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Large, hairy elephant-like animals.

This trope has been Nuked
Proposed By:
RonnieR15 on Jan 11th 2018 at 6:08:47 PM
Last Edited By:
RonnieR15 on Jan 31st 2018 at 6:06:08 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

As stated in Stock Dinosaurs, mammothsnote ; along with maybe the saber-toothed tiger, is the poster child of the Ice Age. Naturally they often appear in fiction due to their fame. In fact, creatures called mammoths and even portrayed much like them; yet fictional in portrayalnote , have also appeared in entirely fictional worlds. For simplicity's sake the mastodon also falls under this trope, despite technically not being mammoths, due to their many similarities and how they're often mistaken for each other.

Please note that simply having mammoths or mammoth-like animals in fiction is not a trope, that's Stock Dinosaurs. In order to qualify for this Trope the mammoth or mammoth-like animal must have some sort of role.

Compare with Tyrannosaurus rex and Megalodon, which are also extinct animals that are tropes.

Anime and Manga

  • Beast Wars Neo: The alt mode of Big Convoy is a woolly mammoth. This alt mode was probably selected to show his power as a warrior.



  • Ice Age: The fact that "Manny" is a mammoth is the very reason why Soto was willing to wait even longer for Diego to bring the baby.
  • Ice Age 2: The Meltdown: Aside from trying to survive the coming flood much of the film is about Manny and; another mammoth they meet, Ellie possibly being the last of their kind. Thankfully at the end it's revealed that they aren't.
  • Ice Age 4: Continental Drift: Captain Gut originally wanted Manny for his pirate crew due to him being a mammoth.
  • 10,000 BC: Woolly mammoths were being used to help build the pyramids and they were later instrumental in the heroes attack.
  • Doctor Mordrid: The villain Kabal at one point reanimates the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex to kill Mordrid. Mordrid counters by reanimating the remains of a mammoth.
  • Mammoth 2006: A crash landed alien gets inside of a museum mammoth, and brings it to life and goes on a soul-sucking rampage.
  • Cats Don't Dance: Woolie the elephant receives oversize tusks and a horrible hairpiece to mimic a mammoth. In this guise, Woolie serves as the Vanity Plate for Mammoth Studios.
  • Power Rangers (2017): Due to being based off of the TV series(As seen below.) the mastodon Dinozord is presumed to have the same freezing ability.
  • Brother Bear: While being hunted Kenai and Koda ride mammoths in order to stop leaving tracks for the hunter to track. The reason they use mammoths is probably because no other animal is probably strong enough to support a bear.


  • Mik's Mammoth: By saving a young mammoth, both Mik and Rumm; the mammoth, were able to survive. Later the two even save Mik's tribe from another one by using Rumm as a War Mammoth.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Mammoths are used by the Wildlings/Free Folk as pack beasts, lugging around objects that are too heavy for the humans or giants among them to carry. They also are used for combat purposes, charging any foes and attempting to gore them with their tusks.

Live Action Series

  • Prehistoric Park: The second episode A Mammoth Undertaking is largely about Nigel trying to get a woolly mammoth for the park. A few minor Plot Points involve the Martha, the mammoth they get.
  • Walking with Beasts: A woolly mammoth is the Main Character of the episode Mammoth Journey.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The mastodon Dinozord as the name would imply is a Mecha modeled after the mastodon and can freeze enemies by blasting liquid nitrogen from its trunk. The freezing ability is obviously influenced by the Ice Age.
  • Game of Thrones: Same as it's book counterpart A Song of Ice and Fire, as seen above.
  • Sesame Street: Of the completely fictional verity there is Mr. Snuffleupagus. He was created to appear as a woolly mammoth without tusks or ears with a more reptilian-like tail, this was meant to make him appear as Big Birds imaginary friend, at first.

Tabletop Game

  • Warhammer Fantasy: Some Norsca tribes use Chaos-tainted woolly mammoths as War Elephants.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The card Mammoth Graveyard despite clearly being depicted as a undead mammoth is classified as a "Dinosaur" likely to show that mammoth's are extinct or ancient.


Western Animation

  • Cro: Phil, the character who tells the story through a Flash Back, is a mammoth. Since Cro's adventures occur at the dawn of civilization, mammoths such as Phil would have been around to witness them.
  • The Flintstones: Mammoths and mammoth-like animals often appear as fuel pumps, showers, and vacuum cleaners.

