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Mobile-Suit Human

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What's small to us is big to them!

When you combine Tiny People with Humongous Mecha, you get this.

The Mobile-Suit Human is a Mini-Mecha designed to look like everybody else (more or less), manned by a tiny (usually about rodent-sized) pilot who can operate it to blend in with the rest of the population without being noticed; or to make himself seem more impressive than he otherwise would be. Nobody is ever afraid of anything tiny if it's not a Killer Rabbit.

Most often employed for comedic purposes, the pilot of the suit is usually revealed at one point or another, to the astonishment and shock or amusement of who or whatever is unfortunate enough to be the one to open it up or see inside it.

The trope name is a pun on Mobile Suit Gundam.

A potential subtrope of the Monster Suit and Human Disguise. Such pilots typically live in a Mouse World. For stories that depict ordinary humans as metaphorically controlled by tiny pilots, see Ghost in the Machine. See Brain with a Manual Control for when an actual human can be controlled like a robot from the inside of their body. For humans who are in mobile life support robots, see Man in the Machine. See Little Green Man in a Can for different levels of alien and/or mecha.

For a more specific form of this trope, look to Totem Pole Trench.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A strange, but almost direct play on this occurs in Basquash!: actually the Humongous Mecha this show focuses on are later revealed to be created originally with the purpose to be a Mobile-Suit Giant, allowing the humans to mingle easier with the race of the giants.
  • Bleach has Mod-Souls, which are small consciousnesses that take the form of small yellow pills. There are also gigai, artificial human bodies that Shinigami commonly use to interact with ordinary living humans. Combine the two (as they did in the Bount arc), and you get this trope.
    • Nemu Kurotsuchi, is a Canon implementation of this concept. But unlike the mod-souls of the Bount arc, her artificial soul is permanently attached to her artificial body.
  • A fantasy application of this trope: In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, Envy's real body is revealed to be a small monster fetus thing that can generate or hijack a more human shell around itself.
    • Similarly, Father's apparent body is actually a container for a small amorphous blob-like creature which can't survive outside its container.
    • In both of these cases, their true forms are the reasons for their villainy. Envy deeply envies humans despite his vocal disdain for them, hence why he disguises himself as a human most of the time. Father desires freedom after spending his entire existence trapped in a container. Father seeks godhood because he believes that is the only way he can be truly free.
  • Imoko, usually a small floating thing in The Girl Who Leapt Through Space, has a "Maid-Droid" human-sized robot that she can be seen using. Though she doesn't use the Maid-Droid very often.
  • The main character from the Japan Animator Expo short "I Can Friday by Day!" is actually such a mech, piloted by a squad of tiny military extraterrestrial squirrels going deep undercover to look for a resource of some kind. Somehow, "she" is undercover so deep, she has a younger sister and a mother she lives with who don't know she's a robot. There are at least two other teenagers in the area who are also actually mechs for small animals.
  • The protagonist of Akira Toriyama's Jiya turns out to be an insect-sized alien piloting a human-sized robot.
  • The titular heroine of Kemeko Deluxe! is actually a Mobile Suit Human that's Bigger on the Inside.
  • In Macross, the Zentraedi are a humanoid species whose front-line forces stand about 30 feet tall. The Humongous Mecha piloted by the humans are designed, on purpose, to be the same size. In one episode of Super Dimension Fortress Macross, one of the characters even steals a Zentraedi uniform and puts it on his mecha to pass as a member of the Zentraedi crew.
  • A bad guy in the Maze Megaburst Space OVAs.
  • Nagisa Aizawa from My Monster Secret is a a Human Alien who's about the size of an action figure and typically rides around in a mech that looks like a human-sized version of herself (the access port is a large screw on the back of her head that nobody seems to notice). Her older brother Ryo turns up in a female suit, entirely so he can peep on girls in the bathand it comes back to bite him in the ass when fellow pervert Shimada falls for "her".
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion presents a similar variation to Basquash: the titular Evangelions, typically presented and marketed as Humongous Mecha, are actually humanlike armored mutants that can be piloted by regular humans.
  • A variant occurs in New Mazinger, an one-shot painted Mazinger Z graphic novel done by Go Nagai and released by Dark Horse Comics: the titular super-robot is blasted into a sword-and-sorcery world where he rescues a topless princess (this IS Go Nagai, after all) from invading lizard-men. When the princess attempts to offer herself to the mysterious knight to persuade him to aid her people, he reveals that he is a machine piloted by a human "just the right damn size for a pet!"
  • Momo from Pretty Rhythm: Rainbow Live who is a pink penguin (with hair) wearing a female human suit named Chisato Ibara.
  • The alien frogs in Sgt. Frog use fake robot bodies when forced to interact with humans, although we still see their normal faces. Incidentally, Keroro usually appears disguised as a woman.
    • The more tech-saavy Kururu's manages a full body android disguise, but only manages to show off his trademark creepy geek side by making it look exactly like a cutesy teen J-pop idol.
  • In So I'm a Spider, So What?, Puppet Taratects are human-sized mannequins piloted by a palm-sized spider in its chest. Among Taratects, they are second only to the Queens in terms of strength. While obviously puppets at first, Shiraoi later helps Ariel refine the body until it can almost pass for human.
  • In Space Pirate Mito, the title character is about the size of a human third-grader, and resembles one. Her battle suit is of a normal-sized shmexxy woman. Hilarity Ensues when she has to leave it and it splits in half. So traumatizing for her son. It's later revealed that all mail suits are modeled after the same woman, giving her son yet another shock when the Big Bad's helmet comes off, revealing the same face as his mother.
  • Zatch Bell!:
    • Baltro is an example. It's a foot-tall demon with telekinesis (more specifically, it can telekinetically control anything that has a special kind of flower attached to it). So until its defeat at the end of the story arc, Baltro hides inside an enormous suit of armor that it controls with that power.
    • Koral Q, the tokusatsu madon, also qualifies.

