Created By: Ryuuma on March 7, 2012 Last Edited By: Alucard on August 12, 2014
Troped

Deadly Mantis

Mantises and Mantis-man hybrids portrayed in fiction.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft

Alt title: Slaying Mantis, Menacing Mantis, Preying Mantis

The mantis men have officially taken over the facility! If you can get out, get out now!

In fiction, insects and arachnids can be associated with many things depending on their race. Spiders and scorpions are scary, centipedes creepy, cockroaches disgusting and flies annoying. The Mantis, however is on a whole other level.

There are many kinds of depictions of a mantis. Overall, mantises are not to be messed with, but for specific details:

  • Serene, stern and disciplined warriors, usually martial artists too. This stems from Mantis Style Kungfu in Real Life (see its section below). This kind is usually good or neutral.
  • Ax-Crazy psychopaths, dangerous Blood Knights always looking for carnage. This type of evil mantis characters are often seen as Always Chaotic Evil
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: a predatory and usually giant mantis. They tend to be "neutral hungry".
    • By extension, characters, monsters or other creatures with mantis-like arms added to make them scarier or more dangerous looking. The arms also have connotations similar to those of Sinister Scythe.
  • If female, it can refer to how female mantises ate their mate's head after they're mating; thus, mantises can also be The Vamp or Black Widow.

When depicted as villains, its usually in a form of "heel hate" as humans typically DON'T hate them (quite the opposite actually) like they do snakes or spiders. The arms becoming twin scythes is a result of Flanderization for the purpose of Rule of Cool.

See also Big Creepy-Crawlies, Attack of the Killer Whatever, Scary Scorpions and Creepy Centipedes. Do not confuse with The Deadly Mantis, an old movie about, well, a giant rampaging mantis.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • There's a nightmarish mantis yokai in InuYasha who feeds on women innards and then wear their skins. She's offed by Miroku, but manage to cut is Kazaana open, putting him in danger.
  • In One Piece there are giant mantises with very sharp claws on Jaya island. Later a similar mantis with blades instead of legs is seen in Impel Down. Last but not least, the Tenth Movie has Don Kamakiriri, a bad tempered mantis capable of taking down a gargantuan octopus with ease.
  • The Mantis Man in Yaiba appears as one of Onimaru's minions. Subverted later when he's revealed to be a goofy Punch Clock Villain.
  • Nnoitra Gilga from Bleach is an insane, mysoginistic Blood Knight who can turn into a multi-armed, shell-covered One-Winged Angel from equipped with multiple scythes.
  • A bunch of mantis-like bugmen appear in The Slayers season 1, among Rezo's beastmen. Little characterization is given beyond "big creepy crawlies".
  • Berserk: Rosine's minions are all some kind of Big Creepy-Crawlies. Guts slaughters them by the dozen, but almost finds his match when facing Rosine's two Elite Mooks. One of them is a huge rhinoceros beetle and the other one a lightning fast praying mantis. They are also considerably skillful fighters due to the fact that (at least according to the mantis) they used to be knights, whereas the insect mooks were mooks even before they transformed into monsters.

Comic Books

Film
  • The Deadly Mantis, which features a giant, prehistoric mantis.
  • One member of the Furious Five in Kung Fu Panda is a mantis who's pretty powerful despite being the size of a mantis.
  • Subverted with Manny from A Bug's Life, a Large Ham Stage Magician who's not threatening in the least.
  • The Acklay from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones is a deadly alien creature that looks like a cross between a crab and a mantis.
  • Son of Godzilla introduces Kamacuras (also known as Gimantis in a bad English dub)into the Godzilla franchise. Already giant prehistoric preying mantises they get mutated by radiation to grow even larger. However, while they do pose a serious threat to the humans and even Minya, Godzilla manages to take them out very easily. Kamacuras appears in Godzilla Final Wars where it now has a chameleon like camouflage ability and puts up a better fight but is still killed by Godzilla without much effort.

