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Trivia / BattleBots

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  • Adored by the Network: Plenty of robots, in both Comedy Central and ABC shows, had most of their fights televised whether they made it into semi-final or not, depending on their popularity with fans and their previous victories. The short list includes robots like Biohazard, Hazard, Toro, Ziggo, Vlad the Impaler, Diesector, Tombstone, Witch Doctor, Minotaur and anything Inertia Labs wheels into the Battlebox (Toro, T-Minus, Matador, Bronco). Even robots that don't get very far were featured heavily if they had an iconic design, like Tentomushi or Nightmare.
    • At the beginning of its run on Comedy Central, Battlebots was well liked by Comedy Central execs. The network had picked up the show, despite it not being a comedy program, because one of their programming heads personally liked the concept and thought it would appeal to the same young adult demographic that watched their other programs like South Park, Strangers with Candy and The Daily Show. The show premiered to some of the highest ratings in Comedy Central history, and the channel regularly promoted the show and frequently aired reruns. Unfortunately, the network had lost interest in the show by its fourth season, and aired the show less frequently and in less optimal time slots, leading to its cancellation.
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  • Channel Hop: The original Battlebots aired on Comedy Central from 2000-2002. The revival aired on ABC in 2015 and 2016 before moving to the Discovery Channel in 2018.
  • Contest Winner Cameo: A downplayed example—occasionally, in the Discovery Channel era, an audience member will be chosen to come down to operate the BattleBox hazards. One example is Kaleem, a little boy who got to work the control panel on Chomp's behalf during its match against Warrior Dragon (as well as stand with Chomp's team when Faruq declares the winner).
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: The image of Root Canal used in Episode 1 of the 2019 season is of a robot from Mutant Robots named Root Canal, but this is the middleweight one, not the heavyweight one.
  • Defictionalization: There was once a McDonald's Happy Meal toy line themed on BattleBots, with Mac Attack as its fictional bot, resembling a Big Mac with spinning saws for patties. Come 2018, and there is an actual BattleBots competitor with a spinning weapon meant to resemble a burger, Battle Royale with Cheese — albeit it's a single cheeseburger, and instead of counter-rotating saw blades, it has a horizontal bar spinner painted to resemble a strip of bacon.
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  • Dueling Shows: With Robot Wars.
  • Executive Meddling: After Bite Force won ABC Season 1 using a Boring, but Practical wedge setup that thwarted the destructive blade of their personal favorite Tombstone, they changed the rules in ABC Season 2 to make sure Tombstone wouldn't lose again. The result is that defensive control bots, which are the bread and butter of any other tournament, were made completely non-viable here. Without any robot strong enough to stand up to Tombstone's blade, it won the Season 2 fairly easily. With Discovery Channel now handling the show for 2018, the rule has since been removed, replaced with a 5 point system from the Comedy Central-era Battlebots that includes damage, control, aggression and strategy.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Only two DVDs/VHS tapes were ever released, neither with actual seasons on them (one was a clip show, the other showed one of the 1999 Pay-Per-View events). Not only that, but most of the episodes were only run two or three times. Season 5 episodes were only aired once. Right now your only hope if you want to see any of the episodes is if you recorded them when they first aired or that someone posted clips from the fight on YouTube.
    • A YouTuber who had VHS tapes of most of the episodes is uploading them.
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    • Battlebots Inc. still has all of the master tapes from the Comedy Central seasons in their archives, including raw footage of unaired fights, and as of 2018 is looking for a way to bring them online.
    • Camcorder footage of many fights from the original American Robot Wars tournaments from the early 1990s - which is the direct predecessor of both Battlebots and the British show that ultimately took that name - still exist and are on Youtube in varying quality. Considering that these tournaments were not professionally filmed, it's only through the quick thinking of fans and builders that such footage even survives.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: 2019 Russian bot Pinkie Pie had to be renamed to Rainbow and repainted due to it sharing a name with a character from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • Technology Marches On: Discussed by Jim Smentowski in 2019 about why he decided to retire Nightmare and bring out his new robot Breaker Box. Simply put, Nightmare's simplistic design has rendered it obsolete to more modern robots. Weapons are more destructive, armor is more durable, and overall building techniques have vastly improved in the two decades that robot combat has been around. Bringing in Nightmare would've simply resulted in it being out-competed in every way possible, even if Jim had tried to update its design. It's no wonder that Jim's last use of Nightmare was back in the ABC season 2 airings in 2016. Nowadays, Nightmare is just relegated to being an iconic relic of robot combat.
