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Terminator Impersonator

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A character (either heroic, villainous, or both) which bears a large resemblance to one of the various models of Terminators, whether the mechanical "robotic" versions of the creatures or the versions formed from Nanomachines or metallic liquid.

Pastiches of these characters typically have at least three of the following traits.

Physical Resemblance to a Terminator

  1. They are a Killer Robot or an Artificial Human created to infiltrate or kill.
  2. They look human on the outside, but on the inside are partially or mostly cybernetic.
  3. Glowing Mechanical Eyes, especially with a red tone.
  4. The "T-800 types" are huge and musclebound, while the "T-1000 types" look moreso like a Chrome Champion.
  5. They are aesthetically "cool", often dressed in copious amounts of leather and/or wearing sunglasses that make them seem more cold and inhuman. (Alternatively, they may disguise themselves as a police officer or figure of authority.)
  6. Often seen Dual Wielding with BFGs, or changing their limbs into weapons.
  7. Lots of first-person camera shots which showcase Robo Cam: a Heads-Up Display giving mission-critical information.
  8. Accumulates damage or undergoes a transformation which reveals more of its true robotic nature underneath.
  9. Some variations may repair themselves, regenerate from shattered pieces or cause an assailant to be Left Stuck After Attack.

Behavior Resembling a Terminator

  1. They are some sort of Stoic, Implacable Man or Super-Persistent Predator that will attack its target(s) relentlessly,
  2. Have a tendency to enter their mission completely in the nude.
  3. Non-disguised versions are often used as Mecha-Mooks (particularly during a Robot War).
  4. They are vastly superior to humans in ability, to the point that any ordinary human has no chance against them other than to Run or Die.
  5. Chasing their target with The Slow Walk, or inside of an extremely large and imposing vehicle.
  6. They may undergo a character arc in which they choose to Pick Your Human Half, or give in to the machine side.
  7. Are probably opposed by either another of their kind, or someone specifically sent to stop them.
  8. Spouts familiar catchphrases like "I'll Be Back", "Hasta la vista", or another familiar line.
  9. Often speaks with a German or Austrian accent, much like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Other resemblances

  1. They are rarely a Big Bad for more than a single arc or story, usually serving as The Heavy for some other Overarching Villain or Greater-Scope Villain.
  2. Expect send-ups to several Signature Scenes, like walking Out of the Inferno, driving Down La Drain, walking through metal bars, or taking on an entire police force or army alone.
  3. May be described with the words "cannot be bargained with, cannot be reasoned with, doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear, and absolutely will not stop ever".

Subtrope of Mechanical Lifeforms. Related to The Ahnold, which is more about the other roles of Arnold Schwarzenegger and other 1980s action stars.

Also, see the pages for expies to its fellow Dark Horse Comics opponents: Xenomorph Xerox and Predator Pastiche.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Sergeant Metallicnote  is a blatant Expy of The Terminator, right down to his large hulking physique, leather outfit, and Cool Shades. Although Goku is unaware that the being he's facing is a robot until the very end, we get copious amounts of a mechanical HUD (said HUD has text taken from another James Cameron-related franchise, MUTHR from the first Alien).
    • The Androids of later sagas are less blatant, but still maintain the theme of "deceptively-powerful beings that look like like ordinary humans", with a young protagonist from a ruinous future going back in time to stop them. In particular, Android 16 still maintains the hulking physique and is single-mindedly programmed to seek out and kill Son Goku, until he later chooses to give up on the idea in favor of stopping Cell and protecting the Earth he's come to love.
  • Fist of the North Star: Glenn is a giant, hulking cyborg that bears more than a passing resemblance to the Terminator. He is also a reluctant Anti-Villain, only doing what he was told to by the true Arc Villain of the episode. When he is defeated by Kenshiro and starts to come around to his side, he is killed by said villain.
  • My Bride is a Mermaid: Lunar's Papa takes the Terminator aspect and plays it for as many laughs as possible. Both English and Japanese dubs give him Schwarzenegger-like mannerisms; he's never seen without his black shades; he relentlessly hunts down Nagasumi in his own school while causing a panic among the students; he's completely unfazed when hit with a Kill Sat; and in his introductory episode, he makes his exit by climbing into a dumpster fire and slowly lowing himself down into it while giving a thumb's up.
  • Black Lagoon: In-universe example with a living character- after watching Roberta annihilate a group of Colombian gangsters and do an Unflinching Walk Out of the Inferno after setting fire to the Yellow Flag, Rock says she's got to be a killer robot from the future. When she tracks down the Lagoon Company in the next episode and proceeds to No-Sell everything Dutch and Benny try to stop her, they start agreeing with him. There's even a seen where her eyes are shown reflecting light to make it appear that they're glowing red and she functions as a One-Woman Army in both her arcs.
  • The original Bubblegum Crisis had boomers with human skin and super strength. When they accumulate enough damage, they reveal themselves to be robot skeletons with synthetic muscles.
    • The 2040 remake had their own version of SkyNet in the form of Galatea.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men:
  • Superman:
    • The Cyborg Superman sports much of the aesthetic of a Terminator, what with half its body being a Skelebot complete with Glowing Mechanical Eyes. You could basically call him a "Terminator in a Superman costume", but he is a human whose intelligence was merged with machinery and then created an artificial body to impersonate Superman. His similarity to a Terminator was played up in Superman Versus The Terminator, where he allies himself with a Terminator so that the two can destroy their mutual enemies (Superman and John Connor) and pave the way for machinekind to rule. Further, in order to combat the increased threat that Kryptonians pose, Skynet upgrades its Terminators with abilities like Heat-Vision and Jet Packs.
    • Some portrayals of Metallo incorporate various similarities to a Terminator, such has the Skelebot 9000 look, Glowing Mechanical Eyes, and on occasion, an external human disguise. In particular, his appearance on Smallville had Lois Lane refer to him as "a Real Life Terminator".
    • Superman, traditionally, has also employed a number of robot doubles to help handle crises when he is unavailable, or to help maintain his Secret Identity by having both Superman and Clark Kent be accounted for at the same time. On occasion, these robots go rogue or become reprogrammed by one of his enemies, in which case they become terrifying Terminator Expies with all of the powers and abilities of Superman, complete with glowing red eyes via primed Heat Vision.
  • In Ninja High School, Hotaro no Kenterminator is a dual homage to Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star and Schwarzenegger's role in The Terminator.

