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"When I was little, we found a man. He looked like — like, butchered. The old women in the village crossed themselves...and whispered crazy things, strange things. 'El Diablo cazador de hombres.' Only in the hottest years this happens. And this year, it grows hot. We began finding our men. We found them sometimes without their skins...and sometimes much, much worse. 'El que hace trofeos de los hombres' means 'the demon who makes trophies of men'."
Anna, Predator

Predator is a franchise of Action Horror films and comic books that detail individual encounters with an impossibly cool alien species with advanced technology, including a personal invisibility field. The creature likes to hunt aggressive members of other species for sport — and humans fit quite well in this category...

Since the inception in 1987, the Predator has appeared in a large number of movies, comics, novels, video games, and other media. Following an extremely successful comic crossover, many of these works pit the Predator against the Alien to the point that the two are forever linked in the public mind. This trend began in Predator 2, which included a xenomorph skull as an Easter Egg, and was eventually canonized in film. Beyond humans and xenomorphs, multiple comic series have established that the Predator's third favorite prey are superheroes (which rarely works out). The franchise has also inspired many a Predator Pastiche in other series.

Predator franchise media:


Comic books

  • Dark Horse Comics
    • Predator/Predator: Concrete Jungle (1989-1990)
    • Aliens vs. Predator (1990)
    • Predator/Predator: God's Truth (1990)
    • Predator 2 (1991) - Adaptation of the movie
    • Predator: Big Game (1991)
    • Predator: Cold War (1991)
    • Batman versus Predator (1991-1992) - Co-published with DC Comics
      • Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch (1993-1994)
      • Batman versus Predator III: Blood Ties (1997-1998)
    • Predator: The Bloody Sands of Time (1992)
    • Predator: Rite of Passage (1992)
    • Predator versus Magnus Robot Fighter (1992) - Co-published with Valiant Comics
    • Predator: Blood Feud (1992-1993)
    • Predator: Race War (short story) (1992-1993)
      • Predator: Race War (series) (1993)
    • Predator: The Pride at Nghasa (1993)
    • Predator: Bad Blood (short story) (1993)
      • Predator: Bad Blood (series) (1993-1994)
    • Predator: The Hunted City (1993-1994)
    • Predator: Blood on Two-Witch Mesa (1994)
    • Predator: Invaders from the Fourth Dimension (1994)
    • Dark Horse Classics - Predator: Jungle Tales (1995) - Collection of two previously released comics set in Africa: Predator: Rite of Passage and Predator: The Pride at Nghasa.
    • Hunting the Heroes: The Predators Attack! - Crossover event with over Dark Horse Comics' Greatest World lines including:
    • Tarzan versus Predator: At the Earth's Core (1996)
    • Predator: 1718 (1996)
    • Predator: Dark River (1996)
    • Predator: Strange Roux (1996)
    • Predator: Kindred (1996-1997)
    • Predator: No Beast So Fierce (1997)
    • Predator: Hell & Hot Water (1997)
    • Predator: Primal (1997)
    • Predator: Bump in the Night (1997)
    • Predator versus Judge Dredd/Judge Dredd vs. Predator (1997) - Co-published with Egmont Fleetway
    • Predator: Nemesis (1997-1998)
    • Predator: Hell Come a Walkin' (1998)
    • Predator: Captive (1998)
    • Predator: Demon's Gold (1998)
    • Predator: Homeworld (1999)
    • Predator: Xenogenesis (1999)
    • Superman vs. Predator (2000) - Co-published with DC Comics
    • JLA versus Predator (2001) - Co-published with DC Comics
    • Free Comic Book Day: Aliens/Predator (2009)
    • Predator/Predator: Prey to the Heavens (2009-2010)
    • Predators (2010)
    • Predators/Predators: Surviving Life/Predators: Preserve the Game (2010)
    • Predators: Beating the Bullet (2010) - Adaptation of Predators
    • Archie vs. Predator (2015) - Co-published with Archie Comics
    • Predator: Hunters (2017)
      • Predator: Hunters II (2018-2019)
      • Predator: Hunters III (2020)
    • Predator: The Original Screenplay (2020) - Adaptation of James and John Thomas's original script for Predator. Cancelled due to the comics license going to Marvel.
  • Marvel Comics


  • Predator (1987) - Novelization of the movie
  • Predator 2 (1990) - Novelization of the movie
  • Predator: Concrete Jungle (1995) - Novelization of the comic
  • Predator: Cold War (1997) - Novelization of the comic
  • Predator: Big Game (1999) - Novelization of the comic
  • Predator: Forever Midnight (2006)
  • Predator: Flesh and Blood (2007)
  • Predator: Turnabout (2008)
  • Predator: South China Sea (2008)
  • The Rage War (2015-2016)
    • Predator: Incursion
    • Alien: Invasion
    • Alien vs. Predator: Armageddon
  • Predator: If It Bleeds (2017)
  • The Predator: Hunters and Hunted (2018)
  • The Predator (2018) - Novelization of the movie
  • Predator: Stalking Shadows (2020)
  • Predator: Eyes of the Demon (2022)