  • Un-Canceled: Returned after a Channel Hop and thirteen years with a new series on ABC starting June 2015.
    • Before that, hope was kept alive through a tournament held in April 2009; though without the College tournament, the High School and Professional [Heavyweight] tournaments not having a Network. The 2009 College Tournament was to air on digital cable and satellite but was canceled at the last minute before airing even a single episode. One episode from this made it to Youtube's pay-per-view service, the rest are sitting in an editing room somewhere.
      • The 2009 professional tournament also included the entry of Ray Billings and his underground favorite Last Rites/Tombstone, which fans were eager to see participate on television. Fans were finally able to see that robot compete — and dominate — on the ABC revival.
    • ABC never officially announced that they had canceled the show, but the writing was on the wall when no season was produced in 2017. In Early 2018, the news came that Science Channel and its parent Discovery Channel had picked up the show, largely on the high ratings for its reruns, moving it to its third network in its lifetime.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original series was canceled right around the time that combat robotics really started to take off on the independent scene, with more money coming into the sport and fresh young builders putting together some truly amazing bots. For example, imagine Megabyte vs. Biohazard, only with the production values of the Comedy Central show and Bill Dwyer's exuberant commentary.
    • Many of the robots that were not finished in time for the fights wound up like this. The Wacky Compass was supposed to have a spinning bar on top of it much like Son of Whyachi but was deemed overweight (even with the weight bonus for walkers) so it was replaced with two static bars. White Rabbit, a superheavyweight entered in Season 4.0 was supposed to have two counter-rotating blades mounted on top of the chassis spinning at 2000 RPM but had a crucial piece missing and was not ready for competition.
    • Claymore had a similar shape and in the same weight class as Mouser Mecha-Catbot, and just like how Mouser Mecha-Catbot was painted to look like a pink cartoon cat, Claymore, from Season 4.0 and onwards, was painted to look like a white cartoon mouse. Mouser Mecha-Catbot and Claymore, if matched up against each other, would've been a literal cat-and-mouse game with similar-looking robots. Alas, the two never met in competition.
    • Season 2 of the ABC Reboot presented an interesting scenario: Both Son of Whyachi and Warrior Clan entered the competition, both reached the Round of 32 bracket, and both were made and driven by the Ewert clan. Had they won their respective fights, the bracket would've matched them together, meaning that there would be a family civil war in Battlebots. Alas, they never met, as both robots were taken out in the Round of 32.
    • Hellachopper, a full body spinner built by the creators of Comedy Central-era favorite Atomic Wedgie, was registered to compete in ABC Season 2. However, after a few scary-looking tests of its weapon spinning faster than the speed of sound in the Battlebox, it was deemed unsafe for competition and withdrawn from the tournament. Ultraviolent took its place in the bracket and wound up being knocked out in the qualifiers by Hypershock. One wonders how differently the tournament would have looked if Hellachopper was allowed to compete.
    • Several veteran robots and teams, including Nightmare and beta, had to sit out of season 3 of the reboot because it was shooting at the same time as King of Bots, a Chinese robot combat television show that takes a lot of cues from Battlebots and Robot Wars. This marked the first time that both Team Nightmare and John Reid — builder of Killerhurtz and beta — in particular have ever not appeared in a series of Battlebots.
  • You Look Familiar: A regular occurrence on the show, wherein teams, drivers and builders often compete in different seasons with different robots.
    • Since the reboot in 2015, several competitors from the Comedy Central run have appeared with updated versions of their classic robots (such as Nightmare, Son of Whyachi and Mega Tento), new robots that are loosely based on their older robots (Donald Hutson's Lock-Jaw is an update of Diesector, while Bronco is the latest in a line of Inertia Labs hydraulic launching robots that date back to Toro) or completely new robots entirely (For instance, Fast Electric Robots, who competed with Matts Bammer on Comedy Central, are back in the reboot with Whiplash).
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