Created By: Noaqiyeum on February 20, 2013 Last Edited By: Arawn444 on June 7, 2013
Troped

Monstrous Humanoid

Monsters with a humanoid form.

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Monstrous Humanoids are beings that look (somewhat) human, but definitely aren't.

They may be the result of a monster that starts undergoing transformations that make it more human instead of more monstrous, or a human transforming into a monster. Expect a Game Face from the more "human" of them. While Lovecraftian Superpowers can act as a qualification, they aren't a requirement, and be careful the example doesn't qualify for Humanoid Abomination instead, as Eldritch Abominations in human form rarely qualify for this trope.

Uncanny Valley is related, but distinct from this trope, as monstrous humanoids, while human-looking, are still recognizably monstrous, while Uncanny Valley creeps people out because the monster looks almost indistinguishable from humans except for the one thing that is "off" about them.

Many mythological beings often take this form - as a physical manifestation of intelligence and civilization in the human form and assorted forces of wilderness in the monster, the result being a supernatural liminal being.

In fantasy and horror, monstrous features can be used as an outward indicator of the evil within, marking the character as villainous. Such examples are listed under Red Right Hand (and oftentimes Unfortunate Implications).

A Super Trope to Beast Man, Cute Monster Girl, Winged Humanoid, Horned Humanoid, Fauns and Satyrs, Monster Knight, and Monster Lord. More monstrous examples of Vampires and Wolf Man/bipedal wolf forms of Werewolves may qualify as well. Many Spirits are often depicted this way.

Compare and contrast Humanoid Abomination.

Examples on this page are only those which qualify but do not fit properly into any of the Sub Tropes.


Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
  • Bleach:
    • Sosuke Aizen, post merging with the Hogyoku. He undergoes four One-Winged Angel transformations, each more monstrous than the last, culminating as a Hollow-like monster with three Milky White Eyes, six wings with Hollow masks and eyes with horizontally slitted pupils, three huge holes in his body, facial skin splitting apart to reveal a black skull, and his right hand completely fused to his Zanpakuto.
    • Vasto Lorde-class Menos and Arrancar qualify; the former being immensely powerful Hollows that have assumed a humanoid form after devouring thousands, if not millions, of other Hollows; and the latter being Hollows that have broken their White Mask of Doom to attain a humanoid form and Soul Reaper-like powers.
  • Alucard from Hellsing. He was once a man, specifically Vlad III Tepes, aka Dracula, but over centuries of consuming people he acquired Lovecraftian Superpowers so far beyond what a normal vampire is capable of that he almost qualifies for Humanoid Abomination. In his 'normal' form he's not quite human - you can't fit that many pointy teeth in a human mouth - and he almost always manifests his "true form" as an extension of his human form.
  • InuYasha:
  • Claymore
    • The titular warriors are a squad of women who were infused with the flesh and blood of monsters called Yoma, giving them similar abilities at the cost of risking becoming a monster themselves.
    • The Yoma themselves qualify, being humans infected with a parasite that transforms them into flesh-eating humanoid monsters.
  • The Apostles of Berserk all used to be humans before offering up something they cherish the most - usually a loved one - to transform into man-eating, often-Lovecraftian abominations. The Godhand take that process a step further.
  • Naruto:
    • Orochimaru appears to be a tall, thin man with long black hair. However, he also has Hellish Pupils, fangs, insane regenerative capabilities, and a variety of snake-themed powers. His true form, after years of self-experimentation, is a giant snake-like monstrosity composed of hundreds of smaller snakes, and he can take over other peoples' bodies and use them as his own until his power burns them out.
    • Kabuto Yakushi, Orochimaru's righthand man, becomes one after he infuses himself with Orochimaru's, Juugo's, Suigetsu's, Karin's, and the Sound Four's DNA, gaining Hellish Pupils, scales all over his body, all of Orochimaru's and the others' powers, a massive snake where his navel used to be, and the ability to turn himself into a humanoid dragon of sorts.
  • In Spirited Away, the staff and guests of Yubaba's bathhouse are Youkai of various degrees of anthropomorphism, though they're all there to work or relax just as would be expected in any human tourist trap.
  • There are so many examples from the Digimon franchise that to list them all would require its own page.
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[[folder: Comic Books]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: Film]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: Mythology]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
  • An actual creature type in Dungeons & Dragons, differentiated from normal humanoids by their monstrous or animalistic features. Examples include ogres, hags, gnolls, centaurs, and yuan-ti.
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[[folder: Video Games]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
  • The Rake is a wiry human figure, pale and hairless with cavernous eyes. It is often depicted as an unnaturally vicious predator, whether of human intelligence or animal cunning; however, it is also related to the mara of folklore, as it is described as slipping into bedrooms at night and watching the sleepers or leaving inexplicable slashes on their arms.
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[[folder: Western Animation]]
  • Marceline from Adventure Time is a vampiress who can transform into a variety of Eldritch Abomination-esque forms at will, usually for the sake of tormenting Finn and Jake. It's also worth noting that her father, Hunson Abadeer, is a blue-skinned soul-sucking humanoid demon with similar powers, which stem from the Nightosphere Amulet.
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Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • February 22, 2013
    Serocco
    Big Mom from One Piece. She has an oversized head even by One Piece standards, sports entirely pink eyes and produces acid from her mouth. Her tendency for cannibalism suggests that she isn't entirely human.
  • February 22, 2013
    StarSword
    Tabletop Games:
    • An actual creature type in Dungeons And Dragons, differentiated from normal humanoids by their monstrous or animalistic features. Examples include ogres, hags, gnolls, centaurs, and yuan-ti.
  • March 13, 2013
    Arawn444

