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Instant Armor

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Good thing too, cause that armor would have been a pain in the butt to put on.

"Old tech. Functional, but old. 'Hey, people are shooting at me! Wait, let me put on my helmet!' Now, look at these... [demonstrates nanotech armour] The entire suit sits within the teeth of the necklace."

Armor is nice, but it takes time to put on and take off, and can be kind of clunky if you have to go through narrow passageways depending on its size, also getting out of it in a hurry if you need to go to the loo can be a real pain. It's not like you can just wear it all the time! Wouldn't it be much nicer if you could just create a suit out of thin air — or, alternately, out of whatever raw-materials happen to be handy — whenever you need one? Well, if you've got Psychic Powers, Functional Magic, a friendly Symbiote or just some really nifty gadgets, you can!

Can range in size from a form-fitting suit to full-fledged Humongous Mecha; if the former, it may or may not be Powered Armor as well. It can also be used as a type of One-Winged Angel or Super Mode for the character in question. Note that we're not talking MacGyvered Powered Armor here — rather, the armor is propelled and assembled by supernatural power of some sort, or teleported in/assembled on the spot by Nanomachines. As a rule of thumb, if it takes more than a couple of minutes to assemble, it does not belong here.

Collapsible Helmet is a more specific Sub-Trope where only the helmet appears/disappears.

Compare/contrast Henshin Hero, Elemental Armor, Elemental Barrier, and Wreathed in Flames.


