Appears in: Godzilla (1954), Godzilla Raids Again (1955), King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966), Son of Godzilla (1967), Destroy All Monsters (1968), All Monsters Attack (1969), Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), Terror or Mechagodzilla (1975), The Return of Godzilla (1984), Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla vs. Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994), Godzilla vs. Destroyah (1995), Godzilla 2000: Millennium 1999), Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000), Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters (2001), Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003), Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
Scariest moment: A barrage of cannonballs can do nothing to stop the sea monster from tearing his way through power lines.
Weakness: Mouths that don't match English dubbing.

For the average moviegoer, the gargantuan sea monster Godzilla is scary for obvious reasons—just look at the damn thing. Scaly, always agitated, and big enough to manhandle a skyscraper like it's a Subway foot-long, Godzilla, or "Gojira," as it's known in Japan, is helpless fear manifested in its biggest form. If you happen to see the God in person, you're pretty much fucked.

In the eyes of Japanese viewers back in the 1950s, however, director Ishiro Honda's franchise starter Godzilla encapsulated the fears and anxieties surrounding nuclear testing and nuclear weapons. The monster, as conceived by Honda and co-screenwriter Takeo Murata, is the direct result of military fakery, a none-too-subtle warning against man's dangerous advances coming back to bite him in the ass. Or, in this case, smash his buildings and stomp him down as if he's an ant.