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Western Animation / Godzilla: The Series

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Putting the "God" back in "Godzilla". (Pictured from left to right: Mendel, Elsie, Nick, Randy and Monique.)
Godzilla: The Series (1998-2000) was an animated television series and the Sequel Series to the 1998 American version of Godzilla, produced by the Adelaide Productions division of Sony Pictures Television, and lasted a total of 40 episodes on Fox Kids.

In the first episode, the last egg that Godzilla laid note  is found, it hatches and imprints on The Hero from the movie, Dr. Nick Tatopoulos. Naturally, he subsequently forms HEAT (the Humanitarian Environmental Analysis Team) with four other humans, Drs. Elsie Chapman and Mendel Craven (both from the movie, as well), as well as Randy Hernandez and Monique Dupre. With Godzilla Junior loyal to Nick, they defend the world from various Kaiju that have abruptly sprung up, crazy and/or sinister humans and, eventually, invading psychic aliens (naturally).


This series provides examples of:

  • 90% of Your Brain: Nick states this is the reason as to why the aliens were able to copy their minds into human brains.
  • Acid Attack: Several of the giant monsters spit out acid that melt various materials, usually metal and plastic. How fast the acid eats away whatever it's spat on varies.
  • Action Girl: Monique is a French spy who is more than capable of taking care of business when it comes to helping combat regular Mooks or other monsters. In fact, Roache is the one who sent her to H.E.A.T to watch over them and Godzilla.
  • Adapted Out: Animal's wife Lucy isn't seen in the series, but always mentioned in passing.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Mendel's originally a short-haired brunette in the film. Here, he's a blonde with a ponytail.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The lead monster is the third most heroic version of Godzilla, behind the Showa Godzilla after his Heel–Face Turn, and the Hanna-Barbera Godzilla whereas his father was the antagonist of his movie. His siblings were also the secondary antagonists, attacking humans because they smell like fish, and thus started hunting them out of hunger. While he nearly eats Nick, he instantly realizes Nick was his "father", and thus is very protective of him. His own protectiveness brings to mind the Gentle Giants Minilla and Godzilla Junior in the Toho canon.
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  • Aesop Amnesia: The movie this spun off from had Audrey somewhat harshly learning the lesson that the big scoop isn't worth screwing over your friends and/or love interests. Most of the conflict involving her in the cartoon has her conveniently forgetting this.
  • Alien Invasion: The Leviathan aliens' endgame was to invade Earth which comes to fruition in "Monster Wars."
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The aliens seen in the series want to invade the Earth and and assimilate the minds of humanity into their Hive Mind. They do however, find human architecture aesthetically pleasing and planned to rebuild as much as they could after the invasion.
  • American Customary Measurements: Measurements in any form tend to switch between this and the metric system at times, which isn't surprising considering the prevalence of science and the fact that the team travels all around the world.
  • Animal Mecha: Cameron Winter's "Cyber flies" and the JSDF's Robo-Yeti.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: S.C.A.L.E. (Servants of Creatures Arriving Late to Earth) are effectively terrorists trying to "protect" mutants such as Skeetera no matter how dangerous they are. They originated as a spin-off/splinter faction from another animal rights group, but judging from Audrey's report, that one averts this trope and is in fact quite reputable. Historically, the group's tactic had been peaceful until the arrival of the fanatically insane Alexandra Springer, whose extensive military training and vast weaponized resources transformed the organization into an unpredictable band of terrorists.
  • Animation Bump: The intro has slightly more fluid animation than the rest of the show, and is noticeably digitally inked and painted, resulting in a broader color palette; the show itself used traditional cel animation.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Mocked in "Leviathan":
    Monique: Indeed. It is almost as laughable a notion as one breathing atomic fire.
    • Played straight in "Deadloch": Nick doesn't believe in the Loch Ness Monster despite being the adopted father of a giant fire-breathing lizard, who is the son of another radioactive monster who reproduced asexually. Oh, and said fire is radioactive.
    • Elsie, being a fan of Alien Invasion theories and below trope, apparently forgotten about a certain event that took place a year ago. And being Mind Controlled as a result.
  • Area 51: And the rumors of aliens are a coverup for what's really going on.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: The team's lawyer gives one to the jury in the state of Florida, asking them if the property damage set off by HEAT's weapons to stop Shreetka is more important than human lives caught in the crossfire. Though the team left before they could hear the final hearing, they were declared innocent.
  • The Artifact: Nick wondering if Komodithrax is the same genus as Godzilla, even though the former is obviously a Komodo Dragon and the latter a marine iguana, is due to the fact that she was originally going be a mutant marine iguana as well.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Extremely numerous and inevitable since this is a children's cartoon centering around giant monsters.
    • One example is the Shrewster, a shrew that was spontaneously mutated after it was caught in a radioactive explosion near an experimental wind-nuclear fusion energy plant, which fused its DNA with a tornado, giving it the ability to generate a whirlwind around it. Yes, its DNA fused with a tornado. How the Shrewster even generates the tornado is never explained.