    open/close all folders 

  • Mechamato: With the push of a button on the Mechaniser, Amato can make MechaBot form a red set of mechanised armor around himself over his normal clothes.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, Titan shifting is essentially a particularly bizarre and extreme version of this, conjuring a colossal organic 'suit' around yourself out of thin air. Furthermore, these individuals can harden parts of their skin into a crystalline substance that acts as armor.
  • Berserk furnishes a partial example with Guts's cursed and magical Berserker Armor. The part of it that Guts normally wears behaves like regular armor which he needs to carry around by wearing it, but the helmet and arm defenses materialize out of his cape and snap shut to enclose him whenever he enters a berserker frenzy. As soon as he's back to normal, the helmet and arms retract themselves back into hammerspace.
  • Noelle from Black Clover gains the Valkyrie Armor spell, forming an armor made of water that lets her control the mana around her to fly. After training for six months, she learns a variant called Mermaid Form meant for underwater combat.
  • Bleach: Sado's right arm can instantaneously transform into the "Right arm of the Giant", a supernatural arm that includes a vast shield-like form at the shoulder. Although it can attack with tremendous strength and power, it's actually a defensive ability, the shield acting to protect against attacks directed at him.
  • One of the contractors in the second season of Darker than Black can instantly assemble improvised mecha around himself out of whatever materials happen to be nearby.
  • The mysterious Henshin Hero, Brave, of Demon King Daimao, is empowered by a rather sleek suit of Magitek Powered Armor, which he can summon from another dimension with his Transformation Trinket wristband.
  • Referred to as Requipping in Fairy Tail.
  • Saber and Gilgamesh/Archer in Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero are both capable of this. Saber's is essentially made entirely of her magic energy. Gilgamesh presumably either does the same or simply pulls it through Gate of Babylon.
  • The Homunculus Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist can use the carbon in his body to generate a Nigh Invulnerable second skin which he calls "The Ultimate Shield". Greed usually only armors up his arms (giving him claws in the process) and whatever specific body part is about to be hit, because full-body armor makes his face ugly.
  • The Mimetic Beasts of Godannar, who are small, alien organisms who create huge bodies for themselves out of available materials — whether that is rocks, people, or a space-shuttle.
  • The Bio-Booster Armour from Guyver. The live-action movies had them erupt from bumps on the neck from some form of Hammerspace. The anime and manga just directly summons it from Hammerspace with a mini Sphere of Destruction that vaporizes any enemy foolish enough to get close to you while transforming.
  • In Heroic Age, the Silver Tribe can assemble their Full Hedron spaceships out of apparently nothing in under a minute. Couple this with their ability to survive at least a few minutes in vacuum and their ability to teleport, it means that blowing up a Hedron is a minor setback at most unless you manage to kill the Silver Tribesman himself (and considering the power of their personal Hedron Shields, this is easier said than done). All of this is accomplished through extremely advanced technology and Psychic Powers rather than anything explicitly supernatural, though.
  • The titular armor from Infinite Stratos are powered exoskeletons that teleport onto/around the user, summoned via wrist band (though it can be stored in pretty much any accessory; Cecilia's is stored in her earrings, Charlotte has a necklace, and Laura has it in a holster strapped to her thigh). The user has the option of just summoning the arm of their machine, used mostly as a Hyperspace Mallet gag. (In one episode, Cecilia summons an Attack Drone to help with "cooking". It goes about as well as you'd expect.) Notably, only the 'personalized' IS-units have this function. The mass-produced Red Shirt models are just run-of-the-mill Powered Armor.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: There's a Stand form type called 'Armor'. However, the category applies to any Stand that manifests a form that can be worn; as such. In Golden Wind, Ghiaccio's White Album and Secco's Oasis apply to this. In Steel Ball Run, Blackmore's Catch The Rainbow manifests as a mask that only covers his face.
  • The Barrier Jackets from Lyrical Nanoha are conjured out of thin air and can take more beating than a main battle tank. Sure, they don't look that way in some cases but Signum's, for example, both looks and functions just right. Presumably, as a result of being able to be ready for battle in an instant, Bureau mages tend to wear their "dress" uniform virtually all the time outside combat when they're on duty.
  • In Marvel Anime: X-Men, Armor has a highly colorful version of this as her power.
  • Believe it or not this trope is invoked a few times in the Metroid manga. That's right, Samus actually could hide her Powered Armor in a very small place and summon it whenever she wanted.
  • The Mushi of Mushi-Uta are mostly Mons, but the one belonging to the main character Kakkouisa "fusion" type. In the beginning, it just merges with his arm and Hand Cannon to form an Arm Cannon, but with time, it grows bigger and covers more — at the end, it's basically a suit of Chitinous armor that he can call up at any time. (Unfortunately, it sort of looks — and acts — like CthulhuTech...)
  • In My Hero Academia, both Eijiro Kirishima and Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu have this as the major power of their Quirks — Kirishima hardens his body, while Tetsutetsu turns into steel. Tetsutetsu needs to include a lot of iron in his diet to sustain it, but Kirishima doesn't have prerequisites. He later creates a Super Mode that just involves him making his body extra-hard. Inspired by Kirishima, acid-secreting Mina Ashido develops a version of her own, which covers her in a Blob Monster of acid.
  • The Robes from My-Otome. Once their receive authorization from their Masters an Otome can summon their Robe within the space of a few seconds. The Five Columns don't even have to worry about authorization.
  • Jinchuriki gain this via their Tailed Beast Mode in Naruto, with Naruto taking it a step further with his Tailed Beast Mode using Kurama's own tails as giant shields, all nine together are strong enough to take a direct beam Bijudama from the fricken Ten-Tails without any damage. Uchiha such as Sasuke Uchiha, Madara Uchiha, and Itachi Uchiha gain instant armor with their Mangekyo Sharingan, called Susano'o. Finally the Hyuga can make an instant armor dome called Kaiten by charging chakra from every pour from their body and spinning at high speed.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Jack Rakan can summon arm and leg armor via his artifact. And seemingly move it telekinetically, as he has lost his arms and legs before that.
    • After becoming an Ariadne Knight, Yue can summon a set of full armor, too.
  • One Piece:
    • Baroque Works' Mr. 3/Galdino ate the Wax-Wax Fruit which allows him to produce and manipulate a special kind of wax. One application of it is he can create a suit of wax armor for himself that's harder than steel but melts when exposed to fire.
    • Wanze's Ra-Mens Formal Suit (a suit of armor made of ramen noodles) borders on parodying this trope.
    • The prime example of this in the story is Busoshoku/Armament Haki. A user can coat their body as well as objects in what's described as an invisible layer of armor that can be used simultaneously to protect as well as attack (Haki being the only thing besides Seastone capable of harming a Devil Fruit user, especially Logias and the stranger Paramecia cases). It's revealed later on that there are advanced techniques associated with this power that allow the user to project their Haki and attack without physical contact, as well as completely bypass physical defense to attack the target from inside their body.
  • One of the Black Phantom villains in Psychic Squad has the ability to spontaneously create Humongous Mecha suits for himself, by using a combination of telekinesis and illusions. The suits are ACTUALLY just a number of handy vehicles and random bits of scenery suspended in the air and moved with TK, but his illusion-projection abilities makes it look — and act — like a classic mecha.
  • In Ronin Warriors, all five of the titular warriors, as well as Ryo's companion white tiger, can don their battle armor in a couple of seconds. Their enemies the Dark Warlords can put on their armor even faster - apparently they can just wish it into existence around them.
  • Saint Seiya is all about this trope. It used to happen at least Once per Episode until the later sagas where they always had their armors on.
  • Armor-type Over Souls in Shaman King are these.
  • Scryed:
    • Kazuma's Alter power develops like this, initially converting note  just his arm, but later progressing to the right half of his torso, then full body armor.
    • Ryuhou, Straight Cougar, and Martin Zigmarl — any Alloy-type Alter user does this to some extent, and it is implied by Ryuhou when he reaches his fullest level of power that all Alter powers must become Alloy-type to unlock their maximum potential.
    • The implications of this type of armor are explored later on in this show. You notice how he's always wearing a glove and long sleeves? On the few instances when he's not, you can see lines across his hand and arm. As the armor grows across him on varying levels, those lines appear where he's transformed. Turns out it's not just stylistic, those are scars left from where his own body was torn apart by his Altar power and reconstructed into armor. It's to the point that, after unlocking his second level, his one eye only opens when manifesting the armor... It was heavily damaged right before the first manifestation, and now it appears to potentially be part of the manifestation.
  • Averted in most cases as heroes in Tiger & Bunny had to put on their suits like normal clothing or other way around, but is later played straight for Wild Tiger and Barnaby in the second season as their Style 3 suits are summoned via Transformation Trinket.
  • Coco from Toriko has been shown to do this in a recent chapter. He can make an armor that looks similar to what the samurai wore with the poison in his body.
  • Sensui from YuYu Hakusho can use his Holy Light Energy to create two special sets of armor.
  • Lots of characters can do this in Zatch Bell!. The strongest armor spell seen in the manga can even shapeshift and grants jets.