Video Games

  • Far Cry Primal: The Bloodtusk Mammoth hunt involves you hunting a monstrous one. The DLC allows you to take Vision Quests as a mammoth.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Several quests involve them, though the best known one is probably the one were Ysolda asks for a mammoth tusk, which is a common drop from mammoths.
  • Pokémon: Mamoswine is loosely based off of woolly mammoths and is both an Ice and Ground. They have been used by several major characters like Pryce, Candice and Clay.
  • Spyro: A Hero's Tail: In the "Frostbite Village" hub, there is a mammoth hired by the Big Bad Red to capture Spyro, which he successfully does (with Hunter freeing him later) and isn't seen again afterwards. The reason he's a mammoth is likely to make him appear more intimidating.

Real Life

  • Though the La Brea Tar Pits did contain mammoths, they are far from the only animal found yet several statues are there.

Feedback: 34 replies

Jan 11th 2018 at 8:58:17 PM

I am never sure if animated features like Ice Age should be listed under Film or Western Animation.

Jan 11th 2018 at 10:07:21 PM

^ Films- Animated.

  • Quest For Fire: The heroes run into mammoths at one point, the special effects for which have not aged well.
  • Journey To The Center Of The Earth: At one point the heroes see a giant leading a herd of mammoths and stay prudently away.
  • Warcraft I Ii: Mammoths are among the native species of Northrend, with more powerful versions called Icetusk and Dire Mammoths. They look more or less like woolly elephants except for giant bone spikes along their skulls and spines.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: Some Norsca tribes use Chaos-tainted woolly mammoths as War Elephants.

Jan 12th 2018 at 12:32:24 AM

^ For the first three I need you to explain how the mammoths are crucial to the plot because then it's just Stock Dinosaur. I'm assuming the the fourth one is about a unique group of enemies or allies that appear in the games story, correct?

Jan 12th 2018 at 12:43:52 AM

  • Corrected spelling (elephant like, Mammoth's, to many tusks, simplicities sake).
  • De-capitalized (Mammoths, Fiction, Mastodon, Trope, Woolly Mammoth).
  • Corrected punctuation (added commas, changed a semi-colon to a comma).
  • Deleted redundant "a" and excessive Blue Linking.
  • Changed "with" to "that are".

Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.

Jan 12th 2018 at 12:45:39 AM

At the moment this is just Mammoths Appear In A Work. The huge number of Zero Context Examples makes this very clear.

Jan 12th 2018 at 7:19:45 AM

Expounded upon the WesternAnimation.Cro example: since Cro's adventures occur at the dawn of civilization, mammoths would have been around to witness them.

Also added a little more clarity to Woolie's role in WesternAnimation.Cats Dont Dance, where he's made up to resemble a mammoth to serve as the studio's Vanity Plate.

I hope this helps. :)

Jan 12th 2018 at 8:14:53 AM


  • In A Song Of Ice And Fire and its television adaptation, mammoths are used by the Wildlings/Free Folk as pack beasts, lugging around objects that are too heavy for the humans or giants among them to carry. They also are used for combat purposes, charging any foes and attempting to gore them with their tusks.

Jan 12th 2018 at 8:45:33 AM

Mammoths appear often on The Flintstones. They have been used as fuel pumps, showers, and vacuum cleaners.

Jan 12th 2018 at 10:20:36 AM

" ... the mammoth or mammoth-like animal must have some sort of role" is not specific enough to be a trope. Something like Mammoth Mount (mammoths as steeds), Mammoth Labor (mammoths as beasts of burden), Mammoth Protagonist (seems to be a thing), or Mammanachromism (mammoths appearing in the wrong time period??) would be.

Jan 12th 2018 at 11:22:28 AM

^ These particular cases are subtropes of the following: Mammoth Mount = Horse Of A Different Color; Mammoth Labor = Domesticated Dinosaurs; Mammoth Protagonist = Honorable Elephant (since mammoths are so closely related to elephants); Mammanachronism = Anachronism Stew and Artistic License Paleontology (and perhaps Living Dinosaurs).

Jan 12th 2018 at 11:28:24 AM

Mammoths Equal Ice Age could be a thing, especially since there's a prevalence of mammoth-type-creatures in not-Earth worlds that use it to establish the setting.

Jan 13th 2018 at 2:22:34 AM

^ Yeah, maybe that's a thing - the presence of mammoths establishes we are in the Ice Age or a fantasy equivalent of it.

Jan 13th 2018 at 4:24:51 AM

^ I like the idea of using the term "ice age", since it would also extend to settings that are simply icy, i.e. Grim Up North, like Skyrim, rather than in a proper global ice age.

There is another, probably very rare variation of mammoth use in fiction, where mammoths are used as a symbol of a virtually unachievable dream. Specifically:

  • In the original Syberia duology, the Non POV Protagonist Hans Voralberg is obsessed with encountering a living mammoth, so he spends a lifetime trying to find a way to the mysterious lost island called "Syberia" where they are still rumored to exist. At the end of the second game, Kate and Hans do reach Syberia and encounter a herd of mammoths there, who allow the dying Hans to ride away into the sunset on one of them.

I quite sure that the above wouldn't fall under the more common trope definition of "mammoths as shorthand for ice age", however, and I don't know whether it's common enough for its own trope...

Jan 13th 2018 at 5:38:07 AM

Guess we don't touch the tropability of Tyrannosaurus Rex for a reason...

Jan 13th 2018 at 6:32:49 AM

I like the idea of restructuring this to be about mammoths being used as a visual shorthand for a setting being in the/an ice age, a fantasy equivalent thereof, or the Grim Up North. That would be much more tropable.

^ If you could expand on that a bit?

Jan 13th 2018 at 8:26:12 AM

^ The T-rex page on this wiki is literally pre-historic, i.e. it has been created before August 2010, which is as far back as its edit history covers. Pages that old tend to be subject to much laxer tropability standards, because they often predate said standards, which is a wiki-specific application of the Grandfather Clause. I'm not saying that it's a good thing, just that it often is the case, and that such pages should never serve as a model for new entries.

Jan 13th 2018 at 1:07:13 PM

^ Got it. Thanks for the explanation.

Jan 17th 2018 at 7:21:00 AM

^^^ That's a great idea, actually. I'd recommend starting a new draft, so you won't carry over the Hats/Bombs from this one.

Jan 17th 2018 at 6:27:37 PM

^ Meaning the "mammoths = very cold" idea?

Jan 19th 2018 at 2:25:49 PM

All right, if nobody else has anything else to say, I've got a rough draft for a "mammoths are used to symbolize the or an Ice Age and/or great cold" trope saved in a word document. Should I go ahead and put it on the launch pad?

Jan 19th 2018 at 5:48:31 PM

I humbly propose the name "Massive Mammoth" for Added Alliterative Appeal purposes.

Jan 19th 2018 at 6:56:04 PM

^I agree. Also, some other examples I found:


  • Stephen Baxter's The Mammoth Trilogy, which is about a story of mammoths and their encounter with humans. The trilogy was later compiled in the omnibus Behemoth:
    • First book Silverhair is about a female mammoth with this name and one of the few of these animals that survived to our era.
    • Second book Longtusk is a flashback with the mammoths in the Ice Age and how they survived until actual era.
    • Third book Icebones is about a female mammoth with this name and daughter of Silverhair, one of the last animals that has to repopulate the new Earth, Mars, after the extinction of Earth and humans in the future.

Real Life:

Jan 19th 2018 at 6:56:08 PM

Right, then. I'll send the new draft up now.

Jan 20th 2018 at 7:46:25 AM

^^^ Massive Mammoth is Heavy Hippo all over again... "A certain type of animal has a role in a work" is still People Sit On Chairs. Only "a certain type of animal always has a particular type of role" is a trope (covered by Animal Stereotypes).

Jan 20th 2018 at 7:53:49 AM

Spyro A Heros Tail: In the "Frostbite Village" hub, there is a mammoth hired by the Big Bad Red to capture Spyro, which he successfully does (with Hunter freeing him later) and isn't seen again afterwards.

Jan 20th 2018 at 8:03:31 AM

Here is the new draft by Theriocephalus. Examples that qualify for "Mammoths Mean Cold" should be moved there.

Jan 30th 2018 at 10:31:24 PM

Mammoths Mean Ice Age was recently launched. Do we really need a page about just plain old Mammoths?

Jan 31st 2018 at 1:26:21 AM

^ Short answer: No. Longer answer: Mammoths Mean Ice Age was specifically created by Theriocephalus to fix the problems with this TLP without having the burden of 7 bombs, making this one redundant.