Let's Mock the Monsters
The heroes are walking through the dark catacombs. Is that heavy breathing? No, not wanting to imagine what could be so loathsome as to live in such a place, they dismiss it as the wind. They press on, then suddenly something terrible leaps out of the shadows and... the heroes burst into laughter.
Whether it's the Caustic Critic harping on the quality of the game's monsters, or the actual characters within a story, this trope applies any time monsters are being ridiculed.
If the monster looks stupid but the characters treat it as if it were terrifying, that's not this trope.
Anime & Manga
- One Piece is rife with targets for this trope, constantly introducing impossibly stupid-looking monsters, only to have Luffy, as an inversion, call them really cool. Sanji tends to play the trope straight though, talking about how to cook monsters while beating them senseless.
- In Lacuna, Liao is less than polite to the Toralii fleet that jumps in after they release the Forerunner.
- Doctor Who
- Find someone who's never heard of Doctor Who. Show him a picture of a Dalek and tell him it's the most dangerous creature in the universe. Odds are high this trope will be his instinctual reaction. Even in their own series they get mocked. "What are you going to do? Sucker me to death?" And so it did.
- Even fans of Doctor Who can't take the villains of "The Invasion of Time" seriously, due to some poor handling by the writer, uninspiring costumes, and a big heap of Special Effects Failure. (Which is a pity, because their basic concept, had it not been mishandled, is frankly terrifying.) When they returned in the Expanded Universe, the Doctor's companion spent several minutes riffing on the theme of "Oh, good, it's only the Vardans!" to their faces.
- On The Monkees Mickey and Mike, confronted with a mummy, berate it for being dirty and smelly. The mummy retires discomfited. (Note that despite his bravado, Mickey is actually terrified.)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Xander: Who's a little fear demon? Come on. Who's a little fear demon?
- Power Rangers: Every single episode.
- In Power Rangers RPM, the Darker and Edgier series couldn't always get around the goofy monster designs of the cracktastic Engine Sentai Go-onger and had to plunge in, with even the villains pointing it out. "It looks like a bottle of window cleaner. Are you going to destroy the city or give it a streak-free shine?"
- David Mitchell mentions this trope on Mock the Week when discussing the Russian-Georgian war in 2008.
"Shall we have a bit of fun? Poke the Russians! Poke the Russians! Oh my God they're coming!"
- From Headinjury dot com we have the following critiques (part 1 and part 2) of stupid Dungeons and Dragons monsters.
- For more D&D monster mockery, visit the WTF D&D!? feature at Something Awful, as it takes the piss out of the artwork in tabletop game sourcebooks, usually focusing on ridiculous monster ideas.
- Many, many PCs do this when their DM reveals a custom monster he's spent all week lovingly crafting. Not that published monsters are exempt, especially those published by 3rd party publishers.
- Lampshaded in Munchkin with the Monster The DM Made Up Himself.
- Many PCs when they encounter something that would be terrifying... about five levels ago.
- In the Pathfinder manual, before the class chapter, we are treated with Valeros saying about ogres that they "have some uglies ahead. With faces like that, no wonder they are afraid of going out during the day."
- Hamlet calls a ghost a "king of shreds and patches".
- This trope gets its name from this Nezumi Man review where, after naming this trope, the reviewers exercise it for half their review. It's also used repeatedly in this Alter AILA review and is used in this Cave Story review by the same reviewer(s).
- Pokémon Quartz has its Pokémon frequently made fun of.
- Kingdom of Loathing does this constantly.
In the Spooky Forest, you are attacked by one of the spookiest mummies you've ever seen. [...] This isn't saying much, though, since you've never found mummies to be particularly spooky. I mean, "Ooooh, no! I'll have to walk slightly faster if I want to escape!"
- Touhou 13: Ten Desires has Marisa meeting the Mamizaou, the Bonus Boss of the game, who she couldn't resist making fun of after finding out what she is despite it being a hazard to her health.
Marisa: But you're still a Tanuki, right? The kind that drums on their bellies on the night of the full moon?
- Press Start Adventures ep 19 up to code: "What happened to the bodies of these medusas?"
- Adventurers! has its infamous evil pants.
- The Order of the Stick gives us acid-breathing sharks as a not-so-subtle Take That at the quality of certain supplements (an acid-breathing shark had appeared about a year before that strip in a supplement written by one Rich Burlew).
- Bob and George regularly mixes this trope with Alternate Character Interpretation for the robot masters. While on the subject of Mega Man, the way the fandom treats him Bubble Man may as well be Aquaman's Evil Counterpart.
- Happens in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja when Dr. McNinja punches a zombie and then taunts the helpless monster.
- Commissioned: See that scrawny catperson in tighty-whities? The player thinks his character is a hulking badass weretiger.
- From VG Cats You know, maybe we shouldn't be jamming the helpless critters into airtight balls and hemorrhoids.
- Torg and Riff from Sluggy Freelance do this pretty much instinctively. It comes in handy one time when they need to cause K'Z'K pain in order to exorcise him. He's invincible, but still suffers from their horrible puns about his name.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd has mocked many generic or poorly conceived monsters in his run. His Action52 review has the best variety ranging from safety pins to 'shit pickles'.
- Retsupurae does it a lot with the jump scares within the Arise series. "John McCain! Why?!"
- Suburban Knights features the reviewers encountering and taunting Cat, the Cloaks, and Which Warrior. What follows is:
- Cat unleashing a Curb Stomp Battle on them, managing to take out most of Team 1 before he is stopped.
- The Cloaks opening fire with balls of electro-magic.
- Which Warrior channeling a demon and then unleashing a lighting storm that destroy's Phelous's little friends.
- Then, before the last battle, The Nostalgia Critic mocks Jaffers. Jaffers then responds by summoning all of the above for a battle.
- "Where No Fan Has Gone Before": Upon seeing Energy Being Melllvar, Bender's response is "What a cheesy effect!"
- "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch": Bender again. "What's that big, ugly thing? A frog? a toad? or your momma?"
- "Benderama": The crew make a delivery to a giant alien and are warned not to remark on his hideous appearance. Natually, Bender (and the two clones of himself he created) let fly with the ugly jokes, and the giant attacks them. Later, the giant flies to Earth to apologize, but everyone is drunk because all water has been turned to alcohol (Bender's fault, of course) and ends up being insulted and going on the rampage all over again.
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
- There is a whole song about it in part 2 of the pilot, "Elements of Harmony", in which Pinkie Pie teaches her friends to literally laugh away their fears.
- In "A Dog and Pony Show", Rarity is initially intimidated by the Diamond Dogs who are holding her captive, but when they try to force her to find and dig up gemstones, she obstinately refuses, then goes on to mock their appearance, manners, and personal hygiene.
- The Simpsons, in a "Treehouse of Horror" episode, Homer mocks a Werewolf Flanders, while he's being mauled!