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Terrifying Tyrannosaur

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"The worst of the lot, a brute named Tyrannosaurus rex, was probably the meanest killer that ever roamed the earth."
"Tyrannosaurus is the most superb carnivorous mechanism among the terrestrial Vertebrata, in which raptorial power and speed are combined."
Henry Fairfield Osborn, the paleontologist who coined the new genus in 1905

Ever since its discovery in 1905, Tyrannosaurus rex became the single most well-known and popular dinosaur, the greatest stock of stock dinosaurs. While it may not have been the biggest carnivorous dinosaur ever, it was probably among the most powerful and dangerous. It is certainly the most famous, mainly because it looks badass with its massive head, powerful jaws and sharp teeth. For this reason, it is often seen as one of both the scariest and most majestic creatures that ever lived.

Notably, it is also the only dinosaur popularly known for the whole scientific name (genus Tyrannosaurus, species rex) instead of just the first term. The meaning of the name is "tyrant lizard king", which helps its majestic image as King of the Dinosaurs. The correct scientific abbreviation of the name is T. rex, but in media, the variants T. Rex, T-rex and T-Rex also often show up.

Fictional T. rexes (along with its relatives such as Tarbosaurus, Gorgosaurus, Nanuqsaurus and so forth, colloquially known as tyrannosaurs) will almost invariably be presented as immensely strong and powerful, with thundering steps and a Mighty Roar (nevermind the fact that making so much noise would make them a very ineffective predator). A terrifying tyrannosaur is usually depicted as a horrifying Prehistoric Monster which, like all carnivorous dinosaurs, seems to really like the taste of humans, despite the fact that we're fricking tiny compared to it (imagine passing on a turkey dinner to run a mile for Chicken McNuggets). In older works, particularly ones starring herbivorous dinosaurs, a tyrannosaur will often be portrayed as the villainous predator. In works where dinosaurs are anthropomorphized, a terrifying tyrannosaur will often be portrayed as a literal tyrant. Even in more modern works where the tyrannosaur is a hero or a noble creature, it will still be a terrifying force to be reckoned with.

The only thing that undermines the badass image of T. rex is its short arms, which are often subject to ridicule, thought of as useless, scrawny, and weak.note  It is a common joke that T. rex is so ferocious because it is frustrated about its puny arms. Expect older works to make the arms larger with an extra digit to the iconic two-digit claws to make up for this shortcoming. As with all theropods, its hands are almost always depicted as pronated, when this is now considered impossible in real life. They are supposed to face each other, like a person about to clap.note 

A staple of fiction featuring Time Travel, Lost World, Living Dinosaurs, Fossil Revival or Extinct Animal Park; it's honestly rare to see such a story without a T. rex showing up. For more information about the animal, see the Useful Notes Tyrannosaurus rex page. For creatures that aren't T. rex but obviously inspired by it, see T. Rexpy. See also Raptor Attack and Savage Spinosaurs for other carnivorous dinosaurs with similarly badass, terrifying reputation (and the latter can be paired up with this for Spinosaurus Versus T. rex); because of Small Taxonomy Pools, other big theropods don't show up in fiction often enough to have built up their own distinct tropes.

Note: Just because a work features a T. rex, it is not automatically an example of this trope. As with other Animal Stereotypes, the examples should describe how the T. rex is portrayed as fearsome and scary.


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  • Beast Fables: During the Primeval Age, Urvara was ruled by a long line of Tyrannosauruses known as the Tyrant Kings. They're described as lacking empathy and toppling other civilisations, but the last king, Thunder, had a vision for the empire and didn't want his subjects to always live in fear. However, it's implied that he's responsible for merfolk hiding their existence from were beasts, since he defeated a Mosasaurus-man called the Sea Lord.
  • Charles R. Knight's paintings of T. rex often depict it as squaring off with some potential prey. The widespread usage and popularity of Knight's work was a big influence on how the creature would be depicted in films such as King Kong and Fantasia