Literature
  • K'Kriq in The Prism Pentad is a thri-keen, a four armed mantis man, who can resist to mind attacks and even magical fire balls. Unlike other examples, he hasn't got "scythe-like arms".
  • In the sf novel "Chess with a Dragon" by David Gerrold, there's a not-nice mantislike species who are hermaphroditic sadomasochist cannibals.
  • Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality novel On A Pale Horse. Zane is confronted by a "preying" mantis - a demon in the shape of a praying mantis. It's a Living Motion Detector as well as a deadly killer.
  • Discworld, the Assassins' Guild School has gone co-educational and now treaches young ladies how to inhume with style and grace. One of the all-female houses of study, supervised by Miss Alice Band, is variably described as Tump House and as Mantis House depending which side of the continuity error you're on. It evokes The Vamp stereotype above.
  • Subverted with the thranx from Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series; they look like giant mantids, but turn out to be the most peaceful, ethical, and community-minded race in the books. One prominent thranx character actually learned his martial arts techniques from humans.
  • In Perdido Street Station, the reMade rebel/terrorist Jack Half-A-Prayer was an escaped criminal whose arm had been replaced with a giant mantis claw. A militia spy he kills is found with the claw's pincer-marks on both sides of her neck.
  • In the Spellsinger series, the Plated Folk are ruled by a preying-mantis queen. She routinely eats courtiers who offend her, fail her, or simply can't get out of her way fast enough when she gets upset.
  • The Dresden Files: One of the Denarians, Tessa, has a mantis-like alternate form. She's up for whatever causes the maximum amount of chaos and suffering for humanity.
  • The Magic School Bus's spider episode had a Show Within a Show with a giant praying mantis. The kids got Trapped in TV Land and ended up having to fend off both the mantis (solved that problem by trapping it with the spider-bus and hitting it with the porta-shrinker) and the general who was trying to kill it using Liz as bait.

Live-Action TV
  • The She-Mantis in Buffy the Vampire Slayer' episode "Teacher's Pet". It wants to lay its eggs on Xander and another boy with the indication the babies will probably eat them after hatching.
  • Babylon 5's first season had the crime boss N'Grath in Downbelow, who was an Insectoid Alien resembling a praying mantis.
  • Mantids are commonly seen, and often victorious, on Monster Bug Wars.

Professional Wrestling

Tabletop Games
  • The Scything Talons biomorph in War Hammer 40000 invokes a mantis.
    • There also exists the Mantis Warriors, a chapter of Space Marines with a curious mutation that gives them supremely enhanced reflexes, but at the cost of irreversible tunnel vision.
    • The Lictor is a stealthed Tyranid unit with massive mantis-like claws.
  • Mantis spirits in Shadowrun are far from pleasant (though not really evil, just having a really weird mindset), as they share other bug spirits' need to possess human victims in order to perpetuate their kind. The fact they prefer to prey on other kinds of bug spirits makes them occasional allies-of-convenience for Ares and others campaigning against the bugs, however.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The 1st Edition Monster Manual II had the Giant Mantis. It was 12 feet tall and had 10 hit dice (10-80 Hit Points). It could grab and hold prey helpless, doing 3-12 Hit Points of damage per combat round until death. It could camouflage itself in order to perform ambush attacks.
  • Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth. The Hollow Earth has giant mantises the size of a large horse. They will attack any creature up to their own size, lashing out with their forelegs at blinding speed.
  • In the default Pathfinder setting, Golarion, the mantis god Achaekek is the pantheon's resident assassin and the divine patron of all Professional Killers of the setting, particularly of the universally-feared Red Mantis guild that worships him.

Toys
  • BIONICLE: Takadox is mantis-like post-Pit Mutagen change, as his design was based on the mantis shrimp.

