The daughter trope of OurMonstersAreDifferent and CallARabbitASmeerp.

So your characters are on an adventure in a MagicalLand, and they naturally run into a mythical creature. Said creature is then identified in the text or dialogue by the name of a similar (or not) mythical being or fantasy creature. Cue a moment of confusion for the viewer.

This could be employed just to underline in red crayon that [[OurMonstersAreDifferent Your Monsters Are Different]]. Alternatively, of course, the writer did no research -- ''or'' did [[ViewersAreGeniuses a little too much research]], finding an extremely obscure name or form of a familiar creature. This is a common cheat when fishing for names for PaletteSwap {{Underground Monkey}}s.

This isn't quite SadlyMythtaken as the very fact that the writer ''knows'' that mythical creatures have specific names implies doing some research. (Sadly Mythtaken is more for TheThemeParkVersion / Disneyfication of classic myths.)

In case you're wondering, the most commonly accepted generic term for [[{{Pegasus}} Winged Horses]] is "''pterripi''" (which is Greek for, well, ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin). However they're often simply called "pegasi/pegasus" after the most famous example -- see AKindOfOne.

Compare IstanbulNotConstantinople, which is similar but for place names.

When a completely fantastical character is named after a commonly-known creature, see CallASmeerpARabbit, which is a sister trope. The title is a takeoff on CallARabbitASmeerp, and is a reference to one of the best-known examples.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'':
** There's an in-story example when the group encounters a monstrous dog creature with multiple heads. Nodoka, being the high-fantasy book fan, identifies it as Orthrus by its snake-head tails. But at the same time, it has three heads total like Cerberus (whereas Orthrus had two), so she can't really identify it as anything. [[spoiler:This probably serves as a ChekhovsGun because the person who conjured it (it was actually an illusion) was just a child with likely not much knowledge on mystical consistency]]. Note that in some myths, Cerberus is depicted with a snake tail or with snakes on his back.
** They later encounter a dragon. Nodoka and Yue briefly get caught up in a discussion of whether it's technically a wyrm before realizing that a ''gigantic fire-breathing lizard'' is charging them and decide it doesn't really matter that much.
** Later on, Yue and her classmates fight against a creature called a "Griffin Dragon". The only thing about it that was Dragon-like was a scaly tail and a pair of horns. Oh, and the BreathWeapon.
* Gryphon from ''Anime/{{Bakugan}}'' is actually portrayed as a winged, three-headed monster with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail instead of a monster with a bird's head and wings and a lion's body. This more closely resembled a chimera.
* The witches from ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' don't resemble most versions. They aren't humanoid magic users, but {{Eldritch Abomination}}s that feed on human emotion and live in Labrynths. Their familiars also aren't animals, but rather similar monsters that are subservient to them.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Dream of ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' has three guardian beasts, one of which is a winged horse. This character is also identified as a hippogriff. Given that [[ViewersAreGeniuses this is Neil Gaiman writing]], it's likely an Creator/ENesbit tribute (see Literature below). Also, the dragon (four legs) is called a wyvern (two legs) - possibly Neil knew what he was talking about but none of the artists did.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* [[KrakenandLeviathan The Leviathan]] from ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'' is actually still referred to in-film as "a mythical sea serpent", but it is actually a giant mechanical lobster.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks'', the Dazzlings' original Equestrian forms resemble hippocampi, but are called "[[EnthrallingSiren sirens]]" due to their MindControlMusic powers similar to sirens of Greek mythology. Seeing as ponies are the dominant life form of Equestria, this could also be considered a take on SirensAreMermaids.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' the giant, reptilian, mountain dwelling creatures are called "Banshees" by the humans. Granted, hearing the call of such a creature very well could signal the end of your life (the largest of which, called the Toruk, actually even means "the last shadow", as in the last one you'll ever see), but one would think that the first thing that came to mind when the humans saw them would be a ''dragon.''
* The Kraken from ''Film/{{Clash of the Titans|1981}}'' isn't the giant squid or crab monster of Scandinavian myth, but some kind of gigantic pseudo-Greek mermonster. In the original mythology, the sea monster that was going to destroy the city of Argos (unless they sacrificed Princess Andromeda) was called Cetus. (Which, incidentally, is where we get the scientific term ''cetaceans'', meaning whales.)