    Anime & Manga 
  • Daikyouryu no Jidai: A T. rex serves as the main threat to a trio of kids, hunting them to no end (even somehow time-travelling all the way to the Stone Age) out of revenge for damaging its eye. The Neanderthals worship the tyrant lizard as a dreaded god that must be appeased with Human Sacrifice until the kids persuade them to fight back.
  • Dinosaur King: Terry the Tyrannosaurus is the first dinosaur owned by the Alpha Trio, a villainous group under Dr. Z who plans to use dinosaurs to Take Over the World. Terry is one of the most powerful dinosaurs and thus frequently used by the Alpha Trio against the heroic D-Team. He even has a rivalry with Max's dinosaur companion Chomp the Triceratops. That said, Terry has been on the receiving end of the Worf Effect on more than one occasion.
  • Dinosaur Sanctuary toys with this. While a T. rex is considered the apex of any Extinct Animal Park and is given the full respect that such a charismatic creature would deserve (to the point that many people come to the park just to see one), the one in the titular sanctuary is a downright ancient specimen, possibly the oldest one in the world at thirty-six years of age when most of her kind don't make it past twenty-eight. In fact, a major part of her focus chapter is the zookeepers trying to coax her out to do T. rex things, when she spends most of her days sleeping in her pen. The main character seems to have considered seeing that same T. rex in her prime as a formative experience.
  • Seton Academy: Join the Pack!: Invoked by the T. rex homeroom teacher Terano-sensei. He is normally a decent guy, but if the students are being unreasonable, threats of extinction will ensue.
  • You Are Umasou: Tyrannosaurus rex — or Big Jaws — are feared by all the herbivores and even smaller carnivores, being the subject of a nursery rhyme warning children not to cry or they'll be eaten. While the protagonist Heart is on the noble side — at least once raising Umasou causes him to soften up — due to having been raised by a Maiasaura, Gonza and the other young Big Jaws are a pack of bullies. Baku, the leader of the Big Jaw pack and Heart's father, is a colossal beast who forces Heart into a duel almost to the death by threatening to eat his Family of Choice and almost wins despite Heart being a skilled martial artist and far stronger than any T. rex should be.

    Comic Books 
  • Conan the Barbarian: A tyrannosaur is the centerpiece of Shamash-shum-ukin's collection of time-displaced oddities in "Citadel at the Center of Time". Conan is alarmed by the beast when he first sees it, even though it sits at the bottom of a deep pit where it can do him no harm. When it gets loose at the story's climax and goes on a rampage, everyone who sees the tyrannosaur is terrified of it, and even Conan is struck dumb by fear for a moment before regaining his wits and trying to slay the rampaging monster.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin in his fantasies often imagines himself as a Tyrannosaurus. Early strips have him gorging himself on hapless cavemen or picking a fight with the ferocious saber-toothed tiger (Hobbes). Later strips has him more accurately terrorizing other dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous, with the occasional strip where he rampages in modern times. When asked to write a report on whether T. rex is a predator or scavenger, Calvin always sides with the predator angle on the grounds it makes the T. rex more cool. Then there was also the strip where Calvin put Tyrannosaurs in F-14s.

    Fan Works 
  • Phineas and Ferb's Dinosaur Adventure lampshades this, in true style of the source material. At the beginning when the boys are watching a dinosaur documentary that is now describing the T. rex, Phineas points out that while the dinosaur is awesome in its own right, it attracts so much attention. To prove his point, he flips through several channels, with every one of them showing a T. rex being powerful, acting scary, or dancing.
  • In Prehistoric Earth, several T. rexes are amongst the animals rescued for the titular park in the style of Prehistoric Park. Over the course of this story, the species is portrayed as equal parts fearsome and majestic; with one particular individual named Sharptooth being an abnormally large individual that falls in line with the more fearsome side of the spectrum during his earlier appearances in the story (to the point of engaging in an Escaped Animal Rampage that allows him to showcase heavy resemblance in personality and behavior to Godzilla) before than showcasing the more noble and majestic side of his species' portrayal by virtue of being largely more of a Grumpy Old Man similarly to the Monsterverse incarnation of Godzilla while also forming a bond with and protecting petite blonde Kindly Vet Yolanda Hall in a style similar to King Kong.
  • Prehistoric Park Reimagined features the species as being equal parts fearsome and majestic, with the family that gets encountered and rescued in their debut mission serving as The Dreaded to the majority of the local herbivores in Cretaceous Period Hell Creek and a fearsome Knight of Cerebus for the rescue team to encounter during their first three scenes in which they appear before then showing off their more noble and majestic side when feasting peacefully together on a kill directly before their rescue. And over the course of their subsequent time as residents of the park, the adolescent siblings Terrence and Matilda showcase opposing sides of the portrayal as they start to become increasingly antagonistic against each other as they grow older (with the former showcasing the more noble aspects while the latter showcases the more fearsome aspects) while their parents Tyrannor and Rexy continue to showcase a more balanced mixture of both the fearsome and noble portrayals.
  • Vow of Nudity: The demonsaurus, essentially a T. rex covered in spikes, is the alpha predator in the abyssal swamps, and its den is littered with half-eaten corpses of all the other species Haara and Fiora had encountered to that point.
  • Welcome To Prehistoric Kingdom: Subverted with Jane, one of the female Tyrannosaurus rex at the park and the only one seen so far - her only appearance in Chapter 1 has her being cleaned of parasites by a trio of alverezsaurs, during which she's shown lazily lying on her side and watching a keeper clean her exhibit with total indifference.