    How's this for a better description. It may be a bit on the broad side, but if we redefine Humanoid Abomination as an Eldritch Abomination in human(oid) form - which is what appears to be going on - it's better than nothing:

    Monstrous Humanoids are beings that look (somewhat) human, but definitely aren't. They may be the result of a monster crossing the Bishonen Line or a human going One Winged Angel, and include a broad spectrum that spans between Uncanny Valley and Humanoid Abomination. Expect a Game Face from the more "human" of them, and while Lovecraftian Superpowers aren't a requirement they can act as a qualification - just be careful the example doesn't qualify for Humanoid Abomination instead. A supertrope to Beast Man, Cute Monster Girl, Winged Humanoid, Horned Humanoid, Fauns And Satyrs, Monster Knight, and Monster Lord. More monstrous examples of Our Vampires Are Different and wolfman/bipedal wolf forms of Our Werewolves Are Different may qualify as well.

    Related to Bishonen Line, One Winged Angel. Compare and contrast Humanoid Abomination

    Additional examples to the ones listed above:

    Anime and Manga

    • Sosuke Aizen, post merging with the Hogyoku. He undergoes four One Winged Angel transformations, each more monstrous than the last, cumulating as a Hollow-like monster with three Milky White Eyes, six wings with Hollow masks and eyes with horizontally slitted pupils, three huge holes in his body, facial skin splitting apart to reveal a black skull, and his right hand completely fused to his Zanpakuto.
      • Vasto Lorde-class Menos and Arrancar qualify; the former being immensely powerful Hollows that have assumed a humanoid form after devouring thousands, if not millions, of other Hollows; and the latter being Hollows that have broken their White Mask Of Doom to attain a humanoid form and Soul Reaper-like powers.

    Videogames

  • March 13, 2013
    thewriter
    Any demon in Charmed, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, or Wesen in Grimm.
  • March 13, 2013
    Arawn444
    Alucard from Hellsing. He was once a man, specifically Vlad Tepes III, aka Dracula, but over centuries of consuming people he acquired Lovecraftian Superpowers so far beyond what a normal vampire is capable of that he almost qualifies for Humanoid Abomination.

  • March 14, 2013
    Arawn444
  • March 15, 2013
    Arawn444
    Hakudoshi should be changed to Hakudoshi so that it is comprehensible and marginally accurate.
  • March 16, 2013
    Arawn444
    Something for the video-game section:

    Alex Mercer, James Heller, and the Evolved from the Prototype series are the avatars of a viral bioweapon called the BLACKLIGHT Virus, which grants them an array of Lovecraftian Superpowers. Elizabeth Greene, the Big Bad of the first game, is a Humanoid Abomination who is the avatar for the beta version of the BLACKLIGHT Virus, REDLIGHT.
  • April 7, 2013
    Arawn444
    Video-Game:

    Animation:
    • Marceline from Adventure Time is a vampiress who can transform into a variety of Eldritch Abomination-esque forms at will, usually for the sake of tormenting Finn and Jake. It's also worth noting that her father, Hunson Abadeer, is a blue-skinned soul-sucking humanoid demon with similar powers, which stem from the Nightosphere Amulet.
  • April 8, 2013
    willthiswork
    No Face is not terribly humaniod, I am not sure I would count him.

    As a side note though, I love how the ZCE are at the bottom of the draft so I do not have to get all nervous that the thing is going to be launched with those guys not expanded on. I wish that were standard.
  • April 8, 2013
    Arawn444
    ^ I can fix a couple of those:

    Films:

    Mythology:

  • April 10, 2013
    Arawn444
    Anime and Manga:
    • Orochimaru from Naruto appears to be a tall, thin man with long black hair. However, he also has Hellish Pupils, fangs, insane regenerative capabilities, and a variety of snake-themed powers. His true form, after years of self-experimentation, is a giant snake-like monstrosity composed of hundreds of smaller snakes, and he can take over other peoples' bodies and use them as his own until his power burns them out.
      • Kabuto Yakushi, Orochimaru's righthand man, becomes one after he infuses himself with Orochimaru's, Juugo's, Suigetsu's, Karin's, and the Sound Four's DNA, gaining Hellish Pupils, scales all over his body, all of Orochimaru's and the others' powers, a massive snake where his navel used to be, and the ability to turn himself into a humanoid dragon of sorts.
  • April 15, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    I'm not sure about No-Face in particular either, but how about this to expand upon Spirited Away as a whole?:

    • In Spirited Away, the staff and guests of Yubaba's bathhouse are Youkai of various degrees of anthropomorphism -- though they're all here to work or relax just as would be expected in any human tourist trap.
  • April 15, 2013
    willthiswork
    Fixed the example indentation on the Naruto example.
  • April 16, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    Thanks for expanding this!

    This is a very broad supertrope, so it would probably be good if we expanded the definition beyond the comparison to Humanoid Abomination (which is definitely good). It'd be worth adding that many mythological beings, especially fay and youkai, will take this form - as a physical manifestation of intelligence and civilisation in the human form and assorted forces of wilderness in the monster, the result a supernatural liminal being.

    In fantasy and horror, monstrous features can be used as an outward indicator of the evil within, marking the character as villainous. Such examples are listed under Red Right Hand (and oftentimes Unfortunate Implications).
  • April 18, 2013
    MarqFJA
    Does this trope extend to human-looking beings (whether actually human -- including being a human-derived being/race like vampires -- or not) that can shapeshift into a preset alternate form that would fit this trope's criteria?
  • April 18, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    For the sake of summarising the conversation from the TRS thread, my original idea was for this page to be for things that are monstrous and humanoid simultaneously - by analogy with Winged Humanoid and Horned Humanoid. (The description specifies werewolves that have a wolfman form, for instance, rather than all werecreatures.) So if either the human-looking form is monstrous, or the alternate form is still humanoid, it could count. Otherwise not.

