9 Times Godzilla Was Out Of Character In His Movies

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Summary

  • Godzilla breaks character in his movies by using martial arts in close combat, adopting a stance and techniques inspired by human fighting styles.
  • Toho had fun with Godzilla’s character in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, depicting Godzilla swearing at Mothra and using profanity in an argument.
  • In Son of Godzilla, Godzilla takes on a father-like role, teaching his offspring Minila how to use his atomic breath and expressing pride and frustration like a real parent.

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On occasion, Godzilla has been known to break character in his movies, stepping outside his image as the all-powerful King of the Monsters. A number of movies in the Godzilla franchise have broken an unspoken rule in terms of how Godzilla is expected to behave in his films. In nearly all cases, these scenes occur when a Godzilla movie attempts to deliver some form of comedic relief.

Although Godzilla has taken on multiple roles in his films, there are numerous elements of the kaiju’s personality that carry over from each continuity to the next. For this reason, audiences have developed strict expectations for how Godzilla is meant to act, regardless of the era and whether he’s the movie’s hero or its villain. But sometimes a movie in the Godzilla universe – for better or worse – will go against this standard. Here’s nine times Godzilla has broken character in his movies, both in Toho’s films and in the MonsterVerse.

9 Godzilla vs. Megalon – Godzilla Uses Martial Arts

In close combat situations, Godzilla typically employs his own unique fighting style, one that draws on raw power, heavy use of his tail, and attacks with his clawed hands. In 1973’s Godzilla vs. Megalon, Godzilla brought something new to the table when he adopted a stance inspired by real-life martial arts styles and used judo techniques to battle Gigan and Megalon at the same time. Of course, it makes little sense for a monster like Godzilla to have an understanding of human fighting styles.

8 Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster – Godzilla Swears At Mothra

Toho had fun with its assortment of kaiju in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, particularly in the scene that led to Godzilla’s historic alliance with Rodan. His first-ever team-up was set up rather hilariously when Mothra interrupted his fight with Rodan to convince the two to fight King Ghidorah. Interpreting their exchange of roars and cries to the humans, the twin fairies revealed that Godzilla and Rodan refused to help. What’s more, Godzilla apparently used profanity when arguing with Mothra. Responding in shock to one of Godzilla’s roars, the fairies sharply criticized Godzilla for his “language.”

7 Godzilla vs. Gigan – Godzilla Talks To Anguirus

In another effort to convey communication between monsters, Godzilla vs. Gigan went a step further than Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster when it actually used spoken dialogue to explain what Godzilla and Anguirus were saying to each other. Godzilla, having detected “trouble” in Japan, traveled across the ocean with Anguirus to investigate. Their “conversation” is what triggered the duo’s two-on-two showdown with Ghidorah and Gigan in the 1972 movie. This made Godzilla and Anguirus feel more human, but also less like monsters at the same time. Hence, this approach was not used again in the franchise.

6 Son Of Godzilla – Godzilla As A Father Figure

Godzilla and Minilla side by side in Son of Godzilla

Godzilla took on more human qualities when he gained an offspring named Minilla in 1967’s Son of Godzilla. Son of Godzilla offered a look at a whole new side of the King of the Monsters when it showed him teaching Minila how to use his atomic breath and expressing frustration when the latter failed. Similar to a real father-and-son relationship, Godzilla patted Minila on the head with pride when he correctly made his first blast of atomic breath.

5 Invasion of Astro-Monster – Godzilla’s Victory Dance

Godzilla's infamous victory dance

Immediately following a victory, it’s typical for Godzilla to let out a triumphant roar or just walk away, as if beating a monster is just another day for the King of the Monsters. Invasion of Astro Monster saw Godzilla take actual enjoyment from exerting his dominance over his enemy. After he and Rodan gained the upper hand against Ghidorah, Godzilla performed a victory dance in which he would jump into the air repeatedly with his hands raised. One of Godzilla’s co-creators, Ishiro Honda ,reportedly hated the scene, but it was included regardless, as it fit with Toho’s plan to market Godzilla movies toward children.

4 Godzilla vs. Kong – Godzilla Smiles After Blasting Kong

Godzilla stands in front of neon-lit buildings in Godzilla vs. Kong

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of Godzilla’s out-of-character moments stem from the Showa era. However, that’s not the case for all of them, with one exception being a scene from Godzilla vs. Kong. The MonsterVerse’s Godzilla experiences a rare moment of emotion when he blasts Kong in the back. The way his mouth opens in response to his atomic breath making contact with the fleeing Kong strongly implies that Godzilla was smiling. It would seem that Godzilla found gleeful satisfaction in finally managing to knock his rival out of the air.

3 Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster – Godzilla’s Belly Laugh

Godzilla laughing in Ghidorah the three-headed monster

Whether or not Godzilla was truly amused by his opponent’s injury in Godzilla vs. Kong was left open to interpretation, but the same can’t be said for what happened in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. After getting between Godzilla and Rodan, Mothra used its silk to web up Godzilla, and then Rodan. This pleased Godzilla so much that he held his belly and used gestures to signal what appeared to be a belly laugh. Godzilla’s ability to find humor in Rodan getting Mothra’s silk all over his face is one of several instances in Toho’s early Godzilla films where it was obvious that the studio was looking to humanize the monster.

2 Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla – Godzilla Snaps His Fingers

Godzilla Mechagodzilla and King Caesar in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla

Over the years, Godzilla has endured more than his fair share of aggravating encounters. Because he’s a monster, Godzilla’s irritation usually isn’t expressed in the same ways that humans are able to show this emotion. More often than not, his thoughts are inferred. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, on the other hand, was much more overt in this regard. After missing Mechagodzilla and accidentally grazing King Caesar with his atomic breath, Godzilla snapped his fingers in frustration.

1 Godzilla vs. Megalon – Godzilla Shakes Hands With Jet Jaguar

Godzilla and Jet Jaguar shake hands

Godzilla demonstrated familiarity with another aspect of human culture in 1973’s Godzilla vs. Megalon. At the conclusion of their successful team-up against Gigan and Megalon, Godzilla and Jet Jaguar shared a celebratory handshake. The kaiju and the robot recognizing their friendship with a handshake complimented the movie’s kid-friendly themes, but obviously wouldn’t work in any modern installment in the franchise.