- UK Grand Champions and other Grand Finalists
- Semi-Finalists and Robot Rumble competitors
- Heat Finalists
- Other UK and International Robots
BattleBots had numerous deadly hazards strewn across the Battlebox where robots fight. In Robot Wars, they did something a little different: they made their own fighting robots and sent them in as rolling hazards. Typically there were two or three House Robots that would normally stay in what were called CPZs, or Corner Patrol Zonesnote during matches. If a robot was pushed or wandered into a CPZ, the House Robots could have their way with them until they got out. When one robot was counted out, however, the vanquished was fair game for the House Robots, mostly to keep things entertaining for the crowd.
Occasionally competitors would get into exhibition battles against the House Robots themselves, and some even picked fights with them during normal matches, often ending in hilarious, embarrassing, or amazing results.
Tropes shared by multiple House Robots:
- Bullying a Dragon: You're not supposed to take on the House Robots, given that they're bigger and heavier than the competitors are allowed to be and armed to the teeth to boot, but competitors sometimes go after them anyway. Sometimes the competitors come out on top, but it ends, more often than not, with them being reduced to scrap metal.
- Flipping Helpless: None of the House Robots are able to self-right. Many a robot with flipping weaponry has decided to capitalize on this over the series.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Once a robot is defeated, the House Robots are allowed to come out of the CPZs and heap further abuse onto it.
- Legacy Character: The House Robots in the rebooted series are new machines sporting the names and likenesses of the originals, which are long retired.
- Lighter and Softer: The original House Robots were all designed as part of the conceit that the show was taking place in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world; Shunt was the result of two maintenance robots designed to work in an experimental Russian nuclear power plant fusing together and mutating, Matilda was a biomechanical creature and a surviving artefact of Atlantis, Dead Metal was a robot assassin that had travelled back in time, Sergeant Bash was a military drone from a totalitarian state designed to keep law and order, and Sir Killalot was an autonomous fighting unit from an alternative universe where the First World War began over 850 years early. The "post-apocalyptic" theme was slowly dropped from the show over fears it was patronising and stopped it from being taken seriously as an actual sport, so the House Robots introduced later lacked these backstories, with Cassius Chrome being downright cartoony.
- Lord British Postulate: While clearly a degree or two more powerful, sturdy, and heavy than all competitor robots, it has been made very clear over the show's entire run that it would not stop some robots, the most famous of which being Razer, Firestorm, Recyclopse, and The Big Cheese, to not only willingly pit themselves against the House Robots, but successfully take them down in the process, for no other reason than that they can do it.
- Rogues Gallery: They're the recurring crew of robots with the job of tearing up any hapless competitor that gets in their way.
- Series Mascot: The House Robots served as the face of the show, as they could be relied upon to appear regularly regardless of the competitors' status.
Sir Killalot (Series 2 - Present)
- "Our master of disaster! Two hundred kilos of doom and gloom, the lance to chew, the hydraulic lance to cut through. A nip and tuck - and you're out of luck!"
The largest and heaviest House Robot until Mr. Psycho came along, Sir Killalot was an unstoppable House Robot powered by a petrol-powered engine. Its armaments were a claw that was originally used for a fireman's Jaws Of Life tinkered with to grip and let go faster than a normal set, a hybrid lance-drill and its sheer weight, often coming in at five times as heavy or heavier than show contenders. While Killalot is one of the most recognizable House Robots, he was not one of the original four created for the very first series.
Weapons: Rotating Drill/Lance & Crushing Claw, both mounted on moveable lifting arms
- Big Bad: Competitors feared being in the arena with Killalot as a rolling hazard, and with good reason. Even after the bigger and deadlier Mr Psycho was added to the House Robot lineup, it was still Killalot who was the face of the show.
- Black Knight: All that was missing was a coat of black paint.
- Blood Knight: His operators honored the spirit of the trope by having some spectacularly impressive moments in the arena whenever someone decided to fight him. If you outweighed your opponents by a factor of five and had the toughness to match, you would let them swing away for your amusement too.
- Bowdlerization: In Nickelodeon Robot Wars, he was only referred to as Sir K.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Radio Times "interview" with Sir Killalot portrayed the House Robot with quite the dry wit, to say the least:Interviewer: Do you stay in touch with Mr Psycho and Sgt Bash?Sir Killalot: Would you stay in touch with someone called Mr Psycho?
- The Dreaded: Many roboteers have feared stepping into the ring with Sir Killalot on hand. It says a lot when he managed to keep the title even when Mr. Psycho arrived.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: Sir Killalot's redesign in the 2016 adds this side to him; breaking off the top of his old helmet to reveal a hollow-eyed, undead face underneath.
- Humiliation Conga: Both the giver and taker of this trope, shared with the other House Robots.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Sometimes, Killalot's biggest enemies were his own design and the drivers' miscalculations. Killalot's weight plus the length of his lance and arm meant picking up victims was a viable option, not to mention a great crowd-pleaser. Particularly large opponents which stuck out far enough, however, could sometimes tip Killalot forward, which meant moving forward and suddenly stopping or merely lifting the helpless 'bot too far meant toppling over forwards, allowing opportunistic robots to speed up at the newly-immobilized Killalot to mess with him until he tipped back onto his treads. The 2016 version was specifically designed to avert this; not only being heavier (by about 200kg) to balance out the weight difference, but having a heavy Armox scoop on the front to stop him tipping forward when lifting a robot.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: In his 2016 incarnation, Killalot retains his massive weight advantage and powerful weaponry, but also has extremely tough Armox plating and a top speed of 10mph, enough to boost him up from his previous Mighty Glacier form to this.
- The Juggernaut: With his large size and massive weight, there's not much that most competitors can do to stop Killalot in his tracks when he's after them.
- Jousting Lance: Used to pick up robots and drop them in the Pit. It spun and had a drill bit on the tip as well, which he could use to occasionally rip through armour or twist robots around like a rotisserie.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Generally happened to the lighter bots that were unfortunate enough to be caught. Actual impalement was very rare, however, it was more like "hooked through a wheel well/weapons recess/existing battle wound with extreme prejudice". The claw on his other arm, on the other hand...
- Kill It with Fire: Killalot himself has no flame-based weaponry, but he does have a claw that can lift opponents off the ground, letting him roast them like marshmallows over a flame pit. His original design concepts did include a flamethrower in the lance instead of the drill, however.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Despite being one of the most efficient yet bloodthirsty House Robots, Killalot is known to defend or avenge other House Robots when faced with indignity.
- Man on Fire: One of Killalot's most memorable moments in Extreme was being set on fire after being ruptured by Pussycat's blade; which was easier than it sounded due to the hydraulics on his claw being petrol-powered. When Refbot tried putting him out using his fire extinguisher, the flames died down... and then flared back up again after he'd blasted most of his CO2. The fire was eventually put out when the driver thought to park Killalot over one of the floor CO2 jets.
- Whilst that was the most memorable example, Killalot did get set on fire by accident — although nowhere near as dramatically — on one or two other occasions when he accidentally strayed too close to the flame pit or Sergeant Bash mistimed a burst of fire.
- Averted in the new series however, where he's entirely powered by heavy Sealed Lead Acid batteries that don't catch fire so easily.
- Mighty Glacier: In the original series. Killalot was the biggest and heaviest house robot until Mr Psycho came along, weighing in at 520 kilos. With a top speed of a mere 5 miles per hour, he was also the slowest by quite a considerable margin — as a small mercy to the competitors — and, until Matilda was fitted with her new flywheel, had the most deadly weaponry.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Sir Killalot. Need we say more?
- Nightmare Face: The knight helmet with glowing red eyes on his old design was bad enough, but the 2016 redesign breaks away the top of said helmet to reveal a hollow-eyed, mechanical zombie face underneath.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A cyborg tank-treaded knight, with elements of undead added in his new design.
- Pinned to the Wall: At one point in Heat C of the 2016 series, Killalot managed to get his lance stuck in the wall and was pinned there for the entire fight. Oops.
- Red Baron: The Undisputed Titan of Mechanized Warfare.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: His original design has flickering evil red eyes, except during his debut in Series 2 when they were white. Averted in the redesign, where he instead has hollow black eye sockets.
- Ring Out: Sir Killalot's size meant he could easily pick up a competitor, lift them right over the arena wall, and dump them out of the arena. While he never ended a fight this way — as it would've been very unfair if he could — defeated robots were fair game, as were certain ones he had grabbed (most notably Stinger) at the end of the fight, when it wouldn't matter either way.
- Signature Move: Killalot's trademark for dealing with defeated robots is to lifting it off the ground with his pincers, spinning on the spot, and letting his victim go flying.
- Sir Verb-a-Lot: The prime example in Robot Wars.
- Tank Goodness: One of two House Robots to move on treads rather than wheels, outweighed competitors by a huge margin, and had some of the most potent weaponry as well. Bonus points in the reboot, where his armor was upgraded to ARMOX steel (i.e. actual tank armor) and fully enclosed the treads.
- Tin Tyrant: "Leader" of the House Robots.
- Took a Level in Badass: The upgraded House Robots have finally been shown in all their terrifying metallic glory in this image◊, and Killalot is no exception. He looks much heavier, much less top-heavy and unstable, and even more heavily-armoured than before.
- His design has now been unveiled properly, along with some equally terrifying stats. His weight has gone up to 750kg — equalling Mr Psycho — the claws are large enough to trap even the biggest competitors and can lift 300kg, the armour is upgraded to all-over Armox plating to fully enclose the treads and prevent him tipping forward anymore, and most terrifyingly of all, his speed has been doubled to 10mph. Contestants, beware.
Dead Metal (All Series)
- "Dead metal is what you'll become: torn, twisted robo-remnants if you get caught by the pneumatic pincers or trapped by the 3000RPM circular saw!"
One of the House Robots featured on the show since its very first episodes, Dead Metal resembles a lobster/scorpion hybrid. He is designed to use two weapons in conjunction with one another: a large horizontal claw that can grab a robot and keep it from driving off, and a compact circular saw that was on an extending arm that could be pushed in and grind down an opponent. Because of these unique characteristics, Dead Metal got far more hazardous whenever other House Robots or competitors got involved with whatever it was attacking.
Weapons: Circular Saw & Pincers
- Awesome, but Impractical: The saw was originally on a ferocious-looking swinging arm, but didn't actually work. In Series 3 it was revamped so it did work, and the saw mechanism was now far more compact.
- Frankenstein's Monster: Chris Reynolds, who built the original House Robots, suggested Dead Metal was created when a bunch of junk parts came to life and fused together.
- Giant Scrap Robot: As mentioned above, Dead Metal was designed with this sort of aesthetic in mind, hence its unpainted, exposed spaceframe chassis, in comparison to the sculpted body panels of the other house robots.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Gained a set of red LED eyes for the reboot.
- Gradual Grinder: Dead Metal's claw and saw didn't do spectacular damage, but the mere act of being held up by Dead Metal could make a match go From Bad to Worse if it happened at a bad moment, and especially because those cuts could add up over time or sway a judge's decision, since a clumsy driver wouldn't be able to avoid getting grabbed.
- No-Sell: Unlike the other three of the original four House Robots, Dead Metal was not easy to flip- where Shunt, Matilda and Bash had basically cylindrical shapes that allowed them to be rolled from the side (and even Killalot would occasionally topple over when he overbalanced while picking up a robot, due to being top-heavy), Dead Metal had an extremely broad profile, an awkward shape and a low centre of gravity that made flipping him almost impossible, even by Chaos 2 or Bigger Brother. But in the 7th Wars came a little robot called Gravity...
- Not So Above It All: The house robot most likely to be decorated with Diotoir's fur, such as during Razer's Pinball run in Series 3.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: Described by Jonathan in Heat 5 of Series 10 as "the angriest robot scorpion hedgehog in Glasgow".
- Sword Sparks: Saw sparks, more accurately- especially against titanium.
- Scary Scorpions: Was modelled on a scorpion, especially in its early days when its saw was mounted on a swinging arm, rather than the "head" it later had added in Series 3 and stuck with for the rest of the series.
- Spikes of Villainy: He's covered in jutting pieces of metal.
- Took a Level in Badass: The upgraded Dead Metal has now been fully unveiled, and boasts a larger, faster circular saw, pincers that can clamp even the biggest opponents, and much tougher, spikier armour. It's also over twice as heavy as before.
