open/close all folders
Anime & 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.
- 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 — Animation
- 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.
Films — Live-Action
- One of these creatures was spotted in the cavern from the film Evolution, during its bug-dominated period.
- One strange sea serpent-like creature in Spy Kids 2 initially appears to have two side-by-side heads, but later is revealed to be designed in this manner.
- The Mix-and-Match Critter in Sharktopus has a shark head at one end and a cephalopod's beak embedded among the tentacles at the other.
- In Stardust, one of the market stalls has a cage on display containing a miniature elephant with heads at both ends. Mention is also made of a "two-faced dog."
Ferdy the Fence: Very good guard dogs; they can watch the front door and the back door at the same time.
- In the 1967 film Doctor Dolittle, it's a two-front-ended llama: a creature actually mentioned in Peruvian folklore.
- It also appears briefly in the 1998 Eddie Murphy Dr. Dolittle as a nod to the original source material.
- One of the cobbled-together undead from the sealed tunnel in Bride of Re-Animator consists of the upper halves of two cadavers, their truncated waists stuck together end-to-end.
- Referenced in the small mammal Nature Documentary Tiny Giants, when the narrator describes the desert centipede battled by the film's grasshopper mouse protagonist as a "two-headed monster". To the mouse, which closes its eyes to protect them and relies on its whiskers' tactile sensitivity to detect its opponent, the centipede's head and tail ends really would seem identical to the touch.
- This is how The Asylum's computer animators managed to shoehorn head #5 into the title creature of 5-headed Shark Attack.
- 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 features trees that grow in microgravity and 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.
- Some of the freakish and terrifying animals of Fragment have at least parts of a head at their rear end, including one that eats through its hind mouth and a few with rear brains and eyes.
Myths & Religion
- In mythology, the amphisbaena (literally "both-way goer") is 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 that entwines the tortoise coming from where the tortoise's tail is.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- First and Second Edition have a giant Amphisbaena snake with a head at each end.
- The serpentir is a skeletal undead creature consisting of two human upper bodies attached to either end of a snake's spine.
- The Khornate Chaos Spawn Scyla Anfingrimm from Warhammer and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar has a snapping serpentine head on the end of its tail, in addition to the ape-like head that sits upon his heavily muscled shoulders.
- Girafarig is a giraffe with an extra spherical head as its tail, which bites without warning. This head is incapable of higher thinking and only responds to outside stimuli. In its original design, its heads on both ends were identical.
- Exeggutor that are found in the Alola region have a tail that has another egg-shaped coconut head on the end.
- A whole series of inversions (two bodies joined at a shared cranium) appear in Earthworm Jim, most notably Professor Monkey-for-a-Head.
- In a Body Horror style, Thrill Kill has Judas, conjoined twins connected at the waist in such a way that there are heads at each end, two pairs of arms, and no legs. They usually crawl about, but in combat one walks handstand while the other fights.
- Twingersnap from Viva Pińata is a snake with a head on each end. It can give rise to Fourheads, which has three heads on one end and one on the other.
- Diplocephalus in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a crocodile-like beast with the upper body of a fireball-slinging human woman attached to its tail.
- In the Facebook game Hatchlings, the hippogriff egg hatches out a creature with a beaked, horse-like head at each end. The "Snake-allufagus" of the Basketball series has a squat humanoid body with a snake (complete with basketball-grasping mouth) for a tail.
- In MouseHunt, the Monster Tail mouse from the Polluted series has a toothy maw like a Venus flytrap at the tip of its tail.
- Lampshaded in Serious Sam: The Second Encounter upon seeing a statue of such a creature:
Sam: Hmm, they always say two heads are better than one, but how does it fart?
- The Duke's Dear Freja from Dark Souls II looks like one huge spider at first, but it's actually two huge spiders conjoined at the rear end. Naturally, each head serves as a weakpoint.
- Kantai Collection has Re-Class and Light Cruiser Demon, who provide two variants of the trope: Re-Class has a large tail-like extension coming from her rear that has a head on the end and Light Cruiser Demon's lower body cuts on top of a giant creature head.
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes features the Sandigger, a worm enemy whose heads can only be damaged when either is active.
- 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:
- In "The Return of Harmony Part 2", Discord briefly appears to have a head at both ends of his body while taunting Twilight.
- "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.
- Recent (21st century) experiments indicate that drawing fake eyes on the back end of cattle decreases the frequency of predator attacks.