Follow TV Tropes



Go To

"I genuinely think that, deep in our thousands and thousands and millions of years with nature, there's a chance that an animal's going to come and attack us or eat us or destroy our village or eat our food. It's deep in our DNA that the creature's going to come today or tomorrow. In the modern time, just this small period of time in the lifespan of humanity, we've built these massive cities and we've pushed nature out, but it's still very strong in us that the animal is going to come, and it's going to destroy everything we've built. Our caves have gone from these little huts and caves to 30 story buildings, so our nightmares become 30 stories as well."

Skyscraper-sized monsters that assault Tokyo (though other cities like San Francisco and Hong Kong are also popular choices lately), hapless island explorers, or each other are called Kaiju (怪獣).note  While they have no specific form even in their own mythology, by Japanese standards they are traditionally monstrous, scaly water elementals of about 50 feet and taller that commonly though not universally resemble dinosaurs (due to those being the largest known land vertebrates in real life).

Typically, they arrive from somewhere Far Away. Whether that means space, Beneath the Earth, or a South Pacific island varies. Expect lots of Stuff Blowing Up to result, but, since Giant Equals Invincible, don't expect the explosions to actually hurt them. Do expect at least one case of Helicopter Flyswatter. Examples of this genre can range from straight-up Disaster Movie (Cloverfield, the first Godzilla movie) to all-out wrestling matches between People in Rubber Suits (most of the later Godzilla movies, every Gamera movie but the first), and the characterization of individual kaiju can range from guardian hero to force of nature to Non-Malicious Monster to Eldritch Abomination to Tragic Monster. As this genre features a judicious application of Rule of Cool, expect the MST3K Mantra to be in full effect. Often, you'll only watch this kind of movie to see the monsters fight, which can often involve an The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny (such as King Kong vs. Godzilla).

This is actually one of the oldest genres in film, dating back to the early days of cinema when special effects were new. Pioneers of the genre were The Lost World, King Kong (1933), and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. The idea probably originates from thinking of dinosaurs as fantastic beasts or ideas about giant dragons. As for why it's so popular with Japanese media: Japan is quite earthquake and tsunami-prone, and you could think of a kaiju as a sentient natural disaster, so it may feel more meaningful to them. (Consider how Godzilla, like a wave, rises from the sea.) The word kaiju became more mainstream and used in western works after the release of Pacific Rim in 2013, when before they were usually and simply called "big Japanese monster" (even to the point of its origin being often Wrongfully Attributed to this film).

A related term, "kemono", was used on many equally-monstrous creatures in a similar vein as kaiju (if not quite as massive), before it shifted into a common term for Beast Men or Little Bit Beastly. However, it's still not rare for some to refer to a Kaiju as a kemono. Another related word is kaijin, which applies to human-sized and humanoid monsters; the closest Western equivalent to this category of creature is perhaps the Monstrous Humanoid.

Rent-a-Zilla is a Sub-Trope, where the work doesn't focus on the monster. A Notzilla is a kaiju that is specifically an Expy of Godzilla, and a King Kong Copy is this to King Kong. Kaiju also face off against an Ultraman Copy fairly often. There's also Mech vs. Beast for when a Kaiju fights against a Humongous Mecha. If kaiju offspring appear, expect Gigantic Adults, Tiny Babies. Crosses over with Behemoth Battle when there is more than one kaiju and they engage in battle with each other, with Primate Versus Reptile being a particularly common variant. In more modern works, kaiju are often afflicted with Proportionately Ponderous Parasites.

Compare Disaster Movie, Attack of the Killer Whatever, Robeast, and Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever. Has its roots in Tokusatsu and Mons.

Examples with Sub-Pages:

Examples without Sub-Pages:

    open/close all folders 

  • This memorable GARMIN commercial from the Super Bowl.
  • This UKIP Party Political Broadcast turns the EU into a Giant Blue Octopus that attacks London with Combat Tentacles whilst warning against the EU attacking UK culture and ideals. UKIP — short for the UK Independence Party — is mainly concerned with Euro Scepticism.
  • There are a couple of FloNase commercials in which springtime allergens are represented by giant monsters: a ferocious pollen-spewing flower and an enormous hunk of animated, predatory turf grass, churning up grass fragments.

