[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/FindingNemo http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Finding_nemo_anglerfish_108.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: "[[ThisIsGonnaSuck Good feeling's gone]]."]]

Deep-sea anglerfish are fishes well-known for their [[LightIsNotGood luminescent lures]], used to attract prey amidst the ocean's dark depths. They, or creatures with similar lures on their head, are often used in media because of the surprise value: the lure seems nice and pretty at first, but turns out to be a trap set by a horrifying creature with MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily. (It also helps that RealLife deep-sea anglerfish are one of the more hideous-looking deep-water beasts.)

Anglerfish are easily susceptible to an AnimalGenderBender, as in real life the deep-sea varieties possess one of the most extreme cases of BizarreSexualDimorphism: The image that most people think of is actually the ''female'' anglerfish; males of this sort have no lures, and are smaller than the females ... ''much'' smaller. [[ScienceMarchesOn At one point]] in history, scientists even believed them to be separate species. The male's life consists entirely of locating a female, then attaching itself to the female's body like a parasite, turning into [[http://theoatmeal.com/comics/angler a spare pair of gonads]] so that the female can reproduce. [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle Now you know]].

Frogfishes, monkfishes, and sea toads are also anglerfishes, but they seldom appear in the media, as these species live in shallower waters and their lures don't glow in the dark, making them less visually-intriguing (they are considered just as ugly by most people though).

For VideoGames, see also the ChestMonster, a creature that lures unsuspecting players through an attractive disguise of its own.

Related to BioluminescenceIsCool.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* One of the earliest enemies in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' is a hollow nicknamed "Grand Fisher" -- he has a monstrous body that could hide very well and a long feeler that could take human shape to serve as bait.
* The Puuchuu Queen in the horror film episode of ''Anime/ExcelSaga'', except her light was another Puuchuu. She also looked like the Alien Queen from ''Film/{{Aliens}}''.
* Sisters Mimi and Sheshe from ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' ARE angler fish. And considering the description of males above, [[FridgeBrilliance that explains why they're lesbians...]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': On their way to Fishman Island, the Strawhat pirates met a gargantuan angler named Ankoro ("anko" in Japanese means "angler fish").
* In ''Manga/{{Yaiba}}'', we have Yakitori, one of Onimaru's Shitenno in the Onimaru's Fortress arc. It actually has a Japanese paper lantern attached to it, and he's very proud of it. Oh, and don't call him [[BerserkButton "Toadstool"]]....
* ''Manga/ShinkaigyoNoAnkoSan'' [[MoeAnthropomorphism tranforms]] this hideous anglerfish into an adorable little [[OurMermaidsAreDifferent mermaid girl]]. It's implied that her species does "fuse" to reproduce, as mentioned above, and her lure normally looks like a big round shiny pearl, though in one chapter she reveals it can also split apart into a cluster of smaller tentacles tendrils, each tipped with its own glowing lure.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'' has a supervillain called Anglerfish (and his son). Anybody who looks into their lures sees their greatest desire (Anglerfish claimed that his son only ever used it to get laid).

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'': One cartoon has a man peering into an alley at a giant set of jaws with a tongue shaped like a beer bottle.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'': Marlin and Dory are chased by one while looking for the diver's mask. (See Picture Above)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongebobSquarepantsMovie'' features a frogfish whose lure is in the guise of an old lady selling ice-cream.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/ErikTheViking'' has a scene where the Vikings see a glowing, swaying globe that they think is the sun (which they've never seen because Fenrir the wolf swallowed it). Turns out that what they're actually looking at is an anglerfish-type lure attached to the great Dragon of the North Sea.
* The moorwen in ''{{Film/Outlander}}'' operates like this, hiding in the darkness of the woods, flourishing some of the lights on its tail and skin to attract prey. When it goes [[RedEyesTakeWarning red]], somebody's dead.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The angler fish was crowned as ''Series/TheMostExtreme'' in "Oddities" (the male), "Appendages" (again the male), and "[[BioluminescenceIsCool Night Lights]]".
* ''Series/UltramanLeo'': FlyingSaucer Creature Hangler was an angler-like kaiju that hid underground with only its lure and maw disguised as a traffic light and a tunnel to lure unsuspecting drivers into its maw. If that didn't work, its VacuumMouth would do the trick.

