into a straight knockout competition.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The 5 Robot Wars video games ran the gamut, from unplayable to decent. There was also a board game, which was not well-received.
    • Sort of averted with Robot Arena 2, which, while not a licensed game, is pretty much indistinguishable from one, to those who don't know. It even has a fan-made mod (which is now more popular than the core game), that adds in the Robot Wars and Battlebots arenas, and at least thirty RW/BB robots. Unlike the official games, Robot Arena 2 has somewhat realistic physics (although they're prone to breaking) and building your own robots is actually worthwhile, as you can literally build it anyway you want, rather than having set places to put set parts. If you want to use a saw blade as your wheels, that's fine, if you want to stack a motor on top of another to make your weapon spin faster, that works too. The game can be downloaded for free nowadays, premodded, if you know where to look.(www.gametechmods.com is the only place that you can get it)