Monster Jam is generally accepted to be the largest and best known monster truck competition series. Now owned by former circus promoters Feld Entertainment, it is the direct descendant of three major promoters of yesteryear - the United States Hot Rod Association, TNT Motorsports, and USA Motorsports - and it has evolved those shows into something of a motorized mix of the NHRA, X Games, and Professional Wrestling.
Unlike other motorsports, Monster Jam not only focuses on racing, but also has freestyle and best trick competitions during events. Racing generally takes the shape of one on one elimination races over obstacle courses, while freestyle and other competitions use the remainder of the show floor's skatepark-style jumps and ramps.
The monster trucks that give Monster Jam it's name are required to have 66-inch tall tires, supercharged, methanol fueled V8 engines, and weigh 10,000 pounds. Each truck is given a name and a theme and it's fiberglass body is designed and painted to fit that theme. The trucks themselves take promotional precedence over the drivers, and fans generally care more about Grave Digger vs. Max D rather than Adam Anderson vs. Tom Meents. The over-the-top nature of the trucks tends to give outside observers the idea that shows are rigged like in professional wrestling, but to the contrary events are completely unscripted - the unpredictability is what makes the sport entertaining.
Beyond live events, Monster Jam also encompasses a TV show, video games, and multiple toy lines. There is also now an international tour that brings such fine American entertainment to the rest of the world.
Monster Jam Trucks
- Grave Digger - The Black and Green and purple Wrecking Machine, Grave Digger is the flagship and most popular truck in the series. Originally created by Dennis Anderson as a mud bogger in the early 1980's, Digger's hot rod hearse aesthetic and Anderson's hyper-aggressive driving made it an early superstar in the sport, and one of the first trucks to have a proper personality. Dennis has retired as of 2017, and his son Adam is the de facto leader of the 8 or so touring Grave Digger drivers.
- Max D - Short for Maximum Destruction, this robot themed truck is primarily piloted by legendary driver Tom Meents. It has more World Finals Championships than any other truck on the roster, and was the first truck to land a double backflip.
- El Toro Loco - A Not as You Know Them replacement for former truck Bulldozer using the same bull-shaped body. Originally meant to appeal to Spanish-speaking audiences, the truck turned out to be far more popular than it's predecessor and has long since outlived it.
- Avenger - Driven by "Mr. Excitement" Jim Koehler, its one of a handful of properly successful and famous privately owned trucks. An Invincible Classic Car.
- Zombie - Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Monster Mutt - A dog-themed truck driven by a new driver, or drivers, almost every year. It started out under Chad Reed, who drove it at it's first show and then left due to family issues, and is currently under Tanner Root and Kevin King (at the time of this writing).
TV Tropes! This! Is! The Monster Jam Tropes Section!
- Absentee Actor: Once in a while there's a show where Grave Digger isn't present. A huge example was the first ever show in Saudi Arabia, where the truck wasn't there at all, likely due to religious reasons.
- And the Adventure Continues: Happens a lot when former drivers come out of retirement.
- After Jersey Outlaw retired, driver Mike Wine stayed dormant for several years until 2007 when he came back to drive Monster Mutt.
- Big Badass Rig: I mean, they're monster trucks, for goodness sake.
- Bragging Theme Tune: The theme used in the 2005 Speed broadcasts.
- Ramp Jump: The primary part of any Monster Jam event, in either racing or freestyle, is catching air off of the dirt launch ramps set up for the show. With specialized chassis and suspensions, the trucks can easily take it.
- Car Fu: Beyond crushing normal cars, as monster trucks are wont to do, occasionally, officials will decide that it would take just too long to pull a wrecked truck off the track before the next freestyle. In which case, said wrecked truck then becomes part of the track...
- Chronically Crashed Car: You paid to see Grave Digger upside down, the guy next to you paid to see Grave Digger upside down...guess what's happening to Grave Digger tonight?
- Drives Like Crazy: Just about every Monster Jam driver by this point, but definitely applies to Dennis Anderson and Tom Meents first and foremost. Anderson's full-throttle, to heck with the consequences driving revolutionized the sport.
- The Grim Reaper: Grave Digger, naturally.
- She Also Did: In 1999, as part of WCW's sponsorship of the series, several WCW-themed trucks entered the series. All were operated by hired veteran drivers except oneMadusa. Yes, driven by the wrestler herself. She made the world finals several times, winning two World Finals titles (freestyle in 2004, racing in 2005). Madusa (driver and truck) left the series in 2006, came back in 2009, and the truck continued to run with several drivers, including Madusa herself, until she retired in 2017.
- Un-person: Hey, wasn't Bigfoot the first monster truck? Didn't he play a big role in the early history of what became Monster Jam? The answer to both those questions is, "Yes," but you'd never know it if Feld had their way.
- Thememobile: Several superheroes and characters have had Monster Jam trucks licensed, including Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, Scooby-Doo, and even Donkey Kong. In fact, at one point Monster Jam had licensed trucks from both DC and Marvel, so it was one of the few places where you could see Iron Man and Superman at the same place.
- Just Keep Driving: Although toned down in the last few years, generally, blowing out tires, losing entire wheels, and even flipping the truck over is not enough to stop drivers from trying to keep things going, and it usually makes for the most spectacular moments for fans.