Shunt (All Series)
- "Shunt is the lightest of our House Robots at a hundred and five kilos, but quick and maneuverable! It can bulldoze, or with the fearsome axe, Shunt will blunt the brightest of hopes!"
Another House Robot present since the first series, resembling a miniature construction vehicle, Shunt was something approaching the closest match to competing robots as the years went by since it was so similar in weight. This also meant Shunt was also a popular target for competitors to attack during matches, culminating in it getting most of the flak in Series 7.
Weapons: Axe, Lifting Scoop & Snowplough
- An Axe to Grind: One of the most powerful seen in the series, no less. Originally, Shunt was designed with the scoops as his main weaponry and it was added as an afterthought, but it became more and more prominent as its power was increased over the series.
- Badass Back: Taken to ridiculous extremes. The V-shaped plough was actually Shunt's front end: the scoop and axe were at the back, initially added as an afterthought before gradually becoming Shunt's main weaponry. This meant that Shunt was forced to drive around backwards for the entirety of the show's original run. When Shunt was rebuilt for the 2016 series, they sensibly decided to avert this and put the axe and scoop at the front.
- Berserk Button: He doesn't seem to like robots with model heads. He has a habit of beheading them (see: Major Tom, Banshee, Atlas).
- Boring, but Practical: Shunt was the closest to a normal competitor robot in design and ability, but was one of the most dangerous house robots- because while his axe wasn't terribly flashy, it was one of the most dangerous axes ever seen on the show (from Series 3 on anyway), with more armor-penetrating power than almost any other.
- The Brute: Was this in the early series, and later shared the role with Mr Psycho.
- Butt-Monkey: The original Shunt was the lightest of the House Robots, had a narrow wheelbase, and it was literally spelled out on-screen that he had no srimech. Predictably, it ended up on the business end of more flippers than any other House Robot.
- Hasn't quite stopped in the rebooted series either; Carbide took a bite out of Shunt's wheelguard in Series 8 and scoop in Series 10, and PP3D took a chunk out of its scoop in Series 9 (but suffered catastrophic internal damage in the process).
- In spite of being immobile, Hobgoblin amputated Shunt's axe,note and didn't suffer any real external damage itself. Shunt also broke its axe on Eruption's armor during the World Series.
- Hasn't quite stopped in the rebooted series either; Carbide took a bite out of Shunt's wheelguard in Series 8 and scoop in Series 10, and PP3D took a chunk out of its scoop in Series 9 (but suffered catastrophic internal damage in the process).
- Construction Is Awesome: Was modeled on a cross between a bulldozer and a diesel locomotive.
- Even Evil Has Standards: When the unpopular Mortis won against Ming in Series 3, Shunt and other house robots attacked Mortis in retaliation for getting a favourable outcome in some shady Executive Meddling the previous year.
- Lightning Bruiser: At first. When the weight limit was increased to 100kgs, Shunt lost a lot of his pushing power. They fixed this by amping the power of his axe Up to Eleven. He still had a great deal of power for his size, despite being the smallest house robot.
- Mundane Utility: Shunt's pushing power and relative reliability meant he was often used to clear defeated robots from the arena.
- No-Sell: In Series 9, PP3D's immense flywheel was capable of sending another robot through the arena sidewall. What happened when it got too close to Shunt? Shunt pinned PP3D against the wall until it set itself on fire from the shock reflecting back into it. And Shunt didn't even budge.
- Powerful Pick: Originally had one of these before it was replaced with his signature axe.
- Ramming Always Works: Shunt's defining characteristic was living up to his name; plowing things out of the way with his shovels. There was even a "Sumo" event in Series 1, 2 and 4, where contestants could face up to him in a shoving match.
- Ship Tease: Jonathan Pearce implied that Shunt and Matilda might have been intimate.
- Sword Sparks: In the reboot, Shunt's axe fires quickly enough to often cause sparks on impact.
- Took a Level in Badass: Shunt is the first House Robot we've gotten to see in his upgraded form for the 2016 reboot, front and center of this publicity shot of the new arena. And he looks fierce.
- This picture shows off the new Shunt in all his glory, and he's much larger than before, with a bulky design that should make him much harder to flip, and has much more pushing power than before. He's even slightly faster than the old model.
Matilda (All Series)
- "This is no Waltzing Matilda, but if Matilda dances with you, it's a dance of death! Her tusks can rip and pneumatically flip, it's a breeze for Tildy! Her spinning rear flywheel is twenty-seven kilos in weight, the Matriarch of Mayhem, the Mistress of Mischief, Matilda!"
A two-wheeled sort of hybrid between a triceratops and an armadillo, Matilda was the third of the original four House Robots. Like many of the other House Robots, Matilda became notably tougher in later series to keep up with the higher-level competitors fighting for titles. Good thing too, because Matilda was also often attacked by contenders, more so than any other House Robot.
Weapons: Lifting Tusks & Chainsaw (Series 1-4) / Vertical Flywheel (Series 5-8)
- Back from the Dead: After being utterly destroyed by Razer in the Southern Annihilator, a placard was shown for Matilda, saying R.I.P. (Rust in Pieces), marking her as having been "Destroyed in Action". Then it cut to a heavily-bandaged Matilda back in the arena, with the promise that she would be back. And when she did come back, she'd been extensively upgraded, including the addition of her powerful 27kg flywheel. Apparently, this trope was invoked: the producers allowed Razer to destroy Matilda because they'd been planning to rebuild her anyway.
- Badass Back: Matilda's flywheel is one of the most powerful weapons on any house robot, and in the rebooted series it's capable of throwing contestant robots straight out of the arena.
- Chainsaw Good: In the first two wars, that is. Afterwards, with more robots gaining thicker armor, Matilda's chainsaw became generally useless. It was replaced in Extreme 1 with a 27kg vertical flywheel that was much more destructive.
- The Chew Toy: Matilda was the first house robot to be flipped (by Recyclopse in Series 1), may have been flipped or otherwise attacked by competitors more than any other house robot, and on one spectacular occasion literally ended up as a chew toy for Razer. This was less the case after the chainsaw was replaced with the flywheel, which was so destructive and difficult to avoid that very few, if any, competitor robots were prepared to risk deliberately attacking her.