Video Games
  • In the Rail Shooter game Let's Go Jungle!, there's a Giant Mantis as a boss at the end of the Temple Level. Unlike many examples its claws aren't very sharp.
  • Some of them are found in Bug!. They're shown as psychotic murderers.
  • The Creeper in House of the Dead Overkill is a mantis-like mutant, whose scythe-like arms can easily slice steel. The arms are also his Achilles' Heel.
  • Mantis and King Mantis are two powerful monsters met in Final Fantasy II.
  • The giant mantis monsters in Titan Quest. They just roam into the chinese forests and viciously attack your hero when they sight him/her. You can also wear a special suit of armor (composed of helmet, greaves and cuirass) that makes you look like a mantis-man.
  • Dark Mantis and Deathtanz Mantisk from the Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero series respectively, they both use a series of quick attacks with their bladed extremities, and both curiously had law related jobs before became mavericks (Dark Mantis was a prison guard, and Deathtanz Mantisk was an executioner, but he isn't exactly thrilled with the job note ), however, by the time you come to face them, they are far from being cooperative.
  • A Boss in Turok Dinosaur Hunter is a giant mantis that can spit acid.
  • The Zerg in Starcraft' have scytheish limbs that, along with their aggressive behaviour, chitinous shells and hive-mind makes the similar to mantises.
  • The Scyther line in Pokémon. Mostly harmless (unless provoked). The line Took A Level In Bad Ass around the Diamond and Pearl generation. Also, Kabutops who has mantis-like arms.
  • Man-sized mantises appears in The Legend of Dragoon as low-level mooks.
  • The Space Pirates of Metroid, depending on the game, tend to look more or less like giant mantises.
  • Members of the Mantis race from FTL: Faster Than Light do bonus damage in hand-to-hand combat. Their in-game description calls them a "vicious warrior race".
  • The creepy-looking Grand Mantises in Final Fantasy VIII.
  • In World of Warcraft, the Pandarens' main enemy is an insect-like race known as the Mantids, introduced in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. While primarily enemies, you do quests for one particular faction of them.
  • Warcraft III: The Crypt Lords evoke this trope: their body has the same limb distribution as a mantis (four legs supporting and two huge claws), but is much thicker and stockier, like a beetle the size of a rhino.
  • The Empusa of God of War has claws for hands. Bonus points for Empusa being an actual genus of mantises.
  • Portal 2: Implied by Cave Johnson's messages over the intercom. Instead of being injected with praying mantis DNA, the test subjects are told that they will be battling an army of Mantis Men, presumably the result of said DNA experiment Gone Horribly Wrong (or right, one can never be sure with Aperture Science).
"Pick up a rifle and follow the yellow line. You'll know when the test starts."
  • Lost Planet: one of the primary enemy types is an Akrid that resembles a giant praying mantis full of glowy orange T-Eng. They come in an even larger, deadlier variety that is best fought in a Humongous Mecha. A yet larger variant serves as a Boss Battle.
  • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves has anthropomorphic mantises fill the role of Chinese Vampire enemies.
  • League of Legends: Kha'Zix is a man-sized intelligent interdimensional winged mantis monster with an obsession for hunting prey, consuming it and evolving himself to become more deadly.

Web Comics
  • Spacetrawler references mantises' reputation as dangerous when Yuri, well on her way to Unhinged-ville, gets her arms replaced with robotic, mantis-like laser-scythes.

Web Original
  • A particularly bizarre example occurs on Homestar Runner during Strong Bad's reading of That Time Of Year by Leomard Sportsinterviews (found in the Decemberween Short Shorts cartoon.) Instead of reading "Decebmerween is almost here! Get ready," Strong Bad reads, "De giant mantis is almost here. Get ready to be pistol-whipped, snowman!" with illustration to match. The mention of pistol-whipping a snowman in proximity to a giant mantis suggests that this may be a really slight reference to the MS T3k version of The Deadly Mantis, in which a similar joke is made.

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu (which, incidentally, is the style Toph's earthbending is based on,) is a very close range fighting style. Northern Praying Mantis Style (also known as Seven Star Praying Mantis Style,) is a style of unrelated lineage which utilizes much longer range techniques, including whipping, circular blocks and high kicks, as well as signature "mantis hook" hand techniques which use three fingers (imitative of a mantis's claws) to strike vital points.
  • Truth in Television. Mantis' are very Bad Ass, being able to kill prey many times larger than themselves, such as snakes, rodents, and even birds. One of the only terrestrial arthropods that can overpower and kill a scorpion in a fair fight.
Community Feedback Replies: 104
  • March 7, 2012
    IlVit
    Cave Johnson in Portal 2 mentions accidentally creating an army of mantis men.
  • March 7, 2012
    Damr1990
    • Dark Mantis and Deathtanz Mantisk from the Megaman X and ZeroSeries respectively, they both use a series of quick atacks and bladed extremities on their atacks, and both curiously had law Related jobs before became mavericks(Dark Mantisk was a Prission guard, and Deathtanz Mantisk was an executioner, but mentioned he didn't like his job(then again it was before Weil turned him into one of his warriors)), however, by the time you come to face them, they are far from being cooperative

  • March 7, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    In the sf novel "Chess with a Dragon" by David Gerrold, there's a not-nice mantislike species who are homosexual sadomasochist cannibals.

  • March 7, 2012
    chicagomel
    The She-Mantis in ''Buffy The Vampire Slayer' "Teacher's Pet". It wants to lay its eggs on Xander and another boy with the indication the babies will probably eat them after hatching.
  • March 8, 2012
    Arivne
    Literature
  • March 8, 2012
    pawsplay
    Other
    • The Crazy Mantis Gilfriend meme plays with this and the reputation of female mantises for eating their mates to satirize extremely demanding, dependent, and vaguely frightening relationships.
  • March 8, 2012
    magnum12
    The laconic is very misleading, implying that mantis' are Ax Crazy killers, when the page is about them being badass. When depicted as villains, its usually in a form of "heel hate" as humans typically DON'T hate them (quite the opposite actually) like they do snakes or spiders. The arms becoming twin scythes is a result of Flanderization for the purpose of Rule Of Cool. This trope often has copious amounts of Instant Death Radius in play.

    In works, there are usually four types of depictions: 1. Serene, disciplined ass kickers. This type is typically good or solidly neutral. 2. Ax Crazy psychopath. Evil mantis characters, most commonly Chaotic Evil. 3. Predator. Often huge. Always "neutral hungry" 4. Instant scary just add mantis arms. Reserved for monsters just to show the viewer that they're very dangerous. Warning sign that Instant Death Radius is in play. Often evil (some form of fiend) or "neutral hungry" (other monsters).

    • A Boss in Turok Dinosaur Hunter is a giant mantis that can spit acid. (type 3)
    • Real life martial arts style try to copy the mantis. It is a VERY close range fighting style.
    • Truth In Television. Mantis' are very Bad Ass, being able to kill prey many times larger than themselves, such as snakes, rodents, and even birds. One of the only terrestrial arthropods that can overpower and kill a scorpion in a fair fight.
    • The Zerg in Starcraft are full of type 4.
    • The Scything Talons biomorph in War Hammer 40000 utilizes type 4.
  • March 8, 2012
    SNDL
    The twin mantises in Jet Force Gemini.
  • March 8, 2012
    BackwardThgindiM
    Subverted in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Toph, who is possibly the greatest, or at least badass earthbender ever, uses Praying Mantis Kung Fu, as opposed to the regular Hung Gar style that is used by most earthbenders.
  • March 9, 2012
    Chabal2
    • A mantis man appears in Berserk. He's not particularly sadistic, just very fast.
    • Apparently there's a style of martial arts started by a monk who was inspired by the movements of a hunting mantis.

  • March 9, 2012
    Ryuuma
    I like your help, magnum12, I think I'll re-write the text basing it on yours, if you agreed.
  • March 9, 2012
    jbrecken
    Space Ghost's nemesis Zorak is a humanoid mantis.
  • March 9, 2012
    magnum12
    ^^ Go right ahead. Also be sure to update the examples list using the type definitions (the Mega Man bosses mentioned are both type 2's that used to be type 1).

    • The Scyther line in Pokemon. Usually depicted as type 1 (unless angered then they can start acting like a type 2 though not an evil one) though one of the earlier episodes of the anime had a type 2 that was evil. The line Took A Level In Bad Ass around the Diamond and Pearl generation.
  • March 10, 2012
    Ryuuma
    ^ Done. To jbrecken and SNDL: I'll need a little more description, them being humanoid mantises alone is not enough. And to Backward Thgindi M, that's Animal Motif, there's not a real mantis, so I'm not sure if it counts.
  • March 10, 2012
    magnum12
    The Thri-keen race in Dungeons And Dragons, are typically True Neutral but act like type 1.
  • March 10, 2012
    BackwardThgindiM
    Okay, you're probably right.
  • March 10, 2012
    SharleeD
    Quibble: The mantis-aliens from Chess With A Dragon aren't homosexuals, they're hermaphrodites. The cannibalism is correct.

    • The thranx from Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series look like giant mantids, but turn out to be the most peaceful, ethical, and community-minded race in the books. One prominent thranx character actually learned his martial arts techniques from humans.

