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Weaponized Animal

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And if you think that's scary,
you should see the Schnauwitzer.

"Mr. Powers, you'll notice that all the sharks have laser beams attached to their heads."
Dr. Evil, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

A Sub-Trope of Attack Animal and Beast of Battle. What could be more dangerous than an animal, wild or not? Mounting weapons on it. Or simply explosives, to add animal cruelty to injury.

See also Weaponized Car. We've also got a Useful Notes page for animals in the military. Wikipedia has a category for this. For animals used as weapons, see Baa-Bomb, Grievous Harm with a Body, Living Weapon, Shamu Fu, and Abnormal Ammo. For weapons they already have without outside interference see Natural Weapon. Not related to Weaponized Offspring.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Assassination Classroom, there are Dobermanns trained to fire the machine guns strapped to their backs in the God of Death's hideout.
  • Many Digimon (especially in their evolved versions) are animaloids with weapons attached, such as in Digimon Frontier: Burning Greymon is a winged dinosauresque monster who has full automatic guns on his arms/forelegs while Metal Kabuterimon is a beetle who has a big cannon mounted on his head.
  • Getter Robo: The Dinosaur Empire uses dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals equipped with cannons, missile launchers, flame-throwers, blades attached to their claws...
  • King of Bandit Jing (also known as Jing: King of Bandits): Jing is accompanied by Kir, a talking bird that somehow can attach to his arm and fire "Kir Royales"; extremely destructive green energy bolts. (In one episode it is discovered that Kir's ability is not unique to his species)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED has the mobile suits Bacue , and it's commander type Lagowe, four-legged, canine-based units designed for ground battle, excelling at mobility on terrains that a two legged unit may struggle on. They also mount missile launchers and railguns for the former, and beam cannons on the latter.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny get the advanced versions, the Kerberos, which have two extra heads mounted on the back, doubling as beam cannons. then there is the Gaia Gundam, which can transform into a canine-based mode, and used side-mounted sword to quickly chop up enemies.
  • One Piece:
    • Inverted with Lassoo, Mr. 4's gun-dog, an animalized weapon. How exactly this happened has yet to be explained. For added humor, it had a cold and sneezes explosive baseballs.
    • In Skypiea, Shura's bird-mount can breathe fire because it has a flame dial (sea shell) in its beak.
    • The cover for Chapter 536 shows Franky building an "alpaca tank".
    • Another inversion is Funkfreed, a sword which was somehow fed the Elephant-Elephant Fruit and became an elephant sword.
  • The ruins and wastelands of Rebuild World are filled with animals designed for use as living weapons. Many of them naturally grow armor and weaponry from their bodies thanks to the nanomachines implanted in their bodies. These nanomachines are also self-replicating, meaning that they can also reproduce to create even more animals like them.

    Card Games 
  • The Battle Cattle game has cows with mounted weapons.
  • Smash Up has the Dinosaur faction. By which we mean cybernetically-enhanced dinosaurs with mounted laser guns and armor.

    Comic Books 
  • Fables: Talking animals developed various ways to carry and fire various guns and other projectiles during an attempted coup. Hilarious and scary at the same time.
    • And later, the same devices would be put to use so that the Fable animals could take part in the war against the empire.
  • We3' centered its story around the ethics and consequences of this trope, together with a cyborg version of A.I. Is a Crapshoot.
  • Maciuś, the Wilq's pet turtle, hides quite a powerful gun inside its shell, although he rarely demonstrates it.

    Comic Strips 
  • Bloom County: One Sunday Strip depicts the Basselope Defense System, which involves strapping a nuke between Rosebud's antlers and pointing her in the direction of Soviet Russia.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Austin Powers provides the page quote, though Dr. Evil didn't get them until Goldmember.
  • Batman Returns: The Penguin's final coup de grace is to destroy Gotham with his army of mind-controlled penguins with missile launchers strapped to their backs.
  • The Brotherhood of the Wolf attach metal armor, claws and fangs to their "beast" to make it more fearsome and otherwordly.
  • The movie Leonard Part 6 included an ostrich with missile launchers mounted on it (which makes the movie sound far cooler than it actually was).
  • In The Lord of the Rings, there are the Oliphaunts, fantasy equivalents of colossal, six-tusked elephants used as beasts of war by the warriors of Harad to aid Sauron's conquests. Most depictions have them with giant bamboo and canvas towers strapped to their backs filled with archers and spearmen, red banners, war paint, and sharp bamboo spikes strapped to their tusks to impale enemies.
  • Reluctant Infidel: a cell of bumbling jihadists attempt to attach an explosive vest to a crow, with predictable results
  • The giallo film Sette scialli di seta gialla is about a serial killer who gives women shawls laced with a scent that attracts cats whose claws have been tipped with poison.
  • In Wanted, the Exterminator makes bombs which he straps to the backs of rats.