- The Dark Chick: The only "female" house robot, although the 2017 How to Build a Robot guide referred to Dead Metal, hitherto always a 'male' as 'She'.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Matilda has a distinctive Triceratops-esque appearance.
- In-Series Nickname: "Tildy", often used by Jonathan Pearce.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Had a pair of white "eyes" in the original, which became red in the reboot.
- Legacy Character: Although the original is presumed lost, duplicates of Matilda have been made by Roaming Robotsnote and she's still fighting today.
- Lightning Bruiser: In her 2016 incarnation she's now the fastest House Robot, at 14mph, and with an even deadlier flywheel.
- Out of Focus: Matilda appeared noticeably less in the Seventh Wars, which has been put down to how enormously damaging and dangerous the flywheel was by that point meaning she had to be used in moderation.
- Red Baron: The Matriarch of Mayhem, The Sister of Slice & Dice, The Grandmother of Grinding Metal.
- Theseus' Ship Paradox: During the House Robots DVD, which was filmed after Series 5, it was stated that Matilda had been upgraded so much since Series 1 that there was barely anything left of the original version at all. When the presenter joked that the only remaining original part was the strap holding the back of her shell on, her supervisor admitted that even that wasn't there originally; it had been added for Series 4 to stop the shell falling off every time she was flipped.
- Took a Level in Badass: The aforementioned flywheel. And it was a damn powerful weapon, arguably the most powerful one equipped on any House Robot (with the possible exception of Killalot's cutting claw, which was always used in moderation, something you cannot do with a 27kg flywheel)note . It could literally hurl a robot through the air, hurled one clean out of the arena at least once, and one time tore Panic Attack's entire top plate off with one blow!
- The upgraded 2016 version of Matilda as unveiled here is considerably larger and heavier, as well as more stable and spikier. The disc is faster and heavier, her armour is much tougher, the tusks are now powerful enough to throw robots out of the arena, and at 14mph she's now the fastest of the House Robots.
Sgt. Bash (Series 1-7 & Extreme 1-2)
- "Sergeant Bash is on parade, with the long-range flamethrower and the punishing pair of pincers! A machine of war, it obeys no law!"
The fourth and final of the original House Robots, Sergeant Bash unsurprisingly resembles a military machine of some sort. It carried multiple weapons over its career, the most memorable combination being a crushing claw up front and its turret-mounted flamethrower. Any robots noted for their flammability would often find themselves in the ring with Bash as one of the house robots - Diotoir was a repeat victim of Bash, if not the arena hazards.
Weapons: Flamethrower, Circular Saw (Series 1-2), Battering Ram (Series 1-2) & Pincer (Series 3-7)
- The Alleged Car: Easily the house robot that spent the most time broken down. Mostly the flamethrower refusing to work. Probably the reason it wasn't brought back for 2016.
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- The flamethrower was impressive, but unless a robot was made of explicitly flammable material (like Diotoir) it wouldn't usually do significant damage; the arena flamethrowers were a threat to robot electronics because they emanated from beneath the robots, allowing the flames to get inside their casings as they rose, but Bash's flamethrower struggled to do more than singe the paintjobs.
- Bash's circular saw did little damage and was so prone to breaking down or shattering that after Series 2 they just got rid of it.
- Boring, but Practical: While Bash's flamethrower is his most distinctive weapon, the much less notable pincers on his front did all the actual damage, capable of crushing through a robot's armor and dragging it around the arena while dishing out some internal damage in the process.
- The Dragon: In a sense at least, as he sported a turret-mounted flamethrower and had a reputation as one of the harder-hitting House Robots as well as one of the oldest.
- Epic Fail: Bash starts misbehaving, so Refbot decides to use his extinguisher to put out Bash's flamethrower.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: His trademark propane gas flamethrower.
- Incendiary Exponent: Whenever a robot enters the arena clad in fur, cloth, or any other flammable material, expect Bash to be there just waiting for an excuse to light it up.
- Kill It with Fire: His trademark, the only working robot-mounted flamethrower in Robot Wars.
- Mecha-Mook: Interestingly this was the direction Chris Reynolds appeared to go in with Bash's design inspiration, as apparently he was designed to look like a futuristic combat robot tasked with keeping the locals of colony planets in line, suggesting he was one of many.
- Military Mashup Machine: A flame tank/unmanned ground vehicle with what looks like the jaws of life up front.
- Put on a Bus: Sgt. Bash was not chosen to return for the 2016 reboot. The company contracted to build the new House Robots only had to make four, and for whatever reason (most likely being Awesome, but Impractical), Bash drew the short straw.
- That being said, his existence was acknowledged in the World Series — thanks to Dutch entrant THE BASH, which was made as a tribute to him — and Team Robo Challenge (the group behind the new House Robot designs) did have some interesting ideas for a new version of Sgt Bash intended before the show was cancelled. These included having him being more tank-like; heavier, lower to the ground, running on armoured tracks instead of wheels, and replacing the front pincers with a set of weighted spinning flails based off of minesweeping vehicles in the military.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Contestant robots were banned from using flamethrowers, but the house robots were above the rules. Indeed, Bash's most famous victims, Team Nemesis, only clad their robot in fur to start with because they'd read in the rule book that flamethrowers weren't allowed and so figured it wasn't going to get set on fire. The producers had other plans.
- Sergeant Rock: Well, if the name is any indicator, this was Bash's visual and combat shtick.
Mr. Psycho (Series 6-7 & Extreme 2)
One of the new House Robots introduced in Series Six, Mr. Psycho was the largest House Robot ever seen in the show's entire run. Very similar to Sir Killalot in that Mr. Psycho was a super-heavy House Robot with a vaguely-humanoid appearance, with a head, torso and two arms, one being a crushing claw. Unlike Killalot, Mr. Psycho was armed with a 30-kg hammer and powered by electric motors rather than a petrol engine.
Weapons: Grabbing Claw & Hammer
- The Brute: Filled this role on the House Robot team- by FAR the biggest and most powerful, but Sir Killalot was still seen as the Big Bad.
- David vs. Goliath: Firestorm (99kg) attempting to flip Mr Psycho (750kg). Firestorm succeeded.
- Drop the Hammer: Had possibly the biggest one in robot combat (30kg!).
- Expy: Meant to be an Expy of Bill Sykes from Oliver Twist.
- The Heavy: A literal example.
