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Leader Forms the Head

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Y'all can do the treading
Swing energy machete
If combination’s ready,
I'll form the head!
MC Frontalot (feat. Dr. Awkward and ZeaLouS1): "I'll Form the Head"

Combining Mecha tend to combine in a humanoid form. It's easier for people to follow, and it's easier for the guys to get fitting rubber suits. When mecha combine, the parts will more or less match up with limbs, and it doesn't really matter what goes where.

Except when it does.

The "face" and/or torso are special parts of the combined form. They're the most identifiable, and they're generally where the cockpit is. It's why we have special importance for the locations of our brain and heart. So with mecha, the part that is most important will be formed by the personal mecha of the most important character, generally The Leader, The Hero, or a spotlight stealing variety of Sixth Ranger. Because the position is special but can only be handed to one, expect Headbutting Heroes or Vitriolic Best Buds to compete for the lead position.

At this trope's strongest, the mecha of this special character can be humanoid on its own, and the others will form a larger body by way of a Mecha Expansion Pack, thus an overlap with Meta Mecha. At its strangest, they don't form the head, but it gets double subverted by having the part that does look suspiciously matching to their mecha.

Because Red Is Heroic, this leads to a lot of ensemble mechas being a bit red in the face. Also, compare the color patterns on an All Your Colors Combined attack. The main character's color illogically in the middle? This will probably be in effect when the robots show up.


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    Super Sentai and Power Rangers 
All over the place in Super Sentai and Power Rangers, where the Red Ranger is usually the one to get the head- or torso-forming privileges - and even when the head is formed by someone else, it's often colored red anyway. Since it happens so often, we'll only include aversions, exaggerations, and cases that are more unique than simply making the head or torso (and mind you it's still a long list). And just for clarity's sake, we'll use the Rangers terms of "Zord" for an individual component and "Megazord" for a combination, though proper names will be used from both series:
  • In extreme situations, the red Zord makes up almost the entire Megazord by itself, making the others seem purely cosmetic. This happens in:
    • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger/Power Rangers Wild Force: GaoKentaurus/the Pegasus Megazord is a one-time combination where Red's Falcon Zord is used as the head and torso and his Lion is the legs. The Blue and White Rangers supply only the arms, while the Black and Yellow Rangers don't contribute Zords at all.
    • Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger/Power Rangers: Dino Thunder: Red's Tyrannosaurus Zord makes up most of Abarenoh/the Thundersaurus Megazord, with Blue providing an arm, and Yellow giving the chestplate and helmet. It was even shown once that Red and Blue could combine without Yellow, though the result wouldn't be as strong.
    • Juken Sentai Gekiranger/Power Rangers Jungle Fury: Both of the main teams' Megazords have Red providing everything above the waist while Yellow and Blue are legs.
    • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger/Power Rangers Dino Charge: The only parts of Kyoryuzin/the Dino Charge Megazord that Red doesn't provide are the arms, and the other Zords take turns forming these.
    • For Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger's Wild Tousai Dodeka King, the Red Ranger's Zord makes up the majority of the formation above the waist (non-Red components are either mostly hidden inside or are non-Ranger-specific Mecha Expansion Packs), and all of the other Rangers chip their Zords in to collectively form the legs.
    • Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger/Power Rangers Dino Fury: Red makes a whole Megazord all by himself; and most combinations are just "Red with some extra bits of armor". Only the late-series super combinations start to pull away from this, as two combine Red's Zord with a second equally-sized Zord (one being the Gold Ranger's, the other not belonging to a specific Ranger), and the third brings together all three.
    • Mashin Sentai Kiramager: While Green technically forms the head of Kiramazin, Red forms nearly everything else below the neck save for one arm which is Yellow's. Pink is mainly cosmetic as a chestplate and Blue's Zord is used as a sword, and like Abaranger the combination can work just fine without them (though unlike Abaranger, the Red/Yellow/Green formation is acknowledged as a legitimate Megazord called Land Mage).
    • Avataro Sentai Donbrothers: Don Zenkaioh is composed of one Zord belonging to the Red Ranger, and one Zord on loan from the Red Ranger of the previous team, Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger. The rest of the Donbrothers don't even have Zords of their own for some time.
  • Zigzagged in other series, where another team member's Zord makes the bulk of the Megazord (as much as the previous examples), but the Red Ranger still steals head privileges by having their Zord on the top of the formation:
    • Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger/Power Rangers Ninja Storm: Yellow forms the entire body, legs, and one arm of Senpuujin/the Ninja Storm Megazord, and Blue is the other arm, but Red is the head.
    • Mahou Sentai Magiranger/Power Rangers Mystic Force: Green forms nearly all of MagiKing/the Mystic Titan Megazord, but Red slots into the center of the chest. All the other Rangers form are feet and shinguards (Blue), back and wings (Yellow), and a small part of the chestplate (Pink).
    • GoGo Sentai Boukenger/Power Rangers Operation Overdrive: Black forms the main body and legs of GoGo Voyager/the Battlefleet Megazord and the rest form the arms and chestplate, while Red is the head.
    • The two teams of Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger both use a neutral Zord called the Good Striker to form the majority of their Megazord (Lupin Kaiser and Pat Kaiser, respectively). In both combinations, it's the Red Zord that forms the head and chestplate while the other two form the arms. The arrangement is similar when both teams come together to form Good Cool Kaiser VSX; the main Megazord is made of both Good Striker and the Zord of the Sixth Ranger (who is a member of both teams), while the Reds share the "head" role by one making the helmet and the other the chestplate (meanwhile, the other Rangers attach themselves to the arms and feet).
  • And outright subverted with a couple of secondary Megazords, where one Zord makes the bulk of the combination but the Red Ranger (or nearest equivalent) does not take a position of prominence:
    • In Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger/Power Rangers Wild Force, the Sixth Ranger's theme animal was the wolf, but Gao Hunter/the Predazord was formed mostly from an alligator Zord and the wolf Zord was only an arm (though said Zord's head resembles a wolf nonetheless).
    • Abarekiller/the White Ranger in Abaranger/Dino Thunder is an interesting case where his personal Zord only formed the limbs and weapon of KillerOh/the Dino Stegazord. The body and head on the other hand are formed by a Stegosaurus Zord, a Mecha Expansion Pack that he stole from the other Rangers. In Abaranger, this is justified by the fact that his Zord can theoretically create a battle formation with any potential other Zord so he could have nabbed any of them, the Stegosaur just happened to be the one that he ran into first. In Dino Thunder it was seemingly just dumb luck that he grabbed something compatible.
    • Magiranger/Mystic Force had MagiLegend/the Manticore Megazord, where the main component was made from a Zord that jointly belonged to the other four Rangers, and the Red Ranger's Zord only formed a set of wings.
    • Gekiranger's GekiViolet/Jungle Fury's Wolf Ranger only had a leg Zord. The closest he got to his own Megazord was by attaching his piece to the main team's Gekitohja/Jungle Pride Megazord and piloting it solo.
    • Engine Sentai Go-onger/Power Rangers RPM had two Megazords where Rangers' Zords only made the arms, with the rest of each Megazord being an unpiloted Zord that didn't belong to any specific Ranger.
    • In Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger, Sixth Ranger Twokaizer's Megazord TwokaiOh is mostly made up of his personal Zord, but the head can be formed by either of his two allies — in fact, its different modes are chiefly determined by which ally makes its head. Later, both Twokaizer and main character Zenkaizer get Super Modes that let them turn into Humongous Mecha themselves; this finally lets Twokaizer form his own TwokaiOh head and play the trope straight there, but they can also combine with each other into ZenKaijuOh, where Zenkaizer makes most of the body while Twokaizer is the head.
    • Bakuage Sentai Boonboomger: The main Megazord is actually the team's Robot Buddy, and the Rangers themselves just provide weaponry on its shoulders and arms. The default Megazord combination even features the Blue and Pink Zords, not Red's. Played with since it still has prominent red accents and its default head matches Red's helmet, making it serve as a surrogate Red Ranger Zord even if it doesn't really belong to him.
  • Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, Gosei Sentai Dairanger, and Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters/the first two seasons of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and Power Rangers Beast Morphers all had combinations that completely excluded the Red Zord from the formation and had the rest of the team combine with a separate head/torso component. The first two (Goryujin/Dragonzord Battle Mode and Kiba Dai-Oh/Mega Tigerzord) were still straight examples, since the new piece belonged to the Sixth Ranger and gave them prominence; but Go-Buster LiOh and Go-Buster King/Beast-X King Megazord and Ultrazord from the latter are subversions since Red's replacement wasn't designated to any specific team member and nobody got the rights to "form the head".
  • Gosei Sentai Dairanger/Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 2 plays the usual formation a little differently; rather than forming the torso and head of Dairen-oh/the Thunder Megazord, the Red Ranger gets his own transforming dragon/humanoid Zord and the other Rangers' Zords just form armor elements for it (though the completeness of the armor makes it still look like a true team formation, rather than "Red with enhancements").
  • Played with regarding both Megazords in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger and the third season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, as while the Red Ranger was The Hero as usual, he wasn't actually the team leader for once:
    • Muteki Shogun/the Shogun Megazord had the Red Ranger form the head and torso, while the actual leaders were White Rangers who formed an arm. (And things got messy in Power Rangers since the White Zord was co-piloted by the Pink Ranger and the toy was recolored to match her — and these toys were used in some shots in the show, clashing badly with the existing Kakuranger footage and leaving the actual team leader's color out entirely.)
    • Kakure Daishogun/the Ninja Megazord had the White Ranger form the head and Yellow Ranger form the torso, while Red was just an arm. A straight example of the trope in Kakuranger, but a total aversion in Power Rangers where the Pink Ranger took White's place.
  • Played with in Chouriki Sentai Ohranger/Power Rangers Zeo, as while the head of Ohranger Robo/the Zeo Megazord was made by the Red Zord, it wore interchangeable helmets: the Red Phoenix helmet would usually be on top, but when another team member had a feature episode, they'd take the lead and equip the robot with the helmet from their own Zord to finish off the enemy. Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger/Power Rangers Dino Fury and Bakuage Sentai Boonboomger have something similar, where KishiRyuuOh Three Knights/the Dino Fury Megazord and Boonboomger Robo have alternate forms themed around specific Rangers where they provide Zord components to form the head and weaponry.
  • Averted with the Mega Voyager from Power Rangers in Space, where Red formed the lower abdomen; the head came from the Black Zord and the torso was a combination of Blue and Yellow. Played straighter in Denji Sentai Megaranger, as Black was The Leader, even if the show didn't make it obvious.
  • Averted in Kyūkyū Sentai GoGoV/Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue with the second 5-piece combination Grand Liner/Supertrain Megazord, with the Green Ranger forming the head and torso, though this was due to it being the middle train car, which allowed for an easier transition when the cars split up to combine.
  • In Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger/Power Rangers Wild Force, Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger, and Uchu Sentai Kyuranger, Zords have a standardized combination scheme where each Zord transforms into a specific body part (divided torso/arms/legs in Gaoranger/Wild Force, torso/midsection/feet in Zyuohger, and torso/limbs in Kyuranger) and can be freely exchanged with other Zords of the same part. Aside from the Zords of the Sixth Rangers, all the "torso" pieces belong to the Red Rangers, while the other Rangers hold other parts.
  • A few series have a different version of the trope; where the Rangers draw power from a series of collectible Transformation Trinkets and those trinkets are highlighted by having them grow in size and form the heads of the Megazords. Series featuring this include Tensou Sentai Goseiger/Power Rangers Megaforce, Shuriken Sentai Ninninger/Power Rangers Ninja Steel, and Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger/Power Rangers Dino Fury. Uchu Sentai Kyuranger also has its own trinkets embedded in the Megazord chestplates.
  • Building on the previous example of using the trinkets as the heads, Goseiger/Megaforce takes things to a logical conclusion with the robotic Gosei Knight/Robo Knight himself transforming into a giant head and mounting himself on the body of his Zord. The Silver Ranger of Mashin Sentai Kiramager similarly becomes his own Megazord's headpiece via magical means.
  • A few series have a unique variation involving Meta Mecha with a smaller Zord inside a larger one, though which one is considered the "leader" isn't consistent:
    • In Shuriken Sentai Ninninger/Power Rangers Ninja Steel, Shurikenjin/the Ninja Steel Megazord has a cockpit "throne" set in the chest that the Red Zord sits in. However, other Zords can sit in the throne instead in other combinations, in which case the Red Zord becomes an arm; one of these alternate formations features the Blue Zord front-and-center and the others are Mecha Expansion Packs. The Gold Ranger's Bison King/the Bull Rider Megazord is set up similarly except that the "pilot" mech is perched on its back, and when they combine into King Shurikenjin/the Ninja Fusion Megazord it includes both pilot Zords in their places.
    • Avataro Sentai Donbrothers has a similar setup for ToraDragonJin, but in this case it's the outer Zord that's dominant. It represents the Sixth Ranger's primary dragon theme, while the tiger Zord strapped in the center reflects his secondary theme and isn't portrayed as the dragon's pilot, but its captive.
  • Averted in Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger. Team leader Zenkaizer (a White Ranger in this case) doesn't have a Zord of his own at the beginning and instead pilots combinations formed by the other Rangers. These combinations are split exactly down the middle and no Ranger is featured more than another. Even when he gets his own Zord form, he can only combine with the others by making his own half of the formation (a slightly more elaborate half, but half nonetheless). It's only in the last third of the show where he gets a new Zord that finally plays things straight, forming the head and chest while the others make the arms and legs.
  • Played for Laughs when some Sentai characters guest star in Kamen Rider Taisen. The Ressha Sentai ToQger team shows up and forms ToQ-Oh to aid the Kamen Riders, and Kamen Rider Den-O moves to combine his Cool Train with it. He docks it in the "head" position where the Red Ranger's Zord usually is, only for Kyoryu Red to show up as well, declare "No, that's wrong!", and literally ram Den-O out and take his spot; forcing Den-O to form the feet instead. Den-O spends the entire time complaining about why he has to be the feet.
  • Parodied in the comic book crossover Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where the Turtles borrow the Rangers' powers and equipment, but they adopt the Ranger colors closest to their own without adjusting their team roles. This means that Raphael gets the Tyrannosaurus Zord because he's the Red Ranger, and ends up being the main pilot of the Megazord even though he's not the Turtles' leader... and also not particularly good at driving Humongous Mecha.

This is the most prominent form of combining in Transformers across all its media.
  • Actually averted with The Constructicons, the first of the combiners. Scrapper, the leader front-end loader of the six warriors actually forms the right leg of Devastator, whereas it is actually Hook the crane who forms the head instead. This discrepancy in placement is actually played out cleverly in Transformers fiction: Scrapper is actually a modest individual who dismisses actual well-deserved praise in favor of being a very capable and completely psychotic engineer. Hook, on the other hand, is a Glory Hound and Insufferable Genius with a massive ego, and demands attention the same way black holes demand nearby matter. With personalities like these, it is only natural the work-a-day Scrapper is a leg and the self-important Hook is the chest and head.
    • Played straight in the later IDW comics. Following Scrapper's death in the aftermath of Transformers: All Hail Megatron, Devastator was eventually modified so that that Hook (the former head) took his place as the right leg while a Brainwashed and Crazy Prowl took over as the head (while it was possible for Devastator to form even with Scrapper dead, the resulting combiner was not as powerful). After Prowl was removed from the team, Hook returned to being the head while newcomer Scoop (who also turned into a front-end loader) took Scrapper's place in time for The Transformers: Combiner Wars.
  • The other major aversion is the Dinoforce from Transformers Victory. Goryu, the leader tyrannosaurus forms the right leg while the cowardly triceratops Kakuryu forms the head. This is because the Dinoforce were based on the Pretender Monsters, with Goryu and Kakuryu being based on Icepick (the right leg) and Slog (the head) respectively.
    • Played straight in Unite Warriors, wherein Kakuryu (who had pulled a Heel–Face Turn and became the Autobot Grimmaster) forms the torso and head of his own combiner (albeit using non-sentient drones).
  • In the Unicron Trilogy, Powerlinx has whichever Transformer is on top be in control.
  • Beast Wars Magnaboss has Prowl, the lion (whole bunch of leader archetype imagery there) form the face and center of the torso. Silverbolt, a horribly out of scale eagle, wraps around prowl and forms the wings. Pretty much every other visible part, including the arms, legs, and rest of the torso, comes from Ironhide, a downsized elephant, to compensate for this. This results in Ironhide being rather confusingly built and prone to damage in his standalone form and Silverbolt being excessively simple. The same applied to the Beast Wars II version of the combiner.
  • In The Beast Within comic, G1's Dinobots force a combiner out of themselves, Beast, which is intentionally poorly designed, with everyone else just grafted on to Grimlock's beast mode form. This, however, is a Toyless Toyline Character that only exists in a one-off microcontinuity. The Power of the Primes toyline introduced a mainstream Dinobot combiner, Volcanicus, which forms like a more traditional combiner, and is not a completely insane murder machine like the Beast. The Legacy version of Volcanicus averts this with the head being formed by Slug rather than Grimlock, even though the gestalt's head has always been based on the Dinobot leader's.
  • Zig-zagged with the "Scramble City type" Combinersnote , where the hands, feet and head may come from extra parts in the toy (out of nowhere in the cartoon). The leader of most teams is the torso. Limbs are thus completely interchangeable, between arrangement and even whole transformers (Scramble Power). In some cases, the leader of a team may actually be in one of those limbs, and thus the combined form could be configured without them.
    • The Combiner Warsnote  versions of the "Scramble City" characters do have the combiner head integrated into the torso-forming team leader's body. There are also several torso-forming characters who are not established leaders of specific sub-teams. The Power of the Primes line adds even more new combiner torso-forming characters (fully compatible with Combiner Wars) without defined sub-teams.
  • For some versions of Menasornote , the leader Motormaster forms the entire body, with the other Stunticons merely being attached to the combined form's arms and legs, making Menasor being a Combining Mecha seem unnecessary. The Legacy toy accomplishes this unusual setup by forming the bulk of Menasor's body from Motormaster's trailer, though his main body does form the combiner's head.

    Anime and Manga 
  • This trope dates back to Getter Robo, the first Combining Mecha, where each of the Getter Machines' combined forms were controlled primarily by the pilot of the upper body. Getter-1, the form belonging to group leader Ryouma Nagare, was the most commonly used form.
  • Voltron codified this for USA audiences along with many other Combining Mecha tropes; its Transformation Sequence (played, of course, Once an Episode) comes with a voice-over of the team leader ordering each step of the process, ending with "...AND I'LL FORM THE HEAD!" (Naturally, this was also played straight in the shows Voltron was adapted from, GoLion and Dairugger XV.)
    • Played with in Voltron Force, where Voltron has different forms depending on which lion forms the torso and head.
    • Voltron: Legendary Defender not only has the team leader forming the head of Voltron with the Black Lion, it highlights the symbolism of other team members forming Voltron's other parts:
      • Hunk is disappointed that his Yellow Lion is merely Voltron's leg, but he's assured that it's an important role that provides stability for the team. When the Paladins later celebrate forming Voltron for the first time, Hunk shouts "I'm a leg!", which becomes a Running Gag.
      • But in the next episode, when the Paladins are trying to figure out how to combine their Lions reliably, Hunk unconvincingly claims to have formed the head the last time they did it successfully. Despite specifically having said "I'm a leg".
      • Season 3 emphasizes how the Red Lion is the right hand of Voltron, with its assigned pilots being the faithful Lancers to their respective team leaders.
  • Played with in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Supporting Leader Kamina makes Simon's Ganmen the (second) head. All along, Kamina had been setting Simon up to be a true hero. However, as Kamina was still the leader at this point, his ganmen forms everything but the head of the combined ganmen, has its own head on its torso, and the combined ganmen has his trademark sunglasses on both faces.
    • Simon, The Hero, takes the head position in his mini-mech, while the torso is taken by his Lancer, whoever that is at the time. In larger combinations, when Lagann takes over a larger mech such as the Dai-Gunzen or the Cathedral Terra, his original mech is always located within the head of the resulting gigantic mech.
  • The Big O episode 18 "The Greatest Villain". When Beck and his henchmen form their giant mecha RX3, the part Beck is controlling becomes the head.
  • One of the few series that averts this is The Brave Express Might Gaine, where the title mech is mostly formed from the remote-controlled supertrain Locomorizer while the Kid Hero's vehicle and his transforming Robot Buddy form the arms.
  • Digimon goes all over the place with this trope in its Fusion Dances - Omegamon, the first identifiable example, has a unique head unrelated to its components, as does Susanoomon. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Imperialdramon's head is pretty distinctly based on that of V-mon, the Bond Creature of The Hero; its contemporaries Silphymon and Shakkoumon are both of the unique head variety. The big Combining Mecha example, Digimon Fusion, is also all over the place - on most of Shoutmon's Combining Mecha forms, the head is a unique one which sometimes comes from Shoutmon but is not obviously connected to him design-wise;note  on others, like Shoutmon DX, he is distinctly the head.
    • It is however consistent that Shoutmon's V-shaped head crest always becomes the chest piece of the Shoutmon X series, and even during the DigiXros sequences we can see his head "merging" into the chest to form that V crest.
  • Genesis of Aquarion used three fighter craft. Often the team would fight over whose craft would become the central head-body leader.
    • Same with the sequel. That being said although both main characters formed the most powerful and most used form, neither of them were the team leader. That is Gen/Zen Fudo, who calls the shots on who deploys and who forms what version of the Aquarion's. In Evol main character Amata isn't even the highest ranking pilot, and would often find himself under the command of senior members Cayanne or Shrade.
  • In Gravion, our protagonist actually fills the role of The Lancer for the team and thus his vessel forms one of the titular mecha's legs.
  • Combattler V plays the trope straight. The Leader forms the head, The Lancer is the chest and arms, The Big Guy is the rest of the torso, The Heart forms the legs, and The Smart Guy makes up the feet.
    • Cut from the same cloth so to speak, this trope also applies to Voltes V.
  • As a massive reference to classic Combining Mecha series, this had to happen with El Dorado V in GUN×SWORD. Nero, the one who's most enthusiastic about the whole "giant robot heroism" thing and the de facto leader of the group, pilots the mecha that turns into the El Dorado V's head.

    Comic Books 
  • Parodied in a back-up feature in Squee The series creator, Jhonen Vasquez, fought belligerent fans. The fans joined together in a grotesque humanoid version of this trope with the leader forming the ass instead of the head.
  • The Transformers: Robots in Disguise:
    • Megatron altered Devastator so that he could be remotely controlled by the Insecticon Bombshell. When Bombshell is taken out of commission, he reveals that he can simply take control of the combiner by transforming into its head and replacing its current rage-driven head.
    • Very bizarre example when Prowl, pro team leader of the Autobots after Optimus Prime stepped down (Bumblebee was allegedly in charge, but everyone followed Prowl's orders over his), is cerebro-shelled by the Insecticon Bombshell and forced to act as the head of Devastator, who had been believed permanently out of action ever since the Constructicons' former leader Scrapper was executed by humans after he had surrendered while injured. He later takes this role in a more willing capacity when he takes over the Constructicons following their defection from the Decepticons.

    Fan Works 
  • Code Prime: In the chapter "Valley of Kings and Titans", the Enigma of Combination, working in tandem with Lelia’s Geass, turns the Black Wyverns’ Alexanders into combiners, with Lelia’s Alexander forming the main body of the Hercules.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends: The uber-kaiju Beryudora who shows up at the end of the film, created by Belial resurrecting 300 kaijus and fusing them into a massive monster form, with Belial himself as the head (or brain) of the monster.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Tomica Hero Rescue Force, the heroes gain a combining mecha about halfway into the series. Rescue Striker, the fire truck belonging to R1 turns into the torso and head, while Rescue Saver, belonging to R2 turns into the limbs. It is even made into a minor plot point that R2's cockpit is located inside the mech's foot.

  • In BIONICLE, of the two known Toa Kaita combo-configurations (Akamai and Wairuha, both made up of three individual Toa), Akamai's Kanohi mask is that of Tahu, the leader of the group (Tahu's true head - or rather, the head piece with his eye colors - actually ends up on his left hand). Wairuha's mask, however, is Lewa's, who is just about the bottom of the command chain, but his Kanohi was the most generic-looking, thus the most suitable for a combo model. As a subversion, in the storyline, these aren't really the masks of Tahu and Lewa specifically, nor are they a Kanohi Hau and a Kanohi Miru in general, but other types of masks that happen to look like a Hau and a Miru — out of sheer necessity, as the designers only had these pieces to work with. They're actually called Kanohi Aki and Rua, respectively. But as a Double Subversion (for Wairuha, at least), a special edition chromed Rua was at one point made available for purchase... and it used the mold of a Kanohi Hau, Tahu's mask type!
    • The Turaga Nui figure also has Vakama's head for its real head (the other five are built into various parts of its body). Vakama is often considered the "main" Turaga of the initial six.

    Video Games 
  • Played with in the Dungeons & Dragons Online raid, "The Chronoscope." Player characters get a bit of time travel to an earlier version of the city of Stormreach, back when it's invaded by devils from another plane. After your party lays the smackdown against five flying Abishi demons at end-game (each with an elemental mastery), they retreat and take to the air to regroup. Each demon describes their contributing attack. The last, black in color, says "And I'll form the head!" as they magically combine into a nasty dragon-like demon.
  • Barbaracle from Pokémon X and Y is a humanoid being made up of seven barnacles. Although its legs and hands have minds of their own and can move independently, they usually follow the head's orders.
  • Played with in Super Robot Wars: the R-1 is the head of the SRX, but its pilot is not the leader of the SRX Team. However, once the SRX combines, control of the machine is performed by him.
  • In Strider (Arcade), General Mikiel forms the head of the mechanical centipede Ouroboros, with the other members of the Kazakh governing council as its body.

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 
  • Megas XLR
    • As expected, the show parodies this. The Glorft's UMD is a combining mecha made from other combining mecha, repeated for a couple of cycles. At its final stage, It is completed by Gorrath's personal mech docking in the center. Without Gorrath's part, it doesn't seem to be useable at all, enforced when he leaves the battlefield, and the dozens to hundreds of mechs and pilots that also made up the UMD. Gorrath having a Never My Fault mentality, all of this to be expected.
    • In Sentai parody episode "The Bad Guy", the "S-Force Super Ultra Dimensional Magno Extreme Robotoid Power Zorp" is equal parts Voltron (combining) and Super Sentai (theme), with the Red Falcon at the head. Later, Coop literally forms a new mecha by sliding/smashing Megas' limbs into their robots and slapping the bird on his back. When in fights, it becomes noticeable how uncomfortable it would be to be in a limb. The actual episode's bad guy finds this treatment disrespectful to his nemeses, and of course loves it.
  • In The Venture Brothers, when JJ Venture's team spoofed Voltron with the "Ventronic." Complete with the "I form the " exclamations. The combined form had two heads, the one formed from JJ's robot, and the "left arm" clown head, shaped in a way to be recognizable and comfortable to its pilot, Sally Impossible's mentally handicapped cousin Ned. Instead of just putting the clown head on top, they wound up with a stubby, useless arm, not too dissimilar to JJ himself.
  • In Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, the head of the eponymous Super Robot is formed with the Brain Scrambler 2, piloted by the second-in-command, Antauri. Chiro instead pilots the Torso Tank 1, which serves as the "heart" of the robot, as it's the main center of operations and is connected to all of the other combining vehicles.
  • One episode of Dexter's Laboratory had Dexter and his family piloting vehicles that combined to form a giant robot. Dad tries to claim the head, as he is the "head" of the household, but Dexter complained to Mom (on the grounds that it was his robot) and got to keep the spot. Dad was miffed at first, but warmed up to controlling one of the arms since he used to pitch for his college's baseball team.
  • Subverted in one episode of Teen Titans Go! involving a giant Mecha. Robin expects, as leader, that he will be controlling the head. Only to be told by Cyborg (y'know, the guy who created the giant robot and knows how it works) that Robin is to control the left leg. The Boy Wonder is not happy, and the episode has him learning to accept the position.
  • Taken to its logical conclusion in the Grand Finale of Generator Rex. Black Knight, who acts as the leader of the Consortium, not only forms the head but the entire body of the Humongous Mecha is based on her design. This is justified because she has the power to create the Mecha in the first place but needs everyone else to actually form it.
  • Played with in the Rick and Morty episode Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion where the Sanchez Family(ies) starts getting hold of giant Combining Mechas across various universes. When the episode goes from a Mecha Anime parody to a gangster story, the position of each member in the Go-go-go-Tron mirrors their position in the Family's hierarchy, with the one Rick who started the business in the head's head.

    Other Media 
  • As seen in the page quote, this was parodied by MC Frontalot in a song entitled (naturally) I'll Form The Head, in which Turquoise and "Lightish Red" argue why they should be the ones to form the head: Pink because he's the most qualified and Turquoise for... other reasons. Gold actually offers them turns later, as long as they get the current job done. They don't.
  • In the picture book Swimmy by Leo Lionni, Swimmy is a small fish who convinces his school to swim around in the shape of a much bigger fish to ward off predators. Being a different color from the rest of the school, he plays the eye.


Voltron Formation

The five lions form Voltron!

How well does it match the trope?

4.54 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / TransformationSequence

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