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File:TeenageRobot telescoping.jpg

Where does she keep all those wonderful toys?

When in trouble, or in need of opening a file of whoop-ass, a Super Robot's limbs extend, armor appears, Death Rays will sprout up from nowhere, hatches will open up in various parts of their bodies to reveal missiles (beware the missile codpiece and bustier!) and they become ten metric tons heavier than before. The cooler sequences will qualify as Technology Porn.

See also Transforming Mecha, Hyperspace Mallet, Swiss Army Weapon, Impossibly Compact Folding, and Shapeshifter Baggage. Can lead to a Macross Missile Massacre. Human-sized robots with this power are usually Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids and/or Do Anything Robots.

Examples of Telescoping Robot include:


  • Mazinger Z: Mazinger-Z has two extendable, razor-sharp cutters (properly named Iron Cutter) embedded into its forearms, several drilling missiles stuck into its upper arms, and its belly has a hatch to launch MORE missiles from. And then you have his Mid-Season Upgrade Jet Pack, Scrander Jet, which can shoot shurikens. New Mazinger (an one-shot story set on an alternative universe) went deeper in this trope, and in one scene, many hatches opened up all over its body, revealing dozens of missiles underneath.
    • Great Mazinger: Great Mazinger stored one sword into each shin, several cutters blades along its legs, and the buckle-like glass adorning its midsection in reality was a hatch opened up to launch a missile from. Oh, and two wings and a Jet Pack unfolded from its back.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: Grendizer had one scythe stored into each shoulder could be joined to shape a double-edged shaft. The blades also worked like a Precision-Guided Boomerang. And that is not counting all weapons hid into its flying device.
    • Mazinkaiser: Mazinkaiser had THREE blades hid into its body (two of them into its shoulders and the bigger into its chest), and its midsection stored one giant missile.
  • Combattler V: The Humongous Mecha and the individual vehicles had more weapons than any other Humongous Mecha. Its hands alone could store its fists, a three-pointed dagger to make its ramming move easier, sharp projectiles, a blow-torch, a clamp...
  • Voltes V: Its belt was in reality two whips, its midsection stored a spinning top, the ornament on its chest hid his sword's blade...
  • Daimos: The ornament on his chest were in reality two daggers, and they covered a hatch opened up to reveal its Chest Blaster. Its feet were armed with retractable spikes...
  • Gundam
    • Gundam 0080 has a puzzling example of this near the end of the series, where the Gundam prototype's forearm-plate opens up to expose a set of minigun barrels that, themselves, could not fit in the forearm. How it receives ammo is anyone's guess.
    • Turn a Gundam: Turn A Gundam can similarly fit tons of weapons and other junk inside of it. Unlike most examples, this is justified, however, as the Turn A is almost completely hollow. It has virtually no internal mechanisms, using special magnetic field generators to move around.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Gurren Lagann! Giga Drill Breaker! They actually give it a Hand Wave in the that they're using "Spiral Energy", which is explicitly able to create matter out of nothing. Which is also something of a deconstruction, as overuse of this will eventually result in "Spiral Nemesis", which will create so much energy and mass as to make the entire universe implode.
    • Played straight with Viral and Kamina's second fight, wherein Viral responds to the Gurren-Lagann's boost of power by turning his Ganmen's face into guns.
  • In Genesis of Aquarion, the titular robot has an attack called the Infinite Punch, which causes Aquarion's arm to open up and another arm to extend out of it. Now imagine that new arm opening up and extending out its own. Repeat the process until Aquarion is able to stand 10 miles away from the enemy, throw a punch, then have that chain-punch extend to the point that it smashes the enemy into the moon.
  • Getter Robo: The three forms of each Getter tend to look very little like their component parts as well as nothing like each other, then there's the issue of all its weapons. Hand-waved by the use of Getter Rays which, in an idea later recycled by Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, will cause the universe to collapse if overused. [1]
  • Many of the megadeuses in The Big O (including the title robot) can do this.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima: Both the anime and the manga versions of Chachamaru. Although she's primarily a quiet girl, at times she reveals anything from gatling guns to massive swords. These weapons can be as big as she is, at times. She is a magical robot, though.
  • The first in anime was the "Synchron System" in the J9 Trilogy (Buraigar, Bakushingar, and Sasuraigar), which enabled ordinary-sized cars and motorcycles to change into hundred-ton mecha.
    • Much like Gurren Lagann, the mechanism behind this actually becomes a major plot point, as it also figures in a scheme to increase Jupiter's mass to the point where it could become a second sun.

Comic Books

  • In the Marvel Universe, Machine Man is an android who is best known for his telescoping limbs in addition to other functions. He is full of useful devices!
  • Also from Marvel, the villain Stilt-Man wears a suit of robotic armor with extending legs. And this is his only super power. The second Scourge had telescoping legs in his bag of second-hand villain tricks, presumably based on Stilt-Man's design. The depowered mutant Tattoo showed up in the post-Marvel Civil War New Warriors team using Powered Armor with extendable arms and legs, although she fared even worse than old Stilty, dying in one of the team's first battles. At least she didn't take an anti-tank missile to the nuts.
  • Yet another Marvel example: M-11, from Agents of Atlas, a robot who's equipped with telescopic limbs, a Death Ray, and Electro-Hands, among other things.
  • Finally, in Excalibur, Karima Shapandar looked like an ordinary human until she deployed her endless array of instruments of destruction. She got a redesign upon her move to X-Men, though, sadly.
  • Robotboy's Super Mode. When activated, asskicking ensues.


  • The Iron Giant when in war mode.
    • He at least has the space for most of it.
  • R2-D2 from Star Wars. Every hatch, detail, bolt and panel opens up and has an improbable number of really nifty devices behind them.

Live Action TV

  • Small Wonder: VICI. Once she even began malfunctioning after extending her neck too much and getting a thingamajig disconnected

Tabletop Games

  • The Mekton Zeta RPG called this "Expanding Plasma" as a shout out to Braiger. (It's a line from its theme song.)


  • Masters of the Universe featured several such characters, usually cyborgs rather than robots. While the toys obviously kept the telescoping to the realm of physical possibility, their depictions in comics and cartoons frequently threw reason out the window.

Video Games

  • KOS-MOS from Xenosaga. A mild subversion. While KOS-MOS does have a tendency to pull weapons out of "thin air" she actually justifies it for them. Her Knife and Gun are pre-equipped in compartments (she IS a robot and thus is not physically limited by the flesh rule) and her R-blade/Drill/Cannon are morphed from existing body parts. Her REALLY flashy weapons though are explained that she calls them through the U.M.N. and thus is essentially warping new weapons in from another place (not actually carrying them on her person) much in the same way as characters summon A.G.W.S. and E.S. units.
  • The Clumsy Robot from Earthbound is a cute little thing that would probably come up to your knee, and also contains enough ordnance to level a city block. And still has enough room for some sandwiches.
  • In James Pond 2: Codename Robocod, Robocod can extend his midsection to grab onto ceilings and high platforms.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Soundwave in Transformers Generation 1 could go from a tape player to a 5 story robot, where does the extra mass come from, where does it go? Who can know!
    • This is indicative of Transformers in general. For instance, the original Megatron turns into a pistol which is then used by Starscream.
    • Or more absurdly, by a human!
    • In Transformers Animated, Longarm earns his name by being able to extend his arms to great length (legs as well.) This is only a small part of his shapeshifting abilities, which let him change his robot mode almost entirely, to hide the fact that he's actually Shockwave, Megatron's eyes and ears on Cybertron.
      • Swindle and Sari after her upgrade display the more standard variant of massive amounts of weaponry folding out of their bodies.
    • Transformers actually justifies it, if never explicitly in the shows. They all have a personal pocket dimension that holds the extra mass when they're not using it.
      • Including guns, optional hand attachments, all the various cassettes Soundwave and Blaster store in their chests, and Optimus Prime's trailer (before becoming a Powermaster)
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot.
    • Ironically, despite appearing in the picture at the top of this page, Jenny could count as a subversion. In one episode she continually upgrades herself, but at the same time adds a lot of mass.
    • Another time, it's played straight - she can telescope to ridiculous proportions but can't "retract" (if that's the right word) without some hardware work.
  • Bender in Futurama seems to have whatever abilities the plot needs, including arms that extend well beyond the plausible.
    • Also in Futurama, the Masked Unit could do this: his day-to-day form is an unassuming robot, until Bender starts to insult him and he telescopes into his pro-wrestler form.
  • Inspector Gadget, while technically a cyborg, has telescoping arms and legs, as well as various tools that extend of all parts of his body.
  • The Robonic Stooges had The Three Stooges as cyborg/robot/android secret agents with telescoping limbs and other built-in gadgets.
  • Invader Zim:
    • GIR of will occasionally deploy a plethora of weapons from his head.
    • Zim's PAK (kept on his back) also contain an array of devices as needed, mainly his telescoping spider legs. [2]
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! loves this trope. Not only the Super Robot himself has it byt also the monkeys, all able to transform their small hands into much larger weapons.
  • Robotboy: Robot Boy goes from doll sized to adult human sized regularly and has a small armies worth of weapons.
  • Bobert from The Amazing World of Gumball can go from just a little shorter than Gumball, to a massive freaking, gun covered battle form when he gets pissed.
  1. The use of advanced nanotechnology is also shown to be on effect for this case, if Getter-1's transformation sequence from the OVA is to be believed. Nanomachines are an OVA-only explanation, the manga chalks it up to Getter Rays. That's also why Getter Go has no hidden weapons or illogical combinations — it runs on plasma.
  2. It also contains Zim! His mind runs on the hardware inside the PAK. The Irken body is an organic husk attached to their real computer brain. Yes, this is canon (and the reason Tak's consciousness could end up in her cruiser).