* Music/TheAgonist's song "Dead Ocean" mentions one in its lyrics: "The moon mocks you with a knowing grin. Or is that the lure of a distant angler fish? Was your role fulfilled? Was that it? Are you face up or face down?"

[[folder:Other Sites]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation''
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-968 SCP-968 ("Tar Baby")]]. SCP-968 hunts humans by altering part of itself to mimic a baby or small child to lure in rescuers.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1305 SCP-1305 ("Cat Lure")]]. SCP-1305 can create a lure that appears to be one of its past victims, such as a cat or a human being. It uses the lure to draw human beings close to it so it can attack and eat them.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': One of the mini-comics depicted a Wyld-mutated anglerfish hunting humans using a baby as bait. ''Exalted'' is weird like that.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'':
** The game has a Phyrexian Horror called "Tangle Angler". It's a [[AmbiguousRobots biomechanical]] anglerfish mounted on many deformed, stiltlike legs.
** The Khans of Tarkir block has unleashed another called "Gurmag Angler", a [[OurZombiesAreDifferent zombified version]] which lives in the swamps of the Sultai Brood and uses a fleshy lure shaped vaguely like a human being in order to eat the Sultai's zombie slaves that populate the area.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Monsterpocalypse}}'' has a {{Kaiju}}-size one named Anglax, trained by [[UltraTerrestrials the Atlanteans]] to attack human coastal population centres so they can sink them and [[MissingStepsPlan move in]]. ''Monsterpocalypse'' is weirder like that.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** A Magran is a big, ethereal "anglerfish" (actually a legless reptile) native to the Ethereal Plane. Its light is visible farther than it has any right to be in ethereal fog and creatures who sees it are entranced and thus become easy morsels; the critter itself is not only hideously tough, but turns invisible at will (cannot extend this to freshly swallowed prey, though).
** One old ''Dragon'' article of fan-submitted monsters included a predatory fish-creature with a dorsal fin that, unfurled at the surface, resembled a drowning woman struggling in the waves: ready SchmuckBait for a passing potential rescuer.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' GaidenGame ''Dreadfleet'' introduces the Orb Leviathan, which is basically a combination of an anglerfish and a whale that is big enough to swallow a massive warship whole. Its lure glows green, which causes some to mistake it for [[GreenRocks warpstone]].
* Ceratioidi in ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' are [[FishPeople humanoid]] anglerfish. They can use the lure growing from their heads to mesmerize other creatures. Someone entranced by a ceratioidi's lure will stare at it in stupefied fascination, even if there were fighting its owner moments before, until the ceratioidi actually attacks them. Like the real creatures, the humanoid is the female, while males are intelligent parasitic eels the size of a rat. Combined, they can use both their minds to share the body, which means they can wield two weapons with no penalties and have an easier time multiclassing.
* ''TabletopGame/KingdomDeath'', being the kind of game it is, has two monsters with anglerfish-like lures: the Gorm, which otherwise looks like a cross between a pachyderm and a giant baby, and the Spidicules, a GiantSpider with a humanlike face, which uses the torso of one of its victims as a lure. Sometimes, [[AndIMustScream said victim isn't dead yet]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Numenera}}'': Spiny schisans, eel-like predators found in the ocean depths, are a variation. While they do have a glowing lure at the tip of a stalk on their chin, their main way of attracting prey is with the kite-shaped, red and yellow fin at the end of their tail. Through their low-level telepathy, they make it seem like something a viewer swears they recognize from somewhere. The resulting psychic call lures passersby in to investigate and stumble right into the schisan's mouth.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry2DiddysKongQuest'': Glimmer, although it's a subversion in that it's not hideous-looking and actually helps the Kongs by providing light. There is a similar tadpole character in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64''.