* In ''Film/DragMeToHell'', the classic "man-goat" demon that is after the (female) protagonist is oddly called a lamia, a creature with vastly different representations in the folklore of different European countries but that is always said to be female and most often [[EvilIsSexy a beautiful seductress]]. This is acknowledged in one scene where the demon's shadow briefly resembles that of a young woman before morphing into its usual figure.
* An early draft of the first American ''Film/{{Godzilla|1998}}'' featured a rival kaiju called the Gryphon; however, it is described as an amalgam of [[HybridMonster mountain lion and bat]] rather than the traditional lion and eagle.
* ''Film/SpyKids 2: Island of Lost Dreams'': At one point Juni refers to the [[MixAndMatchCritters half gorilla, half tarantula]] creature that's been following him as a centaur. Its actual name seems to be a "[[PunnyName spider monkey]]".
* In ''Film/MirrorMask'' there are a lot of catlike creatures with human heads. In Myth/ClassicalMythology, such creatures are known as sphinxes, but the one of them that [[RiddlingSphinx asks a riddle]] is identified in the script as a Gryphon, which should be a hybrid of a lion and eagle.

* In Creator/ENesbit's ''The Book of Beasts'', the hero must summon a creature identified as a hippogriff to save his city from a dragon. The creature that appears is what most people would identify as a pegasus, a winged horse. To be fair, you can't say that a hippogriff ''isn't'' a winged horse (or that a pegasus isn't technically [[MixAndMatchCritters part horse, part bird]] for that matter). It's also possible that Nesbit figured that the word pegasus must only refer to ''[[AKindOfOne the]]'' Pegasus. Although Pliny the Elder mentioned Pegasi living in Aegypt. So the idea of numbers of Winged Horses existing is OlderThanPrint.
* An older example is Frank Stockton's short story, ''The Griffin and the Minor Canon'' from 1885, in which the eponymous monster -- by its description -- is [[OurGryphonsAreDifferent clearly a dragon]]. The story might actually be considered a LampshadeHanging on this trope, as the dragon sees a statue of a griffin and assumes that he must be of the same species and that "griffin" is what humans call him. Got all that? Sir [[ Arthur Charles Fox-Davies]] warns against confusing the two in his ''A Complete Guide to Heraldry'', so it was apparently a common Victorian mistake.
-->It had a large head, with enormous open mouth and savage teeth; from its back arose great wings, armed with sharp hooks and prongs; it had stout legs in front, with projecting claws; but there were no legs behind,--the body running out into a long and powerful tail, finished off at the end with a barbed point. This tail was coiled up under him, the end sticking up just back of his wings.
* One of the stranger examples is in the book ''Thorn Ogres of Hagwood''. A character wanders into the action about halfway through the story. He is a short humanoid with a big, big beard and he carries a lot of different tools and has a great talent for metalwork. He is [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame identified as a dwa...]] no, wait, he is a Pooka. [[TricksterMentor Pookas]] technically can [[AFormYouAreComfortableWith appear as dwarves]] but they also tend to be a lot weirder.
* Boggarts in ''Literature/HarryPotter'', which are not shapeshifters in English lore, but rather malicious fey that spend their time by infuriating housewives and maids through mischief and vandalism. The creatures in "Harry Potter" are more likely boogeymen, which fit the idea of a closet-dwelling demon that takes on one's worst fear.
** Rowling tends to do this a lot. Her "selkies", for example, aren't the [[SelkiesAndWereseals seal-human shapeshifters]] of Celtic lore, but merely a variety of merpeople.
* Creator/JRRTolkien was fond of using "worm", the Middle and Modern English cognate of Old English "wyrm", to mean "dragon" or "serpent". "Worm" in the sense of "dragon" is attested as late as the mid-19th century in Northern English, as in the ballads of the Lambton Worm and the Laidly Worm, so the Good Professor wasn't just making it up as he went along. It is even older -- in the old North Germanic languages, "orm" could mean a snake, a worm or a dragon by modern English terms.