Tabletop Game

  • Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game (2015)
  • Predator: Partida de Caza (2018)

Video games

  • Predator (1987)
  • Predator 2 (1991)
  • Predator 2 (Master System) (1992)
  • Predator 2 (Genesis) (1992)
  • Predator (2004)
  • Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005)
  • Predator: The Duel (2007)
  • Predators (Angry Mob Games) (2010)
  • Predators (Gameloft) (2010)
  • Predator: Hunting Grounds (2020)
  • Predator VR (TBA)

Video games with Predator DLC

  • Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013) - A Predator was added as playable character in the Devastation DLC in April 2014.
  • Mortal Kombat X (2015) - A Predator was added as a playable fighter character in a Kombat Pack DLC in July 2015.
  • Fortnite Battle Royale (2017) - A Predator was added as a NPC to the map in 2021 that can be killed to use its cloak and unlock Predator skins.
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) - An event began December 14, 2017 which has the Ghosts investigating several brutal killings in the forested areas of Bolivia before encountering a Predator.

Related franchises

General franchise tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Most everything sharp the Predators use has one of these, although its justified because they're aliens using unknown materials in their construction. Played straight in Predators however with Royce's machete.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Predators clearly enjoy hunting humans too much. How much so depends on the film or comic.
  • Alien Blood: "If it bleeds, we can kill it." A very bright, phosphorescent green, too.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: In situations where the Predator fights against another evil character, the Predator is often portrayed more as sympathetic for good reasons.
  • Ammunition Backpack: Blaine and Nikolai's miniguns in the first and third movies and the nitrogen guns Keyes' team uses in the second movie.
  • An Aesop: The first two movies, according to Word of Godinvoked, have the subtext that hunting for sport is a bad thing. Think hunting animals for sport is fun... how does it feel when the tables are turned and a more advanced race of aliens hunts us humans for sport?
  • An Arm and a Leg: Each movie features someone losing a limb.
  • Asshole Victim: Quite a few people killed by the Predators proved to be unpleasant people.
    • The first film had Dillion, who tricked Dutch and the rest of his team into thinking the mission was a rescue rather than an assassination, and in fact view the team as "expendable assets."
    • The second film had criminals (ranging from Columbian and Jamaican mobs to a street gang on a subway) and the shady Agent Keyes.
    • The third film had Death Row inmate Stans (whose death was noted as a combination of Heroic Sacrifice, Face Death with Dignity, Defiant to the End and Redemption Equals Death), RUF member Mombasa, serial killer Edwin, Fallen Hero Noland and cartel enforcer Cuchillo.
  • Badass Normal: What everyone against the Predators is by practicality. In fact, the Predators are actively searching for these to provide the best sport.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Predators sometimes use their explosive wrist bracelets to blow themselves up before they die. Often, it's done for practical reasons rather than spite. For example, blowing up an area to prevent a xenomorph infestation from getting out of control, or to prevent their technology from falling into the hands of their prey.
  • BFG: Ol' Painless. Also lampshaded in the second movie: when selecting from an array of firearms (including an oversized handgun) Harrigan discards most of them, saying they are too small, preferring the Desert Eagle; El Scorpio's armory of ordinance also counts. There's a gatling gun in the third film as well!
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The Predators are mostly humanoid in appearance with slimy reptilian skin, similarly reptilian feet, and clawed hands. They have no visible ears or noses and have a sharp-toothed face with four mandibles instead of a conventional mouth, capped off by dreadlock flesh tendrils and glowing green blood.
    • Bizarre Alien Senses: The title aliens have infrared vision. This is depicted onscreen by coloring what they see based on the temperature of objects: black = cold, white = hot, and other colors in between.
      • They actually see in the near infrared, not thermal infrared. Without their helmet, they can easily detect heat differentials in their surroundings but are unable to easily distinguish among objects of the same relative temperature. Their helmet includes circuitry that filters out ambient heat, allowing them to see things with greater clarity and detail (represented in the movie by using a thermal infrared camera). Coincidentally, if you've ever wondered why nothing on earth has developed anything similar, it's because that, as far as the eye's pigment molecules are concerned, light energy and heat energy are pretty much the same thing. The long-short is that if we saw in the infrared, our eyes would be completely overwhelmed by heat signatures being misinterpreted as light sources.
    • Predator: South China Sea suggests that Yautja "dreadlocks" are actually sensory structures, assisting the Predators' agility with a superhumanly-keen sense of balance and spatial orientation.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All of the films involve the protagonists overcoming the alien villains at a high cost with Predators being the most bittersweet.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Generally averted, as the black characters are some of the last to die in the original film and Predator 2's and AVP's black protagonists survive. Narrowly averted in Predators, as Mombasa and Noland die SECOND and third, respectively..