    • "Trust No One" has a shapeshifting genetic experiment whose abilities are explained as being due to "pure DNA", a genetic blank slate, which is nonsensical for the same reasons Pure Energy is. Apparently that translates into the ability to assimilate the genes of whatever living thing it touches, becoming a perfect copy, yet it also still has two distinct sexes required for reproduction even though it regularly switched between characters of different sexes and again was a "blank slate". The only explanation is that being engineered everything but sex chromosomes were made a blank template.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: The giant beetle in "Cash of the Titans" spews out a billowing cloud of deadly gas as its attack, which Elsie identifies as ammonium nitrate. Ammonium nitrate occurs as a crystalline solid, which is inert and harmless (although extremely combustible, so they should've been more worried about the room blowing up), and dissolves into non-toxic nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and water.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: Granted, it's a kids' show, but if Godzilla's atomic breath is as deathly radioactive as in the Japanese films, no one would live. One example is when Craven picks up a recently toasted NIGEL after the Big G fried him for disturbing his sleep in "Vision." You'd think he'd be sick a few moments later from it.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Godzilla is 60 meters, but tends to stand/climb on structures smaller than he is, such as a building frame when he faces the Techno-Sentient monster.
  • Ascended Extra: Elsie and Craven actually appear in the 1998 movie, though you won't be blamed for not remembering them.
  • Asteroids Monster: The silver monster in "Shafted."
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Take a guess.
  • Back from the Dead: Godzilla's father (the one from the movie), as Cyber-Godzilla in the "Monster Wars" trilogy.
  • Bad Future: The episode "Future Shock" has the crew sent forward through time to one of these, where bio-engineered monstrosities have killed all the other kaiju (Including Godzilla) and overrun the world.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: An episode featured Corrupt Corporate Executive Cameron Winter breaking three criminals out of jail and giving each one of them a Humongous Mecha so they could hunt down Godzilla. When the three hunters were captured, Winter got off by accusing them of stealing their mechas and the Government even hired him to make them mechas of their own.
  • Behemoth Battle: Godzilla versus Monster of the Week.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Let's see - the Megapede, Fire Monster, Giant Scorpion, Giant Spider, El Gusano Gigante, the Giant Bees, Giant Termites...
  • Bittersweet Ending: In "Lizard Season", the hunters are sent back to jail for trying to hunt and kill Godzilla. But their mastermind, Cameron Winters, walks away scot-free, and even rubs it in Nick's face that Winters got exactly what he wanted out of the incident.
  • Blow You Away: The Shrewster's mutation allowed it to generate a tornado around itself, which both protected it from attack and drew food up to the Shrewster for easy consumption.
  • Body Horror: The Chameleon, as well as the aliens.
  • Brainwashed: The majority of the monsters in "Monsters Wars", and parts of the US military, easily indicated by their eyes being green.
  • Breath Weapon: They got it right this time, except for how it's green. Though Truth in Television applies, since radium itself is green.
    • Funnily enough, when Cyber-Zilla attacks Tokyo, its atomic breath is the traditional light blue. And speaking of which, the atomic breaths themselves are more or less a heat ray of the original 1954-1975 ray than a solid beam of the 1984-1995 rays.
  • Bullying the Dragon: "Freak Show" opens up with some VERY stupid people trying to capture Godzilla as Tobias Wilson had placed a bounty on him. It goes as well as you'd expect it to.
  • Captain Ersatz: Reasonable facsimiles of Anguirus, Kumonga and many others like Cyber-Zilla.
  • The Chew Toy: Mendel's robot N.I.G.E.L. dies as often as Kenny McCormick.
    N.I.G.E.L.: "Aaargh—"
    Mendel: "N.I.G.E.L., nooooo!"
  • City of Adventure: New York, though the H.E.A.T. team is just as often elsewhere in the world...and inevitably, Godzilla will follow.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Cameron Winter.
  • Continuity Nod: Multiple ones back to the film.
    • The first scene of the series is a giant one: a shortened, animated version of the climax of the cab chase from the end of the film and Godzilla, Sr.'s demise on the Brooklyn Bridge.
    • Nick having an aquarium tank of earthworms in the first episode, his use of "annelid" when referring to El Gusano in "D.O.A." note , and knowing how an earthworm looks like on a hot sidewalk on a sunny day. All refer back to his studying of worms.
    • Mendel sneezing into his hand and then offering it for a shake to Nick, which is repeated when Nick introduces him to Randy in the first episode. Obviously, Randy suggests that they just wave.
    • The pronunciation joke/argument on Junior's name. Randy corrects Ifukube's "Gojira" with "Hey! It's 'Godzilla', lady!" in the episode "Competition", which is the complete reverse to Caiman using "Godzilla" and Audrey correcting "It's 'Gojira', you moron!'"
    • Animal's afraid of Lucy hurting him. His son in "Future Shock" asks to be dismissed to go home or his mother was "gonna thrash" him.
    • In "Cat and Mouse," as the redneck hunters target Godzilla, he passes by a crane hoisting up a new top to the Chrysler Building, which the army destroyed in the movie. The hunters accidentally hit that instead, leading to their arrest at the end of the episode.
  • Continuity Snarl: At the end of the movie, the last Godzilla egg hatched while completely alone. Here, it hatched while Nick was present, allowing Godzilla Jr. to imprint on him.
    • Also, Major Hicks was a Colonel in the film; it's not clear why he was suddenly reduced in rank.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: A remarkable amount of people manage to not be killed during various monster fights. Sure it's technically a kids show, but still.
    Monique: Would you still be cheering if there were people in those warehouses?
  • Cool Boat: Provided by Monique, Randy ends up dubbing it the "HEAT Seeker" and quickly paints the bow to look like a shark. It's got hydrofoils equipped for spped and state-of-the-art radar equipment to keep track of Godzilla and other monsters they encounter, as well as a landing area for the HEAT helicopter.
  • Cryptid Episode: Godzilla fights the Loch Ness Monster.