    But that's my opinion.
  • April 18, 2013
    Ekuran
    Yeah, although that may constitute a sub trope in and of itself. Maybe Our Werebeasts Are Different or something similar.
  • April 18, 2013
    MarqFJA
    Then makes me question why Alucard from Hellsing is listed as an example, considering that he looks perfectly human (even the ominously red eyes and pointed teeth are still "human") until he uses the more Lovecraftian Superpower side of his Shapeshifting to reveal what appears to be his true form -- that is, a chaotic mass of shadow that occasionally sprouts eyes and fang-filled maw (if he isn't manifesting a hellhound or some similar beast, that is).
  • April 18, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    I listed him under Lovecraftian Superpower when I removed him from Humanoid Abomination, too. :P
  • April 18, 2013
    Arawn444
    ^ He's listed here because he doesn't quite fit the bill for Humanoid Abomination and it was suggested that he be moved here instead. And his fangs are not human - you can't fit that many teeth in a human mouth - and he almost always manifests his "true form" as an extension of his human form.
  • April 18, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    Ah, makes sense. (I do think Lovecraftian Superpower is generally a better place than Monstrous Humanoid to put humans that can take on an eldritch appearance and such things, though.)
  • April 19, 2013
    MarqFJA
    Nevermind, misunderstood your post.
  • April 19, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    I'm going to add your elaboration on Alucard to his entry, to maybe help clear up future confusion.
  • April 21, 2013
    Arawn444
    I'm of the opinion that this may work as an example of Humanoid Abomination, but I'm hesitant to ask so I'm posting it here as well:

    Video-Games

  • April 22, 2013
    Morgenthaler
    Would particularely monstrous forms of Humanoid Aliens count as a subtrope? I'm thinking in particular of the Xenomorphs from Alien, which aside from their elongated heads are clearly humanoid (in fact, every monstrous bipedal creature that is not overly Avian probably counts due to how broad this supertrope is). The Aliens being likened to monsters is even something of a running theme in the series.

    What about Humanoid Plant Monsters?

    And going in a different direction, how about Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  • April 22, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    Mutant alien bio-organism doesn't sound like an Humanoid Abomination, so I think Dark Samus counts better here.

    I'm kind of ambivalent about humanoid aliens and plants. Xenomorphs aren't really very humanoid at all, comparatively, and it seems to me that humanoids that form advanced civilisations aren't monstrous enough - the list so far doesn't have any such so far, I think, and we already have an index for them.

    Why would Judge Doom count?
  • April 23, 2013
    Arawn444
    ^ Not even when, by Metroid Prime 3, Dark Samus is "composed of pure Phazon energy", and Phazon itself is the "blood" of an Eldritch Abomination Genius Loci?
  • April 23, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    ...well, that's different, then, isn't it? :P

    So... Alien mutated by the blood of a Genius Loci into an Energy Being that then possesses an humanoid suit of armour made of aforesaid blood, basically?
  • April 23, 2013
    Arawn444
    Pretty much.
  • April 24, 2013
    Morgenthaler
    ^^^^ I think the real issue here is what qualifies as humanoid (enough), and what qualifies as monstrous (enough) for this trope. It's open to a lot of interpretation with the current description. I think Judge Doom for instance looks distinctly human, except he's a toon and a psychotic murderer whose features just scream Uncanny Valley. Not all toons are monsters, but mixing it with a human appearance makes him look monstrous.

    Come to think of it, the "spectrum" description doesn't really make sense. Humanoid Abomination is NOT the opposite end of Uncanny Valley when it comes to unnatural humanoids. Humanoid Abominations can be anywhere from looking completely human to Uncanny Valley themselves to something only vaguely human. It's more "outside" this trope if anything.
  • April 26, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    ...both of those are really good points for discussion, actually. The 'spectrum' description doesn't make a lot of sense because it isn't really a trope about appearance, but about the being's nature. So yes, 'outside' this trope (how fitting!).

    However, I do think this trope is related to but mutually exclusive with Uncanny Valley. On the Uncanny Valley chart, there's a 'peak' marking the point where the ease-of-recognition is maximised. Moving to the right enters the uncanny valley, where the mixture of signals for 'human' and 'inhuman' are mixed and the brain reacts with confusion. Moving to the left, however, is the realm of the Monstrous Humanoid, where the brain recognises that it has definitive human features but is overall not human. Does that make sense, kind of?

    (Important note: We should probably not have that in the description solely on the grounds that it's kind of abusing the idea of the uncanny valley a bit. But it may help us clarify what we're looking for.)