* Although she never appears in the stories in person, it's made pretty clear that the Franchise/CthulhuMythos' Mother Hydra (a Mythos addition by August Derleth) has nothing to do with the Hydra of the Greek myth.
* In David Weber's ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' books, the humans who have settled on the planet Safehold have named many local animals after mythical beasts. Examples include the kraken (described as a cross between a squid and a shark, fitting the latter's place in Safeholdian ecology), the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragon]] (a massive, six-legged animal that comes in both carnivorous and herbivorous varieties), and the wyvern (''four''-winged flyers that are the Safeholdian analogue of birds).
* ''[[Literature/HellsGate Arcana]]'' has "{{Unicorn}}s," which resemble the usual image of unicorns only in that they have a single horn and are roughly horse-sized and shaped. They are black, with disproportionately long legs, powerful hindquarters, and ears like a bobcat -- and possess a mouthful of long tusks and sharp, carnivorous teeth.
* ''Elvenbane'':
** There are carnivorous "Alicorns" (also called "One-Horns", but guess what unicorn means) in this series as well. Traditionally, this word refers to either {{winged unicorn}}s or the horn of a unicorn, although it's likely a result of centuries of RecursiveTranslation from English <-> French (unicorn -> ''une icorne'' -> ''l'icorne'' -> a licorn -> alicorn).
** Some of the main characters are shapeshifting superintelligent dragons who are, in some details, [[OurDragonsAreDifferent quite different]].
* In ''Literature/TheCarpetPeople'', there's an enigmatic, prescient race which most people would call "[[OurElvesAreBetter elves]]" based on the description. Instead they're "[[OurWightsAreDifferent wights]]", which more commonly refers to minions of TheUndead.
* H. Beam Piper's ''Literature/LittleFuzzy'' shows humans [[TakeAThirdOption taking a third option]] when naming an alien animal. It's big and has a horn on its nose. Rhino? No, it has three horns. Triceratops? No. They call it a "damnthing".
* In Richard Ellis Preston Jr.'s ''Literature/ChroniclesOfThePneumaticZeppelin'', the aliens are called Martians. They're not from Mars. Whatever they are, it's much farther away. Nevertheless the name stuck even though characters are well aware that it's this trope.
* Creator/RichardSharpeShaver called his subterranean [[TheMorlocks morlock]]-like boogiemen "deros", which was apparently short for "detrimental robots", even though they weren't supposed to be mechanical at all.
* Creator/HPLovecraft uses the terms "Mi-go" (seemingly based on "Migou," the Tibetan equivalent of "Yeti") and "Abominable Snowmen" to refer to a horrific species of aliens, halfway between giant crustaceans and walking fungus. The only connection between Lovecraft's Mi-go and the mythological Yeti they share at least two names with is that they live in the Himalayas.
* The White Court vampires form ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' are [[HornyDevils succubi/incubi]] and have nothing in common with vampires apart from feeding (sexual energy not blood) off humans.
* Ifrits[[note]]A type of genie from Arabian mythology.[[/note]] in ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'' are [[MuggleBornOfMages Warlocks born without the ability to do magic.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Somewhat related: The creatures that attack Arthur and Merlin in the ''Series/{{Merlin 1998}}'' miniseries are [[RaptorAttack Raptors]] with squirrel-like patagia no matter ''how'' much Merlin insists on calling them griffons.
* Rather than wild, intoxicated and lustful female followers of the Greek god Dionysus, maenads in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' ExpandedUniverse are depicted as equally mad followers of an ancient vampire named Kakistos (whom Faith slew later) who were prime cases of BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil (or just plain crazy) and passed their tortures onto other unfortunate girls until their minds broke and served Kakistos as well.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'':
** This show did the same, except it used the name "Bacchae", which actually referred to Bacchus' ''human'' female followers (at least, the maenads were nymphs).
** They also had winged skeletons that were called "dryads" for some reason.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'':
** In the second season of ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', two Thunderzords were renamed from their ''Series/GoseiSentaiDairanger'' counterparts to other, similar creatures:
*** The Yellow Ranger's Qilin/Kirin mecha became a Griffin; probably to downplay the Chinese-ness of the original and because the audience wasn't expected to know what a Qilin or Kirin was.
