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Anime & Manga
- One of the earliest enemies in 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 Excel Saga, except her light was another Puuchuu. She also looked like the Alien Queen from Aliens.
- Sisters Mimi and Sheshe from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch ARE angler fish. And considering the description of males above, that explains why they're lesbians...
- One Piece: On their way to Fishman Island, the Strawhat pirates met a gargantuan angler named Ankoro ("anko" in Japanese means "angler fish").
- In 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 "Toadstool"....
- Shinkaigyo No Anko San tranforms this hideous anglerfish into an adorable little 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.
- 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).
- The Far Side: One cartoon has a man peering into an alley at a giant set of jaws with a tongue shaped like a beer bottle.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Erik the Viking 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 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 red, somebody's dead.
- The Agonist'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?"
- SCP Foundation
- SCP-968 ("Tar Baby"). SCP-968 hunts humans by altering part of itself to mimic a baby or small child to lure in rescuers.
- 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.
- Exalted: One of the mini-comics depicted a Wyld-mutated anglerfish hunting humans using a baby as bait. Exalted is weird like that.
- Magic: The Gathering:
- The game has a Phyrexian Horror called "Tangle Angler". It's a biomechanical anglerfish mounted on many deformed, stiltlike legs.
- The Khans of Tarkir block has unleashed another called "Gurmag Angler", a 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.
- Monsterpocalypse has a Kaiju-size one named Anglax, trained by the Atlanteans to attack human coastal population centres so they can sink them and move in. Monsterpocalypse is weirder like that.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- 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 Schmuck Bait for a passing potential rescuer.
- The Warhammer Gaiden Game 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 warpstone.
- Ceratioidi in Pathfinder are 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.
- Kingdom Death, 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 Giant Spider with a humanlike face, which uses the torso of one of its victims as a lure. Sometimes, said victim isn't dead yet.
- 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.
- Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest: 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 Donkey Kong 64.
- Lord Woo Fak Fak in Banjo Tooie. His lure contains a Jiggy.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- 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 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 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 E.V.O.: Search for Eden, you can evolve to have an Angler Horn, which lures prey closer to you.
- The first 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 Megaman ZX 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 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 weak point — and if you try to go for it, the monster will come out and get you.
- zOMG!: the Robofish's appearance is based on anglerfish, only robotic.
- The Gobul from Monster Hunter 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 Yoshi's Island DS has a green Yoshi egg hanging from the tip of its antenna.
- Daegon, one of the bosses from Devil May Cry 4 (as well as his identical brother Bael and entire species), has 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 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.
- Final Fantasy VI is a partial example, as while its "Angler Whelk" is a giant snail, it has an angler fish's lure, from which hangs a treasure chest.
- The Sea Monster from Heroes of Might and Magic 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 hero units.
- Champions Online includes both a single angler lure, and a DUAL angler lure as optional costume parts when designing characters.
- 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 Kirby's Epic Yarn, 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 blocking the way to Deep Dive Deep.
- Charybdis, the boss of the third level in The Ocean Hunter.
- Shovel Knight 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 Insaniquarium's Gumbo, who protects your guppies.
- Subverted in 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 Darkest Dungeon 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 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.
- Homestar Runner: 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.
- RWBY has a Kaiju Scary Scorpion having this effect on Jaune, who mistook the glowing stinger as the relic he was seeking.
- Carmilla the Series Eldritch Horror/fish god Lophiiformes (whose name is literally the biological family to which anglerfish belong).
- Bogleech's 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. 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.
- A variant of the "woman on a lure" also appeared in a sequence of zombie-related strips.
- Hank Green's "A Song About An Anglerfish"—a song that first appeared on VlogBrothers—is probably the only song in existence that details the mating patterns of anglerfish.
- Ben 10: Ripjaws has a lure on his head like an anglerfish.
- The Simpsons fell prey to an angler fish in one Couch Gag. (Its lure looked like a couch.)
- On The Tick, one of the denizens of the Absurdly Spacious Sewer is a kind of angler with "a living wallet" as a lure.
- The 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 The Legend of Korra, Tenzin, Bumi, and Kya encounter one of these in the spirit world.
- In The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Puss tries to rescue a princess only to find that it is actually a monster that traps heroes with a princess-shaped lure.