    Comic Books 
  • The third and final installment of The Adventures of D & A had the titular duo go up against Kitora, a Kaiju from a place called Monsterland Island.
  • Avengers: The Initiative: When the new 3-D Man is sent to a superhero team in Hawaii he finds out one of his missions is to protect the state from the occasional kaiju that wanders over from Japan.
  • Batman: Gotham After Midnight, a very bizarre miniseries, featured Bat-foe Clayface devouring people whole and growing into a gigantic mud-monster... which the Dark Knight fought with a Bat-mecha he had built for just such an occasion. Crazy-Prepared, indeed...
  • Exiles had the Monster World arc, which envisioned Curt Connors, Bolivar Trask, Tony Stark, and Hank Pym as a team of Action Scientists fighting Kaiju in a transforming mecha. They fight it out with Fin Fang Foom in Japan at the end of the arc. It was awesome.
  • Fin Fang Foom of Marvel Comics, a giant Chinese dragon. Depending on the Writer, he's usually said to be an alien, a member of the race who invented the Mandarin's power rings. Foom is a holdover from when Marvel published monster comics as a major source of revenue. Today, Marvel's Monster Island houses lots of Kirby-designed and inspired Kaiju. Some others who show up in modern continuity are the tree-like alien Groot, the mutant T-Rex Devil Dinosaur and the lovable giant ape-monster Gorgilla. Big Hero 6 and other Japanese superhero teams within the Marvel Universe apparently spend a lot of time defending cities from giant monsters. More recently Marvel has Monsters Unleashed which is about a Kid Hero and his superteam of kaiju and then there's The Avengers villain Todd Ziller (a.k.a American Kaiju) who's an expy of Godzilla.
  • Fire Breather. Duncan's daddy, Belloc, actually calls himself king of the Kaiju and wants his son to one day take his place.
  • The comics mini-series Gigantic combines this with "Truman Show" Plot. The first kaiju on Earth, Gigantic, is trying to escape the mega-corporation that controls him, and the entire earth, having built it from scratch for a TV station.
  • Dan Brereton-illustrated Giantkiller was about an invasion of California by colossal, extradimensional monsters who turn the state into an extension of their own world. It featured 25 different giant Kaiju plus a half-human hero to slay them — one for each letter of the alphabet.
  • Marvel briefly had the rights to publish Godzilla comics (Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1977)), and featured him as part of the Marvel Universe. As with Marvel's other licensed property titles, he accrued a supporting cast of friends and enemies whom Marvel does own and who still pop up once in a while, such as Yetrigar the giant yeti, a giant robot named Red Ronin, and a Mad Scientist named Dr. Demonicus who specializes in mutating animals into Kaiju.
    • The Marvel Mangaverse version of the Hulk.
    • The Monster Hunters are a Five-Man Band set in the 1950's who travel the world hunting down dangerous kaiju. They made friends with Gorgilla the ape monster, though.
    • During Walt Simonson's run of The Mighty Thor, Fafnir the dragon sure had the size to qualify.
    • The fourth volume of New Avengers has the creatively named American Kaiju, looking like a hybrid between the two Hollywood versions of Godzilla but with the Stars & Stripes on his underbelly, created thanks to injecting one Todd Ziller with a cocktail of Marvel's mad science serums (including Kurt Connor's Lizard serum) and seeing what happened.
  • IDW Publishing has been publishing Godzilla comics since 2010. Unlike other companies before them, they also have the rights to most of his supporting cast.
  • Gold Digger featured an island inhabited by giant monsters, a result of the unusual emanations of the island itself. The native tribe, the Ooshoosh, also adapted... the women, while being born as normal-sized babies, grow unusually fast into 40-foot monster-slaying giantesses who are very protective of their normal-sized men. Well, mostly normal-sized, that is.
  • One of the Justice League of America's oldest enemies is Starro the Conqueror (aka the Star Conqueror), a titanically huge, mind-controlling literal Starfish Alien.
  • Kaijumax is an Oni Press series about the titular prison, where they house giant monsters.
  • Played for Laughs in several New Yorker cartoons one of which about two men talking about a tiny Godzilla rampaging in the street.
    Man: I hear he's huge in Japan.
  • The Planetary team discover the remains of various ersatz kaiju on Island Zero.
  • The very first issue of Plop! had a story about "Kongzilla," a beast with the top half of a giant ape and the bottom half of a giant lizard.
  • Superman:
    • There's a recurring enemy named Titano, who looks like King Kong with the power to shoot Kryptonite-flavored laser beams out of his eyes.
    • One "Metropolis Mailbag" episode featured Superman's annual New Year's help-by-mail tradition interrupted by a fight between a gigantic Metallo and the new Toyman, a Japanese kid with a Super Robot. Between performing his tasks and trying to keep the battle from escalating, he also had to deal with several giant monsters awakened by the fighting: a massive butterfly, a Gorilla-Whale (A literal translation of Godzilla's name), and of all things, a giant purple Pikachu.
    • In the prelude to H'el on Earth, a mile-long undead prehistoric Kryptonian Dragon creature rampages across Metropolis. It's so strong, that a whack from its tail sends Superman flying all the way to Ireland! It is defeated when Superman left with no choice ignites an oil rig, engulfing the creature in a huge ball of fire. It's later revealed that H'el sent the creature to test Superman's abilities.
    • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen has been one. In two main stream continuities.
  • The Warren Ellis miniseries Tokyo Storm Warning is an homage to kaiju manga and anime, with an eye turned toward realism as the robots and kaiju cause massive property damage and send literal waves of kaiju blood washing away civilians.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: An early comic has Usagi run into a tiny lizard that can only say "Zylla", that is then revealed to have a Breath Weapon, shocking Usagi and giving us this gem:
    Are you a god, Zylla?
It shows up much later when Usagi needs to create an imaginary creature to fight another giant monster, and thinks of Zylla... just scaled up a little.
  • The Sandling of White Sand is an enormous and highly territorial subterrestial creature huge enough, a single tooth of its Lamprey Mouth is almost two-thirds of Kenton's size.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin is a big fan of Japanese monster movies. He imagines himself as Godzilla on two occasions: stomping a sandbox version of Tokyo, and rising from the watery depths of his bathtub to blast Megalon (his mom).
    • The Calvinosaurus he imagines is a theropod able to eat an Ultrasaurus in a single bite. A sauropod more than one hundred feet long, fits inside a Calvinosaurus' mouth. The whole thing is even more hilarious if one considers that Ultrasaurus is perceived as a dubious genus, meaning it may not have existed at all.
  • The Far Side:
    • Godzilla appears in a couple strips, such as one of him driving a car with the bumper sticker "I 8 NY", another where he encounters a sign taller than him reading "You Must Be This Tall to Attack the City", and yet another captioned "Toby vs. Godzilla" which has a dog biting on his heel.
    • King Kong has been spoofed a couple times as well. A few have him accidentally crushing something or someone when he falls to his death, and one memorable cartoon has detectives investigating the aftermath of a giant monster's rampage for clues, with a handkerchief labelled "K.K." left at the scene of the crime.
  • Flash Gordon's planet Mongo just wouldn't be the planet Mongo without giant monsters absolutely everywhere. Live action adaptations often downplay this due to special effects costs, but the 1970's cartoon had them in all their wonderful stompy and bitey glory.
  • Garfield usually mocks bad horror movies when it goes pop-cultural, but on one occasion the title character saw a news interview with "a prehistoric monster who rose from the depths of the Earth to stomp on Tokyo, and has written a book about his experiences (of course.)"
  • This classic American political cartoon depicting the Standard Oil Company as a giant evil octopus, with its arms moving in to strangle the people and the government. This symbolized the perception of Standard Oil (and by implication other large industry trusts) as harmful monopolies.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Since this is a Godzilla fanfiction, naturally it's a given. The story's main protagonists are a Two Beings, One Body heroic adaptation of Monster X, who ally with Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan against Ghidorah-derived Undead Abominations and the Three-Headed Monster itself and participate in more than one Kaiju battle in an urban area.