* Lord Woo Fak Fak in ''[[VideoGame/BanjoKazooie Banjo Tooie]]''. His lure contains a Jiggy.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Chinchou and its evolution Lanturn, although its appearance is also based on a dolphin. They happen to be the rare [[MakingASplash Water]]/[[ShockAndAwe Electric]] types Unsurprisingly, one of its abilities is "Illuminate", which raises the likelihood of meeting wild Pokemon. They are, however, ''cute''.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** That valuable red Rupee standing in the middle of nowhere, ready for the grab? Most likely a shield-eating Like-Like's rupee-shaped appendage.
** Jabun from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' resembles a mix between an anglerfish and a catfish. His lure, which resembles a man-made lantern hanging from a tendril, appears to be purely decorative.
* In the Cambrian stage of ''VideoGame/EVOSearchForEden'', you can evolve to have an Angler Horn, which lures prey closer to you.
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Grandia}}'' game had one of these as a boss -- a giant fish, with a generically pretty mermaid on a feeler as a lure. It had a tendency to cast a charm spell on the male main character.
* Lurerre the Abysroid, one of the ''VideoGame/MegamanZX'' bosses is based on an angler fish. Or rather, she's based on the light of an angler fish. Her fish half is huge, mechanical, ugly, and [[BehindTheBlack juuuuuust off screen]] most of the time. We're not actually sure witch is technically considered her "true" body. This actually shows up in strategy for fighting her, because the "light" part is a [[AttackItsWeakPoint weak point]] -- and if you try to go for it, the monster ''will'' come out and get you.
* ''[[Website/GaiaOnline zOMG!]]'': the Robofish's appearance is based on anglerfish, only robotic.
* The Gobul from ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter Tri'' is largely modeled after actual anglerfish, most notably having a large lantern dangling off the front of its hit. Although it fits the trope, it interestingly does not use its lantern as the lure. Instead, it burrows itself into the soil and lures herbivores in by disguising its whiskers as plants, and then it proceeds to swallow them whole with its enormous mouth. The lantern, meanwhile, is just used to blind its enemies with bright flashes.
* A blue bullet-shaped creature from ''VideoGame/YoshisIsland DS'' has a green Yoshi egg hanging from the tip of its antenna.
* Daegon, one of the bosses from ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 4'' (as well as his identical brother Bael and entire species), has [[DarkIsEdgy the ability to create darkness]] and disappear into it, leaving the only part visible his antennae/lures-which resemble beautiful, naked nymphs called Rusalka who [[GirlOnGirlIsHot play with each other]] to entice victims to get within striking range. Nero, being the serious-minded one of the protagonists, doesn't have much of a reaction to their attempts at seduction. Dante, on the other hand, provides one of the more hilarious scenes in the game when he comes across them.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' is a partial example, as while its "Angler Whelk" is a giant ''snail'', it has an angler fish's lure, from which hangs [[ChestMonster a treasure chest]].
* The Sea Monster from ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic IV's'' appearance is inspired by an angler fish. It is also one of the single deadliest enemies in the game, and one of only two creatures that cannot under any circumstance end up as part of the player's army in the original game. Its special ability is an instant kill attachment to an already powerful normal attack which swallows several victims whole, barring resurrection, which is quite a hindrance for otherwise incredibly powerful [[DeathIsCheap hero units]].
* ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline'' includes both a single angler lure, and a DUAL angler lure as optional costume parts when designing characters.
* ''VideoGame/{{Aquaria}}'' has some particularly nasty ones in The Abyss, which, other than trying to attack you, consumes the other benign creatures that normally help you (or at least look pretty).
* Deep Dive Deep, a level from ''VideoGame/KirbysEpicYarn'', ends with the poor pink flufferoo escaping from the jaws of an anglerfish made entirely out of buttons and pipe cleaners. Its lure appears to be a grabbable patch. How evil. The first angler fish Kirby encounters in the game are harmless, one [[{{foreshadowing}} blocking the way to]] Deep Dive Deep.
