A Head at Each End
Twice the llama, twice the spitting.
In Real Life
, most animals' innards are basically tubes: a mouth at one end, an anus at the other, so food can be processed step by step as it passes from entry to exit. In fiction, it's entirely possible for creatures to omit the latter portion, and double up on the former: they'll have a spare head on the tip of a tail, or symmetrical bodies in which the forequarters of two animals — sometimes of the same species, sometimes different ones — are joined at the waist.
If the two heads have separate brains, or come from different species, expect plenty of arguments between the two
. Fridge Logic
issues of how some of these creatures relieve themselves are primly ignored
is the current Trope Codifier
, having inherited that role from the Pushmi-Pullyu.
Anime and Manga
- Played with the Orochi in Ranma ˝, which has seven small heads on one end and a single, mountainous head on the opposite end.
- Several Mykene War Beasts from Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger had a head at each end (an occurrence happened more often than you would think since ALL Mykene War Beasts had several heads: one of them was the Humongous Mecha's head and the other -or others- belonging to the human warrior fused with the mecha). This trope was used for first time in the Mazinger universe in the Mazinger Z vs. Great General of Darkness feature.
- In the comic strips of Cricket, a children's magazine, the earthworm is treated as two characters: its front end, George, and its back end, Tail. The pair of them have different personalities.
- Inverted in a Sesame Street comic strip in which Professor Drummond Bugle encountered a reptilian "beast with two tails". As he examined it, he discovered that it had a tail at each end.
- In the newspaper strip Nest Heads, one of Nick's imaginary insects is the Milli-Vanillipede. One of this many-legged creature's two heads sings, the other lip-synchs.
Films — Animated
- Zak and Ko of Zany to the Max.
- In the Pony POV Series, Discord ended up doing this to the Spa Twins, Aloe and Lotus, leaving them so badly traumatized they could hardly stand to touch each other afterwards.
Films — Live-Action
- In 9, the Seamstress is a mechanical horror with a doll's head at one end and the salvaged upper body of a soul-drained stitchpunk at the other.
- The Vanterviper from Gallavants has two heads as such...but one is male and the other female. And they hate each other so much, they even sing a weird song on their woeful plight.
- One of the less-aggressive animal encounters in The Croods is with the Trip Gerbils, lemur-like creatures joined at either end of a long striped tail.
- During the "Pink Elephants on Parade" number in Dumbo, two of the elephants cross through each other and briefly become this.
- In The Book of Life, Xibalba's staff animates as a snake with venomous heads on each end. Being bitten by one head puts Maria into a coma, while being bitten by both kills Manolo.
- Two hunters ask their guide to settle a dispute between them as to which animal is the angriest: the lion or the crocodile. The guide answers that it's neither, the angriest animal is the crocolion, a beast that's the front half of a lion and the front half of a crocodile joined in the middle. The hunters protest that this animal can't exist, being unable to poop. The guide answers "Why do you think it's the angriest animal of all?"
- An earthworm pops its head out of the ground and sees another earthworm do the same. The first earthworm says "Wow! You're the most beautiful worm I've ever seen! Will you marry me?" And the other earthworm says, "I can't, silly! I'm your other end!"
- In the Doctor Dolittle novels, the Pushmi-Pullyu is an antelope with two front halves, attached at the waist.
- In After Man: A Zoology of the Future, the terratail is a subversion: it has markings on its tail that make it resemble a venomous snake, allowing this small rodent to perform a Backup Bluff, complete with a realistic hiss, when threatened by predatory birds.
- The Littralope from Wayne Barlowe's Expedition is a similar subversion, sporting an entire simulated head on its rear end to confuse predators as to which way it's facing. Since the Littralopes, like all the other creatures on the planet, have no eyes or mouths, this ruse is pretty effective.
- The Process, the monster in the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Time's Crucible.
- In a vegetative variant, The Integral Trees have a leafy crown at each end of their trunks.
- In Harry Potter, double-ended newts are sold at the Magical Menagerie, a wizarding pet shop in Diagon Alley.
- In the Nomes Trilogy, Grimma thought that Big John was this trope at first glance, as both the earthmover's bulldozer-blade and steam-shovel scoop had "teeth" on them.