    Comic Books 
  • The Amazing Screw-On Head by Hellboy's creator Mike Mignola is a steampunk Alternate Universe where the title character is, for reasons unexplained, a head with a threaded bolt for a neck that can screw into various robot bodies, mainly humanoid.
  • The Beezer (and later The Beano) had the Numskulls who controlled a real person, with various skulls in charge of different bodily functions.
  • The "Hero Machines" in Danger Club. They're from Micro-Tokyo, which is something like the Tokyo metropolitan area after being shrunk down and moved to another dimension. Pilots are around 6 inches tall, while the mechs themselves are roughly 6'10 or 7'; massive from their perspective, but simply large from ours.
  • The DCU:
  • Gold Digger has the minor recurrers the Vaulton Force, a parody of the main cast of Voltron as Leprechauns defending a vault full of gold. Their title mecha is about six feet tall when combined.
    • It can also combine with its support mecha to a far more powerful ultimate form!... that stands seven or eight feet tall.
  • Hellboy villain Herman Von Klempt is simply a head in a jar. In the story Conqueror Worm he gains a robot body with the original biological head concealed in the chest.
    Von Klempt: Are you shocked at my true form?!
    Hellboy: We've met before! I KNOW you're just a head!
    • B.P.R.D. agent Johan Krauss, who's pretty much a cloud of gas in a pressurized suit.
  • In the Marvel Comics' Retcon series Marvel: The Lost Generation, a Golden Age Brain in a Jar hero called the Eternal Brain was given a robot named Walkabout to provide him with mobility.
  • Number None, Nextwave's second Disc-One Final Boss, turned out to be a robot piloted by a baby MODOK.
  • Early on, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book introduced the Utroms, as species of vaguely brain-like aliens who, after being stranded on earth to to Mobile Suit Human exoskeletons in order to blend in with the population.
  • Top 10 features an intelligent talking Doberman Pinscher in a humanoid mechanical suit of armor.
  • The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye reveals that Ultra Magnus is actually this: the current Ultra Magnus is actually a Transformer named Minimus Ambus who wears a huge suit of armor modeled after the original Ultra Magnus, and he isn’t the first to have it. The original Ultra Magnus was killed millions of years ago and was turned into a Legacy Character via smaller Transformers wearing the Magnus Armor to create the idea of an immortal law enforcer. Ambus is the latest and longest lasting individual to wear the armor and, according to Ratchet, who knew the original, should be considered the "real" Ultra Magnus. Ambus himself goes one level deeper, being a tiny Transformer wearing a regular-sized Transformer body to get around (which then wears the Magnus Armor).