    • Mantis spirits in Shadowrun are far from pleasant, as they share other bug spirits' need to possess human victims in order to perpetuate their kind. The fact they prefer to prey on other kinds of bug spirits makes them occasional allies-of-convenience for Ares and others campaigning against the bugs, however.

    • In Perdido Street Station, the reMade rebel/terrorist Jack Half-A-Prayer was an escaped criminal whose arm had been replaced with a giant mantis claw. A militia spy he kills is found with the claw's pincer-marks on both sides of her neck.
  • March 11, 2012
    TonyG
    Subverted with Manny from A Bugs Life, a Large Ham Stage Magician who's not threatening in the least.
  • May 5, 2012
    Ryuuma
    Bump
  • December 9, 2012
    Onitatsu
    Bump
  • December 9, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    This example is a sort of YMMV thing, as most people see the Visitors in the TV show V-2009 as reptilian under their human-looking facades (albeit with a hive-insect-like social structure), but their queens' practice of devouring their mates after fertilization is a trait shared with female praying mantises.

    (Arguably the Vs are sort of a composite of reptilian (scaled skin), hive insect, mantid, and scorpion (the deadly tail) traits.)
  • December 9, 2012
    KZN02
    BIONICLE: Takadox is mantis-like post-Pit Mutagen change, as his design was based on the mantis shrimp.
  • December 9, 2012
    SharleeD
    Is this one Up For Grabs? It doesn't seem to have been updated by the OP in some time...

    • Mantids are commonly seen, and often victorious, on Monster Bug Wars.

    • In the Spellsinger series, the Plated Folk are ruled by a preying-mantis queen. She routinely eats courtiers who offend her, fail her, or simply can't get out of her way fast enough when she gets upset.
  • December 9, 2012
    Karalora
    The Dresden Files: One of the Denarians, Tessa, has a mantis-like alternate form. Definitely a Type 2--she's up for whatever causes the maximum amount of chaos and suffering for humanity.
  • December 9, 2012
    SharleeD
    ^^^^ Not sure mate-eating really rates the neo-Vs as an example of this trope, as that behavior is just as commonly associated with spiders as mantids.
  • December 9, 2012
    Shrikesnest
    Web Original:

    • A particularly bizarre example occurs on Homestar Runner during Strong Bad's reading of That Time Of Year by Leomard Sportsinterviews (found in the Decemberween Short Shorts cartoon.) Instead of reading "Decebmerween is almost here! Get ready," Strong Bad reads, "De giant mantis is almost here. Get ready to be pistol-whipped, snowman!" with illustration to match. The mention of pistol-whipping a snowman in proximity to a giant mantis suggests that this may be a really slight reference to the MS T3k version of The Deadly Mantis, in which a similar joke is made.
  • December 9, 2012
    Onitatsu
    To Sharlee D: sort of yes, is just that the original sponsor Ryuuma decided to take a loooooong pause from TV Tropes. I've decided to "bring back" all his unsolved YKTTW.
  • December 9, 2012
    MetaFour
    • Spacetrawler references mantises' reputation as dangerous when Yuri, well on her way to Unhinged-ville, gets her arms replaced with robotic, mantis-like laser-scythes.
  • December 9, 2012
    Chernoskill
    • The Shadowrun Universe has mantis spirits, which can manifest as human-mantis hybrids. They are not evil per se, but their mindset is so alien to humans that their actions and ambitions are seen as evil anyway.
    There's also a man-sized giant mantis critter.
  • December 14, 2012
    Onitatsu
    To ^ and ^^ good, but please, also try to add a "class" to the examples, as shown in the text. I do believe, however, that these are type 4 (^^) and type 2 and 1 mixed? (^).
  • December 14, 2012
    Chernoskill
    The Shadowrun ones are both type 3... The Giant Mantis Critter for sure, the insect totems... well, they're Eldritch Abominations, in the form of humanoid Mantises.
  • December 14, 2012
    captainpat
    See Type Labels Are Not Examples. This page needs to be rewritten without all the references to type 1, 2, etc...
  • December 14, 2012
    TheHandle
    • I'm disappointed no-one mentioned Portal2 Cave Johnson and his Mantis Men.
  • December 14, 2012
    Larkmarn
    I recommend the trope be renamed to "Slaying Mantis."