* Charybdis, the boss of the third level in ''VideoGame/TheOceanHunter''.
* ''VideoGame/ShovelKnight'' has the midboss of the Iron Whale stage, it's huge and has a relic chest for a lure. After killing it, you can inspect the chest to find that it REALLY IS a relic chest with Chester inside.
* Inverted by {{VideoGame/Insaniquarium}}'s Gumbo, who protects your guppies.
* Subverted in ''[[VideoGame/FeedingFrenzy Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown]]'', as while Edie the Anglerfish uses its esca to hunt down smaller fishes, they are not attracted to its light.
* The Siren in ''VideoGame/DarkestDungeon'' has a lure on her head, and is able to enchant your teammates and use them against the rest of the party.
* One of the new creatures in the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'' expansion ''Far Harbor'' is the Angler, which appears to be a mutated anglerfish. It hides in shallow water, where its lure looks similar to lure-weed plants. Rather than trying to lure people in, they just try to wait until unsuspecting prey passes by, then pop out of the water and start spitting fireballs at it.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'': In the Strong Bad E-mail "animal", one of the ideas Strong Bad has for what he'd be if he were an animal would be "one of those deep-sea fangly fishes". Its lure was Homestar's head, which offered free puppies, ginger snaps, and pocket [=PCs=]. Since Homestar's head wasn't luminous, the fish had Christmas lights all over its body. And it had a back deck "for dinner and dancing", though after Strong Bad remembered he was re-imagining ''himself'' as the animal, he realized he couldn't really take advantage of that deck.
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' has a {{Kaiju}} {{Scary Scorpion|s}} having this effect on Jaune, who mistook the glowing [[BewareMyStingerTail stinger]] as the relic he was seeking.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheUnspeakableVaultOfDoom'': Even Cthulhoo knows how to use the trick, using a [[http://www.goominet.com/unspeakable-vault/vault/295/ giant luminescent squid as lure]].
* ''Webcomic/WhiteDarkLife'': Nessie is an [[OurMermaidsAreDifferent angler fish mermaid]] with a peculiar level of intelligence.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/CarmillaTheSeries'' EldritchHorror/fish god Lophiiformes (whose name is literally the biological family to which anglerfish belong).
* Website/{{Bogleech}}'s ''[[{{Mons}} Mortasheen]]'' section has a few fish... "things" with angler-like protuberances, such as one that looks like a comely woman, or one with fleshy, glowing "fruits" that enslave those who eat some so the monster has servants/bloodbags to use at its convenience. [[SchmuckBait For those brave enough to go and explore the site]]: sweet dreams.
** A variant of the "woman on a lure" also appeared in a sequence of zombie-related strips.
*** And again in one of the animated shorts.
* Music/HankGreen's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9t7E4amWDqI "A Song About An Anglerfish"]]--a song that first appeared on WebVideo/VlogBrothers--is probably the only song in existence that details the mating patterns of anglerfish.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'': Ripjaws has a lure on his head like an anglerfish.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' fell prey to an angler fish in one CouchGag. (Its lure looked like a couch.)
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'', one of the denizens of the AbsurdlySpaciousSewer is a kind of angler with [[CashLure "a living wallet" as a lure]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "The Deep South" includes a gag in which Zoidberg spots a delicious-looking worm that turns out to be the lure of one of those non-phosphorescent lures mentioned in the trope description.
** In a future year that ends with a 20 (351120 AD, to be exact), Farnsworth, Bender, and Fry see a watery wimp of a mermaid who is in fact part of a large, bloodthirsty shrimp.
* In Season 2 of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Tenzin, Bumi, and Kya encounter one of these in the spirit world.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfPussInBoots'', Puss tries to rescue a princess only to find that it is actually a monster that traps heroes with a princess-shaped lure.