- In The World of Poo, one of the weird animals in the Ankh-Morpork menagerie is a variety of goat so shaggy, its head and tail ends are completely indistinguishable unless it sticks out its tongue.
- In mythology, the amphisbaena (literally "both-way goer") was a snake or snake/bird Mix-and-Match Critter with a deadly-venomous head at each end of its body.
- The nue is a Mix-and-Match Critter with a snake for a tail.
- Some creatures in Classical Mythology, most notably the Chimera, have living, biting snakes for tails.
- Depictions of Scylla vary widely, but many portray her with the upper body of a woman (with or without multiple heads) and a lower body consisting of tentacles ending in, or encircled by a row of, dogs' heads.
- Another mythological example is the Egyptian Akeru: the front halves of two lions, joined in the middle. Often depicted with a solar disc on each head, it was symbolic of sunrise and sunset.
- Some depictions of the Black Tortoise of The Four Gods depicts the snake what entwines the tortoise coming from where the tortoise's tail is.
- In the Doctor Who radio drama "The Paradise Of Death", the Doctor mentions a two-headed Venusian animal called a Klakluk. It's implied to be this trope, as he remarks that it didn't seem to know whether it was coming or going.
- First and Second Edition Dungeons & Dragons had a giant Amphisbaena snake with a head at each end.
- Pathfinder now has these as well.
- The serpentir is a skeletal undead creature consisting of two human upper bodies attached to either end of a snake's spine.
- In BIONICLE: The Mutran Chronicles, the Makuta are seen solving smaller issues by flipping mutated animals like coins. One time, they flipped one that had two heads and no tail, so it took a while to reach their decision.
- In RWBY, the King Taijitu is a giant snake with a head at each end. One head is black and the other is white. ("Taijitu" is the proper name for the symbol the West calls the Yin-Yang.)
- The whole premise of the animated series CatDog.
- In Porky in Wackyland, there's a half-dog, half-cat creature whose heads continually fight each other.
- On one of The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, Bart puts Snowball II and Santa's Little Helper through a teleporter and they come out as two different pets: one with both heads, ("Twice the pet with none of the poop!") and one with both butts. ("Eww! You can be Lisa's.")
- The pukeme-poopyou, a two-headed goat that continually ejects vomit/diarrhea from either end, filling a pool that the loser of a contest will have to jump into.
- In another episode Leela takes Nibbler to the vet and we see a woman with a dog like this. "Remember, Rover gets the pill and Pepper gets the suppository."
- At the ceremony where Amy becomes part of Kif's family, they're given a snake to eat that has heads at each end.
- Leela's mutant parents have a mutant cat with a snake's body and head for a tail.
- An episode of Dragon Tales gives us Meow, the Copy Cat, a literal copycat with two cat heads (one at each end of its body) who had the power to make someone act like another person just by licking their face. The only way to reverse the effects of Meow's spell was to have her lick the affected person a second time.
- In Thomas the Tank Engine, Mighty Mac is a Fairlie, a double-ended articulated steam engine. Each end — Mighty and Mac — has a distinct face and identity.
- In an odd example, Beast Wars has Quickstrike, a Transformer whose beast mode is a scorpion with a cobra for a tail.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?" shows background ponies Lyra and Bon Bon fused together in this fashion. It dodges the... logistical problems this trope usually entails, as it takes place inside of a shared dream and doesn't have to make logical sense.
- The amphisbaena is a legless lizard whose tail not only looks like its head, but it can also move forwards and backwards. In fact, the only way to tell which end is the head is when it opens its mouth.
- Some caterpillars subvert this trope, sporting false eye-spots and other features that make their rear ends look like heads as a decoy for predators.
- Likewise, some tropical fish have eyespots on their tails for this reason.
- There are also fat-bodied skinks (lizards) with short squat tails that resemble their heads in shape.
- A pair of human Conjoined Twins , known as the "snake twins", were born with two heads on opposite ends of a single long body.
- A Native American petroglyph in Utah depicts a bighorn sheep with heads on both ends. Another petroglyph from Tibet portrays a yak with heads on front and back.
- One large sea turtle on display at the Sea World park in San Diego looks like this trope, having lost most of its tail to an injury. The stump which remains looks very much like a head when seen from the left side, thanks to a long mouth-like scar and a large misplaced scale which resembles an eye.