  • Blood Knight: The whole reason the Predators institute their hunts in the first place.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The Predators live by a code that endorses hunting intelligent life-forms but condemns killing non-threatening or pregnant beings, children, and their own kind.
    • Apart from the "hunting intelligent life" bit, the Predators' code is recognizably similar to that of real-life sport hunters. There's no challenge in hunting prey that can't or is unlikely to put up a good fight: the very young, the very old, the sick or weakened, the unarmed. Killing too many pregnant females means no hunting stock, so most hunters don't on general principle if they can help it.
  • Boom, Headshot!: The Predator does this on occasion.
  • Bond One-Liner: An Arnie staple that carried over to the other films.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Machine guns and Manpack miniguns which should run dry in seconds even with the Ammunition Backpack, and sawed-off pump shotguns that somehow hold at least nine shells, the list goes on. Subverted in Predators, where the human party runs low on ammunition after their encounter with Predator hounds.
  • Butter Face: Gender-Inverted. With their decidedly non-human appearance, there's a seeming reason the Predators wear their helmets, which makes this a rare case where the monster falls into this trope.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Hawkins from the first and Jerry Lambert in the second are astoundingly bad at telling jokes to people.
  • Cat Scare: Occurs in the first two films with Blain's death and the theft of his body and Harrigan being surprised by birds in the second.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: The Predator's camouflage armor works this way.
  • Cool Guns: Quite a large number of these appear in the films, on both the human and Predator sides.
  • Cool Helmet: The Predators wear these whenever they're hunting.
  • Cool Starship: The Predators use invisible starships.
  • Covered in Mud: The standard method of avoiding thermal detection.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The Predators seem to have equipment to deal with almost every situation, and when they don't, you can expect this will be corrected in the next generation; the Predator from the first movie had a medical kit in case he would be shot; the one from the second movie had a multiple vision visor in case humans would figure out a way to escape his heat vision; the ones from the Alien vs. Predator movies had equipment treated to resist Xenomorph's blood and an acid used to remove tracks of their existence; the ones from Predators had a self-destruct function in their ship that could be activated remotely should the humans try to steal it to escape the planet; and the list goes on.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Predators keep the skulls of the quarry they kill. A more subdued example is present in how many seem to wear bones as part of their armor or as necklaces.
  • Crossover: Multiple comic book miniseries: Batman vs. Predator, Superman vs. Predator, JLA vs. Predator, Superman and Batman vs. Aliens and Predators. (Also counts as an Intercontinuity Crossover since Predator and Aliens comics were published by Dark Horse Comics.) Also, Judge Dredd vs. Predator, and Tarzan versus Predator: At the Earth's Core
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Dutch and his crew trounce the guerrillas in the first film. The Predator in turn picks off Dutch's team one by one. Even in the final battle, where Dutch and the Predator fight hand-to-hand, the Predator would have easily beaten Dutch to death if he hadn't lured the alien into a trap.
  • Daylight Horror: Mostly in the first and third movies. The Predators use their cloaking devices to hide in broad daylight, killing their prey in gruesome ways.
  • Deadly Disc: The Smart Disc and Shuriken weapons used by the Predators, most notably the ones in Predator 2 and the Alien Vs. Predator films.
  • Depending on the Writer: How good or evil the Predators are largely depends on what direction the story is taking.
  • Desecrating the Dead: Normally subverted: while what Predators do to their victims is barbaric by human standards, to the Predators even the skinning of a victim is meant as a show of respect and taking the skull is an acknowledgment of a Worthy Opponent (not unlike a human hunter mounting a particularly impressive beast's head on his own wall). Played Straight when it comes to Predators who violate their honor code and kill innocents or those incapable of fighting back; these renegades are hunted down, killed, have their bodies desecrated, and have their heads thrown away rather than collected (making it a dishonor).
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Both Predator and Predators spent quite a long time with only the humans, although this manages to work better than most films, as even the doomed protagonists get some action scenes beforehand, and that in turn makes the Predators look more badass for disposing of them.
  • Dishonored Dead: Predators who break their rules of honor (Such as those who hunt defenseless beings), according to material outside of the movies at least, are hunted down, have their bodies dismembered and desecrated, and have their heads simply disposed of rather than being kept as a trophy like they do with most of their kills.
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • Predator refers to the Yautja antagonists, but it also applies to the protagonists, who are soldiers (or policeman in Mike's case) with combat experience.