  • One Dave Barry column, after discussing Real Life researchers measuring bovine flatulence and, yes, lighting it on fire, describes a "chilling" hypothetical scenario of a terrorist blowing up a plane mid-flight by bringing aboard a cow of a type experimentally proven to emit unusually high amounts of methane. He notes that this cow "would not be detected by any type of metal detector currently in use," and suggests that the passengers' panicked cries of "He's got a cow!" would be shortly followed by "the entire cabin [being] filled with the chilling, unmistakable sound of: the Death Moo."
  • In the Jack London short story "Moon-face", the narrator plots to kill his neighbor, the titular moon-faced man, using a variation on this. The gent in question had but a single vice: dynamite fishing, which he would engage in every spring without fail. So the narrator goes and gets a dog and teaches it a single trick: to fetch. Then he presents the moon-faced man with a dog that no matter what, will always always always bring back what has been thrown. Of course, the moon-faced man brings his new dog with him the next time he goes fishing...
  • The Green Storm in the Mortal Engines books use undead cyborg Stalker-birds of a variety of sizes for combat and reconnaisance, with even the smallest packing a nasty set of blades on its claws and beak.
    • Their chief Mad Scientist also shares plans for a stealthy Stalker-cat, machine-gun-armed Stalker-centaurs and an explosive-packed, suicide-bombing Stalker-whale that could potentially sink an entire city.
  • In one Madou Monogatari novel, the protagonist Schezo discovers that his Dark Sword was swallowed by Arle's companion Carbuncle. As a result, Schezo wields Carbuncle as he were just his sword and uses him to cast spells.
  • In Sunwing bombs are strapped to bats in an attempt to weaponize them. This is based on a real life plan described below.
  • The Incendiary Cat Plot mentioned in the Vorkosigan Saga may or may not be an example of this trope. As it has not been explained in any detail, it's hard to be sure.
  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi: war megodonts (giant genetically-engineered elephants) have carbon fibre armour, blades attached to their tusks and machine-gun cages on their backs.

    Live Action TV 
  • Doctor Who's Sontarans seem to employ such weapons regularly, at least according to Strax:
    • "I suggest we melt his brain using projectile acid fish then interrogate him... other way around."
    • "I suggest a full-frontal assault with automated laser monkeys, scuffle mines, and acid!"
  • Andy Samberg's Laser Cats!

  • Dana Lyons' Cows with Guns
  • Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans":
    We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down
    So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round
    We filled his head with cannonballs and powdered his behind
    And when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind!

  • In Russia, there is a legend about Olga the Wise, the wife of prince Igor. The legend is kinda like this: Igor was going about collecting taxes from his subjects. He decided to collect more than was agreed on from the drevlyane tribe. This did not turn out well: apparently, they decided they weren't putting up with his shit and ripped him apart with trees. So, his wife, Olga, decided to avenge him. Among other things, she manipulated and bullied them into paying her tribute, but demanded nothing more than a couple of birds per house. The drevlyane were more than happy to oblige, thinking they got off easy. However, Olga had her soldiers tie oil-soaked rags to the birds' legs and release them. According to the legend, the pigeons flew back to their nests and the whole city of the drevlyane burned to the ground.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Bioborgs of Gammarauders are 10 to 40 meter tall cyborg animals and don't really need attached weapons against conventional forces ("popcorn" in the game's terminology), but they have them anyway; they're mainly used for fighting each other (the rule for bioborgs vs. unassisted popcorn is basically "the bioborg wins").
  • Shadowrun: Biodrones are animals (normal or Awakened) that have been fitted with extensive cybernetics and turned into remote-operated drones. They're used primarily by Aztechnology and one of the chief reasons why 'runners like to avoid taking jobs against Aztechnology sites.
  • Similar to the real life example from the Crimea (below), the Empire from Warhammer has, among its weapons of war, Herstel-Wenck Pigeon Bombs.
  • Orks from Warhammer 40,000 are fond of Squig-bombs and attack squigs.
    • The setting also has grox- large, aggressive, omnivorous dinosaur-like herd animals raised by the Imperium as a food source. Most of the herd are lobotomized to make them more docile and safe to handle ("lobo-grox"), but to protect the herd, a few are instead fitted with a robotic arm tipped with a laspistol ("robo-grox").