    It's just as clear and concise, but the pun adds a lot, in my opinion. Just saying.
  • December 15, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Aversion or Subversion: in MANTIS the Mantis is a good guy, and he doesn't look much like a mantis.
  • December 15, 2012
    StarSword
    Western Animation:

    EDIT: Example cleaned up to make more sense.
  • December 15, 2012
    Onitatsu
    To Larkmarn: Pun? What pun?

    To captainpat: so, I have to remove that precious tidy order because, in short, most tropers are too lazy to see what's the "type" about?
  • December 15, 2012
    captainpat
    Type labels tend to encourage zero context examples on the trope pages and work pages so we don't allow. This page is not gonna be able to launch as it right now.
  • December 15, 2012
    Onitatsu
    Uhm, how about removing the "type X" from the examples list and keep the ones in the description?
  • December 15, 2012
    Larkmarn
    To onitatsu: The pun in "Slaying Mantis"... because it sounds like Praying Mantis.

    Hell, even "Preying Mantis" would would well.
  • December 15, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    Does the Humongous Mecha from Halo 4 called the "Mantis" count?
  • December 17, 2012
    Onitatsu
    ^^ Oh. Well, I'm pretty much deaf to puns, but I don't know how others may take it. I thought of Deadly Mantis as in the Mantis looks, well, Deadly.

    ^ Well, if it's also shaped like a giant mantis or has mantis-like elements (like, dunno, the large scythe-like limbs) then yes. I believe it does belong to the fourth category of the list in the description. If, however, is just named Mantis but is more like a Non Indicative Name, then no.
  • December 23, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    Live-Action TV

    Babylon 5's first season had the crime boss N'Grath in Downbelow, who was an Insectoid Alien resembling a praying mantis.
  • January 2, 2013
    Onitatsu
    Hey, this seems be doing well... no hats yet?
  • January 31, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ... still proposing a rename to either Slaying Mantis or Preying Mantis.

    ... I'm not picky.
  • January 31, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    How about Menacing Mantis? It would continue the Added Alliterative Appeal trend of Scary Scorpions and Creepy Centipedes...
  • January 31, 2013
    KTera
    • Members of the Mantis race from FTL Faster Than Light do bonus damage in hand-to-hand combat. Their in-game description calls them a "vicious warrior race".
  • January 31, 2013
    BearyScary
  • February 8, 2013
    Onitatsu
    ^^^ Menacing Mantis... that sounds cool! Anyone else voting for Menacing Mantis?
  • February 8, 2013
    BearyScary
  • February 8, 2013
    Desertopa
    "Real life martial arts style try to copy the mantis. It is a VERY close range fighting style."

    Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu (which, incidentally, is the style Toph's earthbending is based on,) is a very close range fighting style. Northing Praying Mantis Style (also known as Seven Star Praying Mantis Style,) is a style of unrelated lineage which utilizes much longer range techniques, including whipping, circular blocks and high kicks, as well as signature "mantis hook" hand techniques which use three fingers (imitative of a mantis's claws) to strike vital points.
  • February 8, 2013
    Tallens
    • The Space Pirates of Metroid, depending on the game, tend to look more or less like giant mantises.
  • February 9, 2013
    aurora369
    A bunch of mantis-like bugmen appear in The Slayers season 1, among Rezo's beastmen. Little characterization is given beyond "big creepy crawlies".
  • February 9, 2013
    AgProv
    literature: in the Discworld, the Assassins' Guild School has gone co-educational and now treaches young ladies how to inhume with style and grace. One of the all-female houses of study, supervised by Miss Alice Band, is variably described as Tump House and as Mantis House depending which side of the continuity error you're on. it is interesting that an institution teaching girls how to kill should take as its mascot the Praying Mantis - a creature where the female is famed for biting the male's head off after his usefulness is over, and devouring his body. What are we teaching young girls these days...
  • March 2, 2013
    Tallens
    Bump
  • March 2, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Still suggesting changing it to Slaying Mantis.
  • March 25, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    This isn't a trope unless you associate the mantis-like appearance with one particular pattern of personality or narrative use. Just "list every mantis-like creature in fiction" is not a trope. It will just encourage Zero Context Example's.

    The four different depictions, if tropeworthy, are probably separate tropes. They should not be lumped together. At the very least "serene, calm martial artist" has no resemblance at all to the other depictions.
  • March 28, 2013
    Tallens
  • March 28, 2013
    AmyGdala
    ^^Agreed, not a trope! Disciplined Warrior Mantis is a trope (and can be lumped with other disciplined warriors). Giant Mantis is a trope (and is currently correctly lumped with other giant monsters). "List of all mantises, tropes be damned" is not a trope.
  • March 28, 2013
    Telcontar
    Are mantises special in fiction above other insects? Are the traits shown here (which encompass most portrayals of many insects, as Amy said) unique to mantises or can they be found in other creatures? I think the latter, and I do not think that this is a good trope as written.

    In the hypothetical that it is, or in case it gets significantly changed/split, a good name for one related trope would be either Slaying Mantis or Preying Mantis (both prefereable to Menacing Mantis).
  • April 3, 2013
    Spark9
    Guys, a list of mantises in in fiction is Not A Trope.
  • April 3, 2013
    Damr1990
    no, but how mantises and mantis-themed characters are portrayed in fictoin, IS A TROPE, however i agree we may want to avoid Zero Context Examples and Label descriptions only
  • April 3, 2013
    StarSword
    Agree with Arcades' suggestion of splitting this into subtropes, possibly with a supertrope to catch non-subtrope examples.
  • April 20, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    I like Slaying Mantis or Menacing Mantis. Preying Mantis is a little too subtle of a pun, and will encourage the 'list of mantises in fiction' behaviour.
  • August 27, 2013
    AgProv
  • August 27, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ That's not an example, but just a comic strip with mantises in it. They behave exactly like normal mantises would (minus the talking), and they're not even Big Creepy Crawlies.

    EDIT: The Berserk example is a bit lacking in context so I wrote a new one:

    Anime and Manga
  • September 11, 2013
    Snicka
  • September 11, 2013
    darthcaliber
    Son Of Godzilla introduces Kamacuras (also known as Gimantis in a bad English dub)into the Godzilla franchise. Already giant prehistoric preying mantises they get mutated by radiation to grow even larger. However, while they do pose a serious threat to the humans and even Minya, Godzilla manages to take them out very easily. Kamacuras appears in Godzilla Final Wars where it now has a chameleon like camouflage ability and puts up a better fight but is still killed by Godzilla without much effort.
  • September 11, 2013
    JonnyB
    In World Of Warcraft, the Pandarens' main enemy is an insect-like race known as the Mantids.
  • September 11, 2013
    Alucard
    In Re Boot, the first system we see an aged Enzo and AndrAIa enter has him go off on his own to put a bullet in the head of a virus modeled after a typical giant mantis.
  • September 12, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Game
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • (Thri-kreen example)
      • The 1st Edition Monster Manual II had the Giant Mantis. It was 12 feet tall and had 10 hit dice (10-80 Hit Points). It could grab and hold prey helpless, doing 3-12 Hit Points of damage per combat round until death. It could camouflage itself in order to perform ambush attacks.
  • September 12, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Warcraft III: The Crypt Lords evoke this trope: their body has the same limb distribution as a mantis (four legs supporting and two huge claws), but is much thicker and stockier, like a beetle the size of a rhino.
    • Warhammer 40 K has the Mantis Warriors, a chapter of Space Marines with a curious mutation that gives them supremely enhanced reflexes, but at the cost of irreversible tunnel vision.
      • The Lictor is a stealthed Tyranid unit with massive mantis-like claws.
  • September 13, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    agreeing with Slaying Mantis!

    anyway, if i understand this correctly, this trope is, referring to the bullet points:

    • 1. someone who uses Mantis Style martial arts and is probably named/themed around a Mantis.
    • 2. a character themed after the more predatory side of mantises.
    • 3. exactly what it says.
    • 4. anyone who is Little Bit Beastly or is an anthro Mantis? just the claws seem pretty limiting. what if the character is a Mantis girl who eats mens' heads but doesn't have claws?

    EDIT:

    Videogames
    • The Empusa of God Of War is the "fourth type", as it has claws for hands. bonus points for Empusa being an actual genus of mantises.
  • September 14, 2013
    DAN004
    We don't need the typing I think. All the examples are already exemplify one of the types above anyway.
  • September 14, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    fine with me. the one who'll add the example can just edit that.
  • September 14, 2013
    sgamer82
    • World Of Warcraft introduced the insectoid Mantid in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. While primarily enemies, you do quests for one particular faction of them.
  • September 14, 2013
    arbiter099
    since people have mentioned it but no has written a proper example:

    • Portal 2: Implied by Cave Johnson's messages over the intercom. Instead of being injected with praying mantis DNA, the test subjects are told that they will be battling an army of Mantis Men, presumably the result of said DNA experiment Gone Horribly Wrong (or right, one can never be sure with Aperture Science).
    "Pick up a rifle and follow the yellow line. You'll know when the test starts."

    • Lost Planet: one of the primary enemy types is an Akrid that resembles a giant praying mantis full of glowy orange T-Eng. They come in an even larger, deadlier variety that is best fought in a Humongous Mecha. A yet larger variant serves as a Boss Battle.

    Throwing my vote for Slaying Mantis, the pun is too fun
  • September 16, 2013
    Alucard
  • September 17, 2013
    DAN004
    Deadly Mantis is good as it is, but I'd like Slaying Mantis too.
  • April 30, 2014
    DAN004
    Buuuuuuump
  • April 30, 2014
    Elfkaiser
  • April 30, 2014
    DAN004
    May I grab this? (FYI I haven't officially grabbed this one... yet.)
  • May 1, 2014
    Arivne
    ^ The OP Ryuuma hasn't posted in this YKTTW in almost two years and hasn't edited a trope or work page on this site in almost that long, so I'd say they're long gone.

    In other words, go ahead.
  • May 1, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ yay.
  • July 24, 2014
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth. The Hollow Earth has giant mantises the size of a large horse. They will attack any creature up to their own size, lashing out with their forelegs at blinding speed.
  • July 24, 2014
    arbiter099
    League Of Legends: Kha'Zix is a man-sized intelligent interdimensional winged mantis monster with an obsession for hunting prey, consuming it and evolving himself to become more deadly.
  • July 24, 2014
    DAN004
    Gonna edit this later >:D
  • July 24, 2014
    Koveras
    • In the default Pathfinder setting, Golarion, the mantis god Achaekek is the pantheon's resident assassin and the divine patron of all Professional Killers of the setting, particularly of the universally-feared Red Mantis guild that worships him.
  • July 26, 2014
    DAN004
    uh, bump for now
  • July 26, 2014
    DAN004
    Added examples. Phew!
  • August 1, 2014
    IndirectActiveTransport
    Where do people get the idea female mantis eat their mates? Sure, they can, but so can a scorpion if her mate is not careful. Spiders much more commonly eat the male, who often gives himself up willingly.

  • August 4, 2014
    randomsurfer
    ISTR reading that the experiment which showed female mantises eating their mates stared with staving the females, so they'd eat anything.
  • August 4, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ so uh, you think I should remove the fourth point?
  • August 5, 2014
    Snicka
    ^ Certainly not; while it is debated how common and/or natural it is that female mantises eat their mate's head, the stereotype remains; female mantises will always be portrayed as Black Widow types.
  • August 5, 2014
    DAN004
    Are we in consensus with the title? If yes, I can launch :D
  • August 8, 2014
    DAN004
    Final bump
  • August 8, 2014
    littlemissmuffet
    • Zorak from Space Ghost is a 7 foot tall green mantis and foe of the eponymous hero.
  • August 9, 2014
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • It Came from the Late, Late Show. The Giant Mantis Monster is 200 feet long and can bite, crush and stomp hapless Cast Members. After being awakened in the Arctic by atomic testing they make their way to civilization to begin rampaging.
  • August 11, 2014
    DAN004
    What would be the indices? I only know Animal Tropes.
  • August 11, 2014
    jormis29
    • Magic The Gathering: Averted by the Nanotuko of the Odyssey block. They are mostly benevolent druids who lived a life of strong respect for nature and protected the Krosan Forest.
  • August 11, 2014
    Snicka
    ^^ Well, there's Invertebrate Index.
  • August 12, 2014
    Ramone490
    I believe Preying or Slaying Mantis would be better names because Deadly Mantis, along with being the name of a film that isn't the Trope Namer, implies it is referring to just villainous Mantises.
  • August 12, 2014
    Tallens
    Slaying Mantis more or less implies the same thing as Deadly Mantis.
  • August 12, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ uh, I don't think those two imply "villain", just "The Dreaded". Though I prefer Slaying Mantis.
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