    • Same goes for Prey albeit in the opposite direction. Whichever character is the prey depends on perspective.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: For all their vaunted honor code, this is what the Predators really are when you boil it down; a race whose sole drive is to explore the galaxy, find the nastiest critters they can, then kill them to prove their own toughness, and be able to brag about what badasses they are. That they destroy their technology and everything around them because their prey might use their technology against them makes sense but it's also telling that they don't simply not hunt species that can do that, the trophies are worth risking it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Yautja typically do not hunt the weak/sick, helpless, and/or innocent. In the Expanded Universe, Predators without honor are hunted, their bodies dismembered and desecrated, and their heads disposed of, as opposed to being kept as a trophy. It's also shown that they check their targets; one identifies a toy gun in the second film, and refrains from killing a pregnant woman, even though she had been armed moments earlier.
    • In Predator 2, after Harrigan defeats the Predator in hand to hand combat, the Predator's colleagues don't attempt to enact vengeance upon him; they let him leave and even reward him with a trophy.
    • Killing children seems to be a special no-no for them. In one of the comics, a Yautja arrives in a town during the 1950's and is discovered by a child, who takes some of the Predator's weapons (small bombs that deliver an electric shock). The hunter wants them back and pretty much chases the boy through town and into a drive-in movie theater; all the while, the resourceful boy uses the Yautja's own weapons he took against him and takes cars to drive away. The Predator considers the child to be quite cunning and genuinely enjoys hunting him down, but never kills or even harms him, stating that he was not "sanctified for the hunt".
    • In another comic, a group of Nazis slaughter a small village and tie up a boy's hands, forcing him to show them some hidden treasure. Upon finding it, they attempt to kill the boy, only to be slaughtered themselves by a Yautja, who then goes towards the boy and cuts the ropes binding his hands before taking his leave.
    • In yet another comic, an abusive man forces his son to go hunting with him in the woods, and during the night, the boy discovers a Yautja killing his father. The Yautja stops for a moment to go to the boy and gently wipe off the blood that splattered onto the boy's face before returning to deal with the father's corpse.
    • Aliens vs. Predator has a group of young Predators on their first Alien hunt when things go pear-shaped due to the presence of a human colony on the chosen hunting ground. Their hunt leader, Broken Tusk, is injured by a human, and the young Predators left to their own devices begin hunting indiscriminately, killing Aliens, armed humans, unarmed humans, even attempting to kill one human child on-page (and from the mass of skulls in one Predator's bag, it's implied they successfully killed other children off-page). The colonists recovered Broken Tusk's comatose body and nurse him back to health; when he sees what his charges have been up to, he seems to pretty much wash his hands of them, fighting one directly to save the life of the doctor who'd helped him (she was armed, but obviously not a fighter) and leaving the others to die as he teams up with the book's human protagonist to end the Alien threat. The comic leaves it ambiguous if this was the result of the young Predators being blinded by visions of honor and glory or rage at the humans for destroying their ship and gravely wounding their huntmaster.
    • In Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, Wolf (the Predator cleaning up the mess) is searching for his next mess to clean up, and sees one of our main characters, her daughter, and a red shirt. The red shirt is armed, but Wolf dismisses them, since he's not on a hunt, he's preventing contamination of Earth by Xenomorphs and Predator tech. When the red shirt threatens the kid with his pistol, however, Wolf unceremoniously blows his head off with his plasma caster.
    • It seems more along the lines of actual real life hunting when it comes to children and pregnant women, generally hunters try not to kill the young or females due to not wanting to depopulate your prey. But the gentleness is probably due to them knowing we are a sentient species.
      • That said, do not piss off a Predator after it decides to leave you alone. Charles Bishop Weyland in Alien vs. Predator learned that the hard way after he decided to improvise a flamethrower against one that had its back to him, who had let him go seconds earlier after realizing he was gravely ill from lung cancer. (Though a common interpretation is that the Predator viewed this attack as a demand by Weyland to be considered worthy prey and die an honorable death, and the Predator was only too happy to oblige.)
    • The Concrete Jungle comic has a hunting expedition going so bad that it evolves into outright battle between Predators on one side and the NYPD, army, and drug cartels fighting in the streets of New York City. Though the Predators get the upper hand, they stop the slaughter and pack up their things, take their dead, and leave. The main character realizes that they never wanted to fight a war or invade Earth; they were here for the hunt, and the moment it turned into something else they had no interest for it.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: Most movies end with anyone of nominal importance being killed, except for the lone survivor who puts up the best overall resistance.
  • Evil Is Bigger: It started with 7'2" (2.18 m) Kevin Peter Hall, and every Predator ever since has been a towering beast (and to think average sized Jean-Claude Van Damme could've been the first actor in the role).
  • Fair-Play Villain: The Predators have standards, see Even Evil Has Standards for more. Though they still give themselves an impressive advantage over their chosen prey, just not usually an overwhelming one. Some EU materials cite a standard practice of matching the prey weapon for weapon: if hunting humans (who have guns), Predators can bring their shoulder cannons and other plasma guns. If hunting Aliens, they should stick to melee weapons (and perhaps one inefficient ranged weapon).
