[[quoteright:331:[[WesternAnimation/{{Jabberjaw}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jabberjaw.jpg]]]]

The trope where a whale, dolphin, porpoise, walrus, seal, fish or shark walks on its tail-fin. This trope is especially common in cartoons, since filming this is difficult with a real fish. In reality, tail-fins are rather floppy, and won't support the animal's weight, however, it looks more natural than walking on the pectoral fins.

In some settings where they exist, [[OurMermaidsAreDifferent mermaids]] can also be seen moving about like this.

This is a sister trope to FeatherFingers.


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]

* This is an explicit rule of mermaids in ''Anime/OnePiece.'' Around age thirty their tail fin splits in two enabling walking on land (among [[TheMermaidProblem other things]]). They're also capable of moving around on their tailfins, however.
* Mermaids in ''Manga/ACentaursLife'' are shown to do this in shallow water, sort of, with several feet of tail extending behind them.


[[folder: Commercials]]

* Charlie Tuna from the [=StarKist=] commercials.


[[folder: Comics]]

* Subverted with ''ComicBook/FishPolice''. While the characters are in the upright, fins-at-bottom position of most humanoid fish characters, they seem to float more than walk.
* One of Wonder Woman's suitors in the Silver Age comics was Manno the Merman, who is commonly depicted standing up on his fins when on land. However, he doesn't walk, [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_rLV-ZuNPwJ4/SYjnedh2AuI/AAAAAAAADf8/9hsInlKJeew/s1600-h/WonderWoman125_14.jpg he hops.]]


[[folder: Films -- Animated]]

* The fish in ''WesternAnimation/SharkTale'' sometimes walk on their tailfins, but they stay in the water the whole time.
** This is averted with the shark characters, however.
* Averted with the fish and mermaids in ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'', except during the "Under the Sea" song, where several fish walk (or more specifically, dance) on their tail fins underwater.
** ''WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse'' normally averts this with Ariel, who either shows up as a human or a mermaid, but plays this straight with her father King Triton.
** Some Franchise/DisneyPrincess artwork showing the princesses in a group will for some reason show Ariel as a mermaid, and ''standing on her tail!''
** Melody briefly does this in the sequel as well, more specifically during "For a Moment".
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/MadagascarEscape2Africa'': The shark that follows Morty onto the beach, through the jungle and into a volcano doesn't walk, it just lunges forward repeatedly.
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/IceAge4ContinentalDrift''. Flynn, the seal, doesn't walk, he moves by slithering along [[TruthInTelevision much like real seals do on land]].
* Willie the Operatic Whale in ''Disney/MakeMineMusic'', although it was only during his daydreams.
* Fish from ''Disney/ChickenLittle'', being a [[LiteralMetaphor literal]] FishOutOfWater, walks around on land on his tail fin.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action]]

* The fish character in the Disney live action ''Film/AliceInWonderland2010'' by Tim Burton.


[[folder: Literature]]

* Mentioned in ''Literature/TheLorax'' when the Humming-Fish are sent away:
-->"They'll walk on their fins and get woefully weary."


[[folder: Live-Action TV]]

* Implied to be done by the "land shark" that showed up in early seasons of ''Series/SaturdayNightLive''.


[[folder: Video Games]]

* Averted in ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' -- mermaids don't walk while on land, they hover. (You can see some "magic sparkles" around Irenes's tail when she's moving.)
* Also averted in ''VideoGame/KingdomRush: Frontiers''. The [[FishPeople Greenfins, Deviltides, and Redspines]] don't have tails, and [[{{Cthulhumanoid}} Bluegales]] inch forward caterpillar-style.
* The Franchise/{{Pokemon}} [[VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon Popplio, Brionne and Primarina]] don't walk on their tail fins, but they can stand up for a few seconds; this is mostly seen when Primarina uses its signature move.

[[folder: Western Animation]]

* Kenny and the other fish characters in ''WesternAnimation/KennyTheShark'' walk on their tailfins on land.
* In one of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''' WesternAnimation/TreehouseOfHorror episodes, the dolphins who took over the earth walked on their tail flukes when on land.
* Dr. Blowhole from ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' stands on his tail flukes and moves around on a scooter but he cannot walk.
* WesternAnimation/{{Jabberjaw}}, as seen in the page pic, is a shark that walks upright on his tail fin.
* Misterjaw in the 90-minute ''WesternAnimation/ThePinkPanther'' show.
* Pearl, the whale character from ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants''.
** Rare pelvic fin variant: The fish characters in the same show.
* An old cartoon had a female competitive swimmer win the trophy, we pull back, revealing her to be a mermaid, and she walks away by tip-toeing on her tail fin.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animalympics}}'' has the dolphin Mark Spritz and the orca Ono Nono stand and walk on their flukes.
* The water-fearing mermaid in ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'' was guilty of this on occasion, though most of the time she slithered like a snake instead when on land. Averted with the older mermaid who was Jake's principal, who hid her tail by using a wheelchair.
* Sometimes played straight and sometimes averted in Creator/ChuckJones' adaptation of ''TheWhiteSeal''.
* The fish in ''WesternAnimation/FishHooks'' all stand and walk this way. And yes, their tails look absolutely ''nothing'' like actual fish tails at all!
* Narwhal on ''WesternAnimation/AlmostNakedAnimals''.
* Sally the fish on ''WesternAnimation/ScaredySquirrel'' plays this straight, although she also averts [[FeatherFingers Fin Fingers]].
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' featured an ImagineSpot where Buster Baxter envisions himself as a fish-based supervillain who lives inside a space station shaped like a giant crab, and plans to take over the world by hypnotizing fish so that they do this to "eat land people."
* Played with with Darwin the goldfish from ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball''; Darwin's grew actual legs and feet right about where pelvic fins would be on a real fish.
* [[OurMermaidsAreDifferent Marina]] from ''WesternAnimation/ZigAndSharko'' does this whenever she's on land. (Maybe intended as a poke at this, in the episode "Fancy Footwork", she actually has a ''harder'' time standing and walking on her magically-granted legs than she normally does on her tailfin)
* Moosel from ''WesternAnimation/TheWuzzles''.
* [[TheBully Bull Sharkowski]] and [[InsufferableGenius Phineas Porpoise]] from ''WesternAnimation/MyGymPartnersAMonkey'' walk on their tails, which is a little strange in the show as all the other fish and cetacean students and teachers are unable to do so.
* Most fish characters from ''WesternAnimation/SharkyAndGeorge'' either walk on their tailfins, or swim just above the sea bottom.
* Shark from ''WesternAnimation/WordWorld''.


[[folder: Real Life]]

* This trope occurs in water in a standard training routine in shows with trained dolphins.
** Small wild dolphins and porpoises sometimes do this too, while "spyhopping" to look above the surface.
* Played with by sea lions, who turn their rear flippers out to the sides when they hunch their way along level ground, alternately supporting their weight on their widely-spread front flippers and paired hind ones. They can't, however, actually stand upright this way.
* Sirenomelia, also called mermaid syndrome, occurs in human beings when the legs fail to separate in the womb. It is linked to kidney problems.
* The tripodfish, which uses its elongated tail fin and pectoral fins to prop itself up on the seabed.