    Films — Animation 
  • Fantasia features the T. rex as a nightmarish monster that all dinosaurs feared. It gets into a fight with a Stegosaurus and wins decisively. Though some fans mistake the creature for an Allosaurus, they pretty explicitly call it a Tyrannosaurus in the intro to the Rite of Spring sequence, and concept art also refers to it as a rex. It has three fingers simply because Walt thought it looked better that way.
  • The Land Before Time: While "Sharpteeth" can refer to any carnivorous prehistoric animal, including sharks, it's commonly used to refer to T. rex and other tyrannosaurs who often serve as the common dinosaur antagonists that hunt Littlefoot and friends throughout the franchise.
    • First film: The Sharptooth is a feared Tyrannosaurus that hunts a group of young dinosaurs separated from the herd. This vicious T. rex can leap at great distances, survive great falls, and never gives up hunting its prey. Oh, and it killed Littlefoot's mother with one fatal bite on her back. The book adaptation and deleted scenes characterizes him as a vain, arrogant, and sadistic Serial Killer who is deliberately chasing the Herd to get revenge for Littlefoot accidentally blinding one of his eyes, and he intends to massacre the herbivores sheltering in the Great Valley once he finds the entrance.
    • The first Direct to Video sequel, The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, introduced a major aversion of the trope right away: Chomper, a friendly baby Tyrannosaur who became the gang's Sixth Ranger in the animated series. He re-appeared in the fifth film, The Mysterious Island, in which he must convince his parents that both kinds of dinosaurs (carnivorous and herbivorous) can get along. Chomper's parents are more of a Zig-Zagged example. They're far nicer than most carnivores due to their love for Chomper, but they will bring terror to those that dare harm to their baby.
  • Meet the Robinsons: Invoked by the Bowler Hat Guy, who decides to use mini-Doris to capture a T. rex and use it to seize Lewis from the Robinson family. The T. rex is certainly terrifying at first... until he's unable to capture Lewis in a corner thanks to his big head and little arms (which the dinosaur lampshades to the Bowler Hat Guy). After mini-Doris is dislodged by Wilbur, the T. rex is revealed to be a docile and rather friendly dinosaur, leading the Robinson family to adopt him as a pet (and name him Tiny).
  • Minions: The titular Minions always look to find an evil boss to serve under. In prehistoric time, the closest thing they could find to a villainous boss was a Tyrannosaurus rex. However, instead of ensuring a reign of terror for their new master, the bumbling Minions accidentally caused the T. rex to fall into a volcano and fossilized into a charred skeleton.
  • Prehistoric Beast, a 10-minute go-motion animation short by Tippett Studio, features a Tyrannosaurus hunting down a peaceful Monoclonius. It makes its presence known when the Monoclonius stumbles ventures into the dark woods and sees the carcasses of the predator's other victims. The Monoclonius tries to fight back, but the Tyrannosaurus overpowers the poor ceratopsian with its hungry jaws. The scene plays out like something out of a slasher movie.
  • Speckles: The Tarbosaurus: One-Eye is a malicious Tyrannosaurus rex who usurps the noble Tarbosaurus family that ruled the land, leaving Speckles as the Sole Survivor. One-Eye spends the next 20 years hounding Speckles and his mate Blue Eyes for no reason other than the fact that Speckles could potentially threaten his status as the new apex predator of the land.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs: A pack of Gorgosaurus serve as the primary antagonists of the film, hunting a herd of Pachyrhinosaurus 70 million years ago. They're depicted as persistent fast runners with powerful, bone-breaking bites. Their leader, Gorgon, is responsible for killing Patchi and Scowler's father, and nearly kills Scowler himself years later in the film's climax had Patchi not intervened.
  • We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story: While intelligent and benevolent after having been force-fed Captain Neweyes' Brain Grain cereal, in the prologue Rex makes a point of emphasizing how he was originally "stupid and violent". In a flashback to the Mesozoic, he is shown viciously chasing after a comparatively tiny (and scared out of its mind) dinosaur, and repeatedly attempts to eat Vorb while the alien delivers his pitch for the Brain Grain cereal. The terrifying nature of tyrannosaurs is also invoked by Professor Screweyes, who reverts the dinosaurs back to their original feral states to star in his Circus of Fear and makes a point of showcasing Rex front and center because of how terrifying seeing a Tyrannosaurus rex in the flesh is.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Jurassic Park: The franchise, particularly the first two films, tends to depict Tyrannosaurus rex as the predatory dinosaur par excellence. Tyrannosaurs almost invariably take central narrative stages in any given movie, serving as both the most individually feared threats to the human protagonists and the most powerful predators in the setting, almost always able to fight off or kill other dangerous hunters. Jurassic Park III is the (rather infamous) exception, where T. rex's only role is to demonstrate The Worf Effect at the hands of a Spinosaurus.
  • Killer Klowns from Outer Space: In one scene, a Klown lures a group of people at a bus stop into a trap by casting Impossible Shadow Puppets on the wall, until he turns it into a giant red-eyed T-Rex silhouette that gobbles up the audience of victims.
  • King Kong (1933): The Tyrannosaurus rex serves as Kong's most iconic opponent in the film, and the only animal (aside from humans) who actually has a decent chance of killing the giant ape. Kong manages to defeat this fearsome dinosaur by breaking its jaws wide open, the same jaws that would have broke Kong's bones had it successfully bit down.
  • Land of the Lost: A T. rex named Grumpy is the Animal Nemesis to Dr. Rick Marshall, willing to chase him down to the ends of the earth after the doctor insults his intelligence. His grudge is so strong that he scares off the other dinosaurs that tries to eat Marshall first. This doesn't apply to the other humans though, as Grumpy would leave them alone since they didn't insult his brain.
  • The Last Dinosaur: The T. rex is the titular last dinosaurnote  and thus the target of obsession for multimillionaire Manston Thrust after learning that his company's oil expedition team was eaten by the super tyrant lizard in a newly discovered Lost World. He assembles a new team to study and then kill the creature, but the T. rex proves to be a true menace by destroying their camp, killing a valuable scientist, and stranding them in a hostile, prehistoric world. Even when the expedition team manage to get a means back home, Manston willingly stays behind so he can personally kill the dinosaur or die trying.
  • The Lost World: The first major example in film history. While the main predator of the film is Allosaurus, described by Challenger as "the most vicious pest in the ancient world", Tyrannosaurus nonetheless makes an appearance where it quickly establishes itself as the dominant predator by killing an Agathaumas (a now-dubious ceratopsian) that previously gored an Allosaurus to death.
  • Planet of the Dinosaurs: The Tyrannosaurus is the main threat of the film and only by killing the dinosaur do the survivors manage to settle down in their new home.
  • Super Mario Bros. (1993): President Koopa claims to be a descendent of Tyrannosaurus rex and is a tyrannical dictator of Dinohattan. When he gets hit by his own Devo Gun, he devolves into a horrifying Tyrannosaurus with oversized, tusk-like teeth. Before this monstrosity can wreck havoc, Koopa gets hit by the Devo Guns again, devolving him further into a traditional T. rex before it melts into primordial slime.
  • Tyranno's Claw revolves around a hostile cavemen tribe who regularly abducts other cave-people for a Human Sacrifice to their dark God, a monster inside a cave. Said monster is actually a T. rex who terrorized the tribe ages ago and is now worshipped as their patron, and in the climax the same T. rex escapes the cave trying to devour all the characters. In a movie full of dinosaurs the T. rex easily gets the most amount of screentime.