    • Jaller Mahri had a Hahnah Crab that was equipped with a Cordak Blaster.
    • Pit War Tortoises had mounted Squid Launchers.
    • Thanks to tampering from the Great Beings, the Skopio species have Thornax Launchers on their tails.
  • The Trendmasters Godzilla toyline once included figures of Godzilla and Rodan that had power-up armor which fired toy missiles.

    Video Games 
  • Many of the examples listed in Real Life appear in the Age of Empires series and other History-based RTS games.
  • In Age of Wonders: Planetfall, the Amazon race uses animals with attached weapons in place of mechanical units. For example, their scout and aircraft units consist of a Terror-dactyl with an attached repeating laser, while their artillery unit is a chemical cannon carried by a tank-sized toad.
  • One of the later Call of Duty games features multi-player and scenario game modes that contain bomb-wearing attack dogs. It's about as bad as it sounds.
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert series:
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 first featured dolphins equipped with sonar weaponry, as well as Soviet anti-ship squid. As a Soviet player you could also jury-rig your own by mind-controlling on-map animals like cows, strapping time bombs to them, and then sending them into an enemy base.
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 kept the dolphins and introduced attack dogs and attack bears with sonar amplifiers that can paralyze attackers. As an additional April Fool's joke, the website features specs of a new unit: the Mammoth Tank. Unlike the classic Command and Conquer unit it's homaging, though, this was an actual mammoth mounted with gigantic guns. Which may be a nod to Krush Kill n' Destroy.
  • In Devastation you get your hand on a remote-mind-controlled suicide-bomber rats.
  • Dino D-Day has Those Wacky Nazis do this to their cloned dinosaurs, adding a variety of weaponry and armor to allow them to better fight the allies. The Allies also get in on it with a Triceratops the Nazis abandoned for a deformity, giving him a mounted machine gun and armor, and a prosthetic to fix said deformity.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II has guard dogs with crossbows mounted on their backs.
  • Near the end of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Rex comes across the Battle Armored Dragon Assault Strike System, a Blood Dragon (a creature that was already the most powerful predator of the game) with a mini-gun strapped to it. Thanks to the Killstar, the creature states that Rex is now it's rider. Cue the rampage as Rex and the BADASS destroy what's left of the villain's forces.
  • In Elden Ring, you can find vicious hawks patrolling around Stormveil Castle with their talons replaced with very sharp blades. Some of them are also trained to throw explosive barrels or have flamethrowers installed on their beaks.
  • Final Fantasy XIII features militarized monsters enhanced with cybernetics and magic which can be summoned from Magitek portals. It's all very flashy. Ironically, they're consistently less fearsome and dangerous than the actual animals they're based on.
  • In Gears of War, the Locust equip many of their various warbeasts with weapons and/or amour.
  • In Iji, after the Scrambler is unlocked, "missile ponies" (a pony with missiles) become a reoccurring conversation subject.
  • There are bomb-carrying dogs in Iron Storm. The player is better off shooting them at a good distance, suffice to say.
  • One of the three main playable characters in Jet Force Gemini is Lupus, a dog with a laser gun on his back. Later in the game he is upgraded into some sort of jet pack tank dog.
  • Medal of Honor: Rising Sun had a set-piece towards the end of the game featuring a machine gun mounted on the back of an elephant, which you get to ride. This was rather less awesome than it sounds, unfortunately.
  • Mega Man X: Many Maverick bosses are animal robots that wield weapons. Some of them are Natural Weapon, while some others are this, such as Storm Owl's Arm Cannon or Snipe Anteater's Backpack Cannon. This also continues in Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX.
  • Metal Max series has dog-mounted rocket launchers.
  • Metal Slug: various slugs are animals, such as elephants, mules, camels, and ostriches.
  • Mother 3: Gorillas with wrecking balls, hippos with missiles, moles with drill arms, mice with propellers, and so much more.