    Arawn: ...trick-ky. I don't think it belongs here, then. It might go on Humanoid Abomination, depending both on its apparent intelligence and sapience, but I think I personally would put it on Animated Armour.
  • April 26, 2013
    Arawn444
    ^ When the armour turns translucent at the end of Echoes, you can see there's something inside, so Dark Samus doesn't qualify for Animated Armor.
  • May 2, 2013
    Scardoll
    Dark Samus is animated armor; she's the phazon suit stolen and used as food by Metroid Prime. The reason why she doesn't look like the Phazon Suit much anymore is because she has been absorbing that alien mineral radiation blood stuff (And she also doesn't have the original power suit to work with).
  • May 2, 2013
    Arawn444
    ^ Animated Armor is defined as a suit of armour that is empty and is either being controlled by magic or a spirit of some kind. You're right in that Dark Samus started off as Metroid Prime merged with Samus' DNA and a buttload of Phazon and wearing a corrupted version of the Phazon suit, but as seen in the final cutscene of Echoes, Dark Samus has a body underneath her armour, and is therefore not an example of Animated Armor.
  • May 3, 2013
    Morgenthaler
    ^^^^ If that's the direction it should go in, than we need to make sure that appearance is not stressed over nature in the description.

    There is a problem, though. If it's more about the being's monstrous nature than their humanoid appearance, that unfortunately starts to bring Humanoid Abomination back into the fold after all the effort to seperate the two. Even Eldritch Abomination's more succinct current description sums that trope up as [emphasis added] "a type of monster defined by its disregard for the natural laws of the universe as we understand them." (although I think calling EAs "monsters" is simplifying that trope too much; I would prefer "entity" or even "alien" as a proper shorthand) So while not strictly about appearance, I do think it's a useful measuring stick.

    That's a very useful distinction with Uncanny Valley, which I agree with. That means borderline cases like J.D. are excluded off the bat.

    As for the upper limit (when creatures become too monstrous to be recognizably humanoid) that will probably remain a bit more fuzzy, but it may be helpful to note with a supertrope as wide as this that not every vaguely human-looking biped counts. Or would that be too much stating the obvious?
  • May 5, 2013
    Arawn444
    ^^^^^^ & ^

    How about we reword the description from "They may be the result of a monster crossing the Bishonen Line, or a human going One Winged Angel, and include a broad spectrum that spans between Uncanny Valley and Humanoid Abomination." to "They may be the result of a monster crossing the Bishonen Line or a human going One Winged Angel, and while some cases simply hail from the Uncanny Valley others can verge on being Humanoid Abominations."? That gets rid of the spectrum thing entirely and rewords it to focus more on appearance.
  • May 18, 2013
    Morgenthaler
    I think that settles most of the issues with the trope. There are five hats now, so do we think this is ready to launch?
  • May 18, 2013
    Ekuran
    The description is still kind of shitty. The first paragraph, in particular, shouldn't have so many tropes replacing proper descriptions since it makes it look kind of clunky.
  • May 19, 2013
    Arawn444
    ^ Then how does changing "They may be the result of a monster crossing the Bishonen Line or a human going One Winged Angel, and while some cases simply hail from the Uncanny Valley others can verge on being Humanoid Abominations." to "They may be the result of a monster attaining a human(oid) form or a human attaining a monstrous form, and while some cases may simply appear off others can verge on being Humanoid Abominations." sound?

    Edit: Never mind. What's there works just fine.

    Got a couple for Comics:

    • Hellspawn in the Spawn comics, titular character included, are undead humans reanimated with necroplasm and bonded to a demonic symbiote, and possess a wide range of powers ranging from shapeshifting to limited reality warping.
    • Whenever Spider-Man's "Spider" part overtakes over the "Man" part he transforms into a feral arachnoid monstrosity, as seen during the "Man-Spider" and The Other arcs. His clone Kaine underwent a similar metamorphosis a la The Other after being killed by the Lobos siblings.
  • May 20, 2013
    Arawn444
    Would Venom, Carnage, and the other symbiotes from Spider Man count as "humans attaining a monstrous form" - via bonding to an alien parasite?
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