  • Carnosaur: Features both Tyrannosaurus and the closely related Tarbosaurus, the former as two infants with the latter being the most powerful and dangerous of Penward's beasts. The Tarbosaurus promptly rampages through the compound after being freed from its enclosure, killing multiple people, destroying a helicopter, and at one point battling a pride of lions. Escaping into the English countryside, it kills several more persons and animals before dying when a indoor mall collapses on top of it. The infant Tyrannosaurus meanwhile viciously consume a tied-up woman alive after they hatch to set up a Sequel Hook. Ahead of its time, the novel correctly portrayed both as very bird-like in their mannerisms and this added to their eerie quality.
  • Dinotopia: T. rex are portrayed as feared predators of the Rainy Basin that must be appeased with an offering of fish and eels for safe passage through the swamps. The only thing that scares off a T. rex is the larger Giganotosaurus. Journey to Chandara portrays some T. rexes who are scavengers, and don't actually hassle the unarmored human and tiny ceratopsian passing through.
  • The Dinosaur Lords:
    • Tyrannosaurs are considered thankfully very rare on Paradise, with only two seen "onscreen": An aged one used for public executions and Falk's albino dwarf Snowflake (although a dwarf of its species, it's still the biggest dino around, with even Shiraa unwilling to attack it).
    • The ruling family Melodia belongs to descends from a man who supposedly killed a Tyrannosaurus imperator (i.e. the Giant Mook version of the T. rex, which Shiraa knows as a Grey Hunger) and fashioned the Fanged Throne from its skull. Such a monster serves as a mount for the Angel Raguel, although it's rather anti-climactically taken out by a javelin through the eye.
  • Jurassic Park (1990): InGen manages to breed two T. rex clones for the titular park, an adult and juvenile. The large rex in particular, nicknamed Rexy by Muldoon, is considered to be the crown jewel of the park, and the most dangerous dinosaur on public display. She is portrayed as an absolute monster, with a paddock breakout scene that makes the film version look tame in comparison. She is also bent hunting down Grant and the children throughout the park, not stopping until she succumbs to the tranquilizers shot by Muldoon. The juvenile is also terrifying in its own right, being a curious, playful dinosaur who unlike Rexy successfully hunts down a human to eat.
  • The Magic Treehouse: A T. rex serves as the main antagonist for Jack and Annie, and an obstacle between them and the magic treehouse that could take them back to present day.
  • Nightside: The Museum of Unnatural History has a live T. rex in a cage and at one point, the Collector moves the entrance to his hideout there, knowing that the dinosaur's fearsome reputation will protect his most prized treasures.
  • Prehistoria: Zigzagged with the Alioramus functioning arguably as the overarching antagonists, menacing the protagonist Adasaurus twice. The first time a trio of them ambush and kill her mate in a night attack, and return months later to go after the nest she was guarding. Capable of silently stalking about at night, they are portrayed as dangerously stealthy pack hunters who comparatively dwarf the wolf-sized raptor despite being small for a tyrannosaur species. Though they are portrayed as merely animals acting out of self interest for their own kind to remove threats, Adasaurus just happens to be their prey.
  • The Moonshae Trilogy: Kazgaroth, the villain of the first book, is a shapeshifting demonic creature that resembles a T-Rex in its true form.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dinosaur Revolution depicts T. rex as having a color palette of The Grim Reaper, a dark body with a white head that makes it look like the dinosaur has a Skull for a Head. The T. rex species are shown to be very territorial and vicious, with one of them ripping and eating the tiny forelimb of their rival. They also make nests made of their feces. Despite this fearsome presentation, they are still portrayed as good parents to their chicks.
  • Dinosaurs: Referenced but ultimately subverted. In the pilot episode "Mighty Megalosaurus", Earl Sinclair demands to be respected from his wife Fran, saying he's king of the dinosaurs. Fran deflates his ego by reminding him that the Tyrannosaurus rex is the true king of the dinosaurs, seemingly setting up the tyrant lizard as Earl's Mean Boss at the WeSaySo Corporation. But when he finally goes to work, it turns out that the T. rex is actually Earl's friendly co-worker, while his ill-tempered, carnivorous tyrant of a boss is actually a Triceratops, the T. rex's favorite prey.
  • The T. rex is a rival predator of the Prehistoric Dragon in Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real. One attacks a young Dragon, coming into battle with its mother in the process. Despite being defeated by the mother’s fire breath, the T.rex manages to inflict fatal damage to the mother’s wing with its powerful jaws.
  • In Land of the Lost (1991), the dinosaur that the Porters fear most is a T. rex named Scarface. One episode featured a Knight in Shining Armor who wanted to slay Scarface, thinking him to be a dragon. Kevin had to convince him to Run or Die.
  • Monster Warriors: In "Fall of the Haunted House of T-Rex", a T-Rex threatens the opening of the Capital City Amusement Park.
  • Prehistoric Park: The first episode ends with Nigel Marven bringing two baby T. rexes, Terence and Matilda, into the titular park, orphaned after their mother was killed a rival T. rex. However, during the course of the miniseries, the two T. rexes grow up fast, with Matilda in particular becoming very hostile to her brother. This culminates to Matilda brutally attacking Terence in Episode 5, forcing the park managers to separate the two with a barrier. And when the prehistoric animals break from their enclosures in the final episode, Matilda ends up being the last major threat for Nigel to deal with before the park is back to manageable level.
  • Prehistoric Planet:
    • Averted with the actual T. rex in Season 1. It doesn't fight other predators senselessly if it can avoid a fatal injury (like the Hell Creek mosasaur), doesn't roar constantly, and the paternal behavior depicted by the adult individual in "Coasts" is fairly balanced between that of a competent parent raising its young and that of a self-preserving animal needing its offspring to be self-sufficient. "Freshwater" features another rex who has just killed a Triceratops, but we never actually see the fight take place; his sequence focuses on his attempts to wash out his wounds to avoid infection. Then he bumps into another T. rex and it looks like a Behemoth Battle might be about to break out... until we learn that the other rex is a female and we see some surprisingly gentle tyrannosaur courtship. Played straight in the Season 2 episode "Swamps", which showcases a terrifying T. rex hunt of the Edmontosaurus at night, demonstrating why Attenborough calls them the planet's most powerful predators - although even here they're reliant on ambush and strategy to catch their faster-moving prey. Downplayed in "North America", where a rex gets into a faceoff with a pair of Quetzalcoatlus over a dead sauropod, and ultimately decides to back down.
    • Downplayed with the Tarbosaurus in "Deserts". In an early scene, a group of them are napping around the site of a dead sauropod, which has attracted flies, which have in turn attracted lizards, and the lizards have attracted dromaeosaurs... who must be very careful not wake the sleeping giants. In a later scene, a Tarbosaurus approaches a crowded watering hole, making the other dinosaurs very wary, but they will tolerate its presence when it's clear that the Asian tyrannosaur is only out for a drink rather than food.
    • Despite being smaller than their more famous cousins, the Nanuqsaurus are given the most aggressive depictions of tyrannosaurs featured in the show, with "Ice Worlds" depicting them as highly persistent predators that hunt in packs in even the worst of the blizzard. Notably, they are the only tyrannosaurs - alongside Qianzhousaurus - to be shown hunting and killing their prey in the first season. The second season finale, "North America", has a lone Nanuqsaurus hunting Ornithomimus, again resorting to ambush tactics. When she finally catches one, there's a surprisingly tender scene of her sharing the kill with her children, emphasizing that even this ferocious predator is still a devoted parent.
    • Qianzhousaurus features in the final episode of the first season, where it is depicted as a stealthy ambush predator, stalking the bizarre Corythoraptor. Although dangerous, the Qianzhousaurus is portrayed as ill-suited to drawn-out chases or hunts, and almost entirely reliant on the element of surprise, with David Attenborough's narration observing that most hunts will end in failure.
    • Also worth mentioning is the series' portrayal of abelisaurids - another family of large carnivorous dinosaurs, not especially closely related to the tyrannosaurids but superficially similiar and usually given similiar characterization when they appear in media at all. Of these, the mighty Rajasaurus and the peculiar Majungasaurus are shown as credible threats (though not on the level of T. rex), while the better-known Carnotaurus appears in a comedic scene of a male doing a mating dance to try and attract a female.
  • Primeval: When a T. rex appears in the show's penultimate episode, it's powerful enough to make the earth quake with its footsteps as it rampages through a city plaza, it recovers from being toppled over due to a car ramming into it, and it takes about a dozen EMD shots directly to the mouth before it goes down.
  • In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, Tyrannosaurus rex is one of the many dino species inhabiting the plateau, and poses a constant threat to our heroes.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs: The final episode is called "Death of a Dynasty" and naturally, it focuses on a female Tyrannosaurus as the central protagonist. She is portrayed as a very intolerable Tyrannosaurus thanks to losing her last clutch of eggs to volcanic activity. When a male Tyrannosaurus comes to mate her, he offers her a gift of a dead Triceratops to get her approval or risk serious injuries. All dinosaurs fear the Tyrannosaurus... except for the Ankylosaurus.