    • In some portrayals, they've notably giving themselves a handicap by NOT using the most advanced technology at their disposal. Yautja Military units wear powered armor and wield even more powerful weaponry that can kill multiple foes simultaneously.
    • It's worth nothing that the Predator in Prey (2022) is using a handheld weapon that, while still laser-guided, fires flechettes rather than the standard plasma caster model to take on Comanches who are armed with bows and arrows and French trappers wielding primitive musket-style arms.
    • Likewise, when Hanzo challenges one to a duel in Predators with just his katana, the Predator honors him by shedding its cloaking and its shoulder cannon and just using its wrist blades.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: If a Yaautja breaks the honor code and starts hunting down children or other defenseless quarry, they'll be branded an outcast, hunted down like a dog and rather having the honor of being commemorated or even taken as a trophy, their corpse will be desecrated and the head destroyed. It's basically the Yautja version of a fallen Viking/Norseman being denied entry into Valhalla because of some unspeakable act they committed while alive.
  • Flaying Alive: The Predators skin some of their opponents. A subversion as they do this AFTER the victim has died.
  • Gatling Good: The first and third movies feature characters wielding these as their weapons of choice.
  • Genius Bruiser: Varying slightly in portrayals but generally played straight. They are intelligent enough to adapt to multiple situations, are capable of roughly triangulating the path and origin of projectiles on the fly, and manipulating situations to their advantage (such as the gang war in LA). Also par the course for an interstellar race that has optical camouflage, nano-molecular blades, and energy weapons.
  • Gorn: The Predator is best known for blasting, skinning, and decapitating foes, after all. The second movie notably had to be re-cut because it had so much gore initially.
  • Guns Akimbo: The first two films prominently feature characters dual wielding, the most ridiculous example being Poncho using a machine gun and grenade launcher at once during the shootout with the Predator.
  • Gun Porn: All of the films feature quite the variety of guns with a loving amount of attention. The first movie parodied it with one of its most famous scenes involving the protagonists unloading a large amount of firepower on the Predator in the jungle, only to hit nothing.
  • Helmet-Mounted Sight:
    • In the original film, the Predator's Shoulder Cannon moves in sync with its helmet.
    • Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem: The Predator installs a second plasmacaster on the other shoulder, although both are controlled by the same sight.
    • Prey (2022): The Predator changes out the plasmacaster for an arrow that tracks based on the helmet-mounted sight. Naru then defeats the Predator by stealing the helmet and propping it up so that the sight is aimed right at the Predator's head. When the Predator launches an arrow, it kills the Predator instead of her.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The jolting sound that accompanies the visual transition to Predvision.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Billy in Predator, Jerry Lambert in Predator 2, and Hanzo in Predators.
  • Humans Are Special:
    • One of the reasons the Predators seem to enjoy hunting humans is that our sheer lack of physical and/or and technological advantages compared to them means we have to resort to being very ingenious when it comes to finding ways to track down and kill our opponents. In short... we cheat.
    • In expanded universe material, this really gets played up: Predators honor humans as the "Pyode Amedah", meaning the "Soft Meat", and we are considered one of the two greatest trophy-species to hunt. The only other one of comparable importance are the "Kainde Amedah", or the "Hard Meat"... which we humans know as xenomorphs. That's right; Predators think humans are (at least potentially) such badasses that they actually get into arguments about whether or not we are greater quarry than a race of acid-blooded Lightning Bruiser monsters.
    • The Aliens vs Predator novels pretty much outright state that humans are greater quarry (at least when the Yautja rigidly follows the hunting code, and chooses worthy humans). They use Xenomorphs as their training prey for new, unblooded warriors... but you have to be a distinguished hunter and apply for special permission to hunt "Soft Meat".
  • Humans Are Warriors: The reason why the Predators sees the humans as excellent game.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Yautja hunt many life-forms that are intelligent and can give them a worthy hunt through ingenious methods of combat or survival.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: On a military level. Some works establish that the reason the Predators' technology never seems to advance is because the ones we see are big game hunters and the tech used to hunt is what is considered "sporting". When shit hits the fan, they break out the literal big guns and get serious.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Justified. The Predators will not kill children or infants due to their rigid code of honor; no killing something that can't or is too unlikely to defend itself. In one comic a Predator leader kills a younger hunter because said rookie decided to take a little kid as a trophy.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: One of the Predator's preferred killing methods.
  • Impending Doom P.O.V.: The audience often sees the Predator's victims from the Predator's POV, normally in infrared.
  • Implacable Man: Even without their armor, Predators can take a hell of a beating before going down.
  • Improbable Cover: In the first film, Dutch lives through a small nuclear (?) explosion at close range because he ducked behind some cover. In the second film, Lieutenant Harrigan survives the exhaust blast of a Predator ship taking off by doing the same thing.
  • Inescapable Net: The nets in the series are quite effective, but that's also because they automatically contract on the target and are apparently made out of something like piano wire, so targets are less incapacitated and more cubed.
  • Invisibility Flicker: The Predator does it while cloaked.
  • Ironic Echo: The Predator likes doing this by repeating what it hears from its victims to their friends.
  • Laser Sight: Pretty much any time the Predator uses its Shoulder Cannon.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Dutch preparing primitive weapons and covering himself with mud in Predator and Harrigan preparing to fight the Predator in Predator 2.
  • Low Culture, High Tech: The Yautja hunters utilise Energy Weapons, cloaking devices and advanced metallurgy. However their society seems to be tribal in nature and directed entirely towards ritualized hunting and warfare.
    • Some sources claim this is because the Yautja at some point in their history beat back a planetary invasion from a more advanced species and scavenged some of their technology without a full understanding of what makes it work.
    • Other sources claim they do develop their own technology but they have become so fixated on hunting that they've become stagnant and have made no meaningful improvement for centuries.
    • Another interpretation is that they really are more advanced, but don't use anything beyond what we have seen so far while hunting because it wouldn't be considered "sporting".
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Particularly heavy in the third film with the Predator hounds and Noland's death.
  • Machete Mayhem: Used heavily in the first and third films.
  • Made of Iron: The Predators take quite a bit of damage before going down, the City Hunter in particular warrants mention as it survives being doused with liquid nitrogen, shotgunned in the body multiple times, loses an arm and then crashes into a building before finally necessitating medical attention.
  • Monster Threat Expiration: The Predator... the first one systematically hunts down and kills an entire elite special forces unit, only losing due to a conveniently placed trap shortly before it could kill Arnold. In Predator 2, although it does do quite a number on drug gangs and attains a higher kill count, as soon as Danny Glover manages to track it down (he is a very well-armed cop), he has it on the ropes, lops off one of its arms, and kills it with its own weapon.
  • More Dakka: Spades of it, in fact.
    • Predator. After Blain is killed, there is potentially the most Dakka in one scene in cinema history. It's still not enuff.
    • Predator 2. The Colombians use grenade launchers on the LAPD and go to an armory filled with heavy firepower but are prevented from utilizing it due to the Predator's arrival. Later when the Predator attacks the Jamaicans in the Columbian drug lord's apartment, they unload a huge amount of firepower at once.
    • Predators has it when the hunted humans unload a huge amount of lead on attacking Predator hounds.
  • Neck Lift: A Predator does it to Dutch in Predator and to police officer Leona in Predator 2.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: When the Predator in the second film had Harrigan pinned down, Keyes, who was thought to have been blown up earlier, leaps in, saying the fight is between him and the Predator, only for the Predator to slice him in half without much difficulty. Considering he was a Jerkass however, it's not hard to feel whether or not the moment was truly wasted.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: The Predators only hunt those who would make good sport, and will not harm those who are clearly not fighters: sick, elderly, young, with child, etc. However, they tend to make exceptions if the siutation demands it, as their hunting code is not strictly done out of compassion.
    • The sick guy in AVP: Alien vs. Predator was ignored at first, but his willingness to fight despite being heavily outmatched and his ingenuity in improvising a weapon elevated him to "worthy kill". Plus, he set the Predator on fire... honor or not, that's going to tick you off!
    • There was also the dude that stumbled across the Predator in the woods in Requiem, but then again, that wasn't a question of killing for sport so much as it was a question of leaving no witnesses. After all, his code-name, besides being called Wolf, was "The Cleaner".
    • Predators who break this rule without good reason, however, are considered monsters by Predator standards and according to Expanded Universe, hunted down, killed, and their bodies desecrated.
  • Nightmare Face: What the Predators look like without their helmets.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: The Predator mask can see in several vision modes, but not the visible spectrum. Interestingly, the director went to the effort of getting hold of a real infrared camera for the Predvision sequences... And found it was practically useless in a steaming tropical jungle, hence the false coloured Predvision in the actual movie.)
    • The first movie also displays this, kind of. When the Predator takes off his mask for the final battle, we see a shot from his point of view as the previous blue/black-with-highlighted-creatures view becomes red with heat, though he can still make out his target. The mask must filter out the ambient heat to make it easier to see.
