Created By: MarqFJA on November 4, 2012 Last Edited By: Arivne on September 25, 2016

Bug People

Humanoids with insect/arachnid-like characteristics.

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Trope
A specific category of (usually) intelligent fantasy/sci-fi species, with arthropod-like physical characteristics. Females may or may not be Cute Monster Girls.

Super Trope to Spider People. Compare with Snake People, Fish People, Cat Folk, and other such tropes.

A race of these may be also a case of Bee People, though that trope is not limited to insect-like beings.


Examples

Anime

Film
  • David Cronenberg's film The Fly has human(oid) Jeff Goldblum turning into a fly after a teleportation-related accident. His behaviour, dietary preferences and eventually morphology become increasingly fly-like over the course of the film. This is in contrast to the original film of the same title, which sees the main character's head and arm being replaced by that of a fly's immediately, with no further progression (if I remember correctly...).
  • One of Sid's "surgically-operated-upon" toys in Toy Story looks like a bug man.

Tabletop Games
  • Shadowrun: When insect spirits are invested into human beings they sometimes become "flesh form", which are human/insect hybrids. They are not pretty to look at.
  • In Cyberpunk 2020 characters can get extensive body modifications that give them, among other things, bug eyes, antennae, and other insect-like stuff.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the Thri-Kreen, a race of bug people who don't live for as long as humans do, but never need to sleep.

Video Games
  • Darkstalkers gives us Q-Bee, who is a bee-based Cute Monster Girl.
  • Bloody Roar has Stun, who is more or less a Body Horror version of this trope. - ZCE
  • In the game Portal 2, you can hear a recording down in Old Aperture from when one of their tests apparently went bad...
    Cave Johnson: For those of you who volunteered to be injected with Praying Mantis DNA, I have good news and bad news. The bad news: The test's been delayed indefinitely. The good news: We have a much better test for you. Fighting an army of Mantis Men! Pick up a rifle and follow the yellow line. You'll know when the test begins.
  • Dark Sun has the Thri-Kreen, since they're from the Dungeons & Dragons universe as noted above, available as a player character race.

Webcomics
  • Kevin & Kell has an odd mix of both normal-sized and -shaped bugs, normal-shaped but person-sized bugs, and these. Ironically, a few Bug People characters are friends with Lindesfarne and Fenton, who are insectivores.

Western Animation
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) series had Baxter Stockman, who metamophosed into a humanoid fly thanks to a freak accident.
  • Space Ghost episode 5 "The Web". The villainess Black Widow has large humanoid/ant henchmen who can fire energy beams from their antennas.
Community Feedback Replies: 40
  • November 5, 2012
    JonnyB
    The Bugaloos?
  • November 5, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Shadowrun. When insect spirits are invested into human beings they sometimes become "flesh form", which are human/insect hybrids.
  • November 5, 2012
    reub2000
    Not to be confused with people from the Bug-Dniester culture.
  • November 5, 2012
    StarSword
    How is this different from Insectoid Aliens? That already covers humanoid insectoids like the Geonosians and Gands in Star Wars, as well as Giant Spider races like Confederation Of Valor's Miktok.
  • November 5, 2012
    tardigrade
    David Cronenberg's film "The Fly" has human(oid) Jeff Goldblum turning into a fly after a teleportation-related accident. His behaviour, dietary preferences and eventually morphology become increasingly fly-like over the course of the film. This is in contrast to the original film of the same title, which sees the main character's head and arm being replaced by that of a fly's immediately, with no further progression (if I remember correctly...).

    Also, is it "bug", "arthropod" or "insect"? Arthropod seems too broad, bug too narrow -- and insect just right!
  • November 5, 2012
    MrRuano
    The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 series had Baxter Stockman, who metamophosed into a fly thanks to a freak accident.
  • November 6, 2012
    aurora369
    This is a subtrope of Insectoid Aliens, covering the more humanoid ones like the Star Wars' Geonosians rather than the fully insect-like, like the Killiks from the same universe.
  • November 6, 2012
    Chernoskill
    Tabletop RPG
    • In Cyberpunk 2020 characters can get extensive body modifications that give them, among other things, bug eyes, antennae, and other insect-like stuff.
  • November 7, 2012
    MarqFJA
    ^^ More like the inverse of that -- this trope covers all insectoid/bug-like humanoids, alien or not. Compare it to Snake People, Fish People, Cat Folk, etc.

    ^^^^ I'm trying to include arachnids in the grouping, and I figured crustacean-based humanoids aren't that different.
  • November 7, 2012
    StarSword
    ^ Insectoid Aliens also covers fantasy ones like thri-keen from Dungeons And Dragons (think humanoid praying mantis).
  • November 8, 2012
    Arivne
    Western Animation
    • Space Ghost episode 5 "The Web". The villainess Black Widow has large humanoid/ant henchmen who can fire energy beams from their antennas.

    Watch it here
  • November 8, 2012
    Dawnwing
    Does this count since we didn't actually see them?