  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfics:
    • Lanterns of Equestria: Blackest Night: Twilight starts recruiting these into her Corps, giving them sentience in the process. Fluttershy eventually recruits an Ursa Major.
    • In The Monster Mash, Kaiju are the focus of Dash’s story, where they’re created when normal animals come into contact with Chaos pollution left over from Discord’s rampage. Dash becomes a part-time Kaiju by the same method at the end.
    • In Persona EG, a few Personas qualify: the Ultimate Personas for Chariot and Tower are Gamera (80m length) and Gojira (168m), while Sonata's Rainbow Persona, Leviathan, consists of a Persona sized mermaid and a colossal sea serpent a hundred meters long.
    • The Pony POV Series:
      • Queen Tiamat, the dragons' ruler and Mother Goddess. Normal adult dragons are borderline Kaiju to begin with, but Tiamat dwarfs even them, being large enough to blot out the sun when standing at her full height and immensely powerful. She joined the fray herself during the Dragon-Hooviet War and proceeded to leave half the empire in flaming ruin, willingly stopping just short of the capital. The Hooviets weren't able to even hit her, let alone do any lasting damage.
      • There's also her husband, Bahamut, the Father of All Dragons. He's an equally massive platinum colored dragon and capable of Weather Manipulation on a massive scale. And the one time he fights a military goes just as well as Tiamat's. It seems to just be natural for Ryujin (Dragon Gods) to be this trope.
    • The Powers of Harmony:
      • Dragon Turtles can grow to massive sizes. Fluttershy's friend, the Master of the Lake, happens to be the size of a small island.
      • There's also the always-recurring Star Beasts, like the good ol' Ursa Major.
    • Romance and the Fate of Equestria: Sørmur dï Mitgaeard, Lady Kolassa, and occasionally Annihilara.
    • Green: Yongling, a five-mile-long green serpent menacing Chineigh after awakening from a three-thousand year sleep. Princess Luna impresses the ambassador sent to inform her about it by reminiscing about the ''last'' time she, Celestia, and the dragons teamed up to seal him away the first time. During the Time Skip between this story and its sequel, she and Dragon Lord Torch repeat the feat.
    • Harmonic Beasts: Philia vs Geryon diverges from canon because Cozy Glow's plan from the Season 8 finale had an unexpected side effect and the corrupted magic starts mutating creatures into kaiju. The first one, Geryon, is a giant mutated Manticore. To counter them, the Tree of Harmony helps create a benevolent kaiju named Philia based by the Element of Magic, leading to the title showdown in Manehatten. The ending implies it's far from over and the Tree of Harmony has five more eggs, one for each of the other Elements
  • Jounin Quest: Kakuzumaru's final form is a one-hundred and eight headed hydra so massive it blots out the sky..
  • Power Rangers GPX: The Kel Monster.
    Sean: "Oh my god, it's Godzilla!"
    Daisuke: "That's not Godzilla! Godzilla doesn't have a big unicorn horn on his head and he doesn't have hair!"
  • Shinnen New Year: Godzilla, King Ghidorah, and Mothra makes an appearance. The Kaijus from Pacific Rim also make appearances by siding with Da'ath.
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim has a few examples:
    • In Episode 6, Tak's newest plan is a giant mutated cyborg rat. Zim counters this with a giant mutated cyborg snake.
    • In Episode 11, Zim unleashes an army of plant monsters on the city, which turn out to all be connected to the monstrous Central Root.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, a Kaiju with three shark heads and a myriad of tentacles was killed by Big Science Action off the coast of Nagoya, Japan. Its corpse, which was impervious to magic and released a highly corrosive gas that killed all known Earth life nearly instantly and melted all known Earth metals in seconds, was impossible to remove. So it began known as Korusan Island. Izuku ends up trekking out there to train his powers in secret, but soon finds himself besieged by the Kaiju's asexual spawn. Although he's initially terrified of them, he manages to befriend them by the time the U.A. Entrance Exam rolls around and is sad to have to be away from them for a long time.
  • A Thing of Vikings: Most dragons are on the same scale as more mundane animals, but there are a few that are large enough to fit this trope.
    • The Green Death as per canon, described as having been 60 cubitsnote  tall, 200 cubitsnote  long, and with a 300 cubitnote  long wingspan.
    • The old nest lord of the Cretan nest, described as having been almost half as large as the Green Death.

