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Construction Is Awesome

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Rebuilding Earth ought to be a lot more fun than ruining it was.
Doom II ending

Destruction is cool. Construction requires time, effort, planning, lots of minute stages, coordination... and there are seldom enemies and villains to defeat. The only antagonist is ourselves, our own flaws and laziness and that's not something people like to confront. A straight-up battle that ends with the destruction of evil is more entertaining and dramatic, and less self-accusatory. However, some works manage to portray creation and construction and raising as activities deserving of awe and respect, and the hard work they involve is represented as dignifying rather than demeaning.


There are various ways this can be shown, usually through;

  • Architecture.
  • Gaia's Vengeance and other Green phenomena.
  • Geological formations.
  • Industry, Labor, and Craftsmanship. More awesome if robots are involved. It's what they've been invented for.
  • Weapon Construction: A special sort of example: the construction of tools of destruction takes some of its awe from the use the creation is intended for.
  • Creating Life and Building Systems.
  • ... Or something that defies classification altogether.

Occasional parodied with people building much faster than physical possible or lacking organisation having Hilarity Ensues.

Related to Creation Sequence, Hard-Work Montage, A-Team Montage, and maybe a Forging Scene or The Great Repair. Also, apparently, Building is Welding, because it's showy, flashy, and manly.



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    Anime and Manga 

  • In My Neighbor Totoro, the Forest God and the kids magically grow a few seeds into a MASSIVE World Tree. In the morning, the tree is gone, but the seeds have germinated abnormally fast.
  • In Origin: Spirits of the Past, the genetic engineering of super-powered plants on the moon is juxtaposed to their subsequent explosive growth to the point that THE MOON IS SPLIT IN HALF, burning reentry into Earth's atmosphere, and growing to cover all of the planet. It combines the Creation and Growth aspects of this trope with Destruction Is Cool.
  • Franky from One Piece clearly puts a lot of heart into everything he builds, as do the workers from Water 7. His mentor Tom builds "With a don!"
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, alchemy makes construction (and repairs) very easy, but cool-looking nonetheless.
    • This becomes a Discussed Trope when Winry helps deliver a baby, and Ed praises the creation of a new human life (and her help in achieving that as a midwife) as being more incredible than alchemy.

    Comic Books 

  • The various stages of the creation of Iron Man's armour.
  • Parodied in Asterix and Cleopatra where the latter tasks an architect with the building of a palace for Caesar in just three months. An impossible task, so he calls the druid Getafix whose magic potion suddenly makes the construction work much faster, with the now super-strong workers tossing the giant stone blocks between each other.
  • Also parodied a pair of times with Boom Towns in Lucky Luke with people running around with half houses, a saloon owner building the saloon around the already waiting costumers, an entire city build without streets and so on.

    Films — Animated 

  • In Dumbo, a circus is "built". During a storm. By faceless burly black dudes. And elephants. It is awesome.
  • In The Prince of Egypt, this is subverted: the Pharaonic monuments are impressive, but they are built with slave labor.
  • In A Troll in Central Park, the entirety of Big Applesauce is invaded by flower plants.
  • In Max Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels, the Liliputians binding Gullliver and transporting him to town.
  • The mice and birds making Cinderella's dress in Disney's Cinderella.
  • The climax of FernGully: The Last Rainforest, in which Crysta and the other fairies cause a tree to grow around Hexus, imprisoning him again.
  • This is done with a Decon-Recon Switch in The LEGO Movie. There are 2 major sides in the show, Lord Business vs Cloud Cuckooland. The latter is a bunch of creative builders who build awesome and nonstandard things, but their creations tend to either not last long or not working as intended. The former is a paragon of "following instructions" who doesn't tolerate any kind of deviations, but his empire's boring buildings and vehicles are practical. Emmet's journey to become a Master Builder is the reconstruction - in the end, by combining the knowledge of instructions that he has as a part of Lord Business' system with his newfound Master Builder sense, he can make awesome constructions that are also functional.
  • In Frozen, Elsa uses her cryokinesis to build a fabulous palace out of ice, singing all the while.


    Films — Live-Action 


  • The book of Nehemiah in The Bible is mostly known as "that book about the Jews rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem". (Which is actually just the first half.)
  • In The Lord of the Rings, the reforging of the sword Narsil into Andúril, the forging of the Nine, the Seven, the Three and the One, the creation and armament of Saruman's army.
  • The entire plot The Pillars of the Earth centers around the expansion/reconstruction of Philip's church into a massive cathedral.
  • The climax of Mistborn, when the Hero of Ages brings the entire Scadrial back to its former glory, undoing all the damage done before.

    Live Action TV 

  • This trope is the core of Scrapheap Challenge, where teams need to use whatever scrap they can salvage to create vehicles and devices for challenges .


    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

  • The point of virtually all city-building games. Pharaoh has you building pyramids (sometimes more than one in a single city), while providing (by ancient standards) ridiculously high living standard for your citizens.
  • Some Tycoon games, i.e. Railroad Tycoon.
  • The primary appeal of Kerbal Space Program is that it lets you design, build, and fly your own spacecraft, space stations, and surface bases, including the possibility of assembling them part by part in orbit or on another planet's surface.
  • One of the live-action (or made to look such in this case) trailers for Halo 3 centered on the inside of a Misriah Armory foundry on Mars assembling distinctive UNSC weapons.
  • Scrap Mechanic, a construction sandbox with Design-It-Yourself Equipment at its core, exemplifies this trope. It's really easy for the players to create magnificent, awesome machines that use actual physical and engineering priciples and utilize the game's available parts in novel ways to do pretty much anything one can imagine.
  • Elaborate block-based construction projects are quite possibly the biggest reason to play Minecraft.
  • Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead offers many construction options, from renovating abandoned houses and fixing up broken cars to building a zombie-proof fortress or creating a Deathmobile to run down hordes of zombies with.
  • Being inspired by Minecraft, this applies to both Dragon Quest Builders and Dragon Quest Builders 2. The latter even makes the duality of creation and destruction a major thematic element of the story.
  • In Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts you not only control fleets of steam-era ships in gloriously detailed 3d battle, but you get to design them yourself and see how your design choices hold up in combat.

    Western Animation 

  • The scene in the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "Tales of Ba Sing Se", when Aang builds a new zoo compound using earthbending.
  • One of the core themes of Dinotrux. A group of dinosaur construction vehicle hybrids working together to accomplish feats of construction that generally end up saving the day. The climax of almost every episode features a building montage set to the show's main theme.
  • Merrie Melodies short "Rhapsody in Rivets", in which a skyscraper is built to music, with the foreman acting as a Cartoon Conductor.
  • Phineas and Ferb building their inventions, all the time.
  • Construction of The Simpsons pool
    • "It is a fine barn but sure 'tis no pool, English""D'oheth"
  • The Constructicons from The Transformers are a living example of this. The entire team is made up of Decepticons that transform into construction vehicles and they serve as the faction's resident designers, engineers and builders. Some of their creations include the Forge (a gladiatorial arena) and one of the main cities of Cybertron, Crystal City.


Video Example(s):


Tree growing scene

Totoro and the kids magically grow a few seeds into a massive World Tree.

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Main / ConstructionIsAwesome

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