*** The Blue Ranger's mecha was shifted from a Pegasus (by its Chinese name "Tenma" in ''Dairanger'') to a Unicorn. This could have been done to smooth over the change from the prior season's blue mecha, a Triceratops, by making a 'horned beasts' connection. The fact that the mecha has no wings but does have a small horn might have also played a part.
** In ''Series/SeijuuSentaiGingaman'' and ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'', the Green Ranger's parter/mecha was dragonlike with some birdlike characteristics. Both shows referred to it as a kind of bird and denied it was a dragon at all ("Gingalcon" - that's "Galaxy Falcon" - in ''Gingaman'' and "Condor Galactabeast" in ''Lost Galaxy'').
** ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder'' took a pterosaur mecha and referred to it as the Drago Zord.
* An odd variation on ''Series/{{Angel}}'' -- in Pylea, the dominant demon races refer to humans as "cows" (even though there's also an actual cow visible in the marketplace).

* Music/{{Radiohead}}'s "Weeping Minotaur" mascot really looks nothing like the traditional portrayal of the Minotaur as a man with a bull's head, but more like a cartoon demon, despite the use of the Minotaur being based on the mythology of the Labyrinth. At least it was still a horned humanoid.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* Sirens are often portrayed as being mermaid-like in appearance, even though they were originally closer to harpies in the myths. Several languages conflate the two names altogether. See SirensAreMermaids.
* The chimera is often portrayed as being similar in body structure to Cerberus, with the goat head, lion head (which is often depicted as a [[ male lion's head in modern media as opposed to the original female lion's head where the beast was generally considered in Greek mythology to be a female), and a dragon head all together in the front]]. In original Greek mythology the chimera had the [[ body and front head of a lioness, a snake for a tail (which is still present in modern depictions), and a goat's head on its BACK at the center of the spine]].\\\
To confuse matters even more, the term "chimera" is often used as a generic term to refer to ''any'' MixAndMatchCritters. Not so unsurprisingly, as genetic chimerism is when an individual body is composed of cells of different genetic origin. Non-identical mammalian twin embryos may for instance fuse during early gestation, and the resulting individual is in fact their own twin, and may be half male, half female.
* The Lobisome(m) of Galician-Portuguese folklore, despite meaning literally "wolfman", actually turns into a black [[MixAndMatchCritters dog-pig hybrid thing]], and has little in common with [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent most portrayals of the werewolf]] besides the fact that it is a human shapeshifter.
* Half the things in Eastern European folklore called werewolves (some variation on "vilkodlak") are actually vampires, with little or no wolfish identity remaining. The distinctions in the lore are often fairly minor; notably, in the book, {{Dracula}} turns into a wolf (or possibly a very large dog) on several occasions.
* See also any creature from folklore in the Americas which goes by a variant of the French word "loup-garou". E.g., the Haitian one? It's either a vampire or a witch, and it turns into a WillOWisp, not a wolf. The Cajun one can turn into a wolf, but it's usually just an invisible person—and they apply "garou"[[note]]From Frankish "garulf" and ''literally'' the same word as "werewolf".[[/note]] to any other animal shape-shifter (their folklore has people that can become cats and horses, for just two examples).
* There is a tendency to take the most well-known variant of a mythical and/or folkloric creature and apply its name across the board, even to cultures which, by virtue of distance or time, could never have heard of it. Examples include calling any large reptilian mythical creature a "dragon" or any blood-sucking monster a "vampire".
* Westerners have long used Western mythical names for a number of Chinese mythical creatures, even if they bear only the slightest resemblance to their supposed counterparts. Examples include calling the Fenghuang, or August Rooster, a "phoenix", even though it has no association with fire or rebirth, or the Qilin (a mythical creature with the head of a dragon and a body of tiger with scales) a "unicorn". Thanks to a Chinese Emperor, the word "Qilin," or its Japanese equivalent "Kirin", is used today as the name of the very real giraffe.
** Some have even suggested that the same sloppiness applies to Chinese dragons as well. The Chinese word for the creature we call a Chinese dragon is ''Long'' or ''Lung'', and they don't exhibit many of the characteristics associated with the "original" dragons of Europe, such as breathing fire or having wings.
* There is a creature in Romanian folklore called a zmeu. It's basically an ogre, but its name is probably derived from the Slavic word for dragon.
* There's a magical spirit in Ibero-American folklore know as Duende, a rather mischievous small creature know for being short, ugly and a trickster. For centuries, in Spanish speaking countries there wasn't a translation for words like [[OurGoblinsAreDifferent Goblin]], [[OurTrollsAreDifferent Troll]], [[OurElvesAreDifferent Elf]], or {{Leprechaun}} so they were all translated as Duendes even when in some cases the comparison is rather clashing. It's falling out of use since those words are now incorporated into Spanish vocabulary, "Elves" are now translated as Elfos -Probably due the success of HighFantasy literature towards the middle of the 20th century- but SantaClaus's helpers are still known as Duendes due to the GrandfatherClause. One of the reasons while the word Elfo was created is because of [[OurElvesAreDifferent the different types of elves that exist]], when they are portrayed as small creatures -- specially if they're ugly -- that translation works, but the tall, beautiful noble Elves of books like ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' look like the polar opposite of Iberian Duendes.
** In a similar way how Goblin was generally translated as "Duende" en Latin America but in Spain as "Trasgo", especially in Tolkien's works. The word Trasgo becomes more common in Latin America due to the movies. Troll is now accepted as an official Spanish word by the Royal Academy (the agency in charge of governing the language) but the correct spelling is the Latinized Trol (singular) and Troles (plural). Leprechaun still has not translation though some dubs use "Leprecón".

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* At least one article in ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'' magazine has suggested that game masters use this trope in-game to screw with their players' expectations, perhaps justifying it as disinformation spread by smart monsters.
* ''Tabletopgame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** Get a drink for this one. [[ Gorgons]] are a variation on the creature known as the [[ catoblepas]] in more classical bestiaries. The creatures that resemble the [[ Gorgons of Greek mythology]] are named [[ medusas]], after [[ the best-known Gorgon]]. And as if that weren't confusing enough... the catoblepas, by that name, has actually appeared in some editions of [=D&D=]. (And while -- unlike the previous two -- it's always ''fit'' one version or another of the catoblepas myth, it's always been notably distinct from the gorgon.)
*** Ditto for ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic III''.
*** Incidentally, the word "Gorgon" literally means "horror".
*** The use of the name "gorgon" for a bull-like creature comes from a particular medieval bestiary, which used that name for the catoblepas as a reference to the whole "kill with a glance" thing.
*** "Gorgon" as a name for a bull-like creature used to be a case in RealLife, when the Blue Wildebeest had the scientific name ''Gorgon taurinus'' (currently it is classified as ''Connochaetes taurinus'').
** Lamia have a confusing history in the real world due to Lamia's own historically confusing mythology as either a [[SnakePeople snake woman]], a [[{{Hermaphrodite}} hermaphroditic]] [[WickedWitch hag]], or as a [[MixAndMatchCritters four-legged beast with a woman's head & breasts]]. D&D actually traditionally uses a blend of the first and third options; the standard Lamia is a [[OurCentaursAreDifferent woman's upper torso with the body of a "beast" from the waist down]] -- although the artwork traditionally depicts it as a lion, an Ecology article for the race in ''Magazine/DragonMagazine'' claims they also resemble goats, deer and antelopes -- whilst there also exists a "Noble Lamia" that resembles the more iconic snake-person version, although lack of artwork for it in 2nd edition and the fact it wasn't converted until the "Expedition to the Demonweb Pits" adventure in 3rd edition has kept it obscure. The aforementioned Ecology article even brings in the second option, stating that whilst Noble Lamais are either male or female, Common Lamias are all hermaphroditic, with the upper torso of a woman but both male and female genitalia on their bestial incarnation. In 4th edition, however, the Lamia was changed to a swarming species of fey carnivorous beetle with a HiveMind that [[TheWormThatWalks hollows out the skin of its victims and wears it as a disguise to secure more prey]].