    Films — Animation 
  • In an inversion, Lucas from The Ant Bully is a normal human kid, but wreaks similar wrath and destruction upon a hapless ant colony. The Exterminator, Stan Beals, definitely counts too.
  • The plot of Batman Unlimited: Mechs Vs. Mutants involves the Penguin and Mr. Freeze turning Bane, Killer Croc, Clayface, and Chemo into giant monsters (with Croc basically being Godzilla with freeze breath instead of atomic rays).
  • A Bug's Life has a common, ordinary sparrow be this to the insect characters! Makes sense, as it is their natural predator after all.
  • In Disney's Hercules, the Titans are gigantic and monstrous elemental beings which terrorized the world at the moment of its creation until Zeus put a stop to them and imprisoned them deep underground in Tartarus. Hades releases them from their prison at the movie's climax and unleashes them on Olympus so they can get their revenge and aid Hades in his plan for conquest. One of them, a cyclops, is sent to Thebes to destroy the city and kill a weakened Hercules. The Lernaean Hydra which Herc fights earlier on the movie also deserves mention, being quite huge. And that's before it spreads an entire jungle of heads.
  • The Red Death at the end of the first How to Train Your Dragon is a draconic abomination of Kaiju size. A similarly massive dragon species, the Bewilderbeast, also appears in the sequel under the control of Drago Bludvist. Another individual is friends with Hiccup's mother, Valka.
  • Ted from Monsters, Inc. is a monster so large that a Gentle Giant like Sulley, who is about 7'6" according to supplementary materials, only comes up to half Ted's leg. While arguing with Mike about walking to work, Sulley cites Ted as someone who's willing to walk to work, but Mike says it's no big deal for Ted; he's so big he could take five steps and arrive.
  • Insectosaurus of Monsters vs. Aliens, down to having the same backstory as Godzilla, though he's more of a homage to Mothra. The gigantic alien probe-robots also.
  • Mongo from Shrek 2. It especially works if Drury Lane is in Far Far Away, since Kaiju rarely live in Close Near By.
  • In Turning Red, Ming Lee's red panda form is massive, and harbours an Unstoppable Rage. Ming unleashes it in the film's climax after her daughter Mei openly defies her by remaining bound to hers, then running off to the 4*Town concert to reunite with her friends. Ming, in her panda form, proceeds to stomp through the streets of Toronto and tear open the roof of the SkyDome to attack the concert, intending to bring her daughter back by force.
  • In The Sea Beast, the titular beasts certainly qualify. They're massive, aggressive, and very dangerous. History books state that they used to come right up to shore and destroy whole towns, until the royal family funded monster-hunting crews to drive them back. As it turns out, the sea beasts are actually content keep to themselves unless provoked. The history books were rewritten and the public lied to in order to promote the hunting campaigns, which in turn would drive the monsters to extinction and allow the royal family to engage in conquest and expansion without worrying about the sea beasts destroying their ships by accident or due to territoriality.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Japanese Giant Superhero genre (all in the footsteps of Ultraman's popularity), known as Kyodai Hero shows. Including but not limited to:
    • The standard Monsters of the Week of the Ultra Series are kaiju or aliens with the power to become kaiju-sized. Many of them are as iconic and popular in Japan as Godzilla himself, and the Ultramen themselves could count too. In fact, Ultraman and Co. are probably the most iconic television example of giant monster battles, since it popularized the idea of making kaiju into a weekly TV thing.
    • Jumborg Ace, Fireman, Mirrorman, and Denkō Chōjin Gridman which were all from Tsuburaya Productions, AKA the creators of Ultraman.
    • Toho got into the act with the likes of Zone Fighter, Go Greenman, Go Godman, and Megaloman. The first one is also notable for having Godzilla as a recurring character.
    • The 1971 series Spectreman, which is one of the few Ultraman copycats to have aired on English-language television with a dub.
    • The Giant Robo live-action series, better known in the west as Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot, which along with the Ambassador Magma live-action series (known as The Space Giants for its American release) and Ultraman, were the very first entries in the genre.
    • Iron King, which although not created by Tsuburaya Productions, features many people who worked on the Ultra Series.

