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A classic move for every Kaiju from King Kong to Clover, this is when a giant monster or similar menace lashes out and destroys a helicopter or other low-flying aircraft. The aircraft might be attacking the monster, circling too close to capture footage of the creature (news crews, beware this trope!), or simply passing by and/or trying to get the hell away from it. One of the many hazards of being an Acrophobic Bird, and a standard tactic for filmmakers to justify a monster not simply being blown away by an air-to-ground missile. Of course if the threat is groundbased, and the pilots would logically know it possessed no ranged weaponry, this may be a case of Too Dumb to Live.

Often overlaps with Hellish Copter. Bonus points if we see someone reporting from the helicopter as it gets swatted, making it Dead Line News as well.

Examples of Helicopter Flyswatter include:

Anime and Manga

  • In End of Eva, Asuka drop-kicks a VTOL craft using Unit-02.

Board Games


  • King Kong swats at attacking aircraft at the climax of the movie.
  • Near the end of Cloverfield, the monster takes down a helicopter full of evacuees.
  • Godzilla and his kaiju colleagues do this all the time.
    • In The Simpsons episode "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" the plane that the Simpsons are on going home gets attacked by Godzilla.

 Pilot: Uh, folks, we're experiencing some moderate Godzilla-related turbulence at this time, so I'm going to go ahead and ask you to put your seat belts back on. When we get to 35 thousand feet, he usually does let go, so from there on out, all we have to worry about is Mothra, and, uh, we do have reports he's tied up with Gamera and Rodan at the present time. Thank you very much.

    • In the 1997 Godzilla movie, the titular 'zilla does this to a helicopter that's tracking him though the city by sneaking up on it from below.
  • Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus uses the standard version when the octopus swats a fighter plane, and takes it far beyond credibility when the shark leaps 30,000 feet up to nom an airliner.


  • This is actually in music. The intro to Arockalypse by Lordi is a spoken news bulletin about a zombie invasion, including a snippet from a reporter who gets knocked out of the sky by a monster climbing a building.

Video Games

  • The monsters in the Arcade Game Rampage could do this to attacking helicopters.
  • Can be done in Crush Crumble and Chomp, though it's actually somewhat difficult. The helicopter units are fairly good at keeping their distance from the monster, and good at evading the monster's "grab" attack.

Web Comics

Western Animation

Real Life

  • The Trope Namer is the now-famous tweet joking about using a flyswatter to get rid of an annoying helicopter that was flying around town in the middle of the night. The town was Abbottabad, Pakistan, and the helicopters were carrying Navy SEALS on their way to take down Osama bin Laden.
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