  • Curbstomp Battle: There will be a rare chance Godzilla defeats an enemy kaiju unscathed. The Mutant hummingbirds in "Vision" is one of those cases.
  • Cutting the Knot: In "Monster Wars":
    Mendel: We can generate a radiopathic feedback to overload the dampers—
    Monique blasts the console
    Mendel: —or we could just blow it up.
  • Darker and Edgier: The "Monster Wars" trilogy is perhaps the darkest episodes in the series with the team splitting up, the Earth under threat of the Alien Invasion by the Leviathans, all monsters are completely loose, and Godzilla meets his biological father... in cyborg form.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Elsie's the most prodigious team snarker, Monique being a close second. Mendel Craven has his moments as well, after the other two.
  • Destructive Savior: To be fair, Godzilla's the size of a building, and his main abilities involves tunneling through the ground and breathing atomic fire. It's kind of unavoidable. An early episode has Godzilla causing so much damage to New York City while trying to hunt down an infestation of giant mutated rats that the military believes he's simply on the attack.
    • "Underground Movement" had the city of Miami suing HEAT for damage caused not by Godzilla but by their own weapons. Their lawyer gets them off on a technicality.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: Godzilla's father was killed by 12 missiles to take him down and falls horizontally. In this series, he's only taken out by four missiles and falls on his side then expires immediately.
  • Downer Ending: " End of the Line" doesn't have a happy ending for either Godzilla or Nick.
  • Energy Absorption: Several of the monsters had this type of ability, whether it be against fire or some other form of energy.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: The epsiode "S.C.A.L.E." has the titular terrorist group releasing mutations from their habitats on Monster Island, causing them to run amok on the island until H.E.A.T. is able to corral them back into their pens.
  • Exact Words: Area 51 is not hiding aliens, the sight was used for nuclear testing. And now they are hiding the mutations created by the radiation.
  • Expy: Hell, everything. Early in development several of the monsters were even named after the Toho kaiju, although they were all In Name Only and never meant to actually be used. But some more specific examples in the series proper include:
    • The Nanotech Creature, a garbage-eating microorganism able to evolve and grow larger by feeding on pollution, is able to shape-shift, and has a semi-fluid body that it tries to kill Godzilla by smothering him in? Sounds exactly like Hedorah.
    • The Crackler, a dream kaiju with electric punches? Fits the description of Gabara too (although otherwise the two look nothing alike).
    • The Robo-Yeti, a mecha disguised with a costume to resemble a kaiju, which is burned off by Godzilla's atomic breath? The same thing happened with the Showa Mechagodzilla. Funny enough, the concept of Cyber-Godzilla, a mechanized kaiju that uses the remains of the previous Godzilla as its base, would later find use in a Toho film as the Millennium Mechagodzilla (Kiryu).
    • Quetzalcoatl (Q) is a pterodactyl-like creature which emerges from a volcano, drawing a number of parallels with Rodan.
    • Case in point, Cameron Winter is most likely an expy of Lex Luthor. A Corrupt Corporate Executive? Check. Attempt to control the most powerful creature on the planet (Superman's case, the most powerful alien on the planet)? Check. Attempt to destroy it? Check. Unlimited resources, and impossibly short prison time? Check. Hire Mooks and sometimes idiots? Checkmate.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: A rare case of the shift to family-friendly lasers actually being part of the story. Real guns are used at first, but after "Monster Wars," where the invaders left some of their weapons behind on Earth, lasers start appearing in the military's hands.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: All over the place. Many of the kaiju that are killed are given rather nasty demises. The most notable are probably the Chameleon's death, which is Taken for Granite and crumbles to dust, Cyber-Zilla getting disemboweled on-screen, and the multiple times Godzilla finishes off an enemy by burning them alive.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: "What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been". Of course, since they're going inside Godzilla, no shrinking is required. The Big Guy has some massive blood vessels.
  • Feed It with Fire: Several times had Zilla fire his plasma breath at both the Fire Monster ("Ring of Fire") and the Crackler manifested from dreams ("What Dreams May Come"), each time causing them to grow bigger and more powerful as a result. "D.O.A." had a military force use a biological weapon against El Gusano Gigante, but it turned out to be derived from its natural food, so it fed on the weapon to grow bigger, stronger and pointier.
  • Foreshadowing: Cameron Winter mentions his work on cloning in "The Winter of Our Discontent". In "An Early Frost", he reveals the fruits of this endeavor in the form of the Chameleon, an Evil Knockoff of Godzilla.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: "S.C.A.L.E" plays out as a found footage episode, framed as a report Audrey does on the events of the episode, comprising of footage from Animal's camera as well as interviews with the HEAT team and security footage from Monster Island.
  • Fragile Speedster: The mutant hummingbirds in "Vision" are so fast, they're nearly impossible to spot to the naked eye unless you're traveling at the same speed as they are. Godzilla manages to land a lucky shot at one of them, knocking it out. Once the main characters give him specialized glasses, it's a full-blown Curb-Stomp Battle to them.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Mendel briefly has this in "Leviathan" when he realizes that Dr. Preloran, a xeno-biologist that he looked up to, was siding with the Tachyon aliens on conquering Earth.
    • Of a sort. During "Monster Wars", Godzilla is reunited with his (cybernetically reconstructed) biological father, and joins the aliens with More Than Mind Control. In the last episode of the three-parter, he's torn between staying loyal to his adopted father or joining his biological father.
  • Fungus Humongous: "Underground Movement," where an enormous fungus was sucking anything with any sort of nutrients alive dry in Michigan.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Randy originally intended "H.E.A.T." to mean "High-performance Environmental Attack Team". Nick wisely changes it.
    • S.C.A.L.E. for Servants for Creatures Arriving Late to Earth.
    • The Dragmas in "Future Shock" got their name from Insley's website, the Democratic Resurgence Against a Global Mechanized Armageddon.
  • Funny Background Event: Monique threatened to hurt their lawyer Ray if he calls her "sweetie" in the episode "Underground Movement". He does so, and as Ray goes into details about the destruction caused, Nick has to restrain Monique from punching their lawyer from behind his back without his knowledge.
  • General Ripper: Averted with Major Hicks, who while (understandably) skeptical about the prospect of allowing Godzilla to roam free, is often among the first military officers to come to HEAT's defense, and understands that Godzilla is the best chance humanity has got against the other mutants.
  • Genetic Engineering is the New Nuke: How the Chameleon is created.
    • As well as the D.R.A.G.M.A.'s in "Future Shock", and the DNA Mimic in "Trust No One".
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Unlike the film, this is played straight. The only time a monster would die in this series is by fighting each other or a specialized weapon by the main character. Even when it's specially meant to kill, it could have the possibility to hurt Godzilla himself, as Nick had to be careful when the DNA creature turns into Godzilla and Elsie says it could kill him. However, Godzilla is still shown to at least be able to be hurt by conventional weapons, and in "Monster Wars", when the mind control over the monsters is broken and they turn the aliens, the aliens' warships swiftly kill them.
  • Giant Flyer: Skeetara, Giant Bat, Quetzalcoatl, Giant Cicada, the Giant Hummingbirds, the Giant Bees and their Queen...
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Most notably, Big G Junior himself. Also, any creature under the Tachyon aliens' mind control had eyes glowing a sickly green.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Somewhat the trope namer. While Godzilla comes to the human's aid by himself, H.E.A.T decides to use his computerized voice to summon him when there's a kaiju that gives them trouble.
  • Happily Adopted: Interestingly enough, it was Godzilla that technically adopted Nick as his father since the giant lizard imprinted on him (Nick was the first thing he saw and was covered in egg slime). Since then, the two have formed a bizarre father/son bond and protect one another from danger.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Usually by the climax or the episode's end.
    • Dr. Jonathan Insley was killed by his own genetically-created Dragmas in the Bad Future and is almost killed by the infant versions in the present in "Future Shock".
    • Maximilian Spiel in "Cash of Titans" gets his comeuppance when the very Giant Water Beetle he sent to attack H.E.A.T. at the beginning gets tossed onto him in the end.
    • Colonel Charles Tarrington nearly gets killed by his own bio-engineered scorpions in "Where Is Thy Sting".
    • Paul Dimanche's greed for money lands him in prison when Animal taped him admitting bribery in "The Ballad of Gens Du Marais".
    • Tobias Wilson in "Freak Show" is hinted to have gone to prison when he tries to steal away a liquefied Medusa under the team's and Hick's noses despite the havoc created and obvious danger she presented.
    • Milo Sanders's greed for fame and money has him getting arrested for stealing the team's helicopter in "Tourist Trap".
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Sometimes, the human antagonists prove to be just as dangerous as, if not more dangerous than, the mutants. Cameron Winter, General Albondinga, the supervisor behind the petroleum-eating nanotech, the three hunters who tried to bag Godzilla, Dr. Hugh Trevor, the Antarctic expedition leader Chad Gordon, the creator of the DNA mimic, Jonathan Insley of D.R.A.G.M.A., Maximilian Spiel, S.C.A.L.E., Tobias Wilson, Paul Dimanche, Colonel Charles Tarrington...
    • Not to mention the mutations only arose because of the actions of humanity in the first place.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Many of the mutations were caused by radiation like in Godzilla's origin story. Not quite so tragic as most examples as many of them would just as soon as kill Godzilla as look at him.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "Future Shock":
    Kid: Go go go!
    Nick: Kid's kind of bossy, isn't he?
    • And in "Underground Movement".
    Randy: Dinner is served. *produces berries in one hand and insects in the other*
    Mendel: Sorry, Rambo, but I am not putting those in my mouth. *proceeds to drink water being filtered through a sock*
    Randy: *stares* Ditto.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Quite a few mutations are the result of radiation, mostly from human testing but one occasion was a radioactive volcano.
  • Imprinting: The entire series' plot depends on Godzilla imprinting on Nick.
  • In Medias Res: The first scene of "New Family: Part One" is the tail end of the cab chase from the film and the F-18s' run on Godzilla, Sr.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Inverted in with Mendel Craven and Mayor Ebert. Despite Malcolm Dunare and Michael Lerner coming back to reprise the respective roles, Craven was now blond with his hair in a ponytail instead of short brunet hair and Ebert was sporting a mustache instead of his original clean-shaven look and his hair was styled differently.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Nick's girlfriend Audrey. Godzilla being the biggest scoop of all, they clash often.
  • Isle of Giant Horrors: Monster Island is where the military keeps all monsters that have been captured over the course of the series (barring those that need a Tailor-Made Prison instead).
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Multiple people point out to Nick that Godzilla is a major threat, and rightfully point to Zilla, Sr. as their proof - after all, he had totaled Manhattan, and that was without the ability to breathe fire.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: A variation in "Competition". The Japanese SDF had Robo-Yeti and head scientist Dr. Yukiko Ifukube had assumed that Godzilla was the one who was the cause of the hikers' disappearance. They eventually work with H.E.A.T. on dealing with the real culprit, the King Cobra.
  • Killer Finale: El Gusano, Queen Bee, Cyber-Zilla, and the Cryptocliedus die in the finale of "Monster Wars".
  • King Kong Copy: Played with in regards to Robo-Yeti. Initially presumed to be a giant, albino yeti, it is just thought a King Kong Copy. When revealed a robot, it goes from King Kong Copy to Mechani-Kong Copy.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In "Tourist Trap", Milo tries to take Nick's personal video documenting the latter's bond with Godzilla. He intends to bring it to the news, make wild claims that Nick is grooming Godzilla as his attack dog, and make a quick buck off of it. However, Animal intercepts the video and makes it so that Milo's stealing of the H.E.A.T. helicopter makes the news instead, most likely sending the sleazy man to jail.
  • Left Hanging: Some plot points were left hanging:1. The Fire Monster has been accidentally released by a shark. 2. Colonel Tarrington asks when Third Wave is in production. 3. Nick suspects the Tachyons will return. 4. Cameron Winter still is at large. 5. Dr. Preloran's fate isn't revealed after he walked through a portal.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Nick suggests this after encountering a creature he's already seen is capable of shapeshifting and just after seeing it impersonate someone. He only suggests everyone keep each other within line of sight after the third incident of it impersonating a friend.
  • Lighter and Softer: The series is intentionally family-friendly while keeping deaths restricted only towards the monsters. Unlike the film, there is less human bodycount, and anyone getting caught in the cross between Godzilla and his opponent will be miraculously saved at the last minute. The sole exception is the miners who were victims to the Silver Hydra in the 1940s.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: While Nick and Audrey are both based in New York, the amount of time they spend traveling the globe on separate assignments turns them into this.
  • MacGyvering: His Butt-Monkey status aside, Mendel's the one who usually rigs something up on short notice that saves the teams' lives. Best example is using Animal's camera and his own watch to make a tuning fork to permanently disable Spiel's high-beam spotlight that was preventing Godzilla from fighting properly in "Cash of the Titans". All of them have done some MacGyvering, but not as much as Mendel.
  • Married to the Job: Audrey states that between herself and Nick when Nick tries to propose to her.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The Swamp Monster and Georges of "The Ballad of Gens Du Marais". While Nick sticks with the scientific thinking of the Swamp Monster being a mutation, Georges responds back with "We all believe what we wanna believe".
  • Mega Manning: Skeetera, the giant mosquito whom could drain other monster's powers with their blood. Including Godzilla's fire.
  • Mistaken for Dying: Craven is this in "Vision", after Randy snoops in his email and gets the wrong idea.
  • Monster of the Week: Although many of the most notable creatures would return in the "Monster Wars" three-parter.
    • The series was known for odd yet real-looking kaiju designs, so it was part of the fun to see the latest monster, and whether it was a bird or a fungus.
  • Monumental Damage: In the Monster Wars trilogy, with this many kaiju and locations, it's inevitable. With a homage of Destroy All Monsters to boot.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • A good number of the Mutations pay tribute to Godzilla's foes (Nanotech monster: Hedorah, Megapede/Giant Cicada: Battra (although there is also a Giant Bat Mutation), Crackler: Gabara, Nessie: Manda, and Cyber-Zilla: Mechagodzilla, though the fact that organic flesh is visible in the creature is reminiscent of Mecha-King-Ghidorah).
    • When Randy is mentioning ideas about Monster Island, he does so with a hand puppet that looks very similar to the Marvel incarnation of Godzilla.
    • During Godzilla's fight with the Megapede and later the Giant Cicada, both fights happen in an amusement park, kinda what happened in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth. Hell, there's even a ferris wheel involved.
    • Komodithrax and Cyber-Zilla both utilize blue flames, a reference to the fact most of the time, Godzilla's atomic ray is a neon blue. Speaking of atomic fire, Junior's flames are more akin to the more fiery look of the Showa series as opposed to the more solid and laser like blasts in later installments.
    • The entire episode of "Competition" is this from start to finish. First off, the Robo-Yeti is an homage to King Kong and his robot duplicate Mechanikong, the machine has electrical control powers (as Kong had in his brawl with Godzilla), the bot's creator is named Yukiko Ifukube, a huge homage to Akira Ifukube and finally there's a full scale brawl in Tokyo.
  • Nanomachines: The Nanotech creature was originally designed to bio-degrade plastic. Naturally, it grows out-of-control and eats all the petroleum-based things it can find.
  • Nobody Can Die: Since this is a kids show, no human characters can explicitly die, no matter how ludicrously implausible it would be for them to survive. For example, at the end of the second episode, every single civilian kidnapped by the mutant squids is recovered alive and unharmed after several days at the bottom of the ocean despite the tar surrounding them explicitly said to digest its victims. Apparently kaiju handle their prey really delicately! To make up for this, N.I.G.E.L. is completely obliterated in hilarious ways almost every episode (since, as a robot, he can be rebuilt).
  • Noisy Nature: Literally every monster has some sort of roar or growl and constantly show it off, even things like the Nanotech Creature (which is a colony of single-celled microbes) and the Santa Marta Plant (which is a pile of vines and roots), both of which have no possible organs for sound to come out of.
  • Non-Action Guy: Craven wants so badly to be one of these. Unfortunately, circumstances just won't let him.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The series makes a note of pointing out that most of the monsters are just acting out their natural life cycles like any other animal, such as feeding and reproducing. Unfortunately, their size means that they can no longer act out said life cycle without causing rather severe destruction. Exceptions include the aliens, and arguably the Dragma and Crackler.note 
    • The Spirit of the Swamp zigzags this trope. Its primary goal is to defend the swamp (and by extension the people of said swamp) that the Corrupt Corporate Executive is pillaging, but in doing so, it has a tendency to target innocent people.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Almost constantly; usually, Godzilla. And of course, many a Monster of the Week turned out to be Not Quite Dead come "Monster Wars."
  • Off-Model: The show would be horribly inconsistent with the size of enemy monster King Cobra. In one scene, he would be massive enough to tower over Godzilla and completely envelope him in his coils. In another, he's small enough for Godzilla to bite down on his neck and toss around like a rag doll. It thankfully didn't happen too often, but when it did, it was jarring.
    • The Lizard King himself would either the size of his father, to being as big as Heisei Godzilla. There's also the coloring issues. He would be colored grayish-silver, to charcoal gray, and two shades of purple.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In "D.O.A.," Randy and Monique break into a facility to obtain samples of the poison affecting Godzilla. Randy is made to stand guard and ends up surrounded by three armed guards. Monique steps out of the supply room, appraises the situation, and the scene cuts to a shot of the outside of the facility with the sounds of the fight cut over it. It moves back to show the three guards tied up.
    • In the Bad Future featured in "Future Shock," Hicks says that, to combat the Dragmas, he released all the monsters from Monster Island (which included, at least, C-Rex, King Cobra and the Giant Bat), but that they all fell in battle. None of this conflict is shown at all.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Nick's original field is radiobiology (radiation's effects on living things, which is still in effect even if they don't always go into detail) and Elsie's a paleontologist, so it would stand that they would know biology. Elsie has also been mentioned to be the animal behavior expert a few times. While Mendel's exact field wasn't mentioned in the film, he's established as the team's roboticist (what with the repairs N.I.G.E.L. goes through) and is shown to be quite the computer programmer, biochemist, and mechanical engineer. All three have some knowledge of the various branches in chemistry, biochemistry, botany and especially zoology, considering what they're dealing with. Elsie even lampshades their scientific omnidiscipline by mentioning Mendel having two PhDs in the first episode.
  • Papa Wolf: Inverted. Godzilla Jr. goes to crazy lengths to protect his adoptive father, which is often pointed out.
    • It is played straight fairly often too, if you are human and you do something that can harm Godzilla, Nick will cut a bitch.
  • Plot Hole: The Area 51 episode, which shows people who believe that aliens are being housed at Area 51 are crazy and wrong, and Elsie is mocked for believing in such things... despite that the previous year, not only did they find an alien spaceship, but said aliens orchestrated a massive, world-wide invasion plan, suborned members of the military, took control of Elsie herself, and resurrected the original Godzilla as a cyborg. It's an especially strange event from a production standpoint, since the aliens not only played a central role in the series' only three-part story, but also a episode which set up that one ("Leviathan") and the aftermath was the impetus for making Monster Island. (Presumably it had been written before "Leviathan" and/or "Monster Wars", but wound up being both produced and aired after thanks to Animation Lead Time.)
  • Primate Versus Reptile: The battle between Godzilla and Robo-Yeti in "Competition", complete with homages to the original King Kong.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Kind of a strange case in the first two episodes, when Nick claims that the military was "wrong" for trying to kill Godzilla Junior, as "He wasn't hurting anyone." This despite the fact that the previous specimen nearly leveled the city, and the current one is seen shooting atomic fire out of his mouth, even before the military showed up. In fact, Nick was previously advocating the creature's destruction, and was trying to force the military to do that exact thing. He gets a little better.
  • Raised by Humans: Godzilla imprinted on Nick as his adopted father. He will save other humans if he has to. While knowing that there are humans who are bastards.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Major Hicks. He does sympathize with the heroes, but at the same time he has to think of larger concerns or about the potential damage creatures such as Godzilla can cause. That being said, once it becomes clear Godzilla is on our side, he becomes increasingly accommodating to Nick and the crew calling him in, defends Godzilla from other government authorities who refuse to acknowledge his usefulness, and even coordinates the military to assist Godzilla numerous times.
  • Recurring Monsters: In "Monster Wars," Crustaceous Rex, King Cobra, El Gusano, Queen Bee and Cryptocleidus all made return appearances. In the later episode "S.C.A.L.E.," Crustaceous Rex and King Cobra (as well as the Giant Bat introduced in "Monster Wars"') appeared again, this time as captives on Monster Island.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Godzilla originally glows orange eyes before launching his atomic breath. It becomes red later on, indicating that his Breath Weapon is becoming stronger.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Randy is introduced in the first episode of the series as Nick's 14 month long assistant, meaning he would have been present, but offscreen during the events of the film. Similarly, Nick also owns his own private research facility on Staten Island (which becomes HEAT's base) that was never mentioned in the film, which is where Randy apparently was during that time.
  • Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: A movie marquee in "Future Shock" displays Ghostbusters 10.
  • Robot Names: Next-Millennium Intelligence Gathering Electronic Liaison, or N.I.G.E.L.
    Randy: "Wouldn't that be 'Nmigel?'"
    • This makes Randy's intended "High-performance Environmental Attack Team" line for their group's name a bit of Hypocritical Humor in the third episode, "Talkin' Trash".
  • Running Gag: You can count on N.I.G.E.L. being smashed to pieces by the Monster of the Week or Junior at least once per episode.
    Craven: *sigh* I should just order spare parts in bulk.