    Comic Strips 
  • A Sunday strip of Calvin and Hobbes has a fantasy spot in which Calvin is a Mobile-Suit Human being operated by a crew of little Calvins. Calvin trips down the stairs, and imagines the panic that the tripping is causing among the crew. A later strip uses this as a metaphor for the phenomenon of dreaming, with the crew of Calvin's brain descending into the subconscious to gather random reels of tape and then playing them out of order.
  • Mandrake the Magician: One storyline features a retired circus midget who has invented an exoskeleton that makes him appear human-sized, so he can go out in public without being treated differently. He operates it from inside the torso, and has a collection of different heads for different occasions. He also uses it to rob banks, switching to a different head as soon as he leaves the bank so he can pass as an innocent bystander.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Boss Baby: Family Business, Ted finds out this is how Dr. Armstrong is able to pass as an adult. Later in the climax, Tina commandeers one of his spare suits to fight him.
  • The Gorg from Home (2015), which resembles a giant mech but is actually manned by a soft starfish-like creature.
  • The main characters in Ratatouille played with this trope: one is a pilot/Chef and the other is an expert at being/appearing human, at least at the beginning.
  • According to The Art of Toy Story 2, the evil Emperor Zurg is actually a miniature alien in a suit of armor.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In a very un-comedic example, the aliens in Dark City use corpses as Mobile-Suit Humans.
  • Done hilariously in a skit in the Woody Allen movie Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex, complete with a control center in the brain (infiltrated by a religious "spy" mid-coitus) and paratrooper sperm. Seriously.
  • Independence Day provides a rare serious example. The roughly human-sized alien invaders turn out to be biomechanical suits; the real deal are child-sized. They are implied to be physically weaker, but by no means disarmingly cute. In the novelization, it is explained that they're not just biomechanical suits — they are literally another alien species that the Big Bad conquerors had defeated, found to be useful, and turned into suits. Or perhaps they somehow evolved some sort of symbiotic/parasitic relationship... psychic revelations like that tend to be unclear.
  • Meet Dave takes this to extremes, featuring a suit that looks like... Eddie Murphy. It is captained by... a miniature Eddie Murphy (actually a tiny humanoid alien). It's also a spaceship with about a hundred crewmen, making it a Humongous Mecha at the same time.
  • Men in Black:
    • The alien prince of the Arquillian Empire who had the Galaxy was piloting a Mobile Suit Human, the better to hide from enemies — and to pet his cat.
    • Subverted with a side of Body Horror by the villain of the movie — while he is using a human guise for the majority of the film, referred to as an "Edgar-suit"; it's actually the skin of a farmer he killed in the beginning of the movie. Also could be considered an inversion, in that the "pilot" of the suit is somehow much bigger than the human he's pretending to be (or the ship he arrived in for that matter).
  • A truly excellent example in Scooby-Doo (2002). The villain turns out to be Scrappy inside one of these.


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  • Animorphs features a subversion. Normally the Yeerks enslave humans by basically turning them into biological versions of this. Eventually an android captures one and places it in his skull, unable to enslave it the Yeerk is trapped in a Mobile-Suit Human with no access to the controls.
  • Broken Angels by Richard K. Morgan. A child is seen using the brain-dead body of a cyborg soldier this way; he rides on his back.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... Nightmares: The title character of The Fat Man turns out to be one.
  • A semi-organic version is used by Sith the Thone in Brian Lumley's The House Of Doors. In this case, the alien itself is mostly liquid, so occupies the hollow metal tubes that are the Mobile Suit's limb bones as well as its head and torso.
  • And an even earlier version comes from Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series; the Kaldanes are head-sized insectile beings who symbiotically live atop the bodies of Rykors, which resemble headless humans, connecting themselves to the Rykors' spinal columns to "drive" them.
  • The main character of Man Fac by Martin Caidin suffered crippling burns. He built a "Man-Facsimile" to allow him to get around. Although his body had been somewhat shriveled and shrunken by his injuries, the facsimile still needed to be of a very large man, seven feet tall or thereabouts, to fit him inside along with the mechanical muscles.
  • The Mote in God's Eye: A human spaceship is overrun by "Brownies", monkey-like animals that breed like crazy and use advanced technology by instinct. When the humans evacuate the ship, several Brownies try to tag along inside a human space suit. They operate the limbs from inside, and put a severed human head into the transparent helmet for camouflage.
  • Deconstructed in Rog Phillips' short story "Rat in the Skull", in which a newborn white rat is placed in control of a Mobile-Suit Human as a psychological experiment and grows up thinking that the robot body is its body.
  • Small Persons with Wings: Gigi Kramer, a supernaturally beautiful woman with a weirdly echoey voice and the ability to manipulate people into doing whatever she wants, is actually a mannequin. An unknown Small Person hides inside her head while using Magica Artificia to make her look like a human and Magica Mala to make her walk around.
  • Skool from the novel Un Lun Dun by China Miéville. For most of the story, he appears as a big strong human in a diver's suit. Turns out, the suit is actually full of water and inhabited by a school of fish, hence his name. Also, the mercenary Mr. Cavea's human body turns out to be just a suit. And the examples can go on.
  • Welkin Weasels features a very clumsy "knight" guarding a road, who turns out to be nine ferrets poorly piloting a human-sized suit of armour.
  • In Wicked when Nanny asks how the clockwork robot Grommetik works, Elphaba says she likes to pretend he has a dwarf inside him or a family of elves with each working a limb.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Slitheen from "Aliens of London"/"World War Three" wear skinsuits to disguise themselves as humans. In an inversion, however, they're much bigger than the humans they're impersonating, and use compression technology to shrink down to fit. Limitations, however, mean they can only use overweight humans as disguises. In The Sarah Jane Adventures, however, the Slitheen eventually develop improved versions of the technology that allow them to fit into skinnier bodies.
    • In a "Meanwhile in the TARDIS" extra:
      Amy: What kind of an alien [are you]?
      The Doctor: Well, a nice one; definitely one of the nice ones.
      Amy: So you're like a-a space... squid? Or something... are you like a tiny little slug in a human suit? [the Doctor gives her a sour look] Is that why you walk like that?
    • "Let's Kill Hitler": The Teselecta is a shapeshifting humaniform robot piloted by miniaturized humans who travelled back in time to, you guessed it, kill Hitler.
  • The short-lived Saturday Morning show Los Luchadores had The Whelp, an evil chihuahua who operated a man-sized robot.
  • Kevin is purported to be one of these in an episode of The Office (US).
  • Stargate:
    • The Goa'uld are a biological variant, usurping control of a living human host. It's explained that the reason humans were popular for this role (as opposed to their previous hosts, the Unas) were because human bodies were easy to repair.
    • The Tok'ra (a rebel faction of Goa'uld) defy this trope by sharing control with their human host rather than forcibly taking it from them.
    • Jaffa, the soldiers of the Goa'uld, additionally serve as incubators for Goa'uld larvae, which they carry in a pouch on their stomach. However, they cannot control the Jaffa soldiers directly.
  • Super Sentai:

  • Friends at the Table: “PARTIZAN”: Valence is a gaseous alien inhabiting a humanoid robotic suit to infiltrate and study the Divine Principality which threatens their homeworld, using synthetic skin and holograms to appear human (apart from the fancy wolf mask they never take off). This comes as a surprise to most of their friends. The suit is destroyed partway through the season, forcing them to inhabit a cruder and obviously artificial body for the rest of it.

    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Hc Svnt Dracones, Vectors with the "Lateral" morphism look like normal animals, what with their size and lack of hands (or even limbs in the case of snakes) they have a bit of trouble functioning in technological society. A Body Socket is a robotic rig that gives them hands and upright posture.
  • In the Trinity RPG by White Wolf the alien Qin use these, but most of the time it's subverted, since the suits, though human shaped, are obviously alien. They're just more practical for interacting with humans than their natural small 'furry squid/slug' form. In one particular plot a faction of Qin tried to use 'perfect human replica' suits to infiltrate a radical, racist, Slavic supremacist terror group, but only having a limited understanding of human culture, they used a suit modelled on an ethnic African appearance. Needless to say, Hilarity Ensued.

    Video Games 
  • Captain Commando has the appropriately-named Baby Head (Hoover in Japan), who is a super-intelligent baby riding a human-sized, headless robot. During the game, characters and enemies can ride other headless mechas, so you can have a baby riding a mecha that rides a mecha.
  • Earthworm Jim is a foot-tall worm piloting an indestructible supersuit. A few scenes boot Jim out of his suit and he has to chase it down/endure the boss until he can reclaim it.
  • Fishbot features a suit operated by a goldfish. Don't even ask how he survives inside it without water.
  • Kum Haehyun from Guilty Gear -REVELATOR- is an odd case, as it's a normal-sized girl piloting a mech suit that looks like a buff old dude.
  • In the Katamari Damacy series, wearing the Mask present as Velvet makes her face open up like a hatch and reveal a smaller version of herself "piloting" her.
  • In Meat Boy, Dr. Fetus sits in a mobile glass container. Which wears a tuxedo and a monocle and is occasionally able to fly.
  • Perfect Dark have the Skedar, who are little snakelike creatures about the size of a Terran houscat. Highly intelligent and highly vicious, they create T-Rex like (big legs and small arms) exosuits capable of high running speed, with powerful claws and the ability to handheld weapons.
  • Sir Waddlelot from Ribbit King is a wind-up penguin piloted by a small ghost creature. According to the bottlecap descriptions, the ghost creature is a Mad Scientist named Dropsie.
  • The Tiny Texan item in Team Fortress 2.

  • Cassiopeia Quinn:
    • The Pelagians are aliens resembling small octopi who, due to their need to remain submerged in liquid ammonia, get around in aliens worlds by driving around androids where they floating in a tank of ammonia replacing the head.
    • One of the bounty hunters seen during the Big Race chapter is a Vanaa — a species resembling rounded blobs of jelly with stubby arms and about a meter high — with a suit of Powered Armor that resembles this, with their jelly body poking out the top as the "head". It also comes equipped with an ejector seat.
  • Cinema Bums features a strip where Mr. Potter from It's a Wonderful Life is actually one of these.
  • Freefall: Sam Starfall is a boneless squid-like creature occupying a humanoid suit that provides an exoskeleton to allow him to keep a humanoid form for interacting with a human world, walk on dry land, and provide him with a breathable atmosphere. As a bonus, the suit protects him from being added to the dinner menu of just about every terrestrial animal he encounters. And from what he firmly believes to be a human nurturing instinct (when they see his true form, they regurgitate their last meal). It's necessary not only because of how Sam's looks — he also sweats ammonia.
  • In General Protection Fault Mr. Intertia turns out to be one of these operated by a pair of greys.
  • Girl Genius: One of the Wulfenbach-allied Mechanicsburg attackers is revealed to be a mass of mice masquerading as a human after he gets a hole in his torso. Either that or he's a Spark who for some reason decided to modify his torso to house mice, which is also possible.
  • In It's Walky!, Alan is revealed to be an alien in such a suit.
    • In the (since published) Patreon-only "Joyce and Walky!" comics, Rachel is shown to have been replaced by one.note 
  • Mechagical Girl Lisa ANT takes this to an interesting conclusion, as the heroine's Powered Armor was supposed to be a Humongous Mecha for its inventors.
  • Pastel Defender Heliotrope's follow-up series To Save Her has an unusual inversion: Kaye is an amorphous blob who wraps herself around a skeletal armature to assume a humanoid form.
  • In Pv P, Scratch Fury turns the Ottobot into one of these. After learning to use it to (somewhat) convincingly pass himself as a human, he tries uses it to try to take over the Mayor's office. He's immediately thrown in jail, forcing him to leave the empty suit behind.
  • Sluggy Freelance has Bun-Bun build human-sized mechanical costumes for himself and Kiki (a rabbit and ferret, respectively) so they can masquerade as Riff and Torg on Halloween and steal candy from Trick-or-treaters. Similarly, Frog's Frech (Frog-Mech), which parodies Darth Vader.

    Web Original 
  • Tomongus, a character looking like an Among Us crewmate, is actually a hamster piloting a crewmate-sized mecha.
  • In the Duke Forever chapter Mister Heavy, the titular character is at first mistaken for a Superhero, but is later revealed to be a spaceship for a race of intelligent, alien caterpillars.
  • A number of entities in Pretending to Be People are inhabited by small steel balls which ripped out the spinal columns of their victims and burrowed into their now-defunct nervous systems. John Lee Pettimore IV unconsciously did this to his own father.
  • The SCP Foundation has SCP-3904, human cadaver-skinsuits that are (somehow) designed to be operated by two cats.
  • In the Whateley Universe, Rack fits this trope. He looks pretty much like a normal-sized guy in power armor. But he's really a small dwarf in Mobile-Suit Human hardware that he built. He operates it using hand controls and telekinesis.

    Western Animation 
  • The recurring villain for 3-2-1 Penguins! is Baron Von Cavitus, in actuality a mechanical suit driven by a hamster named Bert Bertman.
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears- in one episode, one of the Gummis used a Clock Punk human-sized suit of armor to masquerade as a human. It did well for a while, but then the limbs started coming off...
  • Ben 10: Alien Force has Vulcanus. Deprived of his Powered Armor, he turns out to be only 2 feet high, and half of that is his head.
    • There's also the creator of the Omnitrix, who turns out to be an older version of Ben's Grey Matter alien, but only when we first see him in Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix. His other-dimensional counterpart in Ben 10: Omniverse episode "Store 23" also appears in one.
  • A gag in the title sequence of Bounty Hamster shows Cassie trying to hire a bounty hunter, and selecting a hulking figure in powered armour - which immediately falls apart, revealing the title character. (The armour never appears or gets a mention during the actual episodes.)
  • One episode of Bucky O'Hare features one of these played as The Mole. Or technically, the walrus, or the chairman.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command had the (ironically named) Gargantians who were six inches tall. Dissenting Gargantians would often times use normal-sized suits to blend in and attack their targets. (One such case featured framing Buzz Lightyear by wearing one of these suits and attempting to kill the Galactic President who was signing an important treaty. They then attempted a Xanatos Gambit by demonstrating a suit that looked like the President and pretending to use it to derail the peace treaty, all to get the real Buzz to shoot the real President.)
  • Technically, Grizzle from Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-Lot. He wears a suit that makes him appear to be large and intimidating, but in reality, he's slightly smaller than the Care Bears.
  • An episode of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers had Gadget make a matador machine out of random junk so the team could bullfight El Emenopeo.
  • In his debut episode, Skulker from Danny Phantom is a metallic ghost, revealed to be a tiny ghost about the size of a gerbil, who wears a pretty badass suit of armor.
  • One episode of The Fairly OddParents! has a fake Jorgen von Strangle revealed to be a robot being controlled by a pixie.
  • One episode of Family Guy has Stewie use a robo-Peter suit in an attempt to prevent the real Peter from having another baby. Seeing Stewie emerge from the robot's stomach after it falls out the second-story window causes Cleveland to freak out a-la Hogan's Heroes.
    Cleveland: (walks away) I see nothing. I see nothing.
  • One of the Gravity Falls shorts features "Lefty", half of a human suit piloted by a team of green blob creatures (they work very hard so nobody sees the non-existent right side of their body).
  • One of the Couch Gags in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has Mandy's face opening to reveal a smaller Mandy, who then utters "Echuta".
  • Invader Zim has "Government Man", a robotic Man in Black piloted by GIR that looks even more like an android than him.
  • In Men in Black: The Series, there are many Arquillians living on Earth, and their suits are very powerful compared to humans. In one episode, another similarly-sized race, the Fmek, ran around body-jacking the pacifist Arquillians to use their suits against them. It goes even further with Microcephalopoids, aliens so small that they use Mobile-Suit Arquillians to pilot Mobile-Suit Humans.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In "I Was a Middle-Aged Robot", when Lawrence accidentally gets his memories erased, Perry the Platypus must pilot a suit shaped like his body to take Lawrence's place during a father-daughter sporting event while Carl the Intern works on getting Lawrence's memories back.
    • In "Invasion of the Ferb Snatchers", just when it looks like Candace has busted her brothers, "Linda" turns out to be a little alien wearing a robotic suit so he could learn about the habits of Earthling mothers while Phineas and Ferb repaired his spaceship.
  • Brain's human outfit from Pinky and the Brain is a mechanical human body topped off by Brain's own head. He claimed his tiny head and large ears were the result of a "medical condition". On another occasion, he stated outright, "Actually, I'm a laboratory mouse in the advanced stages of a plot to take over the world."
    • One episode reveals Bill Gates Gill Bates to be a suit piloted by Brain's archrival Snowball the Hamster.
  • Roach Coach, from The Powerpuff Girls (1998): a one-off villain who despises humanity and has a device that let him control roaches. He appears at first to be an ordinary man (with antennae), but he turns out to be a roach in a robot human suit.
  • Right on the line between this and Humongous Mecha, in Samurai Jack Episode XVI, "Jack & the Smackback" (aka the Dome of Doom), Jack fights The Aqualizer, which, while quite large, we discover after Jack lays the smackdown on it is controlled by a rather tiny sea slug-looking critter.
  • One episode of Sealab 2021 sees most of the crew of the eponymous research station's bodies turned into these for mice, while the crew themselves have their brains put into giant robots. It is made more amusing by the fact that the whole cycle was started because the captain of the station had scandalous photos of the science officer engaged in sexual acts with a fat intern, which said captain was threatening to show to said science officer's girlfriend...and the science officer spent 90% of the episode drunk.
  • The Secret Files of The Spy Dogs had Humanesks, which pretended to be fat humans. They had spy dogs as pilots.
  • The Simpsons episode "Undercover Burns" has a variant; Mr. Burns's "Fred" disguise includes such a mechanical suit that does indeed make him noticeably larger, but in a more realistic fashion than this trope usually does. The included Latex Perfection mask also contains electronics that enable Mr. Burns to communicate with Smithers wherever he is.
  • On Sponge Bob Square Pants, Plankton will sometimes dress up in robot contraptions that make him equally big as the rest of the cast. Not exactly human, though. Generic fish or Mr. Krabs himself are his favourites.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Bounty Hunters", one of the titular characters is a hulking armoured figure named Seripas — who, true to this trope, turns out to be a diminutive alien about half a metre tall.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Krang from the first cartoon was loosely based on the original concept of the Utroms, although his own humanoid exoskeleton was decidedly not designed for blending in.
    • The second series brought the Utroms (from the original books—see above). An Utrom named Ch'rell, in particular, was one of the series' main antagonists, and was almost always in one of these.
    • The third series has these piloted by the Utroms' expies, the Kraang, who turn out to be a rogue splinter group of the Utrom themselves mind-controlled by Kraang Prime and commanded by Kraang Sub-Prime.
  • The Pretenders in Transformers were suits for the titular giant robots, either disguised as humans or monsters. It was never explained how the Cybertronians could hide with these suits, considering they were still giant robots. The concept works fine in animation (due to Transformers often changing sizes, known in the fandom as "mass-shifting") and the Decepticon Pretenders (almost all of them have monsters for shells), but for the Autobot Pretenders (who are basically all humans), it causes major scale discrepancies in the toyline.
    • In the comics, some planets happened to have Transformer-sized humans. Which explains the Pretenders, but opens up a whole new set of questions.
    • In the Japanese continuation series Transformers Masterforce, the Pretenders are shown to solve the problem by shrinking.
    • Considering the size of the Transformers from the Beast Wars, it isn't unlikely that this is a prelude to the "Great Upgrade" that allowed them to don more energy-efficient, human-sized bodies.
  • The One-Episode Wonder "Troy Ride" from Shorty Mcshorts Shorts is based on this trope.
  • Young Justice (2010) has the Kroloteans who pose as kidnapped humans.

    Real Life 
  • Though not mobile, the Mechanical Turk — an 18th century "chess-playing automaton", which was secretly operated by a man hidden in its base — is perhaps the closest Real Life has come to one of these. Its clockwork arm did move, via a complex series of levers.


Video Example(s):


Shedder's True Identity

In the midst of an intense battle with the Shredder, the turtles discover that he's actual the evil Utrom, Ch'rell, who caused the Utroms to crash on Earth millenia ago.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (21 votes)

Example of:

Main / MobileSuitHuman

Media sources: