Created By: Shnakepup on August 11, 2012 Last Edited By: Shnakepup on August 28, 2012
Troped

Creepily Long Arms

Extra long arms to show how unnatural a monster or Humanoid Abomination is.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

"Look at those arms! I bet he gives wonderful hugs."

This is a trope where a monster of some kind has extra-long arms. These arms won't necessarily be used in a physical way...it's more just to indicate how unnatural the monster is. Shows up frequently on Humanoid Abominations as a quick way to indicate something's not quite right.

In some cases, the arms themselves might not even need to be shown: if the creature/character in question is wearing clothes of some sort, the arms might be hidden at first by long sleeves, only for their unnatural length to be revealed when they bend the arm or grab something.

Often paired with Creepy Long Fingers. See also Noodle People.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In Death Note, a shinigami usually has long arms.

Film

Literature
  • The Big Bad monster from Olympos by Dan Simmons, known as Setebos. It has miles upon miles of tentacles that burrow through the ground like a complex network of worms...but one of the heroes discovers that these are actually arms, with hands at the end of them. If you disturb one of them, the hand will grab you and the whole arm will retract, dragging you through the tunnels and eventually into one of Setebos's many mouths.

Live-Action Television
  • The episode "Squeeze", from the first season of The X-Files, features a man named Eugene who has creepily long everything, including arms. It turns out he can stretch himself to fit into narrow places.

Music

Videogames
  • The Dark Ones (aka "Homo Novus"), creatures from the game Metro 2033. They have extra long arms that they hold out creepily towards/around their victims as they telepathically menace them.
  • Based on SCP-087 from the SCP Foundation, the fan-created SCP-087 videogame features a creature like this at the bottom of the stairwell. As you approach it, it's hands come out of the darkness, unnaturally long.
  • The aptly named Dead Hand in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It has six of them, and they attempt to grab Link while the rest of its body remains underground.
  • In Half-Life, headcrab zombies develop unnaturally long arms and long claw-like fingers.
  • Endermen from Minecraft were partly inspired by the Slenderman mythos, and thus also have very long arms.
  • One of the Special Infected in Left 4 Dead 2 is The Jockey, who's mutation has caused his arms to grow abnormally long. He shuffles on the ground on all fours like an ape, then jumps onto a player's back and grabs them by the head to "steer" them, often into a group of enemies.
  • Slender Man in the indie horror game SLENDER. If you beat the game you unlock "daytime mode" in which the sky is brightly lit. Beat daytime mode and Slender Man will appear with tentacles protruding from his back.
  • Lavos's final form in Chrono Trigger resembles a bipedal creature in a spacesuit with extra long arms that he raises dramatically to cast various attack spells.
  • Zant from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The effect is enhanced by the tassels at the ends of his long sleeves. As it turns out, his actual arms aren't much shorter.

Web Original
  • Slender Man from the Slender Man Mythos. In certain stories, this is due to his arms actually being disguised tentacles.

Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • August 12, 2012
    Earnest
  • August 12, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In the "Find the Fish" Interlude from Monty Pythons The Meaning Of Life Terry Jones appears with extra long arms.
  • August 12, 2012
    Generality
    The aptly named Dead Hand in The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time. It has six of them, and they attempt to grab Link while the rest of its body remains underground.
  • August 12, 2012
    Zinnia
    In Death Note, a shinigami usually has long arms.
  • August 13, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • August 13, 2012
    JonnyB
    In Half Life, headcrab zombies develop unnaturally long arms and long claw-like fingers.
  • August 14, 2012
    TheNinth
    Would the Wheelers from Return To Oz count?
  • August 14, 2012
    piscula
    • Endermen from Minecraft are based on the Slenderman mythos already mentioned, and also have very long arms. He definitely looks unnatural.
  • August 15, 2012
    KTera
    Possible page quote?

    "Look at those arms! I bet he gives wonderful hugs."
  • August 16, 2012
    Shnakepup
    Hah. I'll add that.
  • August 16, 2012
    randomsurfer
    The X Files: Eugene Toomes has creepily long everything, including arms. He can stretch himself to fit into narrow places.
  • August 16, 2012
    DmM
    The Rancor in Return Of The Jedi, its arms are long enough for it's hands to touch the ground.
  • August 16, 2012
    Shnakepup
    Would the Rancor's arms really qualify as "creepy", though, since they're obviously not really humanoid or anything? I guess to clarify, this is more Humanoid Abominations and/or human-shaped monsters.

    Also, @The Ninth, I haven't ever seen Return To Oz. Do you have any pics or anything? What are the Wheelers?
  • August 16, 2012
    SpiderRider3
    Ragdoll on Toy Castle
  • August 16, 2012
    Shnakepup
  • August 16, 2012
    Tallens
    In Close Encounters Of The Third Kind the first alien we see has very long, thin arms and legs, and is by far the most inhuman looking one.
  • August 17, 2012
    Tallens
    Regarding the wheelers, they were creatures that have wheels on their arms instead of hands, but I don't recall their arms being overly long. It's been a while, so my memory may have holes in it.
  • August 17, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Wheelers' legs and arms are about the same length. You can watch a scene here and decide for yourself whether they count.
  • August 18, 2012
    Tallens
    Yes, they are definitely creepy, but the length of their arms has little to do with it if you ask me.
  • August 21, 2012
    Tallens
    We've got a fair number of examples here. If they were organized by medium I'd be willing to throw my hat in.
  • August 21, 2012
    RJSavoy
    That real-life example should be removed, or given a caveat that it is not really this trope (which is about the creators trying to scare the audience) but may provoke a similar reaction.
  • August 21, 2012
    Shnakepup
    Removed the Real life example and categorized. Hopefully I can get a few more examples in the meantime but this is looking pretty close to finished.
  • August 21, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    For picture examples try a secundus modron,
  • August 21, 2012
    Tallens
    Looks good. As promised, you have my hat.
  • August 22, 2012
    captainsandwich
    i think we should we make "He" in the page quote a pothole to the Slender Man Mythos.
  • August 22, 2012
    Generality
    It occurs to me that this is sometimes invoked by wearing long sleeves. Case in point, Zant from The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess, where the effect is enhanced with tassels at the ends. As it turns out, his actual arms aren't much shorter.
  • August 23, 2012
    Shnakepup
    @captainsandwich - Aren't potholes something we're usually supposed to avoid? Plus potholing just the word "he" is kind of a waste, since most people won't notice the link if it's just that single word.

    @Generality - Good point. I'll put something like that in the description. Can you expand on the Zant example though? Is Zant a creepy guy or something, or does he just happen to have long arms?
  • August 23, 2012
    Shnakepup
    I wanna say I've seen things like this in various Miyazaki films, but I can't think of anything specific...can anyone remember any creepy long-armed things in one of those movies?
  • August 23, 2012
    captainsandwich
    @ Shnakepup Potholes are fine, unless they are Sinkholes. The only thing bad about good potholes is they tempt you to take the Wiki Walk and the second or so it takes to find out where they link, thus feeding the wiki your time.
  • August 24, 2012
    Generality
    ^^^ Zant is this guy. He's definitely meant to be creepy, as he's the decoy Big Bad for the game.
  • August 27, 2012
    captainsandwich
    their were golems with long arms in Castle In The Sky, but those weren't portrayed as creepy, just unusual.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=73ylktrr6uja5oa7mskp8o3b