    • The Men in Black in the second movie realize that the Preds can see in heat mode...but they assume that they can ONLY see in heat mode. It... ended badly. Had they realized that there was a creaky staircase in the slaughterhouse, things might've gone differently. The Predator can hear perfectly well and wouldn't have switched to its other vision modes if they had replaced the staircase earlier.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Despite the formula giving one token main female character and the main hero per movie, thus far non of them have had a confirmed romance arc.
  • Noble Demon: The Predators might fall under this, especially the one in the second movie and the Classic Predator in the third.
    • Also from the third movie, the one that Hanzo faces one-on-one apparently has a knowledge/appreciation for bushido.
  • Non-Indicative Name: A predator hunts to eat, not for sport. This is lampshaded by The Predator.
  • Not of This Earth: Each film has the protagonists recognize what they're dealing with via some sort of contact (The Predator's blood in the first, the non-earthly composition of its spear weapon in the second and the reveal of the Alien Sky in the third).
  • Not Quite Dead: Combined with their Made of Iron bodies, the Predators pull this off with surprising regularity.
  • No Waterproofing in the Future: The Predator's cloaking device fails after he falls in a river (1st movie) and while walking in water and under water sprays (2nd movie). Possibly justified as the Predator's cloaking device bends light around it to work and the reflective nature of the water would certainly hinder its purpose.
  • Off with His Head!: Predators tend to decapitate their victims so they can collect their skulls. The traditional spine removal is along these lines.
  • Oh, Crap!: In the first film by Dutch, just as he realizes the Predator isn't going to walk into his trap. In the second by the Predator, no less, just before Harrigan cuts its hand (with the self-destruct) off.
  • Outrun the Fireball: In the first movie, it's the Predator's Self-Destruct Mechanism; in Predator 2, the ship's take-off exhaust (and a Shout-Out to the first movie's scene). In Predators, the team has to outrun the blast caused by Nicholai's heroic sacrifice.
  • People in Rubber Suits: The Predator (aside from the heavily mutated and thus computer-generated Ultimate Predator from The Predator) is always played by really tall men in suits.
  • Phrase Catcher: The unmasked creature warrants the comment "You're one ugly motherfucker!" in every film. This is referenced in the first Aliens vs. Predator when a character uses the same line on a Xenomorph. By then, she had done an Enemy Mine with the Predator, so refrained from saying such to him.
  • Plasma Cannon: The Predators' distinctive plasma casters with the triangular laser sights.
  • Precision F-Strike: The famous "ugly motherfucker" line used one way or another in all films.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: The Smart Disc and Shuriken weapons.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner
    • Predator — Dutch (after knocking down a door): Knock knock!
    • Predator 2 — Harrigan: That's right motherfucker, SHIT HAPPENS!
    • Predators — Nikolai: (Spits on mask) (In Russian) You're one ugly motherfucker!note 
    • The Predator; "What the hell are you? Shut the fuck up."
  • Proud Hunter Race: The Predators are the Trope Maker. Their culture revolves around a ritualized hunt of the most dangerous lifeforms in the universe — humans and xenomorphs, for the most part. They have an entire arsenal of highly memorable exotic weapons (from their wristblades to the giant shuriken to the shoulder mounted particle beam with the famous triangular laser sight), are highly advanced technologically (with the later-obligatory cloaking device, which they more or less introduced to cinema, and the sensor mask that has become synonymous with them) and are so obsessed with honor that they will kill a member of their race who doesn't play fair with the prey and, when a human defeats one of them in a duel, they ritually gift the human with the defeated hunter's spear.
    • Predator — Dutch: "He didn't kill you because you weren't armed. No sport."
    • Predator 2: After Harrigan kills the Predator, other Predators appear but don't kill him. Instead, one of them tosses Harrigan a gun from 1715 — taken as a trophy during a previous hunt. Also note that the antagonist Predator is an honorable warrior who does not murder children or pregnant women, even if they are an armed threat to it.
  • Rated M for Manly: The original movie has one of the manliest casts ever assembled. The sequels never try matching it, but make every character into a strong fighter to compensate. And there's always blood and amusing quips to guarantee the testosterone flow.
  • Retractable Weapon: All Predators use a pair of retractable wrist-blades. The one in Predator 2 and most subsequent media has a retractable staff/spear.
  • Scary Black Man: Mac, in the first film. Double subverted in that, for most of his screen time, he's scared shitless himself... but after his Heroic BSoD, he's downright terrifying. Played straight in Predator 2 where Scary Black Men include the main character, the Jamaican gangsters, and their leader King Willie (the last more because his voodoo belief and behavior than his physical strength}. Mombasa and Noland from Predators also play into this as well.
  • The Scream: People tend to often scream before the Predator gets them.
  • See the Invisible: The Predator's cloaking device bends light around, so while it's harder to see, it's not truly invisible.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Played straight in Predator, subverted in Predator 2 when Harrigan stops the countdown by cutting the device in half, having heard that it could blow up over three hundred city blocks.
  • Socially Unacceptable Collection: Predators collect skulls of the prey they hunt, there are two kinds of Predators, the regular kind and the so called Black Predators who are less like hunters and more like serial killers, the collections of the former aren't this trope but the latter are because by the standards of mainstream Predator culture they collect "normal" trophies while Black Predators collect trophies from creatures who can't fight back like children, which normal Predators find dishonorable.
  • Sore Loser: The Predator himself, in the first two films. Upon being beaten, both attempt to self-destruct and take out their defeaters in the process, complete with an Evil Laugh and a potentially sarcastic "Shit happens!" respectively.
  • Slasher Movie: The high concept of the original movie is putting 'roided-up Rated M for Manly 80s action heroes in the position of the victims in a slasher movie. It even makes Arnold Schwarzenegger, of all people, the Final Girl!
  • Sorting Algorithm of Mortality: Predator, Predator 2, Predators and The Predator all have casts filled with numerous badass men... and a lone woman. No prizes for guessing which characters are guaranteed to survive. Averted by the Alien vs. Predator films which both have multiple female roles, allowing some of them to become victims too. Also averted in Predator 2, when the City Hunters kills all of the armed commuters, male or female (there's a POV shot of the Predator breaking the neck of an armed elderly woman), during the train shootout.
  • Sound-Only Death: Billy and Danny scream off screen as they're slaughtered by the Predator.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Unsurprisingly, the Predators. Once they've chosen someone as prey they don't stop until they or the prey is dead.
  • The Stoner: The drug gangs in the second film. Stans is implied to be this in Predators as being stranded on an alien planet doesn't give one much room for drug use.
  • Time Abyss: A minor example, but the ending of Predator 2 implies that the Predators can live for centuries; the old but spry looking creature gives Harrigan a flintlock pistol made in 1715. This is something canonised in the comic books and novels.
  • Unusual Weapon Mounting: The Predator's iconic laser-aimed shoulder-mounted Plasmacaster. The laser sight in the Predator's mask guides the servo-turret mount, meaning that the Predator can aim and fire while keeping its hands free.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: Though the Predators do have a personal code of honor, that code could be more a combination of hunting practicalities (don't kill pregnant females lest there be no prey left to hunt - Whether their code involves compassion or not is not mentioned in commentary for Predator 2) and bragging rights, and so when no really corrupt human beings are involved, they usually fit the bill as villains of the piece. The plot of the series boils down to "Predator comes to a technologically inferior society of sapient beings to kill them for bragging rights until those the audience may root for fight back enough". Furthermore, the Expanded Universe suggests that Predators actually breed Aliens on purpose, and have deliberately scattered them across the galaxy (though they at least have the decency to usually kill them off before they spread out of control). They may not have been the ones who created the Xenomorphs, but the fact that they spread such a massively destructive species for greater hunting convenience makes them highly complicit in all the damage that xenomorphs do.
  • Visible Invisibility: The Predator's cloaking device makes him less visible, not invisible. It is easier to see in motion and it also shorts out in water.
  • Wingdinglish: The display on the Predator's Self-Destruct Mechanism is in unreadable alien numbers, but it's very obviously a countdown.
  • World of Badass: Applies to everyone. Also justified as the Predators never hunt people that can't defend themselves.
  • World of Ham: Naturally in play with Schwarzenegger involved, although others such as the drug dealers and DEA in the sequel and Noland in Predators get their fair share in, and The Predator has a bus full of people who were on the way to the loony bin. The Predators aren't exactly subtle with their tendency to roar and ironically quote victims, particularly the first one with its evil laugh.
  • Worthy Opponent: Happens to both Schaeffer and Harrigan when their respective Predator foe acknowledges their combat ability. It ends up with the Predator removing its mask and armor and challenging them under more even circumstances. For Schaeffer it was outsmarting the Predator with the mud-smear and taking down his cloaking device. For Harrigan the only reason the hunter selected him was seeing him pull off a one-man takedown against a gang of better-armed thugs. Explicitly shown with the other Predators' reaction to Harrigan after he manages to take the one hunting him down. Also occurs in Predators with Hanzo, who challenges a Predator to a sword/blade fight. The Predator drops his cloaking and weapons.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: As stated above, killing children is especially forbidden to them, and at times they will even go out of their way to protect and/or show kindness towards a child (this is seen once in a while in comics). Any Yautja who decides to hunt children is seen as utterly deplorable and lacking of honor, and they are punished with being hunted down to the death and the desecration of their corpse.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: As they are an honor bound race of hunters, killing unarmed and defenseless people is a no-no to them, as they provide no sport and it's simply not a challenge.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Vs. the Predator: Billy in Predator, Jerry Lambert in Predator 2, Nikolai and Hanzo in Predators.



Video Example(s):


Predator vs Grizzly Bear

After being cornered by an angry Grizzly Bear, Naru is saved by a ''much'' bigger danger.

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / VillainousRescue

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