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[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/MagrunnerDarkPulse http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/multi-armed-multitasking_magrunner2_686.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[ObligatoryJoke He's a handy man.]]]]

->''Been up since 6:30, two days crowded into one\\
Put away the dinner dishes and my work still isn't done\\
If I had three arms, I could do what I need to do\\
There's too much going on to just get by with two''
-->-- '''Music/TroutFishingInAmerica''', "Two Brains"

You look in the mirror and see [[MultipleHeadCase three heads]] looking back at yourselves with [[ExtraEyes five eyes]] and [[MultiArmedAndDangerous seven arms]] and think to yourselves, how do we [[MultiWielding septo-wield]]? Or better yet, how can we write our book, cradle our baby, and make paper airplanes at the same time? Practice, that's how.

It is rarely explained how users of this trope have the coordination to pull all this off in the first place, since normal humans typically lack the skill to perform two different tasks with their hands. Justified in the case of extremely non-human entities which may have evolved to use their excess limbs in many different tasks at once with ease.

Please note this has surprisingly little to do with ExcuseMeWhileIMultitask, if you're thinking about wielding weapons with many arms you [[RequiredSecondaryPowers still need some form]] of Multiarmed Multitasking; it just belongs in MultiArmedAndDangerous. If your extra limbs are for walking, they belong in SpiderLimbs or possibly HandyFeet. And then there's if it's just a VertebrateWithExtraLimbs.

Also note that some cases of Multitasking may be considered more {{Heroic|Ambidexterity}} than others.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Ceres from ''WesternAnimation/ObanStarRacers'', an Animesque racing series co-produced by French and Japanese animation studios.
* In ''Manga/ShinryakuIkaMusume'', Ika appears to specialize in this with her tentacle hair.
* ''Manga/FrankenFran'' oftentimes attaches her head to a special multi-armed body in order to perform particularly complex surgery.
* Briareos Hecatonchires of ''Manga/{{Appleseed}}'' fame possesses a cyborg body that includes the ability to control more limbs then he actually has, to the point of apparently running a aircraft carrier by himself, but is mostly shown using multiple guns in his [[MiniMecha Landmate]].
* Umba, Alita’s engineer in the Motorball arc of ''[[Manga/{{Gunnm}} Battle Angel Alita]]'', has a specialised robotic harness that features 20 arms, all of which he can control independently and perform the work of 10 engineers simultaneously. He uses them to replace all four of Alita’s limbs, damaged in a crash, in under six minutes.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Ironwood}}'', first mate Tif makes full use of all four of her hands while having a threesome with a djinn and a crewmate.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* There was once a ''VideoGame/MortalKombat'' fan fic where Sheeva was driving somewhere with the heroes, and had two arms on the wheel, one on the transmission, and one out the window (and no, it doesn't mention how she learned to drive).
* ''WebAnimation/ZanyToTheMax''
** Sekoila Zarner has four arms and four legs, and she is a great example of this trope.
** Usually subverted with [[ConjoinedTwins Wacka and Wakka]]. They have two arms each, so if the arms on Wacka's side are doing one thing, and the arms on Wakka's side are doing another, it doesn't count. However, if one of Wakka's (or Wacka's, it doesn't matter) arms is holding a book, while her other arm is holding a glass of water, it ''does'' count.
* Briefly shown in an ''Fanfic/OversaturatedWorld'' sidestory. Ditzy is outside her universe and sees Sunset Shimmer holding the thing together with twelve arms, while using an additional four to heal the cracks in reality. Sunset also grows an additional head just to talk to her without getting distracted.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Kamaji in ''Anime/SpiritedAway'' operates the bathhouse boiler room. He has six spidery arms, which he uses to multitask: reaching into the hundreds of herb cabinets, pouring boiling water, grinding potions with his yagen (related to a mortar a pestle, but using a wheel in a narrow trough) and responding to wooden tags on ropes signalling requests from the bathhouse above.
* There's a multi-armed sushi chef in ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc''.
** In ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'', a multi-armed monster is seen cramming for his final exams by holding up several textbooks and reading from them, and another is seen drinking several cups of coffee to stay alert.
* And the guy in the octopus costume from ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'' uses the tentacles to hold glasses of wine. When he sees [[ItMakesSenseInContext a dog in a mermaid costume chasing two frogs wearing a disembodied giraffe's head]], he looks baffled and [[NoMoreForMe pours out all his drinks at once]].
* Long John Silver in ''Disney/TreasurePlanet'' isn't multiarmed but still manages to pull off this trope in the kitchen, thanks to his multi-purpose cybernetic arm with little armlets.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/MenInBlack'':
** The twin {{Mission Control}}s.
** The mail-sorting alien in ''[=MIB=] 2''.
* From ''Film/SpiderMan2'', Dr. Octopus does this when he built the new sun-generator machine, with his long metallic tentacles. Justified by the tentacles being intelligent in their own right and each one having its own camera.
* ''Franchise/StarWars: Film/AttackOfTheClones'' featured a restaurant run by a chef with four arms named Dexter Jettster a Besalisk, subverted in that the diner owner has only one primary arm.
* At one point in ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'' the {{Voluntary Shapeshift|ing}}er T-1000 grows a third arm to pilot a helicopter and load a machine gun at the same time.
* The bar-tending octopus cartoon from ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit''.

* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'':
** In ''Literature/LifeTheUniverseAndEverything'', Arthur's extreme UnknownRival Agrajag has built a Temple of Hate devoted to him, the centrepiece of which is a giant statue of Arthur with multiple arms. He discovers that each one of them depicts one of the many, many times he has (unwittingly) caused the death of one of Agrajag's former incarnations.
** Subverted with Zaphod Beeblebrox, who gave himself a third arm and then does nothing at all with it. (Except, supposedly, ski-box.)
* A four-armed OneManBand appears in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}} We R Igors Diary''.
* Vyr Cossont in ''Literature/TheHydrogenSonata'' had an extra pair of arms added so she could play the fiendishly complicated instrument required for T. C. Vilabier's 26th String-Specific Sonata For An Instrument Yet To Be Invented, catalogue number MW 1211 (aka, the Hydrogen Sonata).

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep Pilot]] from ''Series/{{Farscape}}''. One episode notes that having the ''mental capacity'' for Pilot's specific brand of multitasking is very uncommon and more important than the multiple arms themselves, because Pilot is required to manage and regulate dozens on-board functions at once.
* The short-lived 1970s sci-fi sitcom ''Series/{{Quark}}'' featured Interface, a four-armed alien woman who worked as an intergalactic switchboard operator connecting calls between ships.
* ''Series/KamenRiderFourze'' has the Hand Switch, which equips Fourze with an extra arm (attached to his ''leg'') that's outright stated to be for this. While he works on solving a math problem, it ''disassembles a bicycle''. Thus far its not been shown to have any type of combat potential.

* Played with in Music/TroutFishingInAmerica's "Two Brains", in which the narrator proposes growing extra legs and arms (and a second brain) to keep up with everyday life, so he can do more at once without being stressed out. The first verse is quoted at the top of the page.
* "Who Taught These Idiots to Drive?" presents the image of the jackass at the wheel occupied so:
-->One hand dials his cell phone\\
One hand combs his hair\\
One hand's on the radio\\
And one is in the air

