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Literature / Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot

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Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot (formerly Ricky Ricotta's Giant Robot) is a series of children's adventure novels written by Dav Pilkey (best known for his Captain Underpants books). The original run of books was illustrated by Martin Ontiveros, but the rebooted series is illustrated by Dan Santat.

The books are based around a mouse named Ricky Ricotta and his mighty robot. Once an Episode, the duo defeats a Monster of the Week from a different planet in the Solar System coinciding with its Alliterative Name. (In fact, the planets are in order from closest-to-furthest from the Sun excluding Earth, which is where the first book's villain is from.) Each book ends with the villain being thrown into jail alongside the other villains in the series. The books also incorporate the "Flip-O-Rama" mechanism from Captain Underpants for quote-unquote "action scenes".


The series was formerly called Ricky Ricotta's Giant Robot, which Pilkey used when he published the first three books. Young readers were quick to point out that the robot was only giant in relation to Ricky Ricotta's size (if he is 12 times taller than a mouse, he's only about 2.5 feet tall) and suggested that the adjective be eschewed for "mighty", which Pilkey did.

After the Book o' Fun (also taken from Captain Underpants) was released, the series went into a seven-year hiatus. In October 2013, it was announced that the series was due for a rebooting with a new artist, Promoted Fanboy Dan Santat, who not only re-illustrated the whole series but also illustrated two long-awaited remaining books not published during the Ontiveros era.



  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot (2000)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitoes from Mercury (2000)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus (2001)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha Monkeys from Mars (2002)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Jurassic Jackrabbits from Jupiter (2002)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn (2003)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Uranium Unicorns from Uranus (2005)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Astro-Activity Book o' Fun (2006)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Naughty Night Crawlers from Neptune (2015)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Un-Pleasant Penguins from Pluto (2016)

These books contain examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Every book title besides the first one, after the "vs." part.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Inverted with the Robot. It was built and programmed to destroy the city but it refused to do so, and turns good instead, protecting the city thereafter.
  • Alliterative Name: Ricky Ricotta.
    • Also, the villains starting with Mr. Mosquito.
  • Annoying Younger Cousin: Lucy, who, as Ricky puts it, is "a little pest!"
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Grow-Big Gumballs used by Sergeant Stinkbug causes anybody who eats them to grow bigger, eventually reaching gigantic proportions.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animals: Many of the mice aren't seen with any footwear.
  • Bathroom Break-Out: Ricky does this to escape Mr. Mosquito to help Mighty Robot fight back (since Ricky's capture is the only thing preventing his Mighty Robot from fighting back).
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In Uranium Unicorns from Uranus, Ricky, easily annoyed by his robot's gigantic size given that he's a little mouse, makes a wish at night that the Robot should find another friend his own size so he won't have to hang out with him all the time. However, it turns out his wish has inspired a plan by the villains, who sent a giant Ladybot to fight with the Robot. Thus, Ricky changes his mind about his wish and ventures out to get his Robot back from the Ladybot.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Lucy, again.
  • Berserker Tears: Lucy's reaction to being told by Ricky that if they don't destroy the evil robot in book 7 that there will be no more sweets in the world. Lucy does NOT take that well.
  • Big "NO!": In Mecha Monkeys from Mars, Ricky shouts this after finding out his robot was kidnapped.
  • Bully Hunter: Ricky becomes one in the first book after saving the robot from Dr. McNasty.
  • Catchphrase: "It's about to get much worse" for Ricky, which he says when each main villain is defeated and complaining that their day can't get any worse, before they're then sent to prison.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Every book in the series ends with the villain getting thrown in jail next to the villains from the previous books. Uncle Unicorn noted it was getting crowded once he was tossed in there.
  • Continuity Reboot: Went through one in 2014 after a 7-year hiatus.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In the first book, the Robot's evil creator, Dr. McNasty, tries to punish him by zapping him after he refuses to destroy Squeakyville. But then the Robot was saved by Ricky...
  • Edible Theme Naming: Ricky's last name was based on cheese (get it?).
    • So are all the other mice in Ricky's town.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Robot himself.
  • Everytown, America: Squeakyville.
  • Four-Fingered Hands
  • Fossil Revival: General Jackrabbit uses his DNA with fossil skulls to create the Jurassic Jackrabbits. Sounds a lot like Jurassic Park.
  • Funny Animal: The entire cast save the Robot.
  • Gentle Giant: The Robot.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: The first seven books will be rereleased in May, July, and August 2014, with new full-color artwork by Dan Santat, who will also do the artwork for the next two books.
  • Humble Kid Hero: Ricky.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Robot, again. Note that this is only in relation to a mouse, in human size, he's only 2.5 feet.
    • Rodents of Unusual Size: ...whose head looks vaguely like a mouse.
    • On the villains's side, there's the Major Monkey's Orangu-Tron in "Mecha-Monkeys from Mars" and Uncle Unicorn's Ladybot in "Uranium Unicorns from Uranus".
  • Hypno Ray: There's one built by the villains in Voodoo Vultures from Venus to hypnotize everyone in Squeakyville to give them all of the town's food supply. Then the villains from Uranium Unicorns from Uranus build one to make the Robot fall in love.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Ricky in the first book.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control
  • Landfill Beyond the Stars: In this series, the planet Saturn has become a massive dumping ground due to all the stinkbugs making it so. If you've read the story, you'll see exactly what we mean. Uranus is also one, with Uncle Unicorn having turned the planet into a radioactive waste dump.
  • Mad Scientist: Every single villain.
  • Mass Hypnosis: In Voodoo Vultures from Venus, the eponymous vultures hypnotize the citizens of Squeakyville into giving them all of their food.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: The citizens of Squeakyville in Voodoo Vultures from Venus, and the Robot in Uranium Unicorns from Uranus. They all have the spiral-eyed variation.
  • Nice Mice: Ricky and most of the other Squeakyville citizens.
  • Once per Episode: The Robot fighting the villains and throwing the chief one to jail.
  • Pluto Is Expendable: Scientists in Squeakyville no longer considering Pluto a "real" planet is President Penguin's motivation for attacking Earth.
  • Punny Name: Ricky's full name is a play on both the word "ricotta"note  and the name of actor Desi Arnaz's character, Ricky Ricardo, from the show I Love Lucy.
  • Put on a Prison Bus: Every book ends with the Villain of the Week getting locked up in the same prison building, which gets increasingly full as the series goes on- and just so happens to have nine windows for all nine villains.
  • Shout-Out: One book features "Hate Potion #9", a reference to the song "Love Potion No. 9".
  • Show Within a Show: "Rocket Rodent" in Voodoo Vultures from Venus. It was Ricky's favorite show. The titular character is similar to Sparkster.
  • Shrinking Violet: Ricky himself.
  • Solar System Neighbors: Nearly the entire rogues gallery (with the exception of Dr. McNasty from the first book) are aliens from each of the Solar System's planets, and each of them invade Earth because of some aspect of their homeworlds that they do not like and want a better home.
  • Strolling on Jupiter: The gas and ice giants are just as inhabited as the rest of the solar system.
  • Tagalong Kid: Lucy.
  • Take Over the World: It seems that this is the intent of every villain in the series. For Dr. McNasty, he simply wants to take the city over. For the other villains, they just aren't content with living on their home world for one reason or another. Admit it. None of them have ever played Master of Orion, so none of them know that in the game, there are technologies that can improve a planet's climate.
  • Theme Naming: Lucy was named after Lucille Ball, who had a TV show called I Love Lucy, where she was married to a musician named "Ricky Ricardo". Also, Lucy's mother and father, Aunt Ethel and Uncle Freddy, were named after Fred and Ethyl Mertz, two other characters from the same show.
  • Tickle Torture: Done by Ricky to Victor von Vulture in order to escape him in Voodoo Vultures from Venus.
  • Tin-Can Robot: Well, the Robot.
  • Try and Follow: In Uranium Unicorns from Uranus, Ricky does it to Lucy by telling her that everything she loves would be destroyed. She bursts into tears.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The Robot in the first book, towards Dr. McNasty.
  • Unicorn: Uncle Unicorn and his Uranium Unicorn flunkies.
  • Unnamed Parents: Ricky's parents were only known to the audience as "Ricky's Mom" and "Ricky's dad".
  • Versus Title: Every single book ever. Except for the first one, at least.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?
  • World of Funny Animals: Solar system, actually.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Dr. McNasty in the first book.

Alternative Title(s): Ricky Ricotta


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