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"Surrender monkey" THIS, BITCH!

A sister to Landmarking the Hidden Base, this trope takes the view that the only thing cooler than placing a covert headquarters inside a world-famous monument is placing a mountain-cracking Weapon of Mass Destruction inside a world-famous monument. Merely housing personnel, labs, or arms isn't good enough; at a minimum, the superweapon should be hidden inside the landmark, while a sign of true genius is making the landmark the weapon itself. Nerdgasm levels double if the landmark transforms into a mobile battle platform or Humongous Mecha.

The Lincoln Memorial is a popular subject for this trope; apparently, the idea of Giant Stone Abe getting off his ass and kicking ass has some appeal...

If the landmark is sufficiently old, this could end up as a Lost Superweapon. If the opposition ever discovers the location (or even existence) of the weapon, a Monumental Battle is all but assured.

Note: This trope covers weapons in real-world landmarks. Weaponizing fictional buildings or installations is almost a prerequisite in some works.

Examples of Weaponized Landmarks include:

Anime and Manga

  • In G Gundam, the new Statue of Liberty found on the Neo-American space colony is actually a Wave Motion Gun. The blast fires from the torch, naturally.
    • The old Statue of Liberty (or what was left of it) was destroyed in one of Domon's Dynamic Entries.
    • The Sphinx is also a giant Gundam now.
  • In Nurse Witch Komugi, the Tokyo Big Sight convention center is featured as a giant Transforming Mecha, Big Sightron/Cytron.
  • On an episode of Battle of the Planets, the bad guys are able to retract the head of George Washington inside the mountain from Mount Rushmore where it becomes the face of a giant lava-monster thing.
  • Getter Robo Hein uses the Statue of Liberty as a giant cannon/jet piloted by a Humongous Mecha.
  • The Primevals in GaoGaiGar end up possessing and transforming the Great Wall of China, the Sphinx and several moai to do battle with the heroes. Later on, we see Weaponized Planetoids when they possess the moons of Jupiter.

Comic Books

  • The Marvel G.I. Joe comic book series revealed a secret orbital space laser cannon housed in the top stories of the Chrysler Building; it uses a series of satellite-mounted mirrors to direct the shot towards its intended target.
  • In Captain America #222, "The Monumental Menace!", Cap fights an animated Lincoln Memorial statue.
  • The Umbrella Academy has the Eiffel Tower being weaponized by Robot Zombie Gustav Eiffel!
    • Later, they also defeat an animated Lincoln Memorial. The Rumor defeats it by materializing an equally large stone John Wilkes Booth, who promptly assassinates Lincoln.
  • Mt. Rushmore was turned into a four-headed golem in Superman #209, as seen on this poster.
    • The idea was reused by writer Brian Azzarello in the Doctor 13: Architecture and Morality mini-series. "How do you hurt a mountain?!" "Strip mining."
  • A literal instance occurred in Psi-Force, when the title hero-entity clobbers a Russian paranormal with the Washington Monument.

Fan Works

  • The infamous fanfic Garfield's Royal Rescue by Shakespeare Hemingway (an author who loves to portray Garfield as a Gary Stu) has Prince William turn the Big Ben clock tower into a giant laser cannon.

Films -- Live-Action

  • In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the Decepticons' sun-destroying Doomsday Device is hidden inside the Great Pyramid of Giza.
  • In Ghostbusters 2, the Ghostbusters use positively-charged mood slime to turn the Statue of Liberty into an improvised Humongous Mecha Of Love against Vigo and Janosz.
  • Men in Black 2 has the Statue of Liberty as a city-wide neuralizer.
    • In the cartoon, it was the Chrysler building.
  • In the first X-Men movie, Magneto hid his mutation inducing device inside the torch of the Statue of Liberty.
    • The animated series did it first, but theirs was in the top of the Empire State Building.
  • The Lincoln Memorial gets a Big Damn Heroes moment in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
  • In The Avengers The Mighty Thor uses the Chrysler Building's spire to concentrate and amplify his lightning.


Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • There are gods and Scions who think that The Statue Of Liberty, Christ the Redeemer and pretty much any other similar sized statue could be a giant war automaton that only needs the right key to activate. There's a statue of Vulcan in Alabama that's confirmed to be one, but nobody knows how to turn it on yet.
  • The board game Easter Island is entirely based on the idea of the Moai being built as beam weapons by powerful wizards.


  • The pinball game Revenge From Mars used a roboticized Lincoln Memorial as a Humongous Mecha.

Video Games

  • The Trope Namer is Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, which is loaded with these: Mount Rushmore has gigantic laser cannons mounted inside the Presidents' heads, Griffith Observatory has a giant cannon built into it, Leningrad's Winter Palace transforms into a humongous space center, the Moai Heads are actually weapons turrets... It got to the point where there's a building category named "Weaponized Landmark", because of the sheer ubiquitousness of these things in the game.
    • One mission in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 requires the player to turn the Eiffel Tower into a gigantic Tesla coil capable of destroying all of Paris. The Soviets also mount Tesla coils in the Mayan pyramids, and in the expansion Yuri not only slaps his face on the Moai statues, he turns them into turrets firing lasers out their eyes.
      • Those Mayan Pyramids are actually the basis for the Prism Towers. The Soviets were trying to replicate the technology.
    • On a more realistic note the game allows you to garrison buildings with basic troops. This includes such famous buildings as the Pentagon.
      • The Pentagon, stuffed full of military personnel? Imagine.
      • Well, yes, but they aren't usually rocket-launchering everything in sight. I should hope.
  • Battle Tanx: Global Assault features a campaign level where the Eiffel Tower is converted into a laser cannon.
  • While not exactly a landmark, the Voyager II in Battlezone II is a space probe on a mission of peaceful exploration, just as it is in real life... except that it is armed to the teeth and is well able to defend itself in case of any, uh, unfortunate encounters. Mostly well, anyways.
  • In Metal Wolf Chaos, Alcatraz Island houses a gigantic electromagnetic cannon, and the White House is encased in armour and weapons to make it the "Fight House".
  • How could anyone forget the weaponised Moai in the Gradius series?
  • In the third game in the Sakura Taisen series has the Arc d'Triomphe secretly hiding a massive artillery piece known as the "Revolver Cannon", which as the name implies, resembles a handgun enlarged by a factor of about 200, set in an artillery mount. It is used to launch the heroes in their Powered Armor on a suborbital trajectory—in the fourth game, this cannon is even used to transport four of them from Paris to Tokyo in a matter of minutes.
  • The Sam and Max adventure game "Abe Lincoln Must Die!" reveals that Abe's statue is actually a cybernetically-animated robot that eventually goes on a rampage across the country.
    • And what would possibly destroy him? An ICBM hidden inside the Washington Monument. "Most powerful presidential monument ever" MY FOOT!
  • One of the boss fights in the NES game Samurai Zombie Nation was the Statue of Liberty, who had come to life and could use her torch as a flamethrower. Also, she has snakes for hair.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn nails this as well, with the Beastman city of Belinsk. Built atop a mysterious structure known only as 'Luna Tower', the king believes he can use it to scare off their enemies. It doesn't quite work out.

Web Original

  • The French sentai homage Yushi Sentai France Five revolves around the idea that the Eiffel Tower is a shamanic totem holding the evil galactic empire at bay. Given the popularity of the series in Japan, and the destruction of the tower in the fourth episode, you can hope that the fifth and last episode will revolve around the Tokyo Tower...
  • This image.

Western Animation

  • South Park has an episode where an animated Lincoln memorial comes to life; the Super Best Friends defeat him with a giant stone John Wilkes Booth.
  • An episode of The Real Ghostbusters revealed that the Eiffel Tower was actually a Steampunk ecto-containment grid. Apparently, Gustave Eiffel was, well, a Ghostbuster.
    • Revisited in the Ghostbusters comic book series Ghostbusters: Displaced Aggression
  • In the Transformers Beast Wars cartoon, Stonehenge (or an Expy thereof) is an alien signaling probe and containment device.
    • And while it's technically not a monument per se, the second moon is actually a planet-heating Ray Gun.
  • Averted in Jackie Chan Adventures, where Stonehenge isn't the weapon of mass destruction the cultists in London claim it to be.
    • It was a UFO landing site, however.
  • One episode of Dexter's Laboratory had Mandark turn the George Washington portion of Mount Rushmore into a giant golem/mecha; Dexter responds by animating Abraham Lincoln. The "golems" stop fighting when they realize they're Not So Different and walk off arms-over-shoulders to have a friendly conversation.
  • The animated short Pigeon: Impossible has an ICBM hidden in the Washington Monument.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, it turns out the Sphinx and three pyramids around the world are actually part of Apocalypse's mutation-inducing machine (similar to the one in the X-Men film but worldwide).
  • In The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror VIII, France launches a neutron bomb from the Eiffel Tower at Springfield.
  • Dr. Wily animated the Statue of Liberty via magic in the Ruby-Spears Mega Man cartoon. As Lady Liberty broke off one of her crown's spikes to attack, she was restored to normal at the end.
  • A minor landmark, but on The Penguins of Madagascar, the Red Squirrel hides a missile inside Cleopatra's Needle at Central Park.
  • Futurama has a variation with 20th Century Fox's iconic searchlight logo, which is an actual building in Hollywood. The tour guide explains that the searchlights are designed to blind pilots and film the resulting crashes.
  • On The Inhumanoids, one of the animated-statue guardians of Metlar's lair appears to be the Colossus of Rhodes. In a later episode, Metlar animates the Statue of Liberty. Subverted, as he marries her rather than uses her as a weapon.
  • An Elseworld episode of G.I. Joe, "Worlds Without End", featured an alternate reality where the Joes were defeated years ago and COBRA now rules the United States. That reality's Destro concealed a weapon called the Parasite Matrix that captures and crushes hostile aircraft in a web of energy in the top of the Washington Monument.
  • Animaniacs weaponized the Warner Bros. water tower in "Super Strong Warner Siblings." This is also an actual building, though it has a greater role in the cartoon.

Real Life

  • Joe Davis, renowned artist and Mad Scientist, is, according to a article, planning to build a 10-story tower as a monument to hurricane victims that harnesses excess nitrogen in the air during a lightning storm... and fires it back into the sky in the form of a giant laser.
  • Battery parks, inverted in that they started as bunches of really powerful weapons, then the ground that they were on/in later became landmarked parks.
  • The original Alcatraz began life as a coastal defense fort/military base, complete with artillery. It is no longer such, however.
  • The Rock of Gibraltar is armed with gun batteries.