- Legacy Character: Mr Psycho was clearly the inspiration for the Roaming Robots League's own superheavyweight House Robot Major Damage, who uses the same claw and hammer weapons setup.
- Lightning Bruiser: Was more than 200 kilograms heavier than Killalot, with incredible offensive capability- while his 30kg hammer didn't do all that much visible damage, it played merry hell with internals and would sometimes warp a robot's frame. Surprisingly, Psycho's large engine meant he was actually faster than Killalot- at 8 miles per hour he moved at the same speed as Sgt Bash.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast
- Off with His Head!: In one seventh season battle, Psycho goes into combat with his fibreglass head obviously not attached properly. Eventually it falls off, and Hilarity Ensues.
- Put on a Bus: Mr. Psycho did not return for the three reboot series.
Growler (Series 6-7 & Extreme 2)
Introduced in Series Six alongside Mr. Psycho as his Canine Companion, Growler is a robotic attack dog, and an extremely fast robot weighing in at over 300 kg armed with a hydraulic jaw made from industrial digger steel. Functionally Growler was similar to Shunt, albeit more than three times as heavy and without the pneumatic axe.
Weapons: Hydraulic Jaws
- Bully Bulldog: The stubby "snout" and wide jaw gave Growler a distinctly bulldog-esque profile, and he's one of the House Robots, whose job is to make life as tough as possible for the competitors.
- Canine Companion: To Mr. Psycho
- Expy: Of Bill Sykes' dog Bullseye.
- Fartillery: Growler was supposed to have the second flamethrower in Robot Wars, a rear-mounted flame jet, but it suffered from reliability issues and was eventually omitted entirely.
- Lightning Bruiser: One of the heaviest (375kg) and fastest (17mph) house robots. The combination meant that his sheer ramming power was beyond awesome, perhaps best illustrated in the Lightweight final of Extreme 2 when he smashed Ellie's Little Pink Bot against the arena wall, obliterating it. 50% heavier than Cassius Chrome and more than twice as fast as Psycho, Growler was potentially the most dangerous of all the House Robots, but the House Roboteers were mostly very restrained in using his full potential. Having Growler after you was like being chased by a hungry car.
- Put on a Bus: Like his owner, Growler did not come back for the reboot.
- Roar Before Beating: Growler's jaws were designed to actually emit a distinctive growl when opened and closed, hence the name.
- Team Pet: Well, by way of being the only one themed after a dog, perhaps.
Cassius Chrome (Series 7)
The last House Robot introduced in the series prior to its cancellation, debuting in the seventh season. Designed to resemble a cartoony, robotic boxer, Cassius did not have much time to shine, but showed off his pneumatic, fast-moving fists when he could.
Weapons: Rapid-fire fists/spikes
- Drunken Boxing: His movements and rapid punches make it look like he is trying out this trope.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Cassius' shtick was two pneumatic "fists" on either side of his chassis that moved back and forth like jackhammers. They weren't the most effective weapon in Robot Wars, but on something that heavy and fast they added to Chrome's abilities as a full-body battering ram.
- Lightning Bruiser: In fact, Cassius was the fastest House Robot ever made.
- Named After Somebody Famous: His name was a Shout-Out to the birth name of Muhammad Ali, Cassius Clay. Unfortunately, he didn't have nearly the same punch.
- Put on a Bus: Just like Mr. Psycho and Growler, Cassius Chrome did not rejoin the "classic" House Robots in the reboot. Unlike the other two, most fans think this was a good thing.
Refbot (Series 4-7 & Extreme 1-2)
Refbot's history started with a previous robot, Shove. Shove was a backstage House Robot used to push incapacitated or destroyed robots out of the arena and back to their owners. When Refbot was introduced in Series 4, he was also used in this role, although Refbot also acted as an in-arena referee and something of a rolling safety device: it was also equipped with a fire extinguisher to control blazes before they spread to the whole arena (a role previously filled by human safety crew), and in later series was also used to declare immobilised robots officially 'out' and stop the house robots from unfairly interfering with a card system.
- Combat Referee: Responsible for overseeing fights, counting out defeated contestants, and keeping the House Robots in check.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Glass Jaw Referee: Unlike the other House Robots, the Refbot was only ever intended as an in-arena referee and is not equipped for combat, although competitors tended to overlook him in favor of taking on House Robots that can fight back. The one time Refbot was shown retaliating was against a misbehaving Sergeant Bash.
- Poke the Poodle: Like all the other House Robots, the Refbot was liable to being attacked if a battle went Off the Rails, and any such assaults on him fell under this as he had no offensive capabilities at all. (Ripper only attacked him after it had tried and miserably failed to take on Shunt and Killalot.)
- Put on a Bus: While the "new" combat House Robots Mr. Psycho, Growler and Cassius Chrome being omitted from the reboot makes sense, the absence of Refbot is actually rather mystifying, since he came to serve a vital non-combat role (namely formally counting-out an immobilised robot to make it 100% clear when they were officially eliminated and could be served to the other House Robots, but also separating robots that got caught on each other without damaging them). The Refbot's roles were split in the reboot: the judges now oversee the battle directly and can declare robots immobile, while the House Robots can come in to separate stuck robots and dispose of potentially dangerous ones by dumping them down the pit.
- Tag Team Twins: Since Refbot was required to be in every battle after his introduction, it's a little-known fact that there were actually two identical Refbots made, so that one could be used if there was mechanical problems with the other. Their only distinguishing features were a small '1' and '2' printed on their back sides.
The Sentinel (Series 2)
A short-lived element of the show added midway through Series 2, the Sentinel was a modified JCB arm which is regarded as an "unofficial" house robot, its primary purpose being an additional hazard in the Gauntlet (although it also appeared in the corner of the Perimeter Patrol Zone in the Series 2 Grand Final and the Grudge Matches special).
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: When the Gauntlet was abolished for Series 3, the Sentinel went with it. This makes Sentinel the shortest-lived House Robot, as well as the only one to be retired during the show's original run.
- Sixth Ranger: Added halfway through the second series, and placed in the arena proper in the final two episodes.
- Spikes of Doom: Its main weapon was an enormous spike attached to the end of the arm.
- Stationary Boss: The Sentinel was fixed in place, although its long reach more than made up for it.