  • Discovery Channel aired a docufiction story entitled Alien Planet, loosely based on Wayne Barlowe's Expedition. One of the freaky beasties we see is the Emperor Sea Strider, a creature dwelling in the Amoebic Sea that stands 620 feet tall — that's as high as London's BT tower.
  • The 4-episode miniseries Agon: The Atomic Monster/Giant Phantom Monster Agon is one of the earliest attempts at a TV show about a giant monster. Notably, the producers got into trouble early in production because Toho felt the title creature looked too much like Godzilla, though they let it go when it turned out the creators were members of Toho's own Godzilla team.
  • The Chou Sei Shin Series from Toho, which in a similar manner to Super Sentai features human-sized heroes jumping into Humongous Mecha to fight gigantic monsters.
  • A Doctor Who story called Invasion of the Dinosaurs contained Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Another story called The Seeds of Doom features an alien plant called a Krynoid, which eventually grows to a size of several tens of feet tall. The Doctor says it will max out at about the size of St Paul's Cathedral (at which point it will release thousands of seeds, dooming all animal life on Earth).
    • Then there's the Robot from the serial, Robot, and the Cyberking from the 2009 Christmas special.
    • Kroll, the giant squid monster from one of the Key to Time stories, doesn't have any cities to destroy, but it probably merits inclusion in this trope for sheer size (and Special Effects Failure).
  • Face/Off had a Kaiju-building challenge in Season 7, with contestants making creatures based on the squid, praying mantis, sloth, and yeti crab.
  • The Future Is Wild had the Toraton, a creature from the Bengal Swamp living 100 million years in the future. It's basically a giant, shell-less tortoise that grows 15 times as big as an elephant and weighs a whopping 120 tons.
  • On Good Eats, a style of cooking known as tempura, which many Western chefs find intimidating, was portrayed as a giant one-eyed, tentacled monster that terrorized the city. Several chefs were seen running away from it, and it attacked Alton's former sous-chef, Paul.
  • Most of the Targaryen dragons in House of the Dragon qualify as a Giant Flyer being big enough to ride, but the status of Kaiju certainly applies to Vhagar: a nearly-200 year-old grandma who is the last survivor of Aegon's Conquest a century ago, and towers way above Drogon, the largest of the dragons from the original Game of Thrones.
  • Kamen Rider Hibiki has a lot of gigantic Makamou beasts, and in Kamen Rider Den-O, there are Imagin capable of going One-Winged Angel, becoming giant beasts called Gigandeaths. In Kamen Rider Wizard, a Phantom who hasn't hatched from its host yet appears as a monstrous beast within the mind of the victim, which must be battled within the mindscape by Wizard. The franchise is actually no stranger to giant beasties, and not a Humongous Mecha in sight! However, the Riders' vehicles are sometimes very weapon-laden. Interestingly, Wizard has to use his own Inner Phantom, Dragon, to fight the Inner Phantoms, his Second Rider Beast having to do the same thing.
  • A small example in an episode of Legends of Tomorrow titled "Tagumo Attacks!!!" (appropriately, the show's title is written in Japanese for the episode and features modified music). In the episode, Ishir⁠ō Honda accidentally creates a giant octopus, after drawing his Hiroshima-related nightmares into Brigid's diary. In the end, Tagumo is lured to Ishiro's movie set and faces off against Garima, Queen of Thanzanon, who is Mick's literary creation (with three boobs, of course). She fights Tagumo on the set, while Ishiro grabs his camera and films the battle, making it look like a traditional black-and-white kaiju fight in a city. Garima kills Tagumo, and Ishiro can only look in wonder and say, "It's beautiful." Before leaving, Mick gives Ishiro some advice.
    Mick Rory: Forget about the octopus. Lizards... lizards are king. (leaves)
    Ishiro Honda: (in Japanese) The King... of Monsters... I like that.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: The Balrog of Moria, much like in the trilogy.
  • The Mandalorian Season 2 has the Tatooine Greater Krayt Dragon whom has gotten some Adaptational Badass from it's original design, going from a big dragon-like beast to proper Kaiju-sized massive monster which can spew acid from it's mouth and devour entire villages whole. It's also nigh-invulnerable to all kinds of laserfire and explosions, Mando has to pull a Iron Man and Kill It Through Its Stomach.
  • Massive Monster Mayhem is a children game show about the evil Master Mayhem sending giant monsters to Earth, and the contestants gearing up before increasing to comparable size for a final confrontation in the city, which is as much about smashing buildings than actually fighting.
  • Peacemaker has the Cow, a gigantic, caterpillar-esque alien being used by the butterflies as a source of the nectar they need to survive on Earth. Like Starro in The Suicide Squad, John Economos directly refers to it as a kaiju.
  • SCTV had a sketch called "The Tim Ishimuni Show", which featured a giant TALKING monster named Grogan (played by John Candy in a monster suit), who doesn't really go by the Kaiju stereotype of crushing things.
  • The Mind Flayer from Stranger Things, an utterly enormous Lovecraftian entity that resides in The Upside-Down.
  • Rampant in Super Sentai, where any normal-sized Monster of the Week can become a kaiju by being enlarged. The same holds true for its American import Power Rangers thanks to; less common in Kamen Rider, where the monsters tend to stay small-sized. (Except Kamen Rider J.) note 