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'':
** The Innistrad block features "Griffins" that look an awful lot like hippogriffs... which is particularly confusing since "Hippogriff" is a separate creature type in the preceeding Scars of Mirrodin block. Mercadian Masques also features some decidedly odd [[ trolls]][[note]]Although see the justification in the flavor text[[/note]] and [[ satyrs]]. And then there're the Ravnican Nephilim which... [[ don't resemble]] ''anything'', much less Biblical giants. It's possible that they're a reference the 'Angels' of Evangelion, which in turn is also an example.
** The French edition of the game has an example born of a translation screwup : the [[SandWorm Wurm]] creature type called "guivre", which is french for... wyrm. Oops. Now go look for the flying lizard characteristics in a giant man-eating worm.
** And then there's the Magic original "Phelddagrif" (an anagram of "Garfield, Ph.D." in honor of the game's creator), which is a green-winged purple hippopotamus!
* ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh:'' Might be the case with the The Winged Dragon of Ra card. It looks more like a toothed griffin than a dragon.

* ''Franchise/{{Zoids}}'' doesn't even seem to care, considering robot triceratops with sharp pointy teeth are RuleOfCool, but to writ: the Liger series of Zoids are referred to as "lion type" and several four-legged-and-winged dragons are "wyvern type". For that matter, whether Franchise/{{Godzilla}}-esque or more like a giant monitor lizard, any big reptile zoid made before 2000 will be called [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology "tyrannosaurus type".]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'':
** Large predatory cats with bat wings and scorpion stingers. They are called manti... no, they are called ''wyverns''. Whether this is a mistake or an attempt to establish a distinct bestiary is unknown; however, these days "wyverns" are now almost exclusively referred to in the game as simply "wind riders".
** ''World of Warcraft'' also has what most people would call "wyverns" -- bipedal, non-intelligent dragons. They are called "proto-drakes", and as the "proto" implies, they are the precursor to regular dragons, which were bred from proto-drakes by the [[{{Precursors}} Titans]] via genetic engineering and magic.
** ''Hippogryphs'' in the Warcraft universe look like raven-stags instead of eagle-horses and are often green, making them more resemble the semi-mythological peryton (actually a fairly recent creation, by Jorge Luis Borges). The main reason for this is likely that hippogryphs are the official flying mounts of the night elves, while the rest of the Alliance already use regular gryphons as their flying mounts, so the hippogryph designs were meant to both strongly differentiate the two and to better fit the night elves that use them.
** Also, dryads are deer-night elf centauroid hybrids, not tree spirits (these are known as wisps).
** KrakenAndLeviathan have their names switched around: "Kraken" is a massive reptilian-fish-whale while "Leviathan" is a giant octopus.
* In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaAriaOfSorrow'', the Cockatrice and the Basilisk are pretty much palette swaps, although they are completely separate critters. Most of the time.
** The Gorgon/catoblepas issue (see Tabletop Games, above) is also present in ''Aria''. Likewise, one of the most iconic GodDamnBats of the entire series is the Medusa Head, which is very different from the other gorgons in the game.
** Tentacled face, clawed hands/feet, reptile like body, narrow wings from the back? Yup, sounds like Cthulh- oh wait it's Malachi. Then what's Cthulhu? Oh, it's a devil.
** Lilith? The ancient female demon, first wife of Adam? Nope, it's just a lesser succubus.
* The Kraken in ''WesternAnimation/CityOfHeroes'' is a giant blob monster that walks on two legs and resides in the [[ThatOneLevel Scrappy zone]] of Perez Park and is a member of the villain group, the Hydra, which are all human-sized blobs. Except ''the'' Hydra, which is another humongous blob with tentacles that stretch all over the city. None of which ought to be confused with Lusca, the giant octopus which terrorizes Independence Port.
* In a inversion of DinosaursAreDragons, ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' refers to it's dinosaur-like monsters as Wyverns just like the actual ones. The sub-type "Bird Wyvern" is basically a Velociraptor ranging in size from a leopard to a cargo container, while "Brute Wyverns" are small(for a given value of "small") Tyrannosaurs. True Bird Wyverns are actual birds. The third generation mixed it up even further with the addition of the Fanged Wyvern (basically a wolf with dragon scales) Zinogre and a type of Brute Wyvern that actually has usable forelimbs.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' has Centaurs, mutated creatures which look like... Well, [[ see for yourself.]] Though, given the setting, the characters probably just named the new monsters after the mythological creature that shared their basic body shape. The dev team certainly did.