Jeremy Clarkson (Series 1 Presenter)
- '80s Hair: Had a massive afro while hosting. He later straightened it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Made some downright mean comments to the roboteers whenever he saw a poor performing robot.
- Jerkass: "How long did that take to build? I reckon it took 2 months to go 2 yards." And his infamous: "That is the worst robot I've ever seen in my life. And it crossed the finish line twice."
- The Pete Best: Clarkson's replacement with Craig Charles heralded the show really hitting its stride.
- Unperson: He isn't mentioned in any tie-in media, and all footage of him was removed from "The First Great War", a VHS release of highlights from the first series. Just as well, really. He didn't exactly hold the show in high regard.
Craig Charles (Series 2-7 & Extreme 1-2 Presenter)
- Actor Allusion: The robot Scutter's Revenge was a reference to his role on Red Dwarf. Also, this:Craig: So, why did you call your robot Inquisitor?Inquisitor team: Red Dwarf.Craig: Never heard of it!
- Blatant Lies: The Actor Allusion above.
Craig: Well, well, well. It's a very close fight, we'll have to go to the judges for that one. Only joking.
- After Hypno-Disc won its "fight" against Splinter:
- Blood Knight: Craig fully embraced his role as host of the most popular robot combat show on TV, revelling in the carnage caused.
- Catch Phrase: "LET THE WARS BEGIN!"
- Ending every episode with a four-line poem ending in "on Robot Wars". In later series he'd often tailor these to the events of the episode (e.g. referring to engaged teammates Graham Bone and Hazel Heslop, "They seem such a lovely couple, but no-one ignores, the damage they cause, on Robot Wars!")
- "[Robot] GOES MARCHING ON!"
- "Let's get stuck in!"
- "The judges have made their decision. They're marking on style, control, damage and aggression." (Occasionally in later series he'd acknowledge that everybody knew the four criteria by now, although he would only very rarely skip them entirely.)
- Foreshadowing: In the Series 4 Heat P final, Craig insisted that the Hypno-Disc team not pull their punches in the Semi-Finals. Their first battle at that stage was against Splinter, who was the victim of one of the most notorious No Holds Barred Beatdowns in the entire series.
- Friend to All Children: Craig had to deal with a lot of young kids on the show (sometimes as young as six), usually having to console them when their robot lost, and he always handled them well. He was particularly fond of "Little" Joe and Ellie Watts of Bigger Brother, as well as Amy Franklin of Team 101 who read out a poem she'd written about him at the end of 101's 3rd Wars run.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Occasionally wears leather pants. It's very noticable.
- Large Ham: Not so much in his first seasons, but later on, it really shows."LET THE WAAAAARS BEGIN!"
- The Tell: In any instance of a judges' decision where Craig had both the teams standing with him so he could raise the hand of the winner, you could tell which team was going to win it before he announced the decision if you noticed one little detail- he'd always hold his microphone in the hand he wasn't going to raise, i.e on the loser's side. (This way of announcing the results in the judges' decision was only used in Series 4, and may even have been changed because of this.)
Dara Ó Briain (Series 8-10 Presenter)
- Bald of Awesome
- Deadpan Snarker: Being a comedian by trade, this is to be expected, although he's much more good-natured about it than Jeremy Clarkson was.Dara: [to the Nuts team, whose robot has just been ripped apart by Carbide] Do you like jigsaw puzzles?Dara: [on Overdozer, a wooden robot with a rear propeller-like spinning blade] You've made a boat.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The more down-to-earth and subdued blue to Angela's red.
- Science Hero: As the first presenter with any real grasp of the matter (he's previously filled this role as a presenter on Dara O Briain's Science Club and Stargazing Live, also for BBC Two).
- The Smart Guy: Has studied mathematics and theoretical physics. It's pretty safe to say he's the most knowledgeable any of the presenters have ever been on the actual mechanics of the robots.
- Tone Shift: The revived series will feature a greater focus on the science behind the robots, and the change of presenter from Craig to Dara (already the BBC's go-to guy for science programmes) is the biggest pre-broadcast indication of that.
Mick Foley (Extreme Warriors Series 1-2 Presenter)
- Borrowed Catch Phrase: Although it wasn't something he said regularly, he once opened an episode with Craig's line "Let the wars begin!"
- Brutal Honesty: Mick was quite blunt to the teams he didn't like, although since he's Mick Foley it was impossible for anyone to take offence (especially since it was usually the goofier teams like Conquering Clown and Falcon Mk. II).Mick: <after Conquering Clown is defeated by Destructive Criticism> So I've got a startling confession to make: I never really liked you guys.
- Catch Phrase: "Let's hear it for all the roboteers".
- He would usually close episodes with "Fight on!"
- Damned by Faint Praise: He once took a gentle dig at the Dragbot team after their loss to Brawler.Mick Foley: Guys, I've seen a lot of matches here at Robot Wars but yours was the most recent.
- Hot-Blooded: His fiery pre-battle pep talks were driven by years of experience cutting wrestling promos.
- Large Ham: It's Mick freakin' Foley presenting robot battles!
- Running Gag: Every time he did a post-battle interview with the Rocky Bot-Boa team he did an exchange with them where he'd say that they remind him of himself in his prime and the captain of the team (doing an over-the-top Rocky impression) would reply that at least he had a prime. It was practically a greeting between them.
- Self-Deprecation:Mick Foley: Whew, it's going to get ugly and Carol, I know ugly when I see it because I own a mirror.
- Troll: During the Series 2 Tag Team Terror Tournmament the battle of the team of Rocky Bot-Boa and Black Widow versus Joker and Falcon Mk. II went to a judges' decision. Mick announced the Falcon/Joker team as the winners, but just as the mouthy and arrogant Falcon team were taunting their opponents with calls of "In your face!" he revealed that he was just joking and it was the Black Widow/Rocky Bot-Boa team that had won instead, leading to an immediate and satisfying reversal of the gloating (Mick was quite open about his dislike for the Falcon team because of their attitude).
- Why Did It Have To Be Clowns: Foley is a self-confessed coulrophobe. Well, at least he said he was; it may have just been Kayfabe to put him at odds with the Conquering Clown team.Mick Foley: I want the clown to go down!
Rob Kamphues (Dutch Series 1-2 Presenter)
- Bald of Awesome
- Large Ham: Possibly an even larger one than Craig.