    • In the game Portal 2, you can hear a recording down in Old Aperture from when one of their tests apparently went bad...
      Cave Johnson: For those of you who volunteered to be injected with Praying Mantis DNA, I have good news and bad news. The bad news: The test's been delayed indefinitely. The good news: We have a much better test for you. Fighting an army of Mantis Men! Pick up a rifle and follow the yellow line. You'll know when the test begins.
  • November 8, 2012
    FantasyLiver
    One of Sid's mutant toys in Toy Story look like a bug man
  • November 9, 2012
    BOFH
  • November 19, 2012
    MarqFJA
    @Star Sword: Wouldn't that be a misuse of the trope? If a mod once told me that it's not proper to put fantasy-based examples under Bizarre Alien Biology...
  • November 22, 2012
    Andygal
    The Trolls from Homestuck are humanoids with a reproductive cycle that resembles that of social insects.
  • November 23, 2012
    MiinU
    for the El Hazard example in the OP: her name is Diva.
  • March 12, 2013
    Floria
    If specific individuals that aren't part of a species count, Angel Salvadore in the X-Men comics and movieverse is a human mutant with fly-like characteristics (insectoid wings and acid spit), although much more of a Cute Monster Girl than poor Jeff Goldblum.
  • March 13, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In a Treehouse Of Horror episode of The Simpsons Bart gets The Fly treatment, but mentally the big Bart-with-fly-head is the fly, while tiny fly-with-Bart-head is Bart.
  • March 13, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    • Wriggle Nightbug from Touhou is a firefly youkai. Physically, though, she looks just like a Bifauxnen with two insect antennae.
  • March 13, 2013
    MarqFJA
    ^^^ They count as far as I'm concerned.
  • March 13, 2013
    Chernoskill
    Videogames

    • In the 1990 Cinemaware game Antheads: It Came From The Desert II, some of the townsfolk randomly transform into evil sugar-craving ant-human-hybrids during dialogue, and the player has to shoot their antennae to make them become human again.
  • March 13, 2013
    TonyG
  • August 22, 2013
    DAN004
    • In One Piece, Kabu and Bian of the Tontatta Kingdom of dwarves ate Zoan Devil Fruits Bug Bug Fruit, Model: Stag Beetle and Bee respectively, allowing them to turn into humanoid bugs.
  • August 23, 2013
    Snicka
    King Candy/Turbo in Wreck It Ralph after he fuses with a Cy-bug.
  • August 23, 2013
    Snicka
    Do only species of bug-people count, or any kind of part human, part insect creature? Many of the examples are single creatures, but the description clearly says "species".
  • August 23, 2013
    DAN004
    I guess single creatures count.
  • August 23, 2013
    Generality
    Hmm, we've got Insectoid Aliens. The distinction is rather fine, I fear.
  • December 31, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump?
  • July 26, 2016
    DAN004
    I think Kirby Triple Deluxe has this for Taranza and his boss.
  • July 28, 2016
    FerreTrip
    Popped in D&D, Dark Sun, and Kevin and Kell.
  • September 23, 2016
    DAN004
    Bump
  • September 23, 2016
    MiinU
    The El-Hazard, Darkstalkers, and Bloody Roar entries are all ZCE. Each one is just the name of the character and what series they're from.
  • September 23, 2016
    CactusFace
    In Video Game/Stellaris there is an entire species group called Arthropoid which is made up of various insectoid races.
  • September 23, 2016
    DrNoPuma
    Comic Books
    • The Batman villain Killer Moth was once transformed into a humanoid moth monster called Charaxes.

    Here's a picture that might make a good page image.

    Other (I'm not sure which category this example belongs in)
    • The Mothman is a cryptid that resembles a humanoid creature with moth wings.
  • September 23, 2016
    Avengium
    I think insectoid aliens already cover the same trope.
  • September 23, 2016
    DAN004
    ^ not all characters here are "aliens".

    That is a subtrope of this.
  • September 24, 2016
    Chabal2
    • Berserk: Rosine's Apostle powers let her transform humans into bugs, turning children into fairy-sized Bee People, while adults are used to preotect her realm from outsiders. Rosine herself has a moth/butterfly as her Apostle form.
    • Gigantomachia has man-beetle hybrids who live in the desert, and use rhino-sized beetles as mounts.

  • September 24, 2016
    Avengium
    ^^ In TLP there is an exacerbated custom of making supertropes of existing tropes...

    So this is for all kinds of stories, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, terror, comedy, drama, musical?

    I think the same (or a similar) description of Insectoid Aliens fits here. The writer/creator wants an individual that is weirder than a Petting Zoo People but more recognizable than a total Starfish Alien. (Or Starfish Being).

    So, if this is the supertrope for all the Bug People. This can contain loads and loads of Examples.
  • September 25, 2016
    MarqFJA
    We have an article for Missing Supertrope Syndrome for a reason, you know. Containing "loads and loads of examples" does not sound like a negative, anyway.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=rbt8patcer7kchitgj9qo0zz