* Quite common throughout the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series. The general need of the series to name all of its palette swapped monsters has occasionally led to creatures of legendary power lending their names to unimpressive enemies.
** Many gods and creatures have been portrayed as European-style dragons at some point. Bahamut, a gigantic fish that carries the world in Arabian myth, is almost always a winged dragon in the games.
** Catoblepas has varied game to game from a Basilisk recolor to a Behemoth recolor, and Cockatrices have been represented as birds, lizards, and serpents.
** The French version of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' calls Aeons Chimeras, which presents a problem when a bull, eagle and wolf-headed monster shows up... or not, since they call it a chimaira.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' has several Dragon-type Pokémon that look absolutely un-dragonlike, as well as Pokemon that look like dragons but aren't Dragon types.
** Altaria resembles a giant bird. It's meant to be a Peng (huge dragon-like bird) from Myth/ChineseMythology.
** Flygon looks very insectlike despite being part Ground-type, being that it's an adult antlion, which look like dragonflies and have the nickname "sand dragon", so Flygon's Dragon typing is a pun. Vibrava, which evolves into Flygon and shares its Dragon typing, is even more insectoid.
** Charizard, despite its draconic appearance, isn't a Dragon-type at all, but a Fire/Flying-type, though it is in the Dragon egg group. This is only made weirder in some languages where its name is based on the word "Dragon", such as "Dracofeu" in French. In [[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY Generation VI]], Charizard finally gets its Dragon-type...with ''one'' of its Mega Evolutions.
** Gyarados, despite being the poster boy for Dragon Rage, isn't a Dragon-type either. This one has a bit of FridgeBrilliance to it, as the legend that Gyarados is based has a carp climb a waterfall and be rewarded by the gods for its hard work be by being transformed into a dragon, but then later having the title of dragon stripped from it after it let its accomplishment go to its head and lead it on a destructive rampage.
*** Also, it was called ''Skullkraken'' in the English version, before it's name was changed to match the Japanese version. It doesn't look remotely like a cephalopod.
** Kingdra is based on a creature called a weedy sea dragon. Goomy is a dragon-type slug, probably based on the Blue Dragon sea slugs. Dialga isn't much like a dragon, though Palkia has more similarity to the European dragon, and Giratina's Origin Forme bears its resemblance to the Chinese dragon. Really, considering that most of the types don't refer to specific lifeforms (dragon being joined by bug and ghost in doing so), it's not surprising.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' seems to do this in-universe, with several very disparate creatures sharing the same name (in the original Japanese, at least). Apparently any small masked critter is a 'hiploop' and any large masked one is a 'zeeclock' whether insectoid, reptilian, or avian.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' has Octoroks that more resemble Deku Scrubs. According to one interpretation (which happens to be shared by series creator Shigeru Miyamoto) each ''Zelda'' title is a differently corrupted version of the same core story rather than an entirely new chapter in Hyrule's history, a notion which the unusual in-universe use of this trope would appear to support.
** In ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'', the Thunderbird has little resemblance to its namesake from Pacific Northwest Coast folklore.
* In Cornish folklore, a spriggan is a kind of goblin that can grow to giant size. In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'', it's basically a mix of a dryad and the Faun from ''Film/PansLabyrinth''.
** The dragons in the fifth game "Skyrim" are closer to Wyverns than to actual dragons.
* A few liberties were taken in the depiction of Greek myth's monsters in ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'', mainly for the sake of [[RuleOfCool Rule of Cool]].
** [[ Scylla]] looks fairly little like the [[ 6-headed, dog-waisted cursed nymph from Homer's Odyssey and the Ovid]], whereas Poseidon's Hippocampi half horse/half fish (or in this case, crustacean) mounts are often confused with leviathans.