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* Myth/HinduMythology several gods (Shiva for one) are usually depicted with multiple arms each holding symbolic instruments like scales and scythes and swords.
%%* Different Buddhas are sometimes depicted with many arms.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' has the Multiple Arms [[PointBuildSystem advantage]] available for player characters, but you also need to buy special coordination to use them fully- otherwise they are only good for holding things, not performing more than one task at a time.
** In ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', the Ananasi werespiders can take this ability, though it's a fairly high-level spell, since it requires a fair deal of mental skill.
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000''
** Techpriests often add an extra limb that's practically an industrial tool on a robotic arm. They often add on tentacle-like mechandendrites which can serve many roles, including manipulation. And then with their practically unlimited options for body modification, they can take on more traditional takes of this trope.
** When it comes to Chaos and natural mutations, extra limbs isn't common, but it's far from unheard of.
* One of the Shticks in ''TabletopGame/{{Toon}}'' is the Coat of Arms, a device that produces a practically unlimited number of mechanical arms with gadgets on them that let you do multiple things at once.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/MagrunnerDarkPulse'', the six-armed Gamaji is the main character's mentor and can seen in-game manipulating multiple data screens and holding a cup of coffee at once.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'':
** Played with and subverted -- and then played straight for good measure. One of the mercs, a guy named Andy, belongs to a race of four-armed aliens. During his initial interview, he bragged about quad-wielding handguns, but Thurl just pointed out that he still only had two eyes, so no matter how many weapons he's got, he'll only hit one target. There has been incidents where he HAS used it, though -- including wielding a two-handed assault-rifle and two handguns at the same time -- but it's been purely for intimidation-value. Or sometimes just for fun.
** Schlock himself has demonstrated on multiple occasions that he can not only form extra hands when needed, but also use them quite effectively. The fact that he can have multiple eyes (if he can get hold of them) means he can aim at multiple targets.
* ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}}'':
** Spinnerette uses her six arms to knit -- all at once and while using silk she produces herself.
** Later on, Sahira [[PowerCopying copies Spinnerette's arms]] in order to clean her apartment faster. She's then seen to clean 6 different surfaces at once.
* ''Webcomic/AtArmsLength'':
** When not fighting evil, Ally, Reece and Sheila are not above using all four arms to cut corners in mundane activities.
** The entire Enchanter race, which is naturally four-armed, is built around this trope.
* Snap Fahrenheit, the titular main character of ''Webcomic/HowToRaiseYourTeenageDragon'', is a four-armed dragon.
* Lakshmi in ''Webcomic/BratHalla'' is based on the Hindu goddess of the same name which gives her the requisite four arms. [[http://brat-halla.com/comic/214-pantheon-games-mischiefs-in-the-air/ Puts them to good use on a date with Loki]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* An episode of ''WebVideo/RoosterTeethShorts'' involves Geoff having additional arms surgically added so he can communicate over more social networks at once.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Elzar in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''. The DVD commentary mentions that the animators went out of their way to have each arm work independently rather than have each arm on either side move in the same way.
* WesternAnimation/{{SpongeBob|Squarepants}} does this taking care of the baby scallop, probably other times as well.
* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squiddly_Diddly Squiddly Diddly]]'' did this sometimes. (In fact his pic on Wiki/TheOtherWiki shows him playing three musical instruments at once.)
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', a cutaway shot of the Earth shows a vaguely Hindu-esque being frantically pressing buttons in the core, apparently to keep the world working. He pauses briefly to wipe his forehead with one of his hands and sigh with exhaustion.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales'' featured a dragon with six limbs running a concession stand.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'', the titular character has to clean a room, and his dad tells him "Many hands make light work." He imagines it literally. Buster does the same later in the episode.
* Spydra in ''WesternAnimation/GadgetBoyAndHeather'' does this at times in a few episodes, making full use of her six arms simultaneously.
* In the cancelled series ''WesternAnimation/{{Stripperella}}'', a supervillainess with six arms pilots a blimp all on her own, with two hands on the wheel and the remaining four on switches and buttons. She also utilised six pistols at one go in the earlier portion of the episode, allowing her to use them as a makeshift machine gun.
* ''WesternAnimation/GravedaleHigh'' features Miss Webster, a six-armed teacher who frequently made use of all of her arms during class.
* The ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' episode "Raising Gazorpazorp" features the Gazorpazorpians, with brutish males and human-like females with six arms, four growing from the torso and two on the side of the head.
* Invoked in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'', where [[GadgeteerGenius Mr. Cat]] experiments on Quack Quack in a laboratory so that he can do this.