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Everything's Better with Dinosaurs

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See, this is what Jurassic Park should've done.
Roy: But the rooster was determined to get it back with the aid of his trained dinosaurs!
Orson: Trained dinosaurs? Where did the trained dinosaurs come from?
Roy: Same place all those ninjas came from.
U.S. Acres, "The Name Game"

Well, it's true. Dinosaurs are cool. No exceptions.

Dinosaurs are basically real-life Kaiju, giant epic monsters from the ancient past. Thus, because throwing them into the setting always means awesome, some writers like to throw dinos into their stories. In many cases, this makes no sense at all, often handwaved by crazy science (as with the original Jurassic Park) but when dinosaurs show up, we're generally in the realm of awesome for the sake of awesome. Generally, the dinosaurs seen will be restricted to a few well-known types.

The essence of this trope is the presence of dinosaurs which are not ultimately critical to the plot. If the story would be essentially the same without dinosaurs, it's an example. On the other hand, if dinosaurs are integral to the premise, it's not an example.

Note that just because a series provides a reason for there to be dinosaurs does not mean it isn't an example of this trope. Sure, a dinosaur altmode might very well be a good idea for a Transformer, but the real reason for a dinosaur form is to appeal to young boys (also compare Kids Love Dinosaurs). Domesticated Dinosaurs may also count, as characters having a dinosaur as a Cool Pet is undeniably awesome.


Despite the name of this trope, it can cover examples that are not technically dinosaurs. Other extinct reptiles, like pterosaurs and plesiosaurs, would fall under this trope. And while it may be a stretch, since we don't have individual tropes for Everything is Better with Woolly Mammoths/Woolly Rhinos/Saber-tooth Cats/Dimetrodons/etc., these examples would get grouped here.

See also Dinosaurs Are Dragons (in which case this trope overlaps with Our Dragons Are Different) and Artistic License – Paleontology. Compare Dinosaur Media. Medieval Prehistory will often overlap with this trope as well, since it usually just adds dinosaurs (or other palaeofauna) to what is otherwise a Standard Fantasy Setting.

Taxonomic evidence makes this a supertrope to Clucking Funny, Everything's Better with Penguins, Hippogriff, Noble Bird of Prey, Our Gryphons Are Different, The Owl-Knowing One, The Phoenix, Pirate Parrot, and Swans A-Swimming.


Example subpages

Other examples:

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    Asian Animation 
  • In Happy Heroes, among the wildlife roaming around planet Xing Xing are dinosaurs (primarily Tyrannosaurus rex), for no other reason than just because.
  • Motu Patlu has an episode titled "Baby Dinosaur", where Patlu finds a dinosaur egg and keeps Motu from trying to cook it. The dinosaur, who they name Chotu, causes mischief around town, and Motu and Patlu try to find him.
  • In the Simple Samosa episode "Comic Book", Jalebi is writing a story about her friend Samosa, and Vada and Dhokla make their own additions to the story. Suddenly, the mayor issues a warning for all of Chatpata Nagar, and the three abandon their story to investigate. As it turns out, Samosa has turned into a dinosaur who wants to take some people with him - and not in the story his friends were writing. This turns out to be because the events of the episode were all written by Samosa, and he wrote himself in as a dinosaur just for fun.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes gives us Tyrannosaurs in F-14s.
    Calvin: This is so cool!
    Hobbes: This is so stupid.
  • In Dilbert, dinosaurs aren't extinct; they're just hiding in your furniture. Bob the Dinosaur managed to evade humans for years thanks to wearing tennis shoes for fast running. All of the "fossils" that are discovered in modern times were purchased at dinosaur prank novelty stores and thrown into tarpits just to fool people.
  • The Far Side used dinosaurs (together with cavemen) as a common subject. In fact, the scientific name for a stegosaur's tail (thagomizer) is derived from a comic where a caveman explains that it is derived from "the late Thag Simmons".
  • Jason Fox of FoxTrot has a major dinosaur obsession. He once sent an electronic message to the White House saying "increase dinosaur DNA research" over and over again.

    Fan Works 

  • The Fighting Fantasy gamebook Island of the Lizard King involved the reader trying to assassinate the king of a race of lizardmen. For no particular reason, one of said lizardmen is seen riding a Styracosaurus at one point.

  • Analog: The June 1930 cover has brachiosaurus, on the moon! Many of them are depicted as capable of standing on their hind legs and living in a tropical environment.



    Professional Wrestling 

    Theme Parks 
  • At the Disney Theme Parks:
    • Ellen's Energy Adventure at EPCOT, which is about power sources, contains an extended sequence involving dinosaurs. This in itself was based on the Primeval World diorama at the Disneyland Railroad.
    • There's also the ride called Dinosaur, which itself is situated in a land dedicated to dinosaurs known as Dinoland USA.
    • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ends with a stop at a dig site where a Tyrannosaurus skeleton has been uncovered.
    • The Disneyland Rail Road's journey through the Grand Canyon, which suddenly takes us back to the time of dinosaurs.
  • At Universal Studios:

    Web Video 
  • Lee in SourceFed loves dinosaurs. This little fact turned into a Running Gag of epic proportions.
  • TierZoo:
    • "Should Dinosaurs be Unbanned?" was an episode that discussed how well dinosaurs would do in the modern day. It turns out that several dinosaurs including the Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex would be considered Awesome, but Impractical thanks to the differences in wildlife back then and now. Dromaeosaurs, Stegosaurs and Ankylosaurs would be able to dominate the meta thanks to still having the tools needed to survive.
    • "The Dinosaur Tier list" showcased how well dinosaurs fared in their respective time periods.

Alternative Title(s): Everything Is Better With Dinosaurs