  • Shoehorned Acronym: Mendel Kraven's Robot Buddy is named N.I.G.E.L., which stands for "Next millennium Intelligence Gathering Electronic Liaison". Randy Hernandez immediately establishes what his relationship with Kraven will be by pointing out the acronym should be "N.M.I.G.E.L."
  • Shooting Superman: Naturally, though not as bad as the Japanese films since this is set as the same continuity where shooting a giant monster worked, and the army usually avoids it, but it still has some blatant cases like soldiers trying to shoot the C-Rex with small arms. Though even this can be forgiven to a degree, since this is the dawn of the age of Kaiju in this world, and they don't know what will or will not work against monsters. Several methods of shooting monsters with human weapons are shown to work a few times in the show.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several pop culture references an episode is the norm. And then, Elsie mentions a giant lobster attacking the coast of Manila. Also a Mythology Gag: When Nick tries to awaken Godzilla, he shouts to him if he's gonna let those "Space Monkeys" defeat him and take over Earth. "Competition" has one where JSDF Dr. Yukiko Ifukube is named after composer Akira Ifukube, who composed many of the haunting soundtracks for the Godzilla films.
    • The mutated Ice Borers in the Antarctic from the episode "Freeze" are a twofold example. First is they are very much based off the Hotheaded Naked Ice Borer April Fools joke pulled by Discover magazine four years earlier. Second is that they live underground and hunted their prey by tunneling under them before pulling them down, meaning apparently someone on the staff was a fan of Tremors.
    • In "Bird of Paradise," Elsie's ex-fiancé is named Lawrence Cohen. Larry Cohen wrote and directed Q: The Winged Serpent. Both the film and the episode feature the Aztec god Quetzlcoatl - nicknamed "Q" - as an antagonist, and the episode based the monster design on the one in the film.
    • Outside of the Mythology Gag with Robo-Yeti to the first two Mechagodzilla incarnations (not to mention "King Kong Vs. Godzilla," and the monster Mechanikong), it's skeleton appearance also serves as a Shout-Out to Terminator.
    • Nick puns on The Taming of the Shrew when turning on the wind turbine to negate the Shrewster's tornado.
    • In "The Winter of our Discontent," the signal that is driving Junior nuts sounds like the siren from Ghostbusters, but lower in pitch. (This is likely because Adelaide Productions had previously produced Extreme Ghostbusters before this show, so they already had the sound effect on hand.
    • The trio of redneck hunters are named Dale, Hank and Bill, though they neither look or sound anything like their apparent namesakes. (It might count as Biting-the-Hand Humor, considering both Godzilla and KOTH were aired on Fox.)
  • Shown Their Work: Granted, Artistic License is in force on various aspects (such as Hollywood Acid multiple times), but most of the material shown and talked about did have basis in real life science at the time of the show's airing. Other subjects not science-based is also demonstrated, such as:
    • Mendel uses a sock to filter water from a river for drinking purposes in "Underground Movement", a real wilderness survival technique.
    • Monique makes note that Japan's constitution doesn't allow their military to have offensive weapons, to which Yukiko insists that Robo-Yeti is defensive in "Competition".
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Randy and Monique.
  • Spiritual Successor: The series has quite a bit in common with The Godzilla Power Hour: a team of scientists travelling around the world on a Cool Ship (bonus points for the Heat-Seeker having a hydrofoil mode for high-speed travel, just like the Calico) who can summon Godzilla with an audio signal, a heroic Godzilla that heavily deviates from standard depictions of the character (both in appearance and abilities), and a Monster of the Week format that pits Godzilla against all manners of giant monsters.
  • Spoiler Opening: The first episode spoils the ending of the movie where Godzilla's father was killed by the military.
  • Spot the Impostor: The shapeshifting DNA Mimic began mimicking Junior at the climax of "Trust No One", and Nick had to tell them apart. The entire episode is essentially an homage to the classic sci-fi movie The Thing (1982).
  • Stock Scream: N.I.G.E.L.'s robotic "AAAAARRRGGGGGHHHHH!"
  • Story-Breaker Power: Godzilla often ends up disabled or otherwise occupied to prevent him from just roasting the monster with his atomic breath or otherwise killing it; sometimes the HEAT team is prevented from assisting him, other times they're occupied by figuring out the real solution to the problem with Godzilla keeping the kaiju busy in the meantime.
  • Strong Flesh, Weak Steel: Likely in part because of censors regarding violence, flesh and blood giant monsters are always more durable than anything mechanical, most notably shown in "Competition" Godzilla manages to stay in the fight after the King Cobra tries to crush him, but the Robo-Yeti gets knocked out of the fight both times, the second time actually leading to it's head getting broken off.
  • Superior Successor: Zilla Jr ends up defeating cyborg Zilla Snr. (this is also symbolic of Series surpassing the movie by managing to make the character a true “Godzilla”).
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Godzilla Jr. is repeatedly shown to be far more powerful than his parent, shrugging off damage as a teen that killed the original as an adult. As a result, the actual fight between Godzilla Jr. and Cyber-Godzilla is a complete Curbstomp Battle in Jr.'s favor. Even with the mechanical weapons, Cyber Godzilla's base frame is still the original, much frailer and weaker (not to mention decomposed) Godzilla, and Jr. is smart enough to evade those weapons and shred it in melee.
  • Swamp Monster: The Swamp Beast is a possibly supernatural creature made of plant and animal matter.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: The previously-mentioned N.I.G.E.L.-smashing.
    • His voice actor is even named Kenny!!
    • This led to a perceived rivalry with said trope namesake.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: The opening theme to the show is very serious in tone, unlike The Godzilla Power Hour, which fits the very serious tone of the show incredibly well.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • General Albondinga's only solution to dealing with Godzilla and El Gusano is using a biological weapon, and while is works on Godzilla, it only makes El Gusano larger and more powerful, and even after seeing this first-hand for himself, he still insists on using it against them.
    • Circus Mutant Mania ringmaster Tobias Wilson in "Freak Show", in particular regards to Medusa. Had he done some research on observing Medusa after capturing her but before debuting her, it wouldn't have led to her escaping and creating havoc throughout NYC on dehydrating anything with water.
    • The lead researcher of the Manhattan Institute for Advanced Technology in "Talkin' Trash" forces the creator of petroleum-eating microbe nanotech have it ready for use by tomorrow despite its creator telling him it's still weeks from completion, and is present when the nanotech breaks loose and attacks a worker just seconds later, just barely being recaptured. Despite being told it isn't finished and also witnessing its aggressive behaviour firsthand immediately afterwards he still wants it ready by tomorrow. Big shocker, the microbes break loose and start attacking people when they are put to use the next day, but now it's too big to be recaptured.
    • Milo Sanders, the "tour guide" of the Manhattan Monster Line in "Tourist Trap", kept putting his passengers and himself in harm's way despite being warned multiple times to leave the area when Godzilla was fighting the Deep Dweller. It's a surprise the city hasn't shut his "tour ride" operation down before his arrest at the end for stealing H.E.A.T.'s helicopter.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Purposefully done with Junior. He's much tougher than his daddy and much closer to the Power Levels of the Japanese Godzilla.
    • Also, Nick is much more active than he used to be when Matthew Broderick portrayed him in the movie.
    • Same with Craven, who gets more into the action as the show goes on.
    • Cyborg Godzilla from "Monster Wars." Unlike Junior, this is the original monster from the film this spun off of, but now can breathe fire, shoot lasers, and fire missiles.
  • Tornado Move: "The Twister" featured the Shrewster, a shrew that had somehow fused with a tornado.
  • True Companions: Snarking at each other aside, the team always have each others' backs, even Godzilla. Hicks as well.
  • Tunnel King: Godzilla, like his daddy, but even better at it than he was.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Despite Godzila defeating the Monster of the Week, the military would sometimes fire on him.
    • Near the end of "New Family, Part 2", Hicks was getting ready to signal an air strike on Godzilla, even though Godzilla had just defeated the C-rex, and located the missing swimmers and boats. Nick convinced him to spare Junior by pointing out they will need his help with all of the new mutations that would inevitably show up.
    • In "Web Site", two soldiers fire on Godzilla after the Spiders got paralyzed, but Hicks stops them.
    • In "Where Is Thy Sting", after Godzilla takes a shot from First Wave, Colonel Tarrington orders his men to fire on Godzilla. Hicks calls him out on this, saying Godzilla took a hit for Tarrington.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: After Godzilla saves several people in a Runaway Train (using his hands, though that probably hurt a bit for a kaiju like him), the passengers seem to not panic after he saves them, and just walks off casually.
  • Western Terrorists: SCALE (Servants of Creatures Arriving Late to Earth), the Animal Wrongs Group who frees imprisoned Kaiju to purge humanity.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Zilla Senior is brought back as Cyber-Godzilla by aliens to fight the star of the show. Also, NIGEL. A lot. No seriously, a lot.
  • Wham Episode: "Monster Wars" which has an Alien Invasion, most of the kaiju being mind-controlled as weapons, Cyber-Zilla, the HEAT team facing its Darkest Hour, and more. Just to top it off, several of the recurring kaiju are Killed Off for Real in the big finale.
  • What a Piece of Junk: The "HEAT Seeker" boat Monique provided the team with looks pretty beat up, with rust everywhere on the hull. However, it has hidden hydrofoils that can be activated for a speed boost.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: More often than not, most authoritative figures or those with some power tend to always opt for the perspective of seeing the kaiju as simply monsters, animals at best (if that could even be considered "best", given animal cruelty cases). Examples include: the captain from Fort McKinley in "End of the Line" evoking with "a monster is a monster"; just seeing them as weapons as demonstrated in "Where Is Thy Sting"; or just "toys" tied to money, as seen in "Freak Show", "Winter of Our Discontent", and "Tourist Trap". Major Hicks is about the only authoritative person to at least consider alternative options and give the kaiju a smidgen of respect for their abilities.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Nick calls Georges out on this in "The Ballad of Gens Du Marais" when the Swamp Monster trashes Dimanche's paddle boat during a Mardi Gras celebration. Nick points out that Georges was no different than Dimanche on not caring who gets hurt in the process during the pursuit of their goals.
  • Whole Plot Reference:
  • Who's Laughing Now?: "What Dreams May Come." A rather literal case there, as the Crackler monster, has this weird chuckle growl when active.
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?: The reason why Junior didn't eat Nick, in the first episode, on their second encounter? Because he imprinted on Nick not long after hatching, and sees Nick as his "dad."
  • Your Size May Vary:
    • Inevitably, almost all the monsters end up appearing to change size from scene to scene due to animation inconsistencies, although this usually isn't too drastic.
    • Godzilla's size is especially increased in the episode when Nick and Monique enter his body to fight Bacillus.


Video Example(s):


Zilla Jr

Zilla Jr is the main Kaiju character from the series Godzilla: The Series which is the better-received sequel series to the 1998 Roland Emmerich movie 'Godzilla'.

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