  • Jurassic Park (Data East): The T. rex is depicted as more fearsome than many other dinosaurs. Its multiball mode starts with dramatic rain appearing on the display before it attacks, and its toy on the playfield eats the ball while sound clips of a scared man crying "No!" play. It follows the ball during the game, and if the opportunity arises he'll bend down and grab the ball in his jaws.
  • Jurassic Park (Stern): The various T. rex-centric modes generally show it in a fearsome light. They start with a depiction of it eating a goat via Second-Person Attack, then escalate to things like chasing after the player's Jeep and wrecking the park's museum.
  • Police Force: In a World of Funny Animals where the player assumes the role of a police officer, the Big Bad is "Mafiosaurus Rex", a T. rex in charge of various lesser criminals.

    Theme Parks 
  • Back to the Future: The Ride: The former attraction at the Universal Studios parks involved the riders getting sent back to a primeval Hill Valley at the climax, where they were briefly menaced by an oversized T. rex that lives near a volcano and can almost swallow a DeLorean whole.
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure: The Tyrannosaurus rex is always the big finale of the ride, emerging from the waterfall to eat the guests just as the boat plunges down the 85-foot vertical drop to safety. Even when the ride is rethemed to a Jurassic World setting, featuring the bigger and badder Indominus rex, the T. rex's role remains unchanged.

  • LEGO Dino Attack: The toyline features mutated tyrannosaurs with horns on their head and oversized arms with three claws on each hand, and they're described as "King of the Dino Attack monsters" and "the ultimate machine creature", cementing its role as the biggest and scariest mutant dinosaurs. In the online Dino Attack game, a Tyrannosaurus rex would serve as the boss of each stage, including the red T. rex as the Final Boss.
  • Transformers:
    • Grimlock is an unruly Autobot who can turn into a robotic Tyrannosaurus rex as his alt-mode. He often commands a team known as the Dinobots in various continuities and sometimes, he even gets to command the Autobot faction as a whole. However, his temperament and (depending on the continuity) not-so bright mind always brings trouble for the Autobots, especially for Optimus Prime. Grimlock's catchphrase in most incarnations is "Me Grimlock king!"
    • Trypticon, the Decepticon answer to the Autobot titan Metroplex, has a robot mode that resembles a T-rexnote , and is appropriately treated as nigh-unstoppable.
    • Overkill the Cassetticon turns into what his toy bio calls a "tyrannosaurus", but which looks more like a ceratosaur. As the name suggests, Overkill is all about vicious excess... except when an unfortunate glitch in his systems makes him a ceratosaur stuck at the size of a cassette. Aww!
    • Megatron from Beast Wars initially transforms into a purple Tyrannosaurus rex and is a charismatic but cruel leader of the Predacons, willing to sacrifice his minions and reality itself just to ensure victory for his Decepticon ancestors. He is also the Arch-Enemy of Optimus Primal, who transforms into a gorilla to invoke the classic conflict of villainous dinosaur vs. heroic ape.

    Video Games 
  • 3D Monster Maze: The first example in video game history. The game has you navigating a maze while trying to evade a hungry Tyrannosaurus rex, which is what makes it pure horror. Once Rex sees you, he will come straight for you, and if he catches you in his jaws, you will be sentenced to roam the maze forever.
  • Dino Crisis: The T. rex serves as your first true boss encounter (namely breaking through a window and trying to eat you), and you will have many encounters with that same T. rex, culminating into a Final Boss chase sequence. Dino Crisis 2 also features a T. rex as a primarily threat... until the Giganotosaurus shows up and kills it with ease.
  • Dino Strike Wii sees you battling assorted dinosaurs on an uninhabited island where they're not yet extinct, with a powerful T-Rex as the game's Final Boss. It's a Super-Persistent Predator that pursues you relentlessly in a set of ruins, despite getting blasted almost non-stop by grenades, and also a Time-Limit Boss - fight it long enough until the Chekhov's Volcano erupts and drown the T-Rex for you.
  • E.V.O.: Search for Eden: The boss of the third chapter are Tyrannosaurus ("Tyrasaurus" in the English version), which are portrayed as the strongest of the dinosaurs. Subverted with surviving populations in later chapters, which are demoted to mere enemies.
  • Live A Live: In the Prehistory chapter, there is a single T. rex known as Odo present in the chapter. It is seen as a god by a hostile tribe and is ritually given human sacrifices to feast on. However, in reality it is actually just one of many incarnations of Odio, the Lord of Dark.
  • Lost Eden: The Tyrann, though in size and mobility they more resemble Albertosaurus with war claws than the classic Tyrannosaurus Rex. Either way, if they find you at least before you get your Instruments Of Fear, your hamburger.
  • Jurassic Park: Naturally, games based off the movies would feature a T. rex in some capacity or form. But these specific examples highlight the dinosaur's feared reputation:
  • Luigi's Mansion 3: Ug, a ghost caveman who haunts the Unnatural History Museum and guards the Blue Toad portrait, decides to give Luigi a real scare by possessing the skeleton of a T. rex and then eating the portrait just as Luigi is about to save Blue Toad. The T. rex skeleton breaks free from its display after Luigi damages its ribcage in the first two stages, and goes on a berserk rampage to crush the scared plumber with its footsteps, sonic roars, and tail slaps. When Luigi destroys the rest of the ribcage, the T. rex falls apart and leaves Ug in the open.
  • Marsupilami: Hoobadventure: The Hidden World contains a few giant T-rexes in the background of the level, one of them is even seen fighting a Suchomimus. That said, they aren't fought, and their scariness is mitigated by them being feathered.
  • Oakwood: Of the three types of Prehistoric Monster encountered, the T. rex is by far the biggest and most physically powerful. And every scene featuring it is very much Played for Horror.
  • Pokémon: The Tyrunt line is based on tyrannosaurs. While Tyrunt is described as a Royal Brat, its evolved form Tyrantrum is known for being so powerful that no other prehistoric Pokémon could stand up to it, so it lived like a king.
  • Primal Carnage: Far and away the most powerful playable dinosaur in the initial game was the Tyrannosaurus, which has both a One-Hit Kill bite and can kill humans simply by walking over them, has over 3000 health points (most other dinosaurs only have a few hundred HP), and a roar so mighty that it actually inspires nearby dinosaurs to fight harder (making their attacks stronger for several seconds). Later updates added the Spinosaurus and Acrocanthosaurus as alternatives, but gave the archetype the class name "Tyrant".
  • Primal Rage: Two of the playable characters, Sauron the God of Hunger and Diablo the God of Destruction, are mutant tyrannosaurs worshipped as gods. While Sauron is one of the Virtuous Beasts, he is a vicious Blood Knight whose apotheosis came at the cost of Horror Hunger, and he's only fighting to save humanity so that he can devour them himself. Diablo is a demonic T. rex who was sealed away in the core of the Earth, and after being freed seeks to kill the Virtuous Beasts and reduce the planet to a volcanic wasteland.
  • Super Mario Odyssey: Subverted with the T. Rexes found in the Cascade Kingdom. According to the brochure, they are the most terrible of all the dinosaurs, with the ability to smash boulders in a single blow, but they spend most of their time napping, making them virtually harmless and easy for Mario and Cappy to capture them and use their awesome power for themselves. Double subverted in the Wooded Kingdom and the Metro Kingdom, where the T. rexes are wide awaken and very hostile to Mario, wearing hats to prevent him from capturing them. The T-Rex of the Wooded Kingdom in particular happens to resides in the dark Deep Woods, obscured in shadows and only heralded by its thunderous footsteps.
  • T-Rex Breakout, a very short game inspired by Jurassic Park's T-Rex scene where you get to experience the movie's scary T-Rex assault from a first-person POV.
  • Zniw Adventure: Invoked and subverted. At the beginning of the game, Zniw gets spooked by a Daspletosaurus suddenly popping up from a bush, although the Daspletosaurus meant no harm and wanted to talk to her. Nonetheless, according to the encyclopedia, the Daspletosaurus and Gorgosaurus are understandably feared by other dinosaurs, to the point they are given roles of monsters in horror stories.
  • Zoo Tycoon: Tyrannosaurus rex is an adoptable dinosaur in both games. This is one of the most expensive and hardest animals to keep happy and enclosed, but it's also one of the most popular with the guests. Set it loose in a zoo and it'll tear through everything with nothing able to kill it, although the sequel makes it a potential prey for the Killer Penguin and, for some reason, the giant ground sloth.

    Western Animation 
  • Darkwing Duck: The one-time villains of the episode "Extinct Possibility" are a Terrible Trio of motorcycle-riding Tyrannosaurus, their leader named Johnny T. Rex. They terrorize a city populated by hadrosaurs, often threatening to eat them, but they are also more than happy to eat Darkwing, Gosalyn and Launchpad as well.
  • Dink, the Little Dinosaur: The main antagonist is Tyrannor, a ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex feared by all the other dinosaurs who often pursues Dink and his friends.
  • Dinosaucers: A T. rex named "Genghis Rex" serves as the leader of the Tyrannos, opposing the heroic Dinosaucers led by an Allosaurus named Allo, the first of many Bash Brothers-ish counterparts that make up the cast. Like any old tyrant, Genghis Rex is ill-tempered Bad Boss who loves to be called by names like "Bossasaur" and "Your Scaliness" from his enemies (but don't call him Chiefasaur).
  • Dinosaur Train: Buddy's song "I'm a T. rex!" (from the episode of the same name) is about how Tyrannosaurus is the biggest and most fearsome predator in his part of the Cretaceous.
  • DuckTales:
    • In the original series, a Tyrannosaurus played the role as the main threat of two episodes, "Dinosaur Ducks" (featuring a Lost World) and "Time is Money" (in which the Ducks Time Travel to prehistory). In the former episode, it is particularly formidable, being able to shrug off rocks thrown at it and a Tail Slap from a mother hadrosaur, until Launchpad convinces the family and a clan of cave-ducks to roll stone wheels under its feet so it can slip off a cliff.
    • Heavily downplayed in the reboot series. While no living Tyrannosaurus appears in the show, the episode "Quack Pack!" briefly shows Dewey getting chased by a medium-sized tyrannosaur in a selfie by Louie.
  • Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous:
    • Rexy, the main T. rex from the film series, returns to her roots as the primary dinosaur antagonist for the campers in Season 2 and the last few episodes of Season 3. She had made Main Street, easily the safest and most secure place on the island, her territory, forcing the campers to live in the camping grounds where many dinosaurs, including other carnivores, roam wild. One scene even features a stampede of dinosaurs, including giant sauropods, caused by her mere presence.
    • Subverted in Season 4 and 5 with Big Eatie and her daughter, Little Eatie. While they can be terrifying, due to be giant carnivores, they are depicted with a loving mother-daughter relationship, and only become dangerous when their food is either tampered or they're forcibly mind-controlled by Manta Corp. Big Eatie even spares Darius once she recognizes him as a friendly human, and the two T. rexes are the underdogs to the real danger, Spinosaurus.
  • The Magic School Bus: In the episode "The Busasaurus", the class goes back in time 67 million years ago for a dinosaur field trip. Naturally, being the Late Cretaceous period, the T. rex appears at the climax of the episode, where it tries to eat the titular school bus thinking it's a Triceratops. It takes an enlarged Arnold showing his karate moves to scare the dinosaur away, with the lesson that even the biggest predators would rather avoid fights when they can.
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023): Devil. While he's a Gentle Giant towards his allies, especially Lunella, he's still a ferocious and powerful T. rex as shown during battle.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "It's About Time!", a T. rex serves as the main threat to the boys and Candace when they end up in the Cretaceous Period in a time machine, which the dinosaur destroys in the process. The T. rex is almost unstoppable and relentless in its chase for the siblings, particularly Candace, and even after they managed to escape after a few close calls, it still comes back for them. When the Fireside Girls come to retrieve the three in a new time machine, the T. rex gets accidentally teleported to the modern era where it continues to chase Candace, and it takes a beam from Dr. Doofenshmirtz's Freeze-inator to stop the tyrannosaur (coincidentally turning it into a museum display).
  • Primal (2019): The horned tyrannosaurs are giant, demonic dinosaurs that viciously eat Spear's entire family before his eyes. They are also shown to be cannibals, with the alpha horned tyrannosaur eating the babies of a fellow tyrannosaur named Fang. Fang herself is this to the human civilizations in Season 2, where she's perfectly capable of slaughtering armies. There's also Red, Fang's brief mate, who is completely unhesitating in devouring humans.
  • The Simpsons: In the second segment of "Treehouse of Horror V", Homer gets attacked by a T. rex when he briefly ends up in prehistoric times. When he goes back to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, the T. rex attacks him again, only for him to sneeze on it and infect it with a deadly cold virus, leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Alternative Title(s): King Of The Dinosaurs


Dino dash

On one of Crash's adventures, he encounters a giant T-Rex that is very aggressive as it is hungry.

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Main / TerrifyingTyrannosaur

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