** The [[ kraken]] looks suspiciously like the [[ Kraken]] from the ''Film/{{Clash of the Titans|2010}}'' remake. Notably, the kraken - along with several other monsters, including the Irish [[ Banshee]] and the Arabic [[ Roc]]) - isn't even from Greek mythology, so its presence in the game is clearly entirely in homage to ''Clash of the Titans''.
* Monsters from the ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' series are pretty much supposed to be exactly as humans know them. This is because they are mythological archetypes born out of humanity's collective consciousness, and as such the descriptions of their nature are more or less accurate, although the context in which you fight or recruit them is often not, because of the [[AllMythsAreTrue different mythologies forced to coexist]]. Also, the visual style of the series results in some monsters being noticeably different from the original mold. Most egregious are most versions of Cerberus, which looks like a snake-tailed albino lion rather than a three-headed canine (although the three-headed Cerberus was used in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' as TeamPet Koromaru's persona). This stems from the novels the series was based on, which portrayed Cerberos as having only one head.
* The Kraken from ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'', while being a giant sea creature that attacks ships, only resembles a kraken as far as that. It looks less like a giant multi-tentacled cephalopod and more like a giant green eel with a head that looks like a green Pacman with a bloody mouth and fangs and fire coming out of it, and a dimpled smile.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' has the problem with giving Wyverns four legs, though it often switches between the two. One time, even in the same game, as in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones Sacred Stones]]'', promoting a Wyvern Rider into a Wyvern Knight seems to result in the Wyvern losing its front limbs and thus resembling a true Wyvern. The remakes of the first and third games changes it so domesticated Wyverns have four legs and wild wyverns have two.
* In the first three ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' games, Wyverns have a serpentine body, a vulture's head, and feathered wings, while in the fourth game they look like [[DinosaursAreDragons a cross between a T-Rex and a pterosaur]]. To twist the knife further, in ''DQ V'', ''VIII'', and ''IX'', the original Wyvern design was renamed the Chimaera.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'', Wyverns have no legs at all; they're more like winged serpents.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Brooke from ''Webcomic/EerieCuties'' and her people are called "melusines," even though traditionally, "Melusine" was a specific individual - what she was was a "nixie." It would be like calling gorgons "medusas." OhWait, [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons that totally happens]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''
** [[ Liches]] are much more comparable to gargoyles (though the wings are not part of the monster design; they come from the prototyped crow).
** While we're at it, the trolls are are a race of [[CuteMonsterGirl Cute Monster People]] whose infant forms are reminiscent of [[BizarreAlienBiology insects]] and whose life cycle and physiology is just a tad [[ArtMajorBiology strange]]. While not a full example -- [[AllTrollsAreDifferent myths about trolls rarely agree on anything]] -- the ''Homestuck'' depiction was intended to be rooted more in the idea of [[{{Troll}} internet trolls]] (that's all the characters were before AndrewHussie decided to make them relevant to the plot), and as such are certainly divorced from the traditional brutish, man-eating monsters that live under bridges.
** Then Cherubs show up, and needless to say, the don't resemble [[ Classical Cherubs]] in anything but name.
* Webcomic/ModestMedusa's species is referred to as "the hydra" by the Prince of Yeld. Modest's mother's name is Gorgon, and her daughters all call themselves [[PlanetOfSteves Medusa]] until they decide that's too confusing. They're mostly just the [[OurMonstersAreWeird author's own invention.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** The term Alicorn to describe the WingedUnicorn, which later became AscendedFanon. The Term Alicorn usually refers to the theoretical substance of a Unicorn's horn, barring the fact there were already fan terms in play from previous generations ("Unipeg" and "Pegicorn" come to mind). TheOtherWiki traces the usage of "alicorn" to mean "winged unicorn" back to a book by Creator/PiersAnthony, originally written in 1984.
** The Windigos are named after the [[{{Wendigo}} cannibal monsters in Algonquin religion]], but are actually equine frost spirits that [[EmotionEater feed on hatred]] and bring EndlessWinter. Wendigos are, however associated with wintertime starvation so there is at least a connection to the original.
** The Tatzlwurm from "Three's a Crowd" is based on the Graboids from ''Film/{{Tremors}}'', and looks nothing like the creature from Swiss Alpine mythology, which has the front half of a cat and the hind half of a snake.