  • Doctor Steel's song "Atomic Superstar", featuring the original Kaiju, Godzilla.
  • Beastie Boys's "Intergalactic" features a Humongous Mecha fighting a clawed, octopus-like kaiju in Tokyo.
  • Blondie's "Attack of the Giant Ants"
  • Blue Öyster Cult's "Godzilla", predictably enough.
  • Played for laughs in the Arrogant Worms' "Tokyo Love Song".
  • From Michael Nesmith's "Elephant Parts" (1981): Her Name Was Rodan, and she lived in the ocean off Japan.
  • Surf rock revival band "Daikaiju" takes cues from many old Kaiju and sci-fi films. Song names include: The Trouble With Those Mothra Girls, Son of Daikaiju, Farewell to Monster Island, etc.
  • Rapper MF Doom's alter ego King Geedorah. The album, Take Me To Your Leader, also features a number of rappers under various Kaiju names (Rodan, Gigan, Jet Jaguar etc).
  • "The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati" by Rose and the Arrangements.
  • "Godzilla Ate Tukwila" by Dave Phillips. (Tukwila is a small town in Washington state; in the course of the song, the Big G eats several others as well.)
  • "Earth Beasts Awaken" by The Historian Himself

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Norse Mythology:
    • Jormugandr, the World Serpent. Enormous reptilian beast that will rise from the sea surrounding the world and has deadly breath. Sound Familiar? Regular monster, no way. You wanna take this down, your name best be Thor, god of thunder. Not to mention the giant wolf Fenrir, who is so big that when he opens his mouth it stretches from the ground to the sky.
    • There's also the giants, especially Ymir. The dome of the sky is from his skull and the seas are made of his blood. The dwarves were originally the maggots that lived in his corpse. One story of Thor and Loki is them traveling to the land of the giants and they sleep in a glove big enough to hold the gods, Thor's two goats, and the two kids Thor picked up as servants. The giant who owned the glove shrugged off Thor's hammer strikes, calling them acorns that landed on his head.
    • Kraken is gigantic.
    • Nidhögg, the dragon who gnaws at the roots of Yggdrasil, along with Veðrfölnir the hawk and the unnamed eagle who rest in the highest branches of the world tree and Ratatoskr, the squirrel who travels up and down the trunk to rile up the trio for shits and giggles. Seeing how the world tree holds 9 planes of existence, they are presumably far more massive than anything that lives in those worlds
  • Classical Mythology has a few of these as well. But to bring up specifics, the titan Typhon with his multiple heads and burning body definitely counts. The original Chimera was treated as such, as were many of the monsters defeated by Hercules (Nemean Lion, Hydra, and the taming of Cerberus). The monsters Scylla and Charybdis also fit the Kaiju mold, being unstoppable by mortal men.
  • Many of the most dangerous Giants and Dragons were essentially prototype Kaiju.
  • In Hindu Mythology:
    • There's many a Rakshasha and Naga of immense size. Of note are Kumbhakarna, who was a giant even among the monstrous Rakshasha. His brother, Ravana, for his many heads and hands. Then there's Ananta-Sesha, a world serpent of a much more benevolent bent.
    • Then there's Mada, an Asura that can make itself so large that it's capable of swallowing the universe.
    • Some accounts of the Garuda depict this gigantic bird as being so large, it could pick up Godzilla and carry him off.
  • From Abrahamic traditions and The Bible, there are the lords of the animals: Leviathan, Behemoth, and Ziz. One's a giant aquatic dragon, the other an immense land beast with no natural predators, and the last is a gigantic bird. The three are treated like primordial forces of nature in apocryphal text, with the only thing that can stop them aside from God is each other.
    • Another one is mentioned in the Golden Legend in the tale of Saint Martha. The tarasque (later popularized by Dungeons & Dragons) was a massive dragon with a turtle's shell, six legs, the head of a beast and a stingered tail. It devastated the landscape, destroying everything in its path. The king sent out his knights to slay the tarasque with swords and spears and even catapults, but nothing would damage the beast. At last, Saint Martha was sent out to the tarasque, and she tamed the tarasque with hymns and prayers, saving the countryside. She led back the tamed Tarasque to the city. The people, terrified by the monster, attacked it when it drew nigh. The monster offered no resistance and died there. Martha then preached to the people and converted many of them to Christianity. Sorry for what they had done to the tamed monster, the newly Christianized townspeople changed the town's name to Tarascon.
  • Older Than Dirt: From the mythology of the Babylonians, there's the monstrous Eldritch Abomination goddess Tiamat and her progeny. Mesopotamian myth also involves gigantic dragons.
  • There's a Native American legend (which nation is unknown) involving a giant rattlesnake several hundred miles long.
  • The Chitimacha Native Americans' traditional folklore tells of how the bayous of their Southern Louisiana homeland were created by the writhing of a giant venomous serpent, which churned the landscape into mud as it died.
  • The roc/rukh of Arabian Nights fame. What else do you call a bird of prey that can carry off elephants and produce an egg big enough to be mistaken for an unusual building?
  • The Jólakötturinn or "Yule Cat" of Icelandic folklore, a giant cat that appears on Christmas Eve and eats anyone who hasn't recieved new clothes

  • A giant green horned lizard is seen battling a giant ape on the backglass of Atari's Middle Earth pinball.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The large majority of Kaiju Big Battel's roster. The angle here being the promotion is actually a device to contain giant monsters whose grudge matches would otherwise destroy the world. Locals are allowed to view what happens inside, for a reasonable price.
  • Shoko Nakajima's Red Baron is "The 147 cmnote  Kaiju".

  • BIONICLE: Vezon's pet dragon Kardas, a transformed version of a giant mutated spider. With the ability to create concussive blasts. To quote "Who's my favorite weapon of mass destruction, then?"
    • Tahtorak, Kanohi Dragon and Zivon too. And yes, some of them did clash and wreck cities at various times. You may also count the Ancient Sea Behemoth and the Kraawa, the latter of which is a sizeshifter beast with no known size-limitations.
    • Hero Factory, Bionicle's successor, has come out with the Pacific Rim -inspired "Invasion From Below" storyline, which involves giant kaiju-themed beasts that, among other things, rip out streetlights and communications antennas and rampage around the city.
  • From 1961, The Great Garloo!
  • Transformers:

    Web Animation 
  • Happy Tree Friends:
    • The titular "Cubtron Z" and an unnamed tentacle monster seen destroying the city.
    • Godzilla made 3 cameos in "Wingin' It".
  • RWBY: The oldest Grimm can get very big, most famously the sea-borne leviathans. The Atlas military base protecting Argus has to deal with these on a regular basis, which is why they have a series of Hard Light energy shields to delay any giant Grimm long enough for the Atlas colossus to fight them. And all of them pale in comparison to Salem's pet project Monstra, a flying monster whale the size of a city.
  • From Shut Up! Cartoons, we have Krogzilla, a Not Zilla who was shrunk down by scientists to human size. Of course, this means that he now has to integrate himself into human society resulting in Hilarity Ensues. Occasionally, he mentioned other kaiju, but the only one who appeared was another shrunken-down one named Regurgitor (for his ability to vomit lava) who resembles Titanosaurus with extra arms and a more Jerkass personality.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Magic, Metahumans, Martians and Mushroom Clouds: An Alternate Cold War: A yowie, nicknamed Berberoka, is mutated by radiation from American nuclear testing in the 1950s and soon grows into a 70-foot giant that ends up going on a rampage in Manila before finally being driven off by American and Filipino military forces.
  • Mystery Flesh Pit National Park: The Pit may not a conventional example on account of being stuck in a giant hole in the ground, but the official incident report claims that it can move, and nearly got free during the 2007 disaster. Anodyne's successors are now working to prevent it from happening again.
  • The NES Godzilla Creepypasta warrants its own spot here because the creator actually came up with many all-new monstrosities, including the Big Bad whose final form easily dwarfs Godzilla, and can be estimated to be about 400-500m tall.
  • In the Of Masks and Marvels Lady Lightning stories there is an attack by a Kaiju-sized sea-snail.
  • Polinices: The Laimargia can grow to be up to 60 meters/200 feet in length. They also repeatedly churn up the sandy seafloor to feed on the organic matter in it, not unlike a movie kaiju rampaging across a city.
  • The SCP Foundation has SCP-2954 ("Looping Kaiju Killing"). Every seven days, an example of SCP-2954-2 appears and attacks. SCP-2954-2 are bipedal and 50-60 meters tall. They have a mixture of traits from fish, amphibians and reptiles, including spiny fins on their back and forearms.
  • Worm includes a particularly formidable bunch called the Endbringers: Massive humanoid monstrosities with extremely powerful macro-scale superpowers and Nigh-Invulnerability, which are collectively engaged in a slow but implacable campaign to wipe out humanity for reasons unknown. They include Behemoth, a 45-foot tall creature resembling a gray demon complete with horns with the power of dynakinesis (control over all forms of energy); Leviathan, a 30-foot tall humanoid with a long tail with macrohydrokinesis and a water "shadow"; And the Simurgh, a 15 foot-tall woman with dozens of white, feathered wings that possesses a particularly malevolent form of precognition, mental influence, and telekinesis. They're smaller than most of the creatures on this page, but don't let that fool you; they're every bit as tough, if not more so, and being relatively small means that they're able to hide, ambush people, and enter buildings.

    Web Videos 

    Real Life 
  • Size is all a matter of perspective. In an insect's point of view, we humans are kaiju.
  • In a way, blue whales, being the largest known animal ever to live. Adults can reach lengths of up to a hundred feet and weigh over 175 tons, and even a newborn is nearly as long as a bus and weighs as much as two elephants! Thankfully, the blue whale is a Gentle Giant who's more content with placidly feasting on swarms of krill than causing mass destruction. Which, of course, means they play this trope totally straight from the krill's perspective.
  • Quite a few dinosaurs fit this trope. In particular Maarapunisaurus (Formerly assigned to Amphicoelias) was by some estimates the single largest land-based animal — never mind dinosaur — on record. 40 to 60 metres (130 to 200 ft) in length, and may have had a mass of up to 122 metric tons (135 short tons). Unfortunately, it's only known from a single piece of vertebrae that was mysteriously lost over a century ago. Recently, Amphicoelias had a name change to the abovementioned Maarapunisaurus after recent re-examinations asserts that rather than a diplodocid, it was a rebbachisaurid. Whilst this made Maarapunisaurus much shorter than its previous estimates (40 meters is still ridiculously long mind you), as a rebbachisaurid, Maarapunisaurus is also much stockier and heavier, which means that its weight difference didn't change that much (120 tons). Maarapunisaurus still remains the largest terrestrial animal that we know off that is not from a controversial background.
    • On a more complete basis, Argentinosaurus and several other enormous sauropods could have broken 100 short tons in weight and been over 30 meters long. Several species like Diplodocus could get longer, but they weren't as robust.
  • Another dinosaurian example is the much controversial Bruhathkayosaurus. Famous more because of its controversy on whether it exist or not than the creature itself, since the original founder somehow mistakened it for a theropod of all things, and then he promptly lost it in a monsoon. Plenty of folks felt it was fake due to a lack of photographic evidence other than a amaturish sketch for decades until archives were miraculously found. Now. Controversy aside, Bruhathkayosaurus was a enigmatic super-Titanosaur of around 37-44.1 meters long. Its weight estimates was equally as extreme as its existence, varying as low as 30 tons to as ridiculously high as 220 tons. But most put the weight somewhere in the middle at around 126 tons. If we take the upper measurements at face value, Bruhathkayosaurus would become the largest animal PERIOD.
  • At half a meter long, Anomalocaris wouldn't qualify as a kaiju today, but considering it lived in an era when the largest non-Anomalocaris animals tended to be measured in a few inches, it certainly was at the time.
  • Anteaters, aardvarks, sloth bears, echidnas, regal horned lizards, thorny devils, armadillos, woodpeckers, frogs, toads, and pangolins are this trope for ant and termite "cities". As hilariously pointed out by this Tumblr post.
  • In March of 2013, Wizards of the Coast attempted to trademark the word "kaiju" as part of their Kaijudo/Duel Masters franchises during a legal dispute with indie game Colossal Kaiju Combat!.
  • The giant amoeba, Chaos carolinensis, measures up to five millimeters when outstretched and is roughly the size of a sesame seed. While that may not sound massive to us, it's a true kaiju among single-celled organisms, and is known to devour bacteria, other protozoans, and occasionally even small, multicellular animals such as water fleas!
  • Many icthyosaurs could get pretty big, but the "Lilstock specimen" may very well take the cake. Much like Maarapunisaurus, it's only known from fragmentary remains, but when scaled based on it's close relative Shastasaurus - Itself growing up to 21 meters long - the Lilstock specimen is estimated to be up to 27 meters long, rivaling the aforementioned blue whale. Though, like the blue whale, it's destructive power is up in the air - Assuming it was close to Shastasaurus, it lacked teeth and probably sustained itself off of soft-bodied cephalopods.
  • The Titanoboa. With a length of 12.8 meters it was the bigger snake ever.

Alternative Title(s): Daikaiju, Daikaijuu



The dragon-like Cabryon plows its way through the Gransazers' mecha upon its arrival on Earth.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / Kaiju

Media sources: