Top 10 Worst Things That Happened to Godzilla

Top 10 Worst Things That Happened to Godzilla
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: George Pacheco
Hey, even the King of the Monsters has a bad day once in a while. For this list, we'll be ranking the moments from the Godzilla franchise where the iconic movie monster caught the short end of the stick. Our countdown includes Getting a Kiss from a Rose, Losing to Kong, Falling Into a Volcano, and more!

Script Written by George Pacheco

Top 10 Worst Things That Happened to Godzilla

Hey, even the King of the Monsters has a bad day once in a while. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Things That Happened to Godzilla.

For this list, we'll be ranking the moments from the Godzilla franchise where The Big Guy caught the short end of the stick. This could include anything from taking serious damage in a battle to film details beyond the fictional Godzilla's control, such as creative decisions or wonky execution. Oh, and since we're going to be diving deep into Godzilla lore, a spoiler alert is hereby in effect!

#10: Blasted by the Oxygen Destroyer

"Godzilla: King of the Monsters" (2019)
Godzilla fans are likely aware of the Oxygen Destroyer, as it's the deadly device used to kill Big G in the original 1954 film. This wasn't the only time this weapon was utilized in the Godzilla universe, however, as it was brought out once again for 2019's "Godzilla: King of the Monsters." Here, the military uses the Oxygen Destroyer to try and neutralize both Godzilla and King Ghidorah (more on him later), and the blast almost knocks G out for the count. It's only through a typically grand cinematic sacrifice from Dr. Serizawa that Godzilla is brought back from the brink of death to reign vengeance over Boston's Fenway Park.

#9: Getting a Kiss from a Rose

"Godzilla vs. Biollante" (1989)
The origin story of Biollante is one steeped in tragedy, not to mention one very intimate connection to Godzilla himself. That's because her creation is actually thanks to an amalgamation of Godzilla cells together with a mixture of human and plant DNA. The human in question is the deceased daughter of a talented geneticist, while the plant species is that of a beautiful rose. Now, far be it from Godzilla to be threatened by a flower, but Biollante proves to be more than a capable foe, taking G to the absolute limit during their final battle. So is this near loss embarrassing for Godzilla? Perhaps, but we're honestly pretty big fans of Biollante in general, so we'll keep this entry at number nine.

#8: Facing Off Against King Ghidorah

"Godzilla" Franchise (1954-)
He's big, he's bad, he's got three pissed off heads. His name is King Ghidorah, and he's Godzilla's most fearsome foe, the one kaiju creature whose pedigree places him on equal footing with the iconic King of the Monsters. King Ghidorah (or Ghidrah, depending on which movie you're watching), has appeared numerous times within the Godzilla franchise, almost always as an adversary. And truth be told, Godzilla has never had an easy time taking down this royal pain in the tail, usually being forced to team up with a mutual enemy of Ghidorah, such as Mothra, in order to get the job done. Any way you slice it, King Ghidorah is easily one of the worst things to happen to Godzilla since the Oxygen Destroyer.

#7: Getting Through a Psychedelic Freakout!

"Godzilla vs. Hedorah" (1971)
Ok, so maybe Godzilla himself didn't turn on, tune in or drop out on screen, but the production of "Godzilla vs. Hedorah" most definitely feels that way, so strange were the final results. Fans are sharply divided over this film, with some praising the funky fuzz rock and psychedelic visuals on display, while others feel that it was too immature and youth focused. The American version of the film, titled "Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster" even featured a groovy freak out tune titled "Save the Earth," driving home the film's environmental message while simultaneously marking it as a film Godzilla himself might leave off his resume should he ever apply for a job in the private sector.

#6: Losing to Kong

"King Kong vs. Godzilla" (1962)
Sometimes it's not about the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. How else could you explain away what could only be described as a stunning upset in this winner-take-all monster brawl? King Kong became famous for climbing the Empire State Building, but Godzilla essentially IS the Empire State Building, yet it was Kong who emerged victorious after this 1962 meeting of the muscle. Godzilla doesn't lose very often to other kaiju when it counts, but this brawny beast bested the King of the Monsters, delivering an early L for the G-Man's win/loss record. Don’t worry, Godzilla will be getting a rematch soon.

#5: Getting Body Shamed

"Godzilla" (2014)
Godzilla found himself in the middle of a war back in 2014, only this time it wasn't against shape-shifting aliens or another kaiju creature, but an enemy with which we can all relate: the scale. Japanese fans were quick to point out the difference in size between the Godzilla found in the 2014 remake and the Tokyo OG, fat shaming the new G almost from the get-go. Pop culture websites had a field day discussing how we as a society can debate the physical characteristics of imaginary CGI mega-monsters. Still, both American and Japanese fans lobbed their fair share of cultural stereotypes during this war of words, so maybe we really should be ashamed of this moment in Godzilla history, after all.

#4: Falling Into a Volcano

"The Return of Godzilla" (1984)
There's a bittersweet ending to this eighties reboot of the Godzilla timeline, a fate made even more dramatic by some tinkering by American filmmakers. "The Return of Godzilla" was a direct sequel to the 1954 OG that featured a darker and more violent approach, once again presenting Godzilla as a destructive force that needed to be neutralized. Japan does exactly that when they lure G-Man into a volcano at the film's climax, trapping him inside with a giant explosion. Still, the scene is presented with a somber tone and tragic music, even though G is most certainly the film's antagonist. The American edit, titled, "Godzilla 1985," even added in a second, more horrifying scream by Godzilla, in order to drive home the seriousness of this scene.

#3: Bleeding. A Lot.

"Godzilla vs. Gigan" (1972)
There is a LOT of weird stuff going on in 1972's "Godzilla vs. Gigan," starting right away with the look of Gigan himself, one of Godzilla's most idiosyncratic villains. Gigan has hooks for hands and a straight up BUZZSAW on his torso, which is a violent and imaginative design if we've ever seen one. Speaking of "violence," an early fight with Gigan features Godzilla taking a lot of bloody damage, utilizing more messy squib effects than previously seen in any Godzilla film., how can we put this? Godzilla talks. Yeah, in the English dub of the film, a scene where Godzilla communicates with Anguirus via comic book text bubbles is replaced by a straight up conversation. It has to be heard to be believed.

#2: Getting Killed Off

"Godzilla vs. Destoroyah" (1995)
If we were to describe "Godzilla vs. Destoroyah" in one word, it would be "heavy." A lot of weight was placed into the marketing for the film, as Toho hammered home the fact that we would see the death of Godzilla on screen. The scene itself is actually quite emotional, bringing together pain, death and heartbreak for both Godzilla and his son as they battle against Destoroyah. The film connects to many other themes from the Godzilla universe, including the Oxygen Destroyer and G's own roots as a metaphor for nuclear war. The sight of Godzilla in full meltdown mode is honestly tear jerking, as is the resurrection of his son as the new, fully powered iteration of his famous father.

Before we name our number one pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions!

Needing a Tag Team
"Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla" (1994)

Being Whooped on by Monster X
"Godzilla: Final Wars" (2004)

Becoming Webbed by Mothra
"Mothra vs. Godzilla" (1964)

Getting Punked by Rodan
“Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II" (1993)

Repeatedly Being Beaten by MechaGodzilla
"Godzilla" Franchise (1954-)

#1: Remade in '98

"Godzilla" (1998)
Ok, so what could possibly be worse than actually being killed off in your own franchise? Well, we have two words for you: “Godzilla. '98.” Yes, this American remake/reboot of Godzilla is often referred to by fans with the acronym GINO, standing for "Godzilla In Name Only," and it really hasn't aged well at all. The film feels like more of a "Jurassic Park" riff than anything else, although the Japanese films DO recognize the lead creature, and have given it another name, "Zilla." Zilla has been referenced in a couple of Godzilla movies since "Godzilla" '98, most infamously in "Godzilla: Final Wars" when he was unceremoniously blasted by the REAL Godzilla into the Sydney Opera House.