- Milking the Giant Cow: Loved to wave his hands around when doing the introduction at the start of each episode.
Dave Aizer (Nickelodeon Series Presenter)
- Friend to All Children: Seeing as the Nickelodeon series was specifically aimed at children, Dave had a much gentler approach to presenting, encouraging both winner and loser and asking the audience to cheer for both teams. He would always talk to the children on the teams rather than the adults.
- The Generic Guy: He did a servicable job, but didn't really make much of an impression. It didn't help that the Nickelodeon series in general was such a footnote in the history of the show that he didn't even get a mention on this page for years.
Philippa Forrester (Series 1-3, 5-6 & Extreme II Pit Reporter)
- Bare Your Midriff
- Call-Back: Philippa welcomes the Berserk 2 team (who are deaf) in sign language in Series 3, which she learned from their team translator during the Series 2 Grudge Matches episode.
- Cuteness Proximity: In the earlier series where there were more decorative Joke Characters, she tended to gush about adorable robots, and on occasion, adorable roboteers. She would often ask opposing roboteers if they would also fall to the charms of the cute robots as well.
- Demoted to Extra: In most episodes in Series 5, she would only ever be seen during the competitors' brief introduction videos rather than interviewing them before and after fights as usual. Fortunately, her role was expanded back to normal much later that series, then Series 6 and Extreme II.
- Friend to All Children: Like Craig, she had to deal with a lot of young children, and was clearly very fond of both Amy Franklin and the Watts children.
- The Gadfly: While friendly and genial, Phillipa wasn't above good-naturedly teasing certain teams about their machines, like the Revolution team's ridiculously excessive weapon or that one time Corkscrew drove down the pit.
- Genki Girl: Philippa brought a great deal of spark and energy to the pits, as well as her easygoing charm.
- Ms. Fanservice: Especially in Series 5 where she wore a tight, shoulder-baring bustier in the pits.
- Pit Girls
- Put on a Bus: On the first occasion she left, in Series 4, she got a brief handover scene with Julia Reed in the first episode. In Series 7 she didn't even get that.
Julia Reed (Series 4 & Extreme Pit Reporter)
- The Generic Guy: Julia was generally well-received as a presenter, but was only ever intended as a Temporary Substitute for the popular Philippa and hence didn't make much of an impact, especially when they were both followed by a markedly less popular presenter who only appeared in the Franchise Killing series.
- Pit Girls
- Put on a Bus: When Philippa returned, Julia wasn't afforded any kind of departure scene.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Philippa Forrester, when the latter was on maternity leave.
- Temporary Substitute: Philippa returned at the earliest opportunity; in terms of recording the two briefly shared the role as Series 5 and Extreme were filmed at the same time.
Jayne Middlemiss (Series 7 Pit Reporter)
- Brainless Beauty: Was not highly regarded among the fanbase for her complete technical cluelessness. Admittedly Philippa and Julia were hardly engineering geniuses either, but Jayne came across as even worse.
- Captain Obvious: She forced the roboteers to become this. As mentioned above, Jayne came across as a Brainless Beauty because of her tendency to go up to a robot with, say, an enormous bladed flywheel or a huge flipping ramp on the front and ask the team "So what does it do?"
- Large Ham / No Indoor Voice: Was prone to random bouts of this (such as randomly declaring at the top of an interview a team were "eager to get out there and fight").
- Ms. Fanservice: She was a former model.
- Pit Girls
Angela Scanlon (Series 8-10 Co-Presenter)
- Blood Knight: Unlike Craig, Dara and Angela would be present in the arena to watch the battles unfold. When a robot lands a massive hit, expect Angela to be cheering it on.
- Fiery Redhead: Downplayed, but she has bright red hair and clearly enjoys the destruction and mayhem as much as Dara does.
- Ms. Fanservice: Admittedly, not to the same extent as Philippa or Jayne, but she's still quite the looker.
- Pit Girls: Actually subverted. Unlike her predecessors, she's on a more equal footing with Dara, and the two share the presenting and pit-reporting duties.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The energetic, excitable red to Dara's blue.
- Star-Making Role: Was a virtual unknown prior to appearing in the show, and is now a household name in the UK, including stints presenting The One Show.
- Wrench Wench: In a first for the series, in Series 10 episode 4 Angela herself joined a host of roboteers who were lending a hand to the Androne 4000 team to help them get their warped crusher arm straightened out.
Bridget Maasland (Dutch Series 1-2 Pit Reporter)
- Boyish Short Hair: In the first series.
- Genki Girl: Much like Philippa.
- Ms. Fanservice: Another former model.
Jonathan Pearce (All UK Series Commentator)
- Big Fun: He thoroughly enjoys his Robot Wars commentary, and it shows.
- Catch Phrase: He didn't have any formal catch phrases like Craig did, but he was especially fond of using the expression "bent and buckled" (or "buckled and bent") to describe damage done to a robot. Also fond of talking about how much everyone enjoyed seeing robots being destroyed with the phrase "We love i~it!"
- Deadpan Snarker: When he wasn't being a Large Ham, he was often this instead, especially from Series 3 onward.Jonathan: [mocking a defeated contestant's name] "Indefatigable"? Haha... yeah. "Invincible"? Yeah. Invisible, more like. [as Bash starts to roast it] Inflammable? Hardly.
- The Hyena: He was well-known for his occasional laughing fits during matches. Memorable examples include during Hypno-Disc's first-ever bout, when Diotoir caught fire (again) after beating The Steel Avenger, and when Firestorm became the first robot to be thrown out of the arena.
- Large Ham: Oh, yeah.
- Long Runner: Has been present in every episode of Robot Wars, from the very first episode in 1997 to the rebooted series in 2016.
- Malaproper: He would constantly use the word "armament"note when he meant to say "armour". Ironically, he would most often make this mistake when complaining about the "weak armament" of robots that sacrificed protection in order to fit on an extra-powerful weapon. Not only is he still doing it in 2016, he once referred to Foxic's "lithium-polymer armament", which is even more wrongnote .
- Motor Mouth: Sometimes, especially his commentary here.
- Mr. Exposition: Would describe every contestant robot when they first appeared in the arena, discussing their strengths and weaknesses, stats such as armour thickness and top speed, and miscellaneous facts like where the bits used to make the robot came from. He would also introduce new arena features such as the pit release button, the floor flipper, and the Disc of Doom.
- In Series 5, after Hypno-Disc knocked out Bulldog Breed's safety link, he proceeded to give a very expository description of what the component was for:Jonathan: Oh, I see what they've done! That's a removable link, that every robot has, so they can be disabled in the pits for safety reasons. Pull that out, and the robot will stop. It's like removing a core fuse, if you will.
- In Series 5, after Hypno-Disc knocked out Bulldog Breed's safety link, he proceeded to give a very expository description of what the component was for:
- Oh, Crap!: Whenever a competitor robot took on the house robots and won, for example in the Series 7 House Robot Rebellion:Jonathan: So you think you're tough enough to withstand Growler? Gravity seems to think he can take on— [Gravity effortlessly flips Growler over] — Oh! He can! Erm, this is not going according to plan...
- Pungeon Master: And some of the earlier entries, such as Robopig, gave him plenty of opportunity.Jonathan: [as Sir Killalot holds Robopig over the flame pit] And I think we can have— we do! SMOKY BACOOOOOON!!!
- Share the Male Pain: Every time Sir Killalot picks a defeated robot up by its axe, spike, or some other protrusion, Jonathan will audibly grimace in the spirit of this trope. Every. Single. Time.
- Shown Their Work: He's often the one to note interesting facts about competing robots that Philippa and Craig fail to mention. One glaring example is him noting that Series 5 competitor S3 is the third robot from the team, after failures Sting and Sting 2, who lost its only match to Diotoir. Both Philippa and Craig act as if the team are completely new to the series.
- Tempting Fate: Most famously during the iconic "fight" between Hypno-Disc and Splinter, when it seemed initially like Splinter might pull off an upset:Jonathan: Could this be one of the greatest shocks ever in Robot Wars? If they keep attacking on a frontal collision with that blade, they'll protect their more vulnerable sides, of course, Splinter! And maybe, who knows— [Hypno-Disc rips Splinter's scoop clean off] OH NO THEY WON'T!!!
- In the Series 3, Heat I eliminators, Jonathan mentioned that it would be funny seeing Matilda (whose CPZ was located next to the pit) accidentally drive forward and fall in. Later that same episode, Dead Metal does exactly that.
Eric Corton (Dutch Series 1-2 Commentator)
- Gratuitous English: Every now and then.
- Large Ham: Every bit the ham Jonathan Pearce was, only in Dutch.
- Large Ham Radio: He's also a radio DJ.
- Malaproper: Perhaps not as noticeably as Jonathan, but he did constantly refer to Dead Metal as "Death Metal".
- Precision F-Strike: God knows how he got away with it, but the apparent good sportsmanship on display before the fight between Shapeshifter and Philipper 2 annoyed him enough to randomly throw a "Fuck you!" into his pre-battle spiel.
- He did it again during the heat final battle between Gravity and Scrap-2-Saur after Scrap-2-Saur flipped Gravity, describing it as a "technical fuckin' knock-out". Apparently Dutch TV doesn't much care what you say as long as it's in a different language.note
The Judges (Professor Noel Sharkey - All Series; Eric Dickinson - Series 1-2; Adam Harper - Series 1-3; Martin Smith - Series 3-7; Dr Myra Wilson - Series 4-5; Mat Irvine - Series 5-7; Professor Sethu Vijayakumar - Series 8-10; Dr Lucy Rogers - Series 8-10)
- Ascended Extra: Get a lot more screentime in the reboot, with at least one judge per episode getting an interview with Dara about some technology or software being used somewhere in the world. They also occasionally drop in to see robots that have particularly impressed them.
- Cool Old Guy: Noel Sharkey in spades, particularly for being the only constant of the show other than Jonathan Pearce. He's been here since the beginning and it's pretty much a given that he'll be here until the end.
- Einstein Hair: Professor Noel Sharkey definitely qualifies.
- Foreshadowing: Despite being The Voiceless, Mat Irvine let slip to Jonathan before the Extreme 2 Challenge Belt final that while he personally supported Tornado using its anti-crusher frame (since it is still legal within the rules), whether it'll be allowed in the future will be another matter. The following year, Tornado was banned from using it.
- Long Runner: Noel Sharkey was a judge on every episode; even though he rarely spoke (see The Voiceless below) and didn't always appear, he is one of the few people to be involved in every single series of Robot Wars, including the 2016 reboot.
- Promoted Fanboy: Martin Smith was the driver of Cruella in Series 1 & 2.
- The Voiceless: The judges would very rarely speak, with their decisions being relayed by Craig Charles; occasionally the show would call on them when they had to go into more detail on a particularly controversial decision.
Stuart McDonald (Announcer, Director)
- Catch Phrase: As the announcer, he had several in every bout:
- "Roboteers, stand by."
- "3... 2... 1... Activate!"
- Fake American: McDonald was the announcer for every series, including the international onesnote . For Extreme Warriors he affected a broad (and actually rather convincing) American accent.
- Hammy Herald: Not especially hammy as such, but it was his booming voice that introduced every robot that entered the arena, as well as introducing the host at the start of the show (with a unique, often comical, introduction every episode for the first 4 series until he settled on "the Master of Mayhem").
- Long Runner: The only individual other than Noel Sharkey who appeared (metaphorically speaking of course) on every incarnation of the show, even the international series. Recordings of his three announcements (see Catch Phrase above) taken from the TV show continue to be used at live events to this day. However, unlike Sharkey, he did not return for the reboot.
- Mission Control: As the show's Director, he was responsible for directing the cameras as well as giving directions to the audience, and it was theorised he also gave orders to the House Roboteers about when and how they were allowed to attack.
- No Pronunciation Guide: It didn't happen often, but McDonald would occasionally mispronounce the name of a bot. Sometimes it wasn't that unusual (he initially pronounced Dantomkia as "Dan-tom-KY-a" for its first few fights before he started to get it right) but there was no excuse for him repeatedly referring to Tsunami as "Tusamni".
- The Voice: As the show's Director, McDonald never appeared on camera, but his voice was heard in every single episode of the show.
- Voice of Dramatic: Definitely. To keep up the tension in the arena, Stuart sometimes removed "The" and numbers from names, so The Morgue's entry would just be his voice stating "Morgue".