  • In Ōkami, Amaterasu, the sun goddess protagonist in white wolf from, can wield various weapons which hover over her back. She starts out with a flaming shield, but can also use other shields, swords, or necklaces, (which are used like a whip, or shot like bullets.)
    • Oki also wields a sword, which hovers over his back when he is in wolf form, like Amaterasu.
  • Palworld allows you to give your mons guns and have them fight Evil Poachers alongside you, and you can even attach missile arrays to the larger ones.
  • Pokémon Black and White features the new Pokémon Genesect, which is a Bug/Steel type. With a laser cannon on its back. It's species is listed as the 'Paleozoic Pokémon', and there is only one because it was brought back to life by Team Plasma, who modified the laser. It was also stated that it was regarded as the fiercest hunter 300 million years ago. Now imagine if this was a native species in the present timezone.
    • Pokémon also has Blastoise who has cannons under its shell. Octillery can be an example since evolution altered it to become a octopus/tank hybrid with a cannon-shaped mouth.
    • There's also Magmortar, with its hand-flamethrower thing.
  • In Resonance of Fate, several enemies are two-legged 'walker' animals (usually seen used to carry heavy loads) fitted with a variety of weapons, from side-mounted gatling-guns and underslung tank-cannons, to flame-throwers for close-up work and heavy explosives for those kamikaze charges...
  • In Rome: Total War one of the earliest units you can create is a herd of pigs. As you might suspect pigs are not fearsome fighters. So instead you would cover the pigs in oil, set them alight and hope they charge into the enemy. The aim was to break up formations, demoralize the men and spook any animals on the opposing side.
  • Scribblenauts provides us with the aforementioned laser-sharks as well as a novel item: glue. Glue + large steel spike + elephant + chainsaw = awesome.
  • The laser-shooting Toaster Dog in Secret of Evermore.
  • SSSnaker by Habby is an action game that's a modern nod to Snake, but instead of a snake trying to avoid its own tail, you are a Segmented Serpent that can add various gun turrets to its segments. Additionally your snake can have different bodies with the more elite ones getting special powers like firing a barrage of enemy-seeking missiles before waiting through Cool Down.
  • Sword of the Stars: The Pit has Cyberjaeger Bears, which are native bearlike creatures turned into cyborgs and given heavy weapons.
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron: the slugs encountered in the Autobots campaign have turrets mounted on them for Optimus and co. to use.
  • In Tribal Rage, the redneck faction can train explosive pigs.
  • Turok games famously feature all manner of weapon-toting dinosaurs.
  • The flash game Ultimate Crab Battle has a shark named Bobbeh with various weaponry, including Frickin' Laser Beams.
  • Wizard101'' has the Combat Wombats (which are wombats with cannons mounted on their backs) located at the Collie Ranch in the world of Wallaru.
  • In World of Warcraft, Engineers can create... the Explosive Sheep.
  • Worms created the Explosive Sheep first, as well as featuring such weapons as Mad Cows, Concrete Donkeys, and Mole Bombs. To say nothing of the fact that worms are deploying all of these devices.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Centurions:
    • Doc Terror once broke out of a correctional facility using cyborg mice with little flamethrowers.
    • Shadow, the team's dog, has his own armor that includes weapons like rocket launchers that he's smart enough to use.
  • The cult classic Dino-Riders had a race of good Humanoid Aliens (possibly far-removed descendants of human space colonists) fighting a race of evil reptilian/amphibian/fishy aliens. They somehow ended up back on prehistoric Earth, and the first thing they thought to do was strap a bunch of armor and lasers and rockets to the various dinosaurs they found.
  • The heroes and villains alike in Hero: 108 routinely mount cannons on turtles and chameleons, respectively, and aren't above weaponizing other animals.
  • Conversed in The Simpsons:
    Burns: I suggest you leave immediately.
    Homer: Or what? You'll release the dogs, or the bees, or the dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you? Well, go ahead — do your worst! Burns slams the door and locks it He locked the door! I'll show him — rings the doorbell and runs away
  • In The Venture Brothers, Baron Underbeit keeps "tiger bombs" to take care of traitors.