    Films — Animation 
  • Interstella 5555: The Earl de Darkwood employs an implacable cyborg as henchman. The Shout-Out becomes obvious when, after his car is crushed by a truck, the damaged cyborg emerges from the flaming wreck, and he has a red eye visible behind his sunglasses, like the Terminator.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Deadpool 2: Cable is played with several Terminator homages, as an implacable cyborg who has come back in time to kill a young mutant who will become a major supervillain in the future and kill Cable's family.
  • The Naked Gun: This TV Spot for The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear is a blatant spoof of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, with Leslie Nielsen dressed in the T-800's iconic outfit upon a motorcycle, using his catchphrases and carrying a large minigun. Even the film's Title Card is a note-for-note send up of T2.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu: The villain's Pokemon henchman Ditto is similar to the T-1000 in that it's an amorphous being that impersonates humans. Similar to the T-800 from the first Terminator movie, it wears sunglasses at all times to conceal its unhuman eyes.
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: Alice, a "Pretender" variation of the Decepticons, is a Killer Robot disguised as a beautiful woman with the goal of seducing and then killing protagonist Sam Witwicky. To really sell the comparison, while chasing Sam, she pursues with The Slow Walk in a very Terminator-like manner.
  • Universal Soldier: The titular "Unisols" are deceased soldiers that are reanimated via a combination of genetic modification and an uncertain amount of cybernetic enhancements. They are revived to be stronger, faster, more durable, and more resistant to pain than ordinary humans. The first film also keeps a Terminator Twosome dynamic whereas the female lead is an eyewitness that learns an Awful Truth about the Unisol program and is ordered to be killed. The protagonist is a Unisol whose final memories before his death lead him to save her and protect her from the other unisols.

    Live Action TV 
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: In "The Enforcer", Hera's minion the Enforcer arrives naked, kills a man for his clothes, is emotionless and implacable with her mission to kill Hercules, and her body can reform out of water. Her dialogue is peppered with Terminator references. In the sequel episode "Not Fade Away", the Enforcer is resurrected to help Hercules stop a second Enforcer, gradually becomes more human in personality, and eventually sacrifices herself, mirroring Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • The third series of Stranger Things has a Russian mercenary with an imposing build and a deep voice. Hopper manages to fire several rounds into his chest that he shrugs off (due to wearing a kevlar vest) and he's killed in an industrial site towards the end of the series.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Necrons are based in large part on Terminator skeletons, being ridiculously hard-to-kill Skelebot 9000s with a special rule giving them a chance to self-repair after being killed (said special rule is called "We'll Be Back"). This is less pronounced in later editions, where they take on an Ancient Egypt IN SPACE! aesthetic.
  • Gamma World: Dragon magazine #104 article "The Exterminator". Exterminators are based on the T-800 Terminator. They're two meter tall humanoid robots with a duralloy skeleton covered by synthetic skin that makes them look identical to Pure-Strain Humans. Their sole purpose is to hunt down and kill specific targets. They normally carry a plasma rifle, but can pick up and use other weapons. They are vulnerable to high explosives.

    Video Games 
  • ClayFighter: The character of Hoppy (and later T-Hoppy) was based on Terminator T-800, first in C2: Judgment Clay (when even the game itself parodied the movie with Hoppy as The Protagonist) with The Ahnold look and accent as well the muscles, glasses and motorcycle, and in 63 1/3 and Sculptor's Cut being converted in part-cyborg with the mechanic parts at sight and became an Implacable Rabbit.
  • Double Dragon: The boss Abore is a Composite Character of various forms of The Ahnold, including having elements of the characters Schwarzenegger played in Commando and Predator. His most blatant Terminator send-ups are the thick black shades he wears and the red glow that can be seen beneath them.
  • DragonFable: Dave is from a line of robots known as Cyklons, however he's a later model who was reprogrammed sent back from the future. His mission, to warn the Player Character that eventually Cyklons would overrun the world in a Robot War and prevent it from happening by completely wiping out the Cyklon infestation in one go.
  • Fallout: Synth machines created by The Institute fall into several types of this:
    • Generation 1 and 2 Synths are mechanical robots that look eerily humanoid and are often sent as cannon-fodder for executing simple tasks for the Institute. Their abilities and intelligence are relatively limited, however, which means they must rely on sheer numbers to defeat seasoned Wastelanders.
    • Generation 3 Synths are convincing imposters created to replace some unfortunate human, and are usually indistinguishable unless they fail some sort of Impostor Exposing Test or otherwise give themselves away. While most are not that much more capable than humans, there are cases where they have "malfunctioned" and killed several innocent people before being taken down.
    • Coursers are a variant of Gen 3 Synths created specifically for combat. They are far stronger, faster, tougher and more intelligent than ordinary people, which make them terrifying opponents to deal with. When ordered to locate or eliminate a target, they will pursue that target relentlessly and with little-to-no sympathy. To top it off, they're also outfitted with Cool Shades and wear imposing black leather outfits.
  • ''Iconoclasts has the Agents, elite super-soldiers of the One Concern. Although they all have their own distinct skills and personalities, they all share two features: mechanical prosthetics, and being downright impossible to kill, at least with conventional methods. Specifically, Agent White is a pretty humorless man of few words with glowing bionic eyes whose boss fight consists mostly of running away from him, and Agent Black is a ruthless pursuer that's obsessed with killing the protagonist and her family.
  • Jetpack Joyride: one of the "clothing sets" is a robot head and robot body for Barry, which look similar to the Terminator robots. Not only that, one of the Powerup Mounts is the "Bad As Hog", where he rides on a hog bike while wielding a shotgun a-la the T-800.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The servants of the Reapers are often paralleled with Terminators, often being living and dead beings from all over the galaxy with various organic systems replaced by cybernetics until they're obedient slaves that will fight and die on their masters' behalf. Most of them are more like robotic zombies or Mechanical Abominations than this trope, but there are quite a few which are roboticized sleeper agents. Glowing Mechanical Eyes are common. To top it off, when trying to convert humankind into one of them, the Human-Reaper hybrid was a gigantic Skelebot 9000 that looked decidedly Terminator-like.
    • In specific, the Heretic geth are said to not feel an organic's "pity, remorse or fear".
    • In a blatant nod to the Terminator, Renegade Commander Shepard undergoes more and more of a Robotic Reveal as they perform immoral acts, to the point that cybernetic components under their face become visible, and his/her eyes (which are now mechanical after being resurrected) glow a bright, menacing red.
  • Resident Evil:
    • The Tyrant boss type, especially Mr. X, are a bio-engineered example of this trope. Some of them are deployed by the Umbrella Corporation as superpowered assassins whose job is to seek and destroy any survivors or witnesses of whatever crisis Umbrella has recently caused. The more incognito versions are often dressed in a Badass Longcoat, complete with a Nice Hat that might almost let them blend in as very, very large human. They are utterly relentless at pursuing the protagonists, who usually are forced to either run away or use heaps of precious ammunition trying to take it down temporarily.
    • Wesker, meanwhile, turns into this in combat while being more of a Chessmaster Man of Wealth and Taste the rest of the time. Justified as he got his powers through similar experiments to those that created the Tyrants, but was the only person to keep his mind and (wonderful) personality. He has the glowing red eyes, Sinister Shades, Hell-Bent for Leather, healing factor, The Stoic, Implacable Man, Unflinching Walk, and vast superiority to humans. However, since he's much more intelligent than most examples, he's the Big Bad and not The Heavy.
  • Saints Row IV: Murderbots are blatant Shout Outs to the Terminator, being humanoid machines with names that basically describe their function. In the game's source code, their animation set literally uses the name "terminator".
  • Metal Sonic is a robot made in mockery of its enemy who keeps coming back no matter how often it's destroyed. Taken even further in Sonic Heroes, where he's now made of liquid metal and can shape-shift.
  • Space Quest:
    • Arnoid the Annihilator in Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon, who is a bluish metallic robot with a huge reflective visor for eyes, also sporting a belt that can turn him invisible, though his dialogue is all text. He is sent by the Gippazoid Novelty Company to hunt down Roger Wilco and kill him for supposedly failing to pay for the Labion Terror Beast Mating Whistle he ordered in Space Quest II, as well as the slot machine Wilco broke in the game before. Wilco has to outwit Arnoid by luring him into one of two traps on planet Phleebut to survive.
    • Carried onward into Space Quest V with WD-40, a female variant sent to finish Arnoid's job. This model makes it clear that she intends to kill Roger and use his body parts to pay for compensation. When Roger defeats her, however, Cliffy actually decides to put her back together and use her as the Eureka's science officer, though on Roger's condition to not be as hostile towards him.
    • In Space Quest VI, Blaine Rohmer hires Roger to hunt down an Endodroid he was after, which looks like a blonde Terminator with an Arnold-esque voice, and you even see him repairing his eye when you find him. Since it's made of a certain metal, Roger has to freeze the Endodroid with liquid nitrogen to take it out.
  • World Heroes: This series has not one but two despictions of Terminators: Brocken and Geegus, which are game versions of T-800 and T-1000 respectively. Brocken is a cyborg dressed as a military man who was supposed to be made as a walking weapon but was reprogrammed by Dr. Brown to be one of his champions. Geegus instead, is an alien lifeform with the shape of a muscled human and can take shape of any opponent, later to be revealed as he's The Dragon of Dio.
  • Yo-Kai Watch features Terminyanator, a very direct parody created by Robonyan F, who himself imitates the Terminator often saying "I'll be back!" Similarly, Terminyanator's catch phrase is "Meow'll be back!"

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Archer: Barry Dylan gets seriously injured at one point and is rebuilt as a cyborg. Driven mad from the operation, he begins stalking Archer and attacking anyone close to him. After getting blown up, he returns as a skelebot with red eyes and survives getting hit by a truck.
  • Samurai Jack: X-49 is a humanoid robot assassin that is sent to kill Jack. Most notably, he dresses in a stylish hat and coat, with bright red Glowing Mechanical Eyes, and Dual Wielding guns. However, he has been forced into attacking Jack, and before he dies, begs Jack to take care of his beloved dog, Lulu.
  • The Simpsons: The series loves making Terminator references, with several of them being characters directly impersonating the Terminator.
    • Rainier Wolfcastle isn't so much a Terminator expy as he is The Ahnold, but nonetheless has directly referenced the character the actor plays, such as in "Don't Have a Cow Humanity" where he bursts into the Simpsons house with the iconic line "Come with me if you want to live!"
    • Multiple Terminator endoskeletons have appeared throughout the series usually in throwaway cameos.
    • "Itchy & Scratchy Land" had the Itchy and Scrathy Robots possessing Robo Cam, and wind up rebelling against their programming to attack humans.
    • In "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular", a deleted scene from "Burns' Heir" has Mr. Burns summoning a Robotic Richard Simmons. When it goes out of control, Smithers shoots it in the head, only for it to heal up the wound T-1000 style.
    • "The Falcon and the D'ohman" straight out has Homer envisioning a Terminator apocalypse, where a Terminator endoskeleton has overtaken his and several other people's jobs before killing Homer himself.
    • Homer himself impersonates the Terminator in "Principal Charming", as he uses Robo Cam to look for prospective dates for Selma. And on "Homer Loves Flanders" he emulates the T-1000 by disappearing through a hedge and chasing after the Flanders' car while wielding golf clubs.
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum: The Dollar-nator is a robot built by Fanboy in the future, sent to the past to help the titular duo out of jams. Not much else to do with The Terminator besides having a thick Austrian accent, imitating the speak patterns of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Doug sneaks into a movie about one called Target Man that ends up giving him nightmares in a Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films episode.
  • In Futurama when Bender goes back in time to kill Fry,he verifies(using various verbs) what he needs to do, notably avoiding using the word "terminate." Which his masters do anyway. Once in the past he scans the phonebook for Philip Fry (much like the Terminator and Sarah Connor). He also dons a pair of Cool Shades before disappearing into the time vortex, insisting "It's really bright in the past."
  • The Thomas the Tank Engine episode, "First Day On Sodor!" features an Imagine Spot from the Sodor Construction Company where Miss Jenny Packard unveils The Roadinator, a Terminator-esque road-paving machine.
    Roadinator: I am the Roadinator. Come with me if you want to pave!
  • The very first Monster of the Week in Biker Mice from Mars was the X-Terminator, who was blatantly a Terminator pastiche, right down to his last line of dialogue in his debut being "I'll be back".


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