    Comic Books 
  • Black Panther's suit eventually gained this ability in The '90s. A memorable scene from the first issue of Christopher Priest's run had T'Challa change from a business suit into his Panther gear in the time it took from him to cross from underneath one streetlight to another.
  • The latest Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, has this power thanks to the Scarab, an incredibly powerful piece of alien wartech that implanted itself in his body. Just don't ask where the mass of the suit comes from. Dan Garrett, the first Blue Beetle, could also use the Scarab to call up a suit of armor (although since the Scarab was damaged at the time, it was nowhere near what it could do for Jaime).
  • Samantha of ClanDestine can generate "ectoplasmic" armor and swords which are impervious to anything short of Wolverine's claws, do not disappear until she actively dispels them, and also look very cool. The one downside is that generating the armor inevitably shreds her clothes. Each time Sam armors up, it looks a little different, with the suggestion that she's doing this on purpose — which makes sense; Sam's an artist in her day job.
  • Iron Man:
    • Iron Man's original armor took him a minute and a half to manually put on. Ever since his second suit, the time for the suiting-up process has been greatly diminished. For the Model 2 armor, it took Tony Stark only two seconds to slip on each limb into the suit. The suiting-up process of the Model 4 took "mere micro-seconds." These time measurements don't include the time it would take for Stark to put on the torso section of the armor, which he always carried on. Later suits, namely the Model 16, could even be summoned from a distance, and fly over him before enrobing him.
    • The suiting-up process for the Extremis Armor makes it a form of Instant Armor. The armor plates are self propelled and can assemble around Tony in a matter of seconds, while the inner layers of the armor (the undersheath) are stored inside Tony's body. The suit-up was fast enough to fly over to Tony and enrobe him in the middle of an explosion.
    • The Bleeding Edge Armour was stored in its entirety within Tony's body, which allowed for an extremely fast suit-up.
    • The entirety of Stark's Model-Prime Armor could be stored within a watch, and enrobe him in a matter of milliseconds.
  • Miss Thing uses a pair of rings to instantaneously summon her armor in FF.
  • Towards the end of the Reality Check semi-manga, Mr Bunwah is carrying one of these for the heroine.
  • The Engineer of The Authority fame replaced her blood with nine pints of polymorphic metal. She generally extrudes enough of it to make a gleaming silver bodysuit.
  • Robin (1993): When the Dark Rider takes over Stan it conjures up a partial suit of black plate armor, including greaves, poleyns, cuisses and pauldrons as well a black hooded cloak. The ensemble fades with the rising sun and poor Stan doesn't much appreciate it since he has no recollection of anything that happens while the Dark Rider is in the driver's seat.
  • For a time, Cyborg from the Teen Titans had a cloned body with a piece of shape-shifting alien tech implanted inside. This allowed him to switch between a human appearance and his classic, armored form at will.
  • X-Men:
    • Magneto has been known to do this, from time to time, using his metal-control. Ranging from reconstructing his own broken armor from nearby junk, to forging himself into a gigantic steel titan! At one point, he disassembled his suit, sitting on a chair nearby, into sand-sized grains and re-formed it around himself, in seconds.
    • Armor can create magic armor around her body. (Well, DUH...) She would mockingly acknowledge the "duh" factor by wondering what if she called Wolverine, well, "Claw"... or "Stench"...
    • Colossus, who can at any time turn his entire body into organic steel. Likewise, Emma Frost can transform into a diamond form.
    • Indra of New X-Men: Academy X possesses a physically retractable exoskeleton. The mechanic behind his power is unknown, but he is able to summon his exoskeleton almost instantaneously and with little to no restriction in his mobility.
  • The Golden Age Fury from the All-Star Squadron sequel series The Young All-Stars is instantly clad in skintight bulletproof golden armor whenever Helena Kosmatos transforms into Fury.

    Fan Works 
  • In Aeon Natum Engel, The Sword Лu-hvean'tahæn gives the Star Spawn High Priest the ability to manifest it.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Tony remarks in the sequel that he's working towards an even faster version of this (he's already got ones that can fly to him and assemble around him), after seeing Clark's suit automatically assemble from crystal based nanotech.
    • It's worth noting that he technically already has, with the Project Galahad suit he designed for Harry. It helps that that it's sleeker and more stripped down, being designed for speed, agility, and endurance — Harry provides the firepower. It's already assembled and can be summoned from a pocket dimension.
    • Carol's shield turns out to be an immensely powerful Morph Weapon that can transform into this. Since its main power is Energy Absorption, which it can then reuse and return "with interest", it can quite easily turn its wielder into a Flying Brick.
    • The Lady Knight's nanotech can transform her fancy dress into close-fitting and incredibly durable battle armour in between footsteps.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon's watch has a skin-suit armor function added, which also can be activated automatically to act as an emergency compress.
  • In the Pony POV Series, General Hercules Beetle, the Changeling's military leader, was genetically enhanced by Bio-alchemy to allow him to create an organic armor over his forelegs that can withstand nearly any attack. His One-Winged Angel form is covered in it, rendering him Nigh-Invulnerability, though it's quite taxing on his mana reserves.
  • Luna and Celestia apparently have this in A Hollow in Equestria as they're seen transforming their regalia into suits of armor.
  • Fate/Black Dawn: Morgan le Faye enchants Shirou's armor to have a Collapsible Helmet and to be summoned or dismissed at will. What she doesn't tell him is that she mostly did this because she found it annoying that it took him so long to undress when she was in the mood.
  • Taylor Hebert, Medhall Intern: After triggering, Greg can telekinetically seize nearby metal and shape it into armour around himself and his allies. Something about his power also reinforces it, because armour formed from random scrap metal like car doors will nonetheless stop small-arms fire and even blunt the effect of a 0.50cal rifle.
  • The protagonist of With This Ring keeps his power armour in his ring's subspace pocket for instantaneous equipping and removal. In fact, he didn't design it to be removed in a mundane fashion, since that would create weak points; when his ring is stolen from him, he's stuck inside and struggles to get medical attention. With the ring, though, it's extremely convenient; he can literally change into his armour mid-step.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Batman (1989), a push of a button on the Batmobile covers it in armor, which acts to protect it from bullets and acts to keep it from being stolen. This becomes a plot point in Batman Returns, when as part of a plot to frame him and ruin his reputation, the Penguin has his people disable the armor so that they can plant a beacon into the vehicle that allows Penguin to control it remotely.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man Films:
      • In the second film, Tony Stark has a suitcase that turns into a suit of armor, as a nod to the comics. However, it's more of an Emergency Weapon, as it is significantly less powerful than the regular armor, and apparently only mounts the palm repulsors for weaponry. Still comes in very handy in a pinch.
      • As part of Stark's continuing upgrades to his armor, this type shows up in The Avengers (2012) — except that not only can it be stored in a cupboard, it is fully capable of flying itself to him and assembling itself around him autonomously. How long does this take, you might ask? Less time than it takes to hit the ground falling off of Stark Tower (barely).
      • A prequel comic to the second film shows Tony trying different ways of making the armor come to him. One involves a missile that flies to him and buries its nose in the ground. That fails spectacularly, as the impact destroys the armor.
      • By the third film, individual armor components now fly to Tony thanks to implants in his arms. Not only that, but he has pre-programmed gestures that can get the armor to assemble on someone he points at. He does this during the Mandarin's attack on his mansion to put the armor on Pepper (unfortunately, he never told her how to use the repulsors) and later to force the Big Bad into one of his armors and blow it up.
    • In Black Panther (2018), Shuri makes T'Challa a new Panther suit that uses nanotechnology to keep it stored inside a necklace and will instantaneously suit him up when needed. She lampshades the notion of heroes fumbling around trying to put on an outfit as the reasoning for the upgrade.
      Shuri: People are shooting at me! Wait, let me put on my helmet!
    • The Bleeding Edge (or Mark 50) Iron Man suit in Avengers: Infinity War represents an even further advancement of the technology, as it is capable of unwrapping itself from a holder on Tony's chest roughly where his Arc Reactor used to be, ensuring that Tony is never without protection. The Iron Spider suit is likewise instantaneous as it is made using the same nano-technology that the Mark 50 uses.
    • Avengers: Endgame:
      • The far more advanced Mark 85 also falls into this category. Curiously, however, despite being implied to have been constructed at the same time as the Mark 85, Pepper's Rescue Armor, like the War Machine series, is not nanotech, but neither does it seem to be like the above mentioned Mark 42.
      • The quantum realm suits that the Avengers don to travel in time are all made from nanotech, allowing them to appear and disappear in a moment.
    • Spider-Man: No Way Home has Spidey now wearing a nanite costume, which even allows him to use a portion of the machines to trap Doctor Octopus's tentacles to the floor.
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has the title duo now having their suits contained in pocket-sized modules, that once pressed against their chests have the suits form over their clothing. Cassie's suit presumably works the same way as well.
  • DC Extended Universe:

  • In Simon R. Green's Secret Histories novels, nigh-invulnerable armor can emerge from a Drood's torc in an instant, or withdraw into it just as quickly.
  • The Stormlight Archive:
    • Implied. Full Knights Radiant can apparently manifest Shardplate from thin air. None of the characters in the story proper have reached that level just yet, but in Dalinar's vision of the past, a Knight can be seen casually summoning and dismissing her helmet without it being seen off her head.
    • In Rhythm of War, we finally get to see this done on-screen. Shardplate is made up of lesser, non-sapient spren that manifest in the Physical Realm as armor. It's portrayed as the Knight always wearing their armor, it just being invisible and intangible until needed. Exaggerated when Kaladin materializes his Shardplate onto other people quickly enough to parry weapons mid-thrust.
  • In demon form, Amber of Demon Road has retractable black scale armour.
  • In The Dreamside Road, Tucker makes armor out of Cobalt Nine. He forms and changes his armor constantly during his duel with Orson, culminating in his Gigadeath technique, a fifteen foot armored monstrosity.
  • Journey to Chaos Eric has the good fortune for his mana-mutated form to be a large humanoid with metal skin. Shifting into his new true form is a lot like putting on full-body plate mail.
  • Lightbringers in Shadow of the Conqueror can store objects, including whole suits of armor, to be summoned whenever they need them. Lightbinders can achieve a similar effect if they use sunforged armor made with their own blood, which links it to their body and magic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg: The knights can summon their armour in a moment by calling out their element.
  • A few Power Rangers battleizers have this property. In fact, for a given value of armor, most Tokusatsu series that involve manifestation of their suits count as this trope, as they are only spandex, latex, or leather bodysuits out-of-universe, whereas in they are far more advanced than how they appear (think of how the above example of Iron Spider from Avengers: Infinity War looks). Furthermore, as best exemplified by Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie, most of these transformations are generally instantaneous, less than a second (though more recent entries are hardly so, to the point of obviously invoking Transformation Is a Free Action and subversions of that trope).
    • When we don't get the Transformation Sequence, it's usually just a flash and the suit is fully formed. Gavan's narration tells us Once per Episode that it actually takes .05 seconds. (Team-ups reveal that the Gokaigers' suit-up is much faster, while the Go-Busters' suit-up is much slower, but both do happen in less than a second. Mind you, the Go-Busters' transformation is usually done without a stock footage morph sequence, but in 'real' space and time, and no, it is not that fast as far as we can see.)
  • In the finale of Star Trek: Voyager, Admiral Janeway travels back in time to give Voyager this upgrade, allowing a set of nigh-invulnerable ablative armor to be instantly created around the ship.
    • The only problem? The Borg have assimilated the technology (as well as One-Hit Kill torpedoes) and can now use it against everyone else.
  • Three Arrowverse superheroes (the Flash, Supergirl, and Black Lightning) now have nanotech suits that form around them in seconds, all from different sources. Barry's was made by Cisco and allows him to "dissolve" his cowl by tapping on the lightning bolt symbol on his ear. Kara's suit (now with pants) appears whenever she removes her glasses in a certain way and was developed by Brainy. Jefferson's suit is stored in a watch given to him by the ASA and is activated by hitting the watch with 5 Volts.

  • Valkyrie Frames in Battle Action Harem Highschool Side Character Quest can be materialized and dematerialized at will, so long as one is synched to a Valkyrie Core. Experienced users can summon the Frame instantly, while those who haven’t been synched as long take a few seconds.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The OGL supplement Chainmail Bikinis and Other Adventuring Gear for Beautiful People by EN Armory has the "quick-don armour", blessed by the Goddess of Sexual Escapades, which instantly jumps up and assembles itself on the owner upon command, in case their partner's spouse or parents come home unexpectedly...
  • d20 Future has the gadget "Digital Armor", where your armor is stored as a data pattern on a tiny piece of technobabble and can be summoned immediately from anywhere. You don't even need to don it. However, it's of the highest Technology Level, placing it well beyond the reach of most campaigns.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Psionics allow you to pull armor (or a weapon) out of somewhere in existence.
    • There are certain spells that provide a form of armor to the caster, such as golden dragonmail or silver dragonmail.
    • The 3.5E supplement Magic Item Compendium has the called armor property, allowing you to not only remove the lengthy times for putting it on, but leave it anywhere on the same plane and still be called in an instant (unless another creature seizes and wears it).
    • The Arms and Equipement Guide features an extra (non-magical) property for armors: quick-escape. It doesn't help the quick equipping of the armor, but instead its quick removal (in cases of emergency where an armor is a bad thing) thanks to a special lock on the shield-side hip, which release makes the whole armor fall away. Putting on a quick-escape armor, on the other hand, takes twice as long as normal (which makes it a primary candidate for the called magical property).
    • Rilmani are creatures embodying the True Neutral alignment, and their leader caste, the aurumachs, have magical golden armor that appears around their bodies just in time to deflect a blow before vanishing again. The upside of this is that it lets aurumachs move about unencumbered by a suit of full plate while still enjoying its protection, the downside is that in an Anti-Magic field, they're effectively naked.
    • The 4th Edition supplement Adventurer's Vault provides "summoned" armor, which can be of any type, is basically put on the hard way once, and then can be dismissed to and recalled from a "secure extradimensional location" at will, reappearing on the caller's person as though he or she had just put it on. It otherwise functions as plain old magical armor of its given type and bonus (minimum +2).
    • In 5th Edition, the Armorer subclass (from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything) gives artificers the ability to don or doff their Arcane Armor as an action, rather than spending between one to ten minutes doing so.
  • Exalted:
    • One of the powers available to Celestial Circle sorcerers is to create a huge suit of magical armor, called a Warstrider, and then pilot it from the chest. (Seen in action here, in Keychain of Creation, an Exalted fan webcomic.)
    • There is a whole family of more general are more practical abilities, ranging from a humble kata to don your armor more swiftly to summoning and dismissing your suit of magical full-plate armor in an instant from anywhere in creation, or even just packing it away Elsewhere.
  • Pathfinder:
    • The Advanced Player's Guide contains a spell for Clerics and Paladins called instant armor. The spell does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • There's also the Wizard/Sorcerer and Magus spell swift girding, though its function is to instantly equip the caster and/or willing allies with preexisting suits of armor rather than to create armor out of thin air.
  • Ponies & Parasprites has two sets of summoned armor.
    • The Alchemy Brews Hide of Brass and Celestially-Perfected Hide of Orichalcum provide the character damage reduction and immunity to extreme temperatures of any kind.
    • Three of the Celestial Templates (the Phoenix Glories, Aegis Mercurial, and Sapphire Paramour) grant the Chosen the ability to summon suits of armor from nothingness. The other five Celestial Templates instead summon some form of jewelry, though these gems still provide some manner of protection for the wearer.
  • In the Three Galaxies setting for Rifts, Cosmo Knights can call on their "cosmic armor" in an instant. The appearance of the armor can vary according to individual taste, but it is always sleek, shiny, and able to withstand hits from starship-mounted weapons. Where it exists when not in use is never addressed.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: By using their magical mirrors, the Necloth can don armor based on past Duel Terminal monsters. Avance gets the power of Unicore and Valkyrus. Shrit gets the power of Clausolas, Brionac and Trishula. Emilia gets the power of Gungnir. Exa gets the power of Catastor and Decisive Armor.

    Video Games 
  • The main boss of the second dungeon in Beyond Good & Evil is a tiny, easily-damaged mini-Mook that uses some kinda alien telepathy stuff to surround itself with metal machine parts and effectively become a giant, heroine-crushing psychic robot.
  • The highest power of the "Stone Armor" powerset in City of Heroes is "Granite Armor", which surrounds the hero completely with an impenetrable granite suit, making them nearly invulnerable, but also really slow. Its popularity has led to the general wisdom that Stone Tankers shouldn't waste too much time designing their costumes: nobody's gonna see them anyway.
  • In Dark Souls II getting to the level 1 in Dragon Remnants covenant grants you an item which, upon use, conjures a dragon-shaped helmet that lets you breathe fire, and level 2 reward item summons a full armor suit, helmet included. This Black Dragon armor has good defence-to-weight ratio but can only be removed by death.
  • One of the new powers in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is Titan Armor, which covers Adam in black polygonal armor that makes him Nigh Invulnerable.
  • In Diablo II, 7 out of the 210 skills in the game are an example of this. Only the Druid, Necromancer, Assassin, and Sorceress can use any of them. All of them, except for the sorceress, who has access to 4 of the skills, can only use 1 of them. In Diablo III the Wizard has three different types to choose from: ice, lightning or arcane. These are at least as offensive as they are defensive, either damaging or in some way weakening attackers.
  • Similar to the Granite Form in City of Heroes, Dragon Age II has the spell "Rock Armor" that covers the mage casting it in stone and make it easier to survive in close combat or against archers. There's even a potion that non-mages can use to simulate the spell, and since it has no requirements combined with a low stamina cost it's recommended that every mage take it. And it actually looks pretty cool to boot.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The "Bound Armor" spell is available throughout most of the series and has this effect. It is a Conjuration spell which temporarily summons a set of Daedric armor for the caster. Flavor text various implies that the armor is either made out of pure Magicka or is summoned from Oblivion itself (much like summoning actual lesser Daedra). It can quickly de-squishify your Squishy Wizard.
    • In Morrowind, it is possible to enchant items with "constant effect" Bound Armor spells. With a high value item (meaning it can hold more powerful enchantments) and a powerful Soul Gem, it is possible to enchant the item to summon a permanent full set of Bound Armor (equivalent to full Daedric) as soon as you equip it. And the armor never needs repairs either, as if it gets damaged, you can simply remove the item and reequip it for a new set.
    • In Oblivion the Mythic Dawn cultists that are responsible for killing the Emperor are able to conjure their custom weapons and armor from thin air by way of magic. The equipment immediately fades upon their death. (A clever setup, since it allows for Mooks who provide a real challenge, while leaving nothing worth looting behind.) The player can learn similar spells (which work the same way but conjure a different type of armor), and with the spell customization system, even design a spell that summons a full set of plate armor, sword, and shield with the press of a single button.
    • In Skyrim, the series of spells ending in '-flesh'note  generate a hard layer around the player that lasts about sixty seconds and helps reduce damage. A perk in the Alteration tree makes them more effective if the player isn't already wearing armor.
  • In the fighting game Evil Zone, special inspector Mikagami Sho used the command phrase 'Zerochaku' to summon his armored suit, becoming the Hot-Blooded hero DANZAIVER!
  • In Fairune, the main character flips from a nice dress to leather armor and a shield with a single spin when picking up her Sword of Hope. Possibly justified, as the armor disintegrating into doves at the end of Fairune 1 and Fairune Origin implies the armor to be of magical origin.
  • The "Golem Condiut" and "Aura Condiut" in inFamous are also examples of this. The first is a psychokinetic member of the Dustmen, who has pulled together a motley assembly of mainly-metallic trash, into a vaguely humanoid form. The toughest and most annoying unit in the game, hands down. The second, meanwhile, is a telekinetic member of the First Sons, who is basically projecting a gigantic (and vaguely purple) spectral image of himself, stomping around and smashing stuff while his real body floats in the center.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, the main trio wear pieces of armor on their shoulders at all times, and can summon full suits of armor by touching the armor pieces.
    • in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], Ventus's armor protects Sora from the darkness when Sora's heart falls asleep. Unfortunately, the armor itself is corrupted (although Sora is fine).
    • Two worlds in the series, Space Paranoids and The Grid, will automatically force the protagonists to wear armor upon entering. Justified, as they are both computer worlds based on the same franchise, and they are both Fisher Kingdoms in the films, as well.
  • The Sentinel Class' Tech Armor from Mass Effect 2 can be deployed instantly and provides extra shielding. It also explodes to smack nearby enemies on their asses when it goes down.
  • Mega Man:
    • Producing this is the main function of Biometals in the Mega Man ZX series. Mega Man X does something similar from X4 onwards at the start of every stage.
    • Starting with Mega Man X4, X's teleporting animation shows him wearing his normal armor by default upon warping in, then quickly dawning any enhanced armor pieces he obtained. The animation goes by quick and can be easy to miss. The trope also appears in X's appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, with his Super Mode showing him instantly dawning his Armor of Light, and his Level 3 Hyper Combo having him instantly equip the Ultimate Armor.
  • The Big Bad of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is souped up on nanomachines that harden his skin in response to trauma and make him immune to harm... Somehow. The reveal of this is played ever-so-slightly tongue in cheek.
  • Metroid:
    • Samus can put her armor on or off through a mental trigger. Word of God states that instead of willing it on or off, Samus must constantly concentrate just to maintain the armor. To take it off, she simply stops concentrating. Note this only started in Metroid: Other M. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Metroid Fusion show that the armor stays on her when unconscious.
    • Metroid: Other M gets into a downright Deconstruction of the "constant concentration" type of armor. Like when Adam shoots her in the back so she doesn't fire at the ice-proof metroid and she slowly loses the suit out of physical shock and mental shock that her Father Figure would do such a thing.
  • Nasuverse: Heroic Spirits can nigh-instantly change into their combat clothing (including armor) since it's technically just all constructed Mana. Mysterious Heroine XX's Aahvalon armor can materialize around herself in negative one seconds. In other words, the armor will actually turn back time by one second to be equipped, meaning it should be impossible to catch her off-guard.
  • In Persona 5, once a Persona User has awoken to their powers, their clothes change whenever they enter the Metaverse, along with gaining the mask of their Persona.
  • One of the powers wielded by the shape-shifter Alex Mercer in [PROTOTYPE] is the ability to create a heavy, insectoid-looking armor out of available biomass. Completely covering, and can be sprung out in less than a second... it slightly reduces his speed and agility but makes him much tougher. Or, if you prefer, you can deploy it through a several-seconds long Transformation Sequence.
  • Rivals of Aether has this occur with mech user Elliana, although there's not really any in-universe justification to be drawn from there.
  • Super Mario 64: The metal cap/green block gives Mario (Wario in the DS remake) a metal skin that makes them heavy, but also damage-resistant.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
  • One of the "Suit" power-ups in the Platform Game Vexx works like this. The Rock Suit causes lava-hot stones to surround Vexx, making him invincible and letting him break through certain barriers. However, while covered in rock, he runs kind of awkwardly and he jumps like a chump. After a while, the rocks break off and he returns to normal.
  • In Warframe, the Rhino warframe can use his Void powers to give himself additional armor, in the form of a coating of silver (or gold for Rhino Prime) metal. The Chroma warframe can cast aside his outer pelt to act as a turret, losing armor but gaining speed in the process, and the pelt can be recalled almost instantly. The Grineer councilor Vay Hek gets in on the fun with the ability to call in a Humongous Mecha orbital insertion within seconds, which he plugs his augmented body into.

    Web Animation 

  • The Cyantian Chronicles: Lifts are often stored in a Hyperspace Arsenal and can be summoned at a moments notice — if they're not the size of a small house.
  • In Flaky Pastry, Gadgeteer Genius Nitrine has a suit of Mega Man-ish powered armor that collapses into the form of a belt-buckle. Usually works as a Super Mode with a 30-second time-limit due to enormous power-consumption, but if she gets her hands on an infinite power source... watch out.
  • Goblins: The Axe of Prissan can create a suit of full plate for its wearer out of thin air.
  • In Pulse, Superhero School students Pulse and Bolt use their natural electrical powers to run flying Powered Armor that can, in a flash of light, collapse down into a ring they wear on their fingers.
  • Schlock Mercenary has self-assembling Powered Armor called "fragsuits" appear in later arcs. It can be called to the operator from light-minutes away and has the ability to fly to the operator and assemble around them using gravitics. Actual assembly time depends on how far the fragsuit is from the operator, but given that most users use its fragmented form as a swarm of Attack Drones when the extra protection isn't needed, it's usually counted in seconds if a severe threat shows up.
  • unOrdinary: Kree's ability gives him metalic bio-armor when activated.

    Web Original 
  • During Round 1 of The Book of Stories OCT, one of the entries featured an antagonist doing this with just his walker, tennis balls and all.
  • Alloy from The Descendants does this using whatever metal happens to be available. He actually discovered his powers this way.
  • In the Whateley Universe, Loophole and Jericho can both teleport their armor into place as long as they are pretty close to the armor and teleportation system. They both end up armorless when they're attacked in Boston in "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl". Then there's Iron Star, who can manifest a metal carapace armor around himself whenever he wants. Britomart can do the same with a Guyver-like armor, she just has real trouble getting it off: as a side effect she doesn't have a hair left on her body.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: In the Series Finale, Anne, Sasha, and Marcy receive a full set of colorful armor upon awakening the full power of their gemstones.
  • Occasionally used by Earthbenders in Avatar: The Last Airbender, making rock-suits for themselves. During the Final Battle, Toph also demonstrates her mastery of Metalbending by making herself a metal-suit on the spot... Being Toph, she also made it a funny moment in the finale. "Shave And A Haircut, two BOOM!!"
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: Kevin's powers during Seasons 1 and 2 allowed him to create a thin membrane around his body consisting of any matter he was touching. Come Season 3, an unfortunate Omnitrix-related accident transformed his entire body into an amalgamation of several materials he'd used in the past two seasons, but this was eventually cured.
  • The eponymous Centurions would have various sets of armor and weaponry beamed onto their person from a satellite as needed.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has Battle Ready Armor, a bra that unfolds into samurai-esque full body armor.
  • More Iron Man, this time as a teenager. In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Tony Stark is 16-years-old, and he's already figured out how to fold up the Iron Man Mk-1 armor into his backpack (equipped with anti-gravity servos so it doesn't weigh him down), with it unfolding and reforming in a matter of seconds.
  • In Justice League, Queen of the Royal Flush Gang could move and shape metal with her thoughts. At one point, she uses it to create a suit of armor and a sword out of casino tokens.
  • Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders has the Jewel Armor, which are activated through the Enchanted Jewels wielded by the Jewel Riders themselves (Gwen's Sun Stone, Fallon's Moon Stone and Tamara's Heart Stone) and the Pack (Forest Stone), as well as Lady Kale (Dark Stone).
  • In Spider-Man Unlimited Peter Parker has a nano-machine ladden spidersuit that can be folded up into watch form.
  • In the Transformers: Prime episode "Triangulation", Starscream chances upon a small (by Cybertronian standards) disc, which — when attached to his chest — spreads around his body, forming the titanic (and unstoppable) Apex Armor.
  • The Amulet of Merlin from Trollhunters allows the Trollhunter to summon armor made of solid, silvery, metallic daylight — complete with the Sword of Daylight — onto their bodies instantaneously.
  • One of the Shen Gong Wu on Xiaolin Showdown is the Two-Ton Tunic. Inactive, it's just a simple shirt, but when called upon, becomes solid metal.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Instant Armour


Excalibur Sonic

Awakening Excalibur's true power grants Sonic a new suit of armor complete with transformation sequence.

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Example of:

Main / InstantArmor

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