    Real Life 
  • The anti-tank dog is possibly the most famous and tragic real-life example.
    • Version 1.0 was hilarious instead. The idea was that the dog would drop the payload under the tank, then come back, thus saving considerable expense that, in later versions, would have to be sunk into training a new dog from the ground up. The problem was that, as is usually the case with dogs, they were much smarter than the people who came up with the idea gave them credit for; they would emerge from the trenches, decide that all this gunfire nonsense was way hotter than they were willing to deal with, drop their payload right there, and return to the trench.
    • There were also sometimes issues with the fact that the dogs were trained using Soviet tanks; as a result, once out in the field, they'd race straight for... well, you get the picture.
  • War elephants were often equipped with huge blades on their tusks, to add even more power to an already hellishly dangerous fighting force.
    • And some were trained to use a ball and chain with their trunks in case foot soldiers got too close.
    • Speaking of war elephants, they risked becoming obsolete when cannons became widespread. So what did people do? Put cannons on the elephants.
    • During Tamerlane's invasion of India, the Indian army, among other troops, brought 120 armor-clad elephants with poisoned tusks. Tamerlane's answer? Take all his camels, light them on fire, and send the screaming beasts towards the enemy. Elephants, for their size, scare easily, and the Indian army was trampled by their own elephants. Apparently, deciding that only he was crazy enough to use this trick, Tamerlane then goes ahead and incorporates these same elephants into his own army, although he first forces them all to kneel before him.
  • The US army investigated the use of bats mounted with napalm-based explosives. The bats were to be released over a city, find places to roost amongst the buildings, then explode, lighting countless fires. In practice, the bats were kept in hibernation until released, most didn't come out of hibernation fast enough and went splat instead.
    • They had a solution for the splatting problem, involving parachuting the bats down giving them time to wake up. Still wasn't used in warfare because the atomic bomb was finished first.
  • Another WW2 US military example: Pigeons are relatively well known in behavioral psychology circles for being easily programmable. That is to say, if you teach them to peck at a colored light to get food, and they will obsessively peck at that light hundreds of times a minute until they get it. This was exploited by teaching them to recognize aerial photos of German and Japanese warships and peck at them. The pigeons were then loaded into the nose-cones of bombs and missiles behind a glass screen. Their pecking would tilt the screen in the direction of the ship and steer the bomb. The test-runs worked a charm, but the military flat-out refused to use such a bizarre weapon, and the inventor went on to develop it as a way of spotting life-rafts from planes after the war (this being the days before thermal imaging).
    • This tactic is actually Older Than They Think. During The Crimean War, the Russians trained pigeons to associate a person with a red coat with food. Then they tied a grenade to it and released it during a battle...
  • The US military had a program in place to train dolphins to attack enemy divers. The only real success was getting dolphins to the point of being able to disarm mines the hard way.
    • In this vein, the Soviet Union also had a similar program, and they went so far as to develop a gun for dolphin use. You read that right. A gun.
  • More than one cockfight organizer has livened things up by attaching bits of razor blade to the cockerels' spurs. At least one organizer has been stabbed by his own enraged bird as a result.
  • According to Pliny the Elder, the ancient Romans would cover pigs in oil and light them on fire, then release them into the enemy armies. Their squealing could also spook other animals, which was especially dangerous when the enemy had elephants. (It also presumably sped up the process of serving a victory feast afterwards.) However, it's uncertain whether or not this really happened.
    • It's also been claimed that Mongol and Chinese armies sometimes tied packages to camels, horses, oxen and even elephants and lighted them on fire, directing the spooked animals against the enemy and disrupting their lines. Sometimes the animals would also get spears attached to take one or two soldiers with them. Need more proof that Humans Are Bastards?
  • There is at least one instance of the ancient Chinese using automatic repeating crossbows that were nocked, drawn and fired by a mechanism tied to a cart's axle. A force that had more horses than soldiers would tie horses to the carts and then attach burning rags to their tails, creating a hell-bent arrow-shooting chariot of death.
  • The Spikes of Doom of the Right-Hand Attack Dog might be for show nowadays, but they were developed as defensive weapons in fighting and shepherd dogs since wolves and dogs instinctively try to bite their opponent in the neck.
  • Machine Gun Camels.
    • Also their predecessors, cannon camels.
  • This German concept, which may not have been wholly serious... seen somewhere in Greece during WW2.
  • Though it was never deployed, this Alabama man's plan to feed meth to a squirrel in order to make it an attack squirrel raises more than a few questions about how it would have worked (Open the cage at someone? Throw it at someone?). Thankfully, he was arrested before he had any opportunity to test his plan.