Follow TV Tropes


Grand Theft Prototype

Go To

"Beeblebrox stole the Improbability Drive ship when he was, in fact, meant to be launching it."

So you just found out that the enemy is developing a new Super Prototype that will alter the course of the war. What are you gonna do about it?

The simplest answer seems to be to destroy it, but this more often than not ends up with some Ordinary High-School Student Falling into the Cockpit, and then you're really boned. You can come up with prototypes of your own to counter it, but this could just end up creating a Sorting Algorithm of Evil that'll lead right to your doorstep. So why not just take it for yourself?

This has a double benefit: Not only does it deny the enemy a powerful weapon, but you gain said weapon in the process, which is often good for a Vehicular Turnabout. You might wanna kidnap, steal or wipe out the project data, other prototypes you can't take with you, and/or the inventor(s) while you're at it.

If this is done by The Protagonist the story usually focuses on their attempts to get back into friendly territory with their prize. If the story is told from the view of the inevitable pursuers, then they will be attempting to recover or destroy the new unit before it can get away.

Falling into the Cockpit can coincide with this, all depending on what side the would-be pilot was aligned with before it happens. See Phlebotinum Rebel, where the heroes hijack themselves. May overlap with High-Speed Hijack if the vehicle is in motion when stolen. Compare and contrast Sabotage to Discredit, which at least deprives them of the invention even if you don't gain it for yourself. This isn't meaning a crossover between Grand Theft Auto and [PROTOTYPE], although that would be awesome.

Overlaps with Hijacking Cthulhu if the mech in question is a Mechanical Abomination.


    open/close all folders 

  • The first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory coined this trope's previous name through the title of the first episode: "Gundamjack". Here, Ace Pilot Anavel Gato does just that with the Nuke-loaded GP02A Physalis, thus setting off the plot of the series. Of course, how the said hijacking was pulled off was impressive for its simplicity... Gato dressed as a Federation Officer and strolled right into it, with soldiers saluting him just before it all happened.
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam has the first example of this trope in Gundam with Kamille helping the AEUG pull this off. It's also slightly more justified than many examples as the Gundam in question was already powered up and idling (being examined for damage after the pilot crashed it) when Kamille ran in and swiped it.
    • The AEUG was originally planning to steal a single Gundam Mk II prototype to reverse-engineer is revolutionary "movable frame" technology. With Kamille's help, they were able to steal all three. This allowed them to send one away for study, use another for combat, and break down the last one for spare parts to keep the combat unit in service.
    • Zeta is perhaps unique in that it's a case of the main protagonist pulling this off as opposed to Falling into the Cockpit. It's certainly unique in that Kamille's motivation for jacking the Gundam is Revenge Before Reason; he just goes along with the AEUG afterwards because it seems like a good idea.
  • In a rare hero on hero version, look at episode two of Gundam ZZ. Judau jacks the Zeta Gundam simply because it's the only mobile suit for him to use. Heck, Judau spent the first several episodes repeatedly trying to jack the Zeta Gundam so he can sell it, only to have an enemy appear the moment he gets his hands on it and be forced to fight it off.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, Hathaway steals a Jegan during the Final Battle so he can try and stop Quess. At the same time, Chan steals the heavily damaged Re-GZ to figure out why the Psychoframe piece she has is reacting badly. The entire thing leads to Quess getting killed by Chan and Hathaway killing Chan in grief. Sheesh...
  • In Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam, Tobia Arronax was just captured by the Jupiter Empire and forced to face off in an arena against Rosemarie in the captured X2. He manages to steal the suit in a manner similar to Garrod's first-episode Jenicejack in Gundam X, although using the X2's own decoy instead of a flashbang.
  • In Victory Gundam the 13 year old protagonist also steals an enemy mecha... except he stole it while it was flying by landing on it in a parachute, fighting hand to hand with the ace pilot (who is wearing an helmet and is far older), and managing to take control of the machine after a brutal fight that ends underwater. It really needs to be seen to be believed.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam:
    • Rain Mikamura doesn't exactly steal the Shining Gundam, as she's on its crew, but she does pilot it despite not having combat training. Later, she "borrows" Japan's Rising Gundam because she needs to get somewhere fast. Her explanation to her stunned friends was nobody was using it at the time. The only conclusion is She programed a subroutine into both of them that would give her a custom pink trace suit with heels in case Domon wasn't around. Later, while Domon and Rain are in Hong Kong for the finals, a local kid tries to steal the Burning Gundam, nearly killing himself and screwing up Domon's shoulder in the process.
    • And then there's the Devil Gundam itself. The official story given by the Neo-Japan authorities is that Kyoji stole the Gundam and ran off to Earth. The actual reason was that they intended to use the Devil Gundam for their own purposes and Kyoji stole it to prevent such a thing. Oy.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing:
    • Even though they were the intended pilots (for the most part), the team stole theirs once they learned that the original plan for Operation Meteor was to Colony Drop the Earth, then crush all remaining opposition and Take Over the World, opting instead to fight the enemy that was oppressing the colonies and leaving the civilians out of it.
    • In episode 34, Zechs steals Wing Zero from OZ after self-detonating his Tallgeese, before OZ got a chance to destroy it.
  • Gundam X's protagonist hijacks a normal mobile suit in the first episode, but comes by the titular Gundam more honestly, only to hijack his second Gundam, the Double X. Jacking Mobile Suits to sell them was actually his personal trick of the trade before he joined Vulture and he had quite a reputation for it, with experience to match.
  • Similarly, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED begins with the ZAFT G-boys snatching four of the Alliance's five new Gundams. The plan was to steal all five, but poor Rusty got killed before he could do his part. Kira comes by his Mid-Season Upgrade by Gundamjacking the Freedom, with help from Lacus. Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny begins with the Alliance returning the favor by stealing three of ZAFT's new Gundams.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray, you get plenty of stolen units. A lot of this is due to the fact that the majority of the holders are part of the Junk Guild, who run salvage operations and repair works, so most of the users are using abandoned or heavily damaged suits that are given a major make over.
  • In SD Gundam Force Kibaomaru's character plot is him wanting to unleash Musha Daishinsho on his enemies and take over the world with it. With the help of Genkimaru, he manages to do that, but it turns out he's not The Chosen One for the Daishinsho... Genkimaru is. The result is Kibaomaru getting forcibly ejected from Daishinsho and Genkimaru using is to lay siege to his forces.
  • Ali Al-Saachez hijacks Gundam Throne Zwei in season one of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, despite the manufacturers finally thinking to put in a biometric scanner. Fucking Ribbons!
    • A large portion of the series itself (particularly in Season 2) revolves around the various antagonist factions trying to steal the Gundams.
    • Subverted when Revive and Anew fail to get the 00 Gundam because they couldn't bypass the security. Revive DOES successfully jack the 0 Raiser, only to be foiled by RED HARO.
    • In the very last episode of the series, Ribbons jacks the 0 Gundam after Lasse abandoned it when its GN particle tank ran out. Amuro and the RX-78, together again at last!
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, the Gundam itself doesn't get hijacked, but Grodek hijacks the battleship Diva (which does have the Gundam and its pilot-designer on it). The first of the series' titular mechs does get hijacked in episode 5. By a seven-year-old Enfante Terrible.
  • In Gundam: Reconguista in G the G-Self changes hands several times— Originally Raraiya's, it quickly gets stolen by the Amerians after she bails out, who let Aida pilot. Then it's captured by the Capital Guard who have Bellri pilot it, but stolen back by Aida in short order (...though Bellri remains the main pilot). Much later, the main characters steal a large number of mobile suits from G-IT Labs, while all the guards were busy elsewhere trying to kill the G-Self.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, this is surprisingly not the case with Gundam Barbatos, as it was already in the possession of the protagonist faction from the get-go (though it was only used as a power generator for the base previously.) This does get played very straight with McGillis' jacking of Gundam Bael in the second season, having already broken off from Gjallarhron, and declaring to overthrow the latter faction for their abuses.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, Federation ensign Io Fleming gets the drop on a Rick Dom used by a member of the Living Dead sniper unit, forcing the hatch open and shooting the pilot in the head as his comrades, including The Rival Daryl Lorenz, are forced to watch on their comm feeds when Io throws the corpse into space and taunt them for their disabilities and tastes in music.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story: The Blue Destiny, Big Bad Nimbus Schterzen steals the Blue Destiny Unit 2 after his Efreet Custom destroyed.
  • Supplementary info for Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn reveals that Full Frontal's powerful Sinanju is actually the Unicorn's test partner the Sinanju Stein, stolen by the Sleeves and heavily modified to resemble a Zeon suit. Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative reveals that they stole two of them, with the second only being lightly modified.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury, Mioriene steals Gundam Aerial from Suletta by taking her student ID under the pretense of helping her install a map of the school they're in. She's doing it so she can face the person she's in an Arranged Marriage to, Guel Jeturk, in a duel to get out of it. However, unlike most examples she has no idea how to really pilot a MS and Suletta ends up saving her. Later in the series, "Elan Ceres" Number Five tries to steal Gundam Aerial on a much more permanent basis, but Aerial is having none of it, raising his Permet score to near-lethal levels and threatening him before kicking him out of the cockpit.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Getter Robo Hien has the protagonist jacking Getter-1, then having to talk the other two pilots into working with him. Given that they were in the middle of a battle at the time, they don't have too much of a choice.
  • In Macross Plus, Isamu Dyson steals away the Super Prototype YF-19 transforming fighter jet that he's been test-piloting for the U.N. Spacy. He did it in order to interfere with the public demonstration of X-9 Ghost, an advanced drone fighter that was suddenly selected as the next mainline fighter for U.N.S. instead of YF-19 or YF-21 that were previously competing for the position, and whose evaluation program hasn't even ended at that point. The interesting part is that Isamu is directly assisted by YF-19's chief designer who got enraged that the brass wanted to abandon the machine he spent years on building.
  • In the Mazinger saga:
    • It happened in Mazinger Z after a fashion. Minerva X was designed by Professor Kabuto, but never actually built; Dr. Hell got his hands on the plans and constructed Minerva, using mundane armor materials instead of Super Alloy Z, and installing an AI "crown" piece in place of a Pilder.
    • And in the "The Relic of Evil" one-shot, Mazinger-Z itself was hijacked by a Kedora sent by Dr. Hell.
    • And in UFO Robo Grendizer (one of the sequels), Duke Fleed steals Grendizer and flees with it before the Vegans can seize it.
    • And Great Mazinger was seized by a Vegan commander in UFO Robo Grendizer
    • And in Mazinkaiser, a Mechanical Beast hijacked Venus A, forcing the heroes to destroy it. Before it, a bunch of Mechanical Beasts force Kouji and the Hover Pilder out of Mazinger-Z, with Baron Ashura taking it over as the Ashura Mazinger.
    • Subverted in Shin Mazinger - Baron Asura steals several Mechanical Beasts from Dr Hell and attempts to do this, but ends up being ambushed by Count Blocken, who Dr. Hell sent. In a surprising moment of savvy, Dr Hell realised the ramifications of this if it failed, so aborted the operation.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has at least two angels that hijack an Eva for their own personal use:
    • Bardiel, a fungus-like angel that contaminates Unit-03 as it's transported through a storm (in which it was presumably hiding) and then takes control during its activation test, with it trying to kill the other Eva pilots. In both continuities, Shinji refuses to fight it because he realises that the human pilot is still trapped inside, and Gendo activates the Dummy Plug system, which takes control of Unit-01 away from Shinji and forces it to destroy Unit-03 (almost an example of this trope in itself). The main difference between Neon Genesis Evangelion and Rebuild of Evangelion here is that in NGE, Toji was the pilot, lost a leg to the Dummy Plug's attack, and was left incapacitated for the rest of the series; in ROE, the pilot is Asuka, who presumably suffered far less severe injuries, as, when we see her after the Time Skip in 3.33, she has only an eyepatch — which is implied to be hiding where Bardiel either mutated her to give her angelic traits, or outright merged with her head.
    • The second example in NGE is of Kaworu, who doesn't actually pilot Unit-02 when he hijacks it - he floats nearby in the air while remotely controlling its movements, using it to break into Terminal Dogma in an attempt to cause Third Impact.
    • Then, in Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0, Mari jacks Unit-02 to fight against Zeruel. Not that it did ANY good, unfortunately. Nevertheless, it is interesting that she intentionally uses a feature of Unit-02 that Asuka never used (and may not even be aware of). The fact that she was able to Evajack it at all — given the nature of the Evangelions in the original series - has spawned a number of Epileptic Trees: each Eva contains either part of or a fully intact human soul, and can only be piloted by the child of that person, or by someone who essentially is that person (in Rei's case). Unit 02 contains the soul of Asuka's mother — Mari would only be able to use it if they have the same mother... or if she's an angel. Notably, while the final film supplies some revelations about Mari, this is one that is left unexplained.
  • Code Geass: Lelouch hijacks the strongest Knightmare Frame in the first season from Britannia, the Gawain. Its flaws were patched by Rakshata, turning it into a terrifying mook killer.
    • More hilariously, in R2, the Chinese Federation captures Kallen and her Guren Nishiki, which are turned over to Britannia. Britannia heavily upgrades the Guren, only to have it stolen BACK, by Kallen herself, before they are ever able to use it.
  • Attempted, on the titular mecha, multiple times, by the main team of Karlstein Agents from Dorssia in Geass' Spiritual Successor, Valvrave the Liberator. The first time, they did in the original scientist team, but failed to get the mecha. Even after it was proven that anyone other than the Academy students will be killed if they attempt to pilot them, they kept trying - because their captain was actually a Magius, the Ancient Conspiracy alien parasites whose power the Valvraves use.
  • Akito Tenkawa hijacks an (advanced but not exactly Super Prototype) Aestivalis in the first episode of Martian Successor Nadesico. He meant to use it as a convenient escape vehicle, but ends up providing just the distraction the good guys needed.
  • The King Gainer of Overman King Gainer is stolen from a museum run by the ruler of Wulgusk. The Duke wants it back, only to clam up when Gain reminds him that the London IRA wouldn't like it if he had a working Overman on display. Later in the series Adette steals a bunch of Silhouette Machines to supply her troops.
  • After subverting Falling into the Cockpit just previously, episode nine of Fang of the Sun Dougram has Crinn doing this to recover the eponymous unit from the Federation.
  • Young Gennai does this in Digimon Adventure when Piemon attacks the area where the Digitama/digieggs that will become the Chosen Children's partner Digimon are being kept/maintained. He hijacks a Mechanorimon (which is apparently being controlled by a Bakemon) to hide the crests and eggs from Piemon, but dropping Tailmon's egg in the process explaining why she grew up alone.
  • The Grendel family of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force attempt to do one in their debut chapter, attacking a TSAB transport with intent to capture some of their newly developed Raptor Units.
  • This seems to be the standard operating procedure of the Phantom Task Organization from Infinite Stratos. Their targets are mostly classified, corporate, and governmental IS units and related items, with dedicated security teams and IS pilots guarding them - and they still manage to successfully steal the same.
    • M, a member thereof, takes this trope to nigh-badass levels by breaking into a base to steal a highly classified IS alone.
  • The Liger Zero, the Series Mascot of the Zoids franchise, started off as a prototype being developed by the Guylos Empire. The Helic Republic's agents stole the design and the prototype and started producing the Zoid themselves, with it quickly becoming one of their most important Zoids.

    Comic Books 
  • The Galactic Alliance Remnant does this in an issue of Star Wars: Legacy during the Battle of Mon Calamari by stealing the just-completed Advanced Star Destroyer Imperious before it was even fielded and removing Mon Calamari's shipbuilding capabilities in the process.
  • Iron Man has gotten his Powered Armor stolen on many an occasion.
  • The prototype scout ship Cam Triompe stolen by the main characters in the far-future ElfQuest series The Rebels.
  • Robin (1993): A prototype Wayne Tech vehicle containing a lot of new innovations is stolen by a group of car thieves and Tim Drake ends up blowing it up to prevent the theft of the secrets it contains.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Diana's invisible plane has been subjected to theft and attempted theft on occasion, she always gets it back though and no enemy as of yet has been able to duplicate the Amazon tech that went into making the thing.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): When the "gremlins" overthrew the Ytirflirks some of them made sure to steal the Ytirflirks' superweapon the Phlogiston Bomb, planning to detonate outside of an atmosphere where it would be mostly harmless. Unfortunatly they crashed on earth so they take to hiding it instead.
  • Alpha Flight: This is the origin of Weapon Alpha/Vindicator/Guardian, although he was stealing his own prototype. James Hudson was a leading petrochemical engineer and scientist for the Am-Can Corporation developing a powered exoskeleton suit. When he learned that his work would be used for American military purposes, Hudson raided his workplace, stole the prototype suit and destroyed the plans. He leaves the suit to be recovered (albeit without the vital control helmet, which he built before coming to the company).
  • Buck Danny: Recurring.
    • The aptly named A Prototype Has Vanished story involves the theft of a prototype fighter plane that can take off and land vertically. The heroes are ultimately able to track it down and destroy it, but not recover it.
    • Mostly downplayed: more stories revolve around not the theft of the prototype itself, which would be too dangerous and complicated, but information about them that would enable the thief's employers to duplicate their technology or at least prepare countermeasures against them. A mole in one of the eighties story arcs nearly escapes with a series of close-ups of the United States' (still top-secret at the time) stealth aircraft. In a pinch, destroying a prototype can also be a plot point.
    • The "Specter" story arc involves a heroic example. The Specter aircraft is a stealth fighter developed in secret by a Japanese megacorporation in league with ultranationalist radicals, and which has been used to incite tensions between the Chinese and American navies. The heroes find themselves needing to track them down and steal them in order to expose the plot.
  • Dan Cooper, a series that ran in the newspaper Tintin and starred a Canadian pilot, also dabbled in this from time to time. The early stories often featured the hero as a test pilot for fictional prototypes, particularly the "Blue Triangle," a delta-winged fighter, and the "Scout," a reconnaissance aircraft. In The Secret of Dan Cooper, he's coerced into stealing one of the Scout prototypes in exchange for his father, who's being held hostage by foreign spies (after having already prevented them from stealing the other prototype). He's able to turn the tables on the blackmailers and rescue his father without losing it.
  • Blake and Mortimer:
    • The first story arc, The Secret of the Swordfish, revolves around attempts by the Yellow Empire to steal the titular weapon for themselves. They initially try to capture the (still incomplete) prototype and all the research that went into it by capturing its home base during the blitzkrieg in which they conquer Britain, but the heroes destroy everything before making their escape to a hidden base where they intend to rebuild it and turn the tide of the war. Much of the story then revolves around the Yellows' attempt to recover the plans of the Swordfish, or force Mortimer to build them their own prototype.
    • The Yellows' obsession with the Swordfish is ultimately their undoing: when they finally discover the secret base where they're being rebuilt, one of their generals points out that they could easily just destroy the base with nuclear weapons, ending the resistance and the threat of Swordfish weapons once and for all. This plan is rejected in favor of a conventional assault because the Emperor wants to seize the base and its weapons intact. This allows the resistance to complete the construction of two Swordfish, which promptly annihilate the attacking force, and turn the tide of the entire world war.
    • A much later story, The Last Swordfish is set soon in the aftermath of the world war and involves the theft of one of the prototypes on their way back to England by an IRA cell working with ex-Nazis that intends to use it to destroy London. The plan fails.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: When Rei was fighting Zeruel with no support and losing badly, Shinji and Asuka wanted to help her but they could not use their own Evas, so that they hijacked Unit 03.
  • Doing It Right This Time: Asuka briefly mentions the battle where Bardiel seized Unit 03, calling that Eldritch Abomination “the Angel of Gundamjacking” (former trope name).
  • HERZ:
    • After their assault upon the Geofront failed, NERV (later HERZ) hijacked the MP-Evas and reprogrammed them to use them.
    • When the second wave of MP-Evas assaults HERZ Rei hijacks ALL OF THEM by using mind control to bind the dummy plugs to her will.
  • In Thousand Shinji: The same as in canon, Bardiel hijacked Unit-03. Unlike canon, Hikari was the pilot, and Gendo forced Asuka's Eva to kill her.
    "In transit, another Angel struck, infecting Unit 03. Upon initial activation, it took over and destroyed the testing facility outside Tokyo-3. It disabled the still inactive Unit 04, critically wounding the pilot, before it began to advance on the city."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The movie Firefox is about Clint Eastwood's character making off with a Soviet prototype jet.
    • The movie averts the No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup trope by having him subsequently get chased down by the other prototype and forcing him into a dogfight with it. Apparently the Soviets made at least two, and certainly still have the plans (although not necessarily the scientists) to make more but don't want the Americans reverse-engineering it before it goes into production.
  • In Iron Man 2, Rhodes steals the Mark II armor, which would later be upgraded into the War Machine armor.Turns out that Tony gave Rhodey authorization for the suits, ostensibly because he was dying and preparing for Rhodes to succeed him. Which explains why a machine that previously relied on the Arc Reactor in Tony's chest now has its own self-contained power source.
  • Rhodes does it again in Iron Man 3, but with his armor being stolen at first by the villains. When Tony Stark couldn't give him a suit during the final battle, he decides to take back his suit with nothing but a pistol.
  • In Star Trek Into Darkness, Harrison murders Admiral Marcus and seizes control of the Vengeance. Before that he stole transwarp technology from the Section 31 base in London.
    • However, it hasn't been made clear that there is only one Dreadnought-class warship in existence, especially given Starfleet's naming convention for ships (i.e. the class is named for the lead ship), implying there's at least one more.
  • GoldenEye features a double example - early on, the bad guys steal a prototype Tiger helicopter, but this is not their ultimate objective. Instead, the Tiger's resistance to EMP makes it the perfect getaway vehicle for a second theft, that of the top secret Goldeneye weapons system.
  • The Hunt for Red October is all about this, with a Soviet submarine captain and his command crew intending to defect to the United States aboard a new, undetectable Soviet prototype sub. The story follows both the US and Soviets trying to catch the sub before the other side can, while avoiding a sufficiently large diplomatic incident that would incite World War III.
  • Stripes: Played for Laughs. The film's third act revolves around John Winger and Russell Ziskey stealing the U.S. Military's latest experimental undercover APC, the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle (a heavily armed GMC Motorhome), to joyride around Europe with their Love Interests. Mistakenly believing them to be Soviet spies, their friends in the Army enter Czechoslovakia to try to find them and get captured by Soviet troops - which leads to Winger and Ziskey using the EM-50 to mount a rescue mission.
  • Abbott And Costello Go To Mars: Done accidentally — Lester and Orville end up mistakenly launching an experimental rocket, sending them first to New Orleans and then to Venus.

  • Isaac Asimov and Janet Asimov's Norby Finds a Villain: Ing has been hiding himself as a clown named Threezy in a circus act. His Evil Plan began with using a Mind Probe on Admiral Yobo, head of Space Command, so that he could learn how to pilot the prototype hyperdrive spaceship, Quest, and now he kidnaps Pera and two bombs with him as he takes off into hyperspace. The next step in his plan is to set off a bomb to destroy the universe, causing a new one to replace it.
  • BattleTech Expanded Universe: In the Warrior trilogy, Capellan commando troops use inside information to raid a Davion research facility for a new type of myomer fiber that promises to make BattleMechs considerably more physically powerful. It's a trap, though; the material is actually a Flawed Prototype that their enemies want them to get their hands on because they already know exactly how to exploit the flaw on the battlefield.
  • In the third book of His Dark Materials (The Amber Spyglass), Mrs. Coulter steals a prototype flying machine from Lord Asriel's fortress. It turns out she stole only the first prototype, which Lord Asriel showed her knowing she would steal it, and he trails her in a more advanced prototype.
  • In In Fury Born Alicia needs a starship to get away from being in custody. She steals an alpha-synth ship, a starship with a crew of one person fused with the AI that helps run the ship, that is faster, smaller, and more heavily armed than anything else in space.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Boromir tries to convince the Council of Elrond that they should use the One Ring to empower their forces against Sauron, but his idea is shot down quickly, pointing out the corrupting nature of the Ring.
  • Perry Rhodan: "Adopting" enemy technology might as well be considered part of normal Terran science in the early arcs. Especially in the very earliest issues, when Earth's own industry (starting on a 1970s Cold War footing) was still struggling with the sudden influx of new alien knowledge. No less than three of the early Terran capital ships were simply stolen from hostile alien factions and put to human use, and the same goes for e.g. the prototype shock-absorber device that would prove vital in concealing Earth's position by making Terran vessels' hyperspace jumps virtually undetectable with the technology of the time.
  • From the Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • The famous X-Wing was actually intended to replace the Imperial TIE Fighter, but the design team defected with the prototypes and all of their research, leaving the Empire stuck with one of history's greatest Mook Mobiles.
    • Slave I, the Firespray-class patrol craft piloted by Jango and Boba Fett, was a prototype vehicle stolen by Jango, who then blasted the five others on his way out. Decades later new Firesprays were eventually built, in part due to Fett popularizing the model, but between Fett's improvements to the original and the fact that the replacements were medicore cash-ins, the original Slave I still outperformed her "successors."
    • Kyp Durron infamously stole the Sun Crusher. Of course, he uses it.
  • The Temeraire series begins with a French ship delivering the egg of a Chinese Celestial to become the personal companion of the French Emperor is delayed due to a run of bad luck at sea, and is captured by a British vessel a week before the egg hatched and the dragonet imprinted on its captain.
  • In the Whateley Universe, when the Syndicate and Deathlist's army of Sabretooths try to invade Superhero School Whateley Academy at Halloween, school range officer Erik Mahren jacks one of the Syndicate's gunships. Turns out his old codename when he was in an Army special force was Hijacker.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In both the original Get Smart TV series and the 2008 movie, Hymie the robot was stolen from KAOS and reprogrammed by CONTROL.
  • The whole plot behind Airwolf: originally the helicopter was planned to be a whole squadron of ships that could blend in with civilian aircraft. The designer does this to himself, slaughtering US government officials viewing a test run, and taking it to a Mideast country. The protagonists of the series manage to steal it back, but refuse to give it to the government or the manufacturer, holding it in exchange for information on one of the protagonist's family members who is a POW in Vietnam.
    • In a kind of inversion, the Soviets try on several occasions to steal Airwolf.
  • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, The Gokaiger not only steal Basco's Free Joker (though he was already Killed Off for Real by that point) and use it to make their way onto the Gigant Horse, at which point Marvelous hijacks its main guns and uses them to destroy the entire Zangyack Aramada.
  • In Lexx, the titular starship is a Planet Killer built by His Divine Shadow and His tyrannical Religion of Evil. In the first episode, a team of Austral B Heretics infiltrate The Cluster to capture The Lexx, but in the attempt the agents of La Résistance all die. Idiot Hero Stanley Tweedle (who bumped into them while fleeing for his life) gains control of The Lexx instead.
  • With Power Rangers' abundance of Humongous Mecha, you can bet this shows up from time to time.
    • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers:
      • All three of Tommy's Zords were hijacked at different points - Dragonzord in the first season after a briefly mind-controlled Billy was made to steal the Dragon Dagger and give it to Goldar, the Tigerzord in season 2 in an episode where Goldar stole Saba from Tommy and gave him to Rita, and the Falconzord in season 3, when it was stolen by Lord Zedd. The theft of the Falconzord lasted the longest, but the villains didn't use it, just kept it as a trophy.
      • The villains were the ones to claim the Shogunzords, and tried to blackmail the Rangers into piloting them. Of course the Rangers swiped the zords out from under them.
    • Power Rangers Zeo: During the "Rangers of Two Worlds" two-parter, King Mondo sends Cog Changer to hijack the Zeo Megazord, forcing the Rangers to fight it off in the Super Zeo Megazord. Then that gets hijacked by Impursonator, sent by Rita and Zedd's forces, and the two Megazords fight one another. (They also beat up on Auric the Conquerer when Jason sends him to try and the two sides. The Rangers eventually manage to eject the monsters and reclaim their Megazords.
    • Power Rangers Turbo: During the Phantom Ranger arc, the Turbo Megazord is stolen by General Havoc and his Metallasaurus, forcing the Rangers to use the new Rescue Megazord. They get it back after Divatox sends it, piloted by the monster Crosspatch and a set of Chromites, to attack them; T.J. manages to evict the monsters and reclaim it for his team. Similar events occurred in the source material.
    • Power Rangers in Space: Twice. First, the Delta Megazord is hijacked in "The Great Evilyzer", thanks to a ray that turned it evil; it was reversed when the Rangers activated a combination sequence and formed the Astro Delta Megazord for the first time. Later, during the Rangers' final battle with the Psycho Rangers, Psycho Yellow managed to take over the Mega Voyager until Psycho Red and Psycho Black hit it, knocking her out of it.
    • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: All of the Zords were first claimed by villains, then freed or convinced to do a Heel–Face Turn by the Rangers. Middle example of this trope because the Zords are sentient.
    • Power Rangers Time Force: The Quantasaurus Rex is the focus of a multi-parter, as the heroes and villains (and Eric, who is a side unto himself at this point) track it to where a faulty time portal dropped it and vie for control of it. It is controlled by the villains for a time until Eric winds up with it. Is it any better off in Eric's hands? Only time would tell.
    • Power Rangers Wild Force: Two major instances, both adapted from nearly identical plots in the source material.
      • When Zen-Aku came along, three Wild Zords were part of the package. However, he stole several of the ones belonging to the Rangers and could have them attack individually or use their attachment modes with his own Megazord, the Predazord.
      • There was also a Monster of the Week who could control any animal - or any animal-based hero. After he makes the Rangers jump through hoops (literally!) for a bit, the bad guys skip to Make My Monster Grow very early on and the result is an episode nearly entirely given to an epic battle of the Zords he's stolen versus the Zords the rangers are still in control of, with a ridiculous(ly awesome) amount of attachment-switching to make all kinds of quick-and-dirty Megazord formations, with Toxica and Jindrax setting up a table where they announced the fight as Combat Commentators as if it was a sporting event. (Without them, we wouldn't know the names of most of the one-off formations used!)
    • Power Rangers: Dino Thunder: This was the point of at least the first half of the series. Right in the premiere, the Rangers first got their zords by jacking them from the villains. Then many episodes featured lost Dinozord eggs that were being sought after by both sides, and when the villains got them first the Rangers had to jack them back. Then the evil White Rangers (yes, plural, though there was only one at a time) showed up and they were very good at hijacking the Rangers' secondary zords. Even the White Ranger's zord was "borrowed" at one point by Tommy. Ultimately only two Dinozords were used exclusively by one side: the "Mezodon" zord, which was last to appear and came after most of the jacking died down; and the Brachiozord, which was there from the beginning but was a carrier with no combat capabilities.
    • Power Rangers S.P.D.: There were a couple attempts to take over SPD Command (which is both their base and a zord). Wootox only got as far as the Transformation Sequence, but Broodwing had more success in the finale.
    • Power Rangers RPM: Actually done by the heroes once - Venjix's new mecha is stolen by the Rangers and turned into the Whale Zord. Later, Shifter, now rogue, decides to take one of the Rangers' megazords - the effort to break his control leads the Rangers' Mission Control to figure out how to combine all the megazords together. Oops.
    • Power Rangers Dino Supercharge: After getting a hold of the Rangers' technology, a faction of villains was able to take control of the Zords and use them to fight Heckyl.
    • Long before Power Rangers, there was Super Sentai. At least one show used this:
      • Hikari Sentai Maskman: Monsters in this series are created by combining a humanoid "Doggler" with a smaller parasitic creature. During the arc introducing Galaxy Robo, the final monster of the arc is Kimen Doggler, which splits back into the two monsters so the parasite can take control of Great Five (which had previously been lost underground), allowing the two to team up against the Maskmen. It's eventually blasted off and reunites with its partner before Galaxy Robo destroys them.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series. In the episode "Balance of Terror" the Federation discovered that the Romulans had developed a cloaking device for their ships that made them invisible. In "The Enterprise Incident" the Starfleet Command sent the Enterprise on a mission to steal one of the devices so they could learn how to neutralize it.
    • The dialogue "The Enterprise Incident" refers to the cloaking device they're stealing as a new device. This would be odd, seeing as they encountered one over a year ago, but actually makes sense if one pays close attention to what the cloaking devices' limitations arenote .
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Starfleet had a huge problem when the Breen joined the Dominion with their ship-disabling weapons. To get around this problem, they waited for the Breen to outfit a Dominion vessel with the weapon and promptly stole it. In no time they were able to develop a defense against the weapon and nullify that advantage.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: In "Message in a Bottle", Voyager discovers a vast alien communications relay, giving a narrow window of opportunity to contact a Starfleet vessel, so the Doctor is transmitted to the Alpha Quadrant. That ship is the USS Prometheus, a prototype vessel which has been captured by Romulans, who intend to take it back to Romulus. So it's up to the Doctor and the Prometheus' EMH to stop them.
  • In the "Phantom Train of Doom" episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, when the heroes find themselves in possession of the titular train — and its massive railroad gun — they decide to bring it back to friendly lines rather than blow it up as originally planned. This works for all of a minute, until the Germans destroy the tracks and move in to retake the train.

  • In Alpha Team: Mission Deep Freeze RPG, after the supposed death of General Evil, Alpha Team was able to steal his personal vehicle, a unique armored Scorpion Orb Launcher called the Silver Scorpion. General Evil never got it back, and Alpha Team continued to use it up through the Dino Attack.
  • In Dino Attack RPG, Dino Attack Team stole one of XERRD's Dino Track Transports and, by modifying Iron Predator blueprints, subsequently started building Dino Track Transports of their own.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Orks love to loot the enemy's gear and vehicles for use in battle, but the series' Mini-Mecha are generally immune to this - the Tau booby-trap their Battlesuits with flamethrowers, while Space Marine Dreadnoughts don't have a proper cockpit since they're "piloted" by a life-support sarcophagus.
    • A background piece has an Imperial commando wreak havoc behind Tau lines. One sees an open battlesuit, either going for this trope or just booby-trapping it... and is fried by the system not recognizing his DNA.

    Video Games 
  • Zone of the Enders starts with an attempt to steal the previously-jacked Jehuty back, until Leo complicates things by Falling into the Cockpit.
    • The sequel, The 2nd Runner, does the exact same thing, although Jehuty was in a container in Calypso rather than in a military base.
    • The anime prequel Zone of the Enders: Idolo climaxes with a failed attempt at this.
  • MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries did this trope once, with one mission being about stealing a Clan assault mech for your employer. Possibly a double-dip of this idea, because you had the option to double-cross the faction that hired you and keep the mech for yourself, too!
    • Also occurred in at least one of the MechCommander games (the Masakari TWOCing mission in the original springs to mind) and most of the novels at one time or the other.
      • The Liao False Flag mission was basically this, send in several salvage craft in, steal the Davion Clanmechs and send the Steiner a nice middle finger barrage with it.
    • The Crysis mod, MechWarrior Living Legends, allows you to blast an enemy's cockpit armor, then kill the pilot inside. Once you kill him, you're free to hop in the mech and drive it back to base to repair or sell it. Additionally, if an enemy players ejects, you can hop in his mech as he's flying up into the air, then blast him in the face when he lands.
    • It's a very common idea in the whole BattleTech universe. Since building mechs is fairly difficult, killing the pilot and capturing the mech is a very common goal according to the universe lore. Though generally this was done on the battlefield: disable the 'Mech, kill the pilot, and then drag the 'Mech to your repair bay and now it's yours. This is expected enough in-universe that practically every BattleMech comes with standard anti-theft countermeasures already built in. The most common example, showcased in various novels, is the computer running a voice recognition check in conjunction with an individual code phrase during startup. At the same time, several novels reveal that each mech's Neurohelmet must be re-calibrated for each new user, which can pretty much only be done in the hangar. Skipping this process leads to a punch-drunk machine and a pilot with a massive, incurable hangover.
    • The MechAssault series simplified things even further in its shift to an arcade action playstyle. With the default Battlesuit, the player could simply hack into a Mech to disable it and immediately switch over with no indication of what happened to the original warm body inside.
    • Both Mechwarrior 3 and Mechwarrior 4 and their expansions had missions where new units could be stolen from maintenance and added to the player's TO&E.
    • This trope is also played completely straight in Decision at Thunder Rift, the first BattleTech novel.
  • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault has the mission "Day of the Tiger" wherein the player is tasked with escorting a crew to steal a Nazi King Tiger tank for the allies to study leading to a battle against other German tanks including the standard Tiger tanks as the plucky hijackers attempt to escape with the prototype.
  • The Xenogears plot is kicked off by one of these operations. The game starts with the stealing team making a stand against the pursuit team. Neither side gets it, since Fei "fell into" the cockpit. So everyone starts trying to get the pilot to come with them, turning the plot into a series of Feijackings.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty starts with Ocelot stealing Metal Gear RAY from The Patriots for The Patriots. It's as complicated as it sounds, yet this is Ocelot after all.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Snake uses the old Metal Gear REX from Metal Gear Solid 1 to escape from the underground facility. He meets Ocelot in a RAY and tears the old cat a new one.
  • In the PC game G-Nome, you can capture enemy HAWCs by forcing the pilot out with a special gun, then killing them.
  • This is an entire combat mechanic in Halo. With small vehicles, like the Ghost, Hornet/Falcon and the Chopper, it's simply a matter of kicking the driver out, and landing in the seat. With medium vehicles, like the Warthog, you can bash the driver, or remove the passenger or gunner and take their place. With heavy vehicles, like the Wraith, the Scorpion, and the Mantis, you can punch it until it explodes, or plant a grenade in the canopy/vent.
  • In the Activision version of Battlezone, you can steal enemy vehicles by sniping the pilots.
  • In Front Mission 3, you can jack any vehicle without a pilot. Though only the normal Wanzers can be kept afterward.
  • Anise Azeat of Galaxy Angel II steals the Brave Heart (a Lost Technology ship capable of combining with the NEUE Emblem Frames to boost their powers) from the Luxiole early in the game. When it accidentally combines with her own Emblem Frame, her employer betrays her, leading her to do a Heel–Face Turn and join the Rune Angels.
  • In Redline: Gang Warfare 2066, each level has a few free cars that the character can get into should his own get too damaged/destroyed, and that's that - you can't grab enemy cars. However, should you decide to cheat and use the code that adds all the guns, you'll get the supposedly-multiplayer-only ejecto-gun, with which you can eject enemies out of their vehicles and grab them. This is when you find out that, in order to make it harder for the player, enemy cars have virtually unlimited ammo.
  • Command & Conquer has a few examples who can do, or assist in, this trope:
  • Done oh-so-excellently in StarCraft II, wherein the playable rebel faction decides the best possible way to deal with their current goal is to steal a prototype weapon of mass destruction. By putting an insane, carnage-loving psychopath in the cockpit.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, all of the missions to destroy Leonardo's war machines will eventually involve Ezio taking the things and briefly using them against the Borgia.
  • Persona 2 has Tatsuya steal and command an enemy warmech from the Tenchu Army.
  • This is both possible and surprisingly effective in Star Wars: Battlefront when you play as an engineer class. Using your hydrospanner on an enemy tank long enough will eventually disable it and boot out the occupants so you can take it over. Stealing an enemy's tank not only keeps it from firing on your troops and but also keeps it from respawning for a while since you didn't technically "destroy" it in the first place.
  • Super Robot Wars: Original Generation: Grungust Type 2, Gespenst S, and Weissreiter. All the pilots were taken too and used by the Aerogaters
  • In Super Robot Wars: Original Generation 2 the Neo DC steals the mass production Huckebein, the Wildfalken, and the Shirogane from the EFA.
    • Weissreiter was jacked in this game also but this time was augmented to give it a significant boost in power.
    • Super Robot Wars 3 has the player re-enact the trope-naming episode of Gundam 0083, among other appearances of this trope.
    • Super Robot Wars MX has the Vegans stealing Great Mazinger and Mazinger Z in a reenactment of "UFO Robot Grendizer vs. Great Mazinger".
  • In the prologue missions of Ring of Red, North Japanese AFW Yu Kaiho steals a Super Prototype AFW from right under the noses of the South Japan army, kicking off the game's main narrative.
  • Data East's Breakthru involves the player tracking down a stolen jet fighter prototype.
  • In Mass Effect 3, Shepard can hijack a Cerberus Atlas if s/he either finds it unattended or s/he kills the pilot while leaving the mech itself intact. Using a weapon that can shoot through cover (either innately or via a weapon mod) is very helpful in accomplishing this.
    • EDI does this with Eva.
    • Meanwhile, the Earth Systems Alliance does this with the Normandy SR-2 (previously a very expensive Cerberus frigate) during the months between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, as a result of Commander Shepard surrendering the ship to the Alliance authorities after breaking ties with Cerberus. Alliance technicians spent most of the intervening time heavily refitting the ship to bring her in line with Alliance standards and to slap a nice blue and silver paint job on her. It seems that the Alliance considered the Cerberus design to be Awesome, but Impractical with quite a bit of No OSHA Compliance thrown in.
  • Done incredibly in this Battlefield 3 clip, where a soldier shoots out a jet pilot with his sniper. After ejecting. In mid-air.
  • Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom has the Border Worlds Militia do this to variously steal advanced fighters, new missiles, a fleet carrier, and several of the villains' Super Prototype secret weapons. Captain Eisen takes the cake, however, when he pulls off a Gunship Rescue with a brand new Super Carrier that he and some of his friends lifted from the Sol System — the capital of the Terran Confederation.
  • Simulation Games that allow you to board enemy ships fall under this category if your Boarding Party can take it over. Examples include Escape Velocity, where you can capture disabled ships and either fly them yourself or make them your escorts, and the X-Universe series, where you'll be doing your boarding while the enemy is still fighting.
  • In one mission, CJ from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is tasked to infiltrate an army secret base to hijack a newly developed Jet Pack. Sounds similiar to Gundam series, eh?
  • The final mission in Medal of Honor: Frontline, "The Horten's Nest", involves stealing an experimental Nazi fighter plane.
  • In Enemy Mind you're an alien entity capable of infiltrating other minds and making them do your bidding. Because the game is a 2D sidescroller in space, this translates to being able to jump from ship to ship more or less to your heart's desire - and you do need to do this often, as the vessels you commandeer are scarce in both ammunition and armor, so it's unfeasible to get a ship you like and stick with it. It's worth noting that once you jump away, if the previous ship still has any ammunition left, the pilot will regain his will and try to shoot you down again. (If no ammo is left, they spontaneously combust.)
  • A viable tactic in the Homeworld series, with a number of missions requiring to capture an enemy vessel or vehicle. In the first game you could even use your salvage corvettes to build up enormous fleets out of captured enemy ships (something the later games and the remastered version don't allow).
  • In the iOS and Mac game Galaxy on Fire Valkyrie Downloadable Content, Keith the protagonist sneaks into a Voss station to steal a prototype K’suuk fighter that was designed for non-Vossk. He isn’t stealing it so the Terrans who are enemies of the Voss can analyze it — the Terrans don’t really care about this ship. He is stealing it for Alice a rogue Arms Dealer who wants to copyright the design and be the first to introduce the ship to market.
  • In the iOS game Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance’s second and third installments, Captain Wardin the protagonist can hijack mechs to fight an onslaught of enemies — including other mechs.
  • In Janes USAF, you and your wingmen have to escort a spec ops chopper as it infiltrates a test pilot onto a Russian airfield. Once there, he steals a prototype Sukhoi-37 fighter with a new kind of ECM jammer and flies it back to US controlled territory. You have to escort him back.
  • Mission six of Metal Warriors has you infiltrating an enemy base to hijack the Drache, a prototype mecha with unlimited flight ability.
  • Fallout 3 has Liberty Prime, a Humongous Mecha designed by the pre-war United States to liberate Anchorage, Alaska from Chinese Communist invaders, brought to full working order by the Brotherhood of Steel to fight against the Enclave, The Remnant of the United States government.
  • The Ace Combat series has several instances of this trope, although the player never gets to participate in such action.
    • Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War sees the Belkan Grey Men take over the Osean Arkbird that had been equipped with a giant laser. The hijackers later attempted to use the ship to drop nukes on a Yuktobanian city, only to be stopped by the protagonists.
    • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War has the trope taken to the extreme, in which the terrorist organization A World With No Boundaries managed to secure three Belkan superweapons, including: The XB-0, a humongous airborne fortress; The V2, a MIRV nuclear missile; and the ADFX-02 Morgan, an experimental super fighter given to Pixy who was the organization's trump card. Justified in that the organizations' leader Anton Kupchenko was involved in Belka's superweapon development projects.
    • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown included the Osean Arsenal Birds, two gigantic unmanned aerial warships full of UA Vs that got remotely hacked by Eruseans and turned against Osean forces.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, the protagonists are Sky Pirates, so it's only natural that they would want to swipe the Empire's hot new flagship. In a twist, the ship was meant for the Empress's son, but he's fed up with the Empire's tyranny and basically hands it over to them on the condition that he goes with it.
  • In the finale of Star Wars: Rebel Assault II, Rookie One and Ru Murleen jack one of The Empire's Invisibility Cloaked V-38 TIE Phantom fighters, but it self-destructs before the Rebels can reverse-engineer its technology.
  • The Marathon Game Mod Operation Vengeance has you hijack a Pfhor Juggernaut.
  • Deepwoken: The Stormseye's weapon description states that it was a prototype gun developed by the Ignition Union, but was pilfered by the Summer Company during a raid at one of their cargo ships.

    Web Animation 
  • In RWBY, Roman Torchwick steals a prototype Atlesian Paladin mech and uses it to fight Team RWBY. The girls have a hard time, but are able to defeat it, but in Season 3, Winter tells Weiss that the real deal would not fall to a team of teenagers. Sure enough, when the entire Atlas army is taken over, the teams are easily put through the wringer.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Carmen Sandiego: While not war, per se, V.I.L.E. plots to steal a prototype electric racecar in order to reverse engineer the perfect getaway vehicles thanks to its speed, sleek design, and nearly-silent electric motor.
  • Megas XLR begins with the Earth forces having already stolen the enemy Super Prototype; the beginning of the first episode has the Glorft trying to take it back again.
  • Star Wars Rebels: In "Flight of the Defender", Ezra and Sabine steal a prototype TIE Defender Elite from the Empire, with the goal of eventually delivering its flight recorder to Alliance High Command.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: Superman's first crime-fighting adventure in the three-part series premiere is kicked off by the theft of a LexCorp battlesuit prototype. It's actually a setup to cover Luthor's illegal sale of the device to Kaznia.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan: In an effort to scare off a murderous classmate, Lance breaks into the military academy's armory to steal a Manus suit. Unfortunately, the classmate responded by stealing a Manus suit of his own.
  • One episode of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero had Cobra steal an experimental G.I.Joe vehicle, the Battle Axe, during a test. After it's recovered, Hawk and Duke openly discus its replacement in the presence of the bugging devices Cobra planted in Hawk's food. This time, it turns out to be a ruse designed to lure Cobra into a trap. note 

    Real Life 
  • This has happened many times throughout history, ranging from boarding parties seizing enemy ships to defectors making a Run for the Border in an advanced jetplane. In the event of open war, many nations have simply recovered enemy hardware after it was lost in battle, and then taken it home for study.
    • A Japanese Zero that crashed intact in the Aleutian Islands was extensively examined and tested by the Americans, who developed new tactics to exploit every flaw they could find in Japanese design practices. The Axis powers similarly used captured Allied hardware and used it for their own purposes, including both study and operational use. For example, the Nazis greatly improved the reliability of their semi-automatic rifles by studying the gas system of captured Soviet SVT-40s.
    • Using captured enemy aircraft operationally could be a two-edged sword due to Friend or Foe? confusion. The Luftwaffe was known to take captured Allied aircraft, paint them in Luftwaffe markings, and use them for reconnaissance, with at least one case of a German pilot using a P-51 to fly right through an American bomber formation unmolested despite the clearly German markings (shortly after, a much larger force of German fighters attacked the bombers).note  Meanwhile, one Japanese pilot flying a Curtiss P-40 (in Japanese markings) was shot down over Rangoon by another Japanese pilot who mistook him for an American or British pilot.
  • Several military combat ground vehicles of all shapes and sizes can be stolen surprisingly easily, up to and including some types of Tanks, simply because in a lot of cases they don't even need keys to start up. (Luckily, the ammunition for their guns is a different story.) This is supposedly for combat readiness: you do not want the combat vehicle's driver to be searching for the correct unlocking mechanism when the enemy's right at the gates.
  • While not a blatant case of theft, Russia's first nuclear bomber, the Tupolev Tu-4A, was basically created from this. During the closing stages of WWII, several B-29 bombers damaged from missions over Japan crash-landed in Soviet territory. With the B-29 being the then-cutting edge plane of the war and Russia in need of a decent strategic bomber, Stalin refused to return the planes note  , and reverse-engineered them to create the Tu-4, which was essentially an exact copy of the B-29 except with bigger defensive guns.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Mecha Hijacking, Gundamjack


Cerberus Atlas

Well-placed shots to the cockpit can free up this armored walker, which you can then take for your own.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / GrandTheftPrototype

Media sources: