Arachnid Appearance and Attire

Careful, or she'll tangle you up in metaphorical and literal webs.

This Animal Motif is when a character consciously themes themselves, their behavior and even their home around spiders, though they might only do one or two of the above. Though they may have an Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance with long, thin limbs and a round belly, a rail thin and tall physique is the norm. Spider ladies are usually hourglass shaped, and regardless of gender or build almost always have black hair and pale skin.

They'll wear a lot of black, sometimes with red or white accents, lots of gauzy material, use web patterns, and generally either dress very fashionably in well tailored suits and dresses or go for Awesome Anachronistic Apparel with a whiff of decay. Villains enjoy High Collar of Doom and skintight Hell-Bent for Leather, though not necessarily at the same time. Personality wise they are usually territorial, sexually predatory (sometimes to the point of aptly being a Black Widow), and good at intrigue. On the more positive side, they can also be intelligent, patient, stoic, kind (this one is rare though) and creative, (they may be good at weaving either literally or metaphorically). Of course Dark Is Not Evil and they may just have a case of Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind; good spider people can be nice, but regardless of morality, spider-themed characters can usually be creepy with very little effort.

Spider powers optional, but usually include Super Strength, Not Quite Flight augmented with In a Single Bound, shooting webs and being a Poisonous Person. Theme Naming and Meaningful Name recommended. Spider puns less so.

If combined with Petting Zoo People and/or Shapeshifting, the motif can become far more literal, as with Spider People.


Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • Spider-Man is a notable example for being very colorful. Except when he's wearing his black costume.
    • There's also Venom, Carnage, and Toxin as symbiotes that copy Spidey's powers, and the various Spider-Women.
    • Madame Web also counts.
    • Lesser known Spider-Man foes include Tarantula, and Black Tarantula.
    • The two Scarlet Spiders, both clones of the original Spider-Man.
    • Spider-Gwen and Silk as well.
  • Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan. Specifically, the rather prominent spider tattoo he sports on his head, and his all-black ensemble.
  • Bride of Nine Spiders from the Immortal Iron Fist.
  • Emily Crowe from Desolation Jones, who emits pheromones that trigger the Arachnid Reaction.
  • Widow from Savage Dragon is a formerly-homeless metahuman who has spider-based powers and appearance including pale skin and a web-designed costume.
  • Black Widow, interestingly enough, only carries this through her costume and weaponry (she has equipment named the Widow's Bite, Widow's Line, and Widow's Kiss, though none of it's spider-themed. The little hourglass shape on her belt is the only spider-themed imagery in her design). Her storylines tend to be overshadowed by Russian imagery - and in one comic, Little Red Riding Hood. (spoilers: she's the wolf.)
  • The Batman villain Black Spider has no powers but a costume with a spider-motif. Several people have taken up the role.
  • Subverted with Spider Widow, a Quality Comics heroine from the Golden Age. She takes the name because she can control black widow spiders, but her costume makes her look like an archetypical Wicked Witch.

Film - Animated
  • Coraline has the Other Mother, who lures children to the Other World to feed on their love and eventually their souls. Fittingly enough, since several species of spiders are known to eat their offspring. She starts out looking exactly like Coraline's mother (bar her button eyes), but becomes increasingly spiderlike as the movie goes on. About halfway through, she has a pale complexion, long, thin limbs and dresses all in black, and the main room of her house is web-like with bug furniture. Near the end, she reveals her true form: a hideous spider-doll demon with steel razor-sharp limbs and needle claws. Fittingly enough, her realm is revealed to be a huge web as the spell falls apart.

Live Action TV


Professional Wrestling
  • Legacy jobber The Spider Lady wore a cape with a glittery spider web on it as entrance attire.
  • Spider Man/Spider-man is a reoccurring gimmick in Mexican federations such as FILL, ERLL, LL VIP, AAA and CMLL. He's also shown up in Great Britain's X Wrestling Alliance.
  • WCW would reveal a masked luchador known Arachnaman in 1991. Marvel Comics didn't like that but after they went bankrupt, he (or more likely, someone else using the gimmick) would resurface on Dory Funk Jr's Bang TV serving Radiant Rain.
  • Black Spider, who started making rounds on the Mexican circuit in 1993 from IWRG with a mask, sleeveless and pants patterned with black and grey webs. Black Widow of the Pirana Promotion has a similar get up but with a hole cut out in the back of the mask for her ponytail.
  • Mariko Yoshida, as of her jump to ARSION, to reflect her new "catch" submission style.
  • Nate Webb has spider webs hanging off his tights.
  • From WrestleMania XX onward, Victoria started rotating spider sets through her ring gear. Tara introduced a mascot Taratula named poison in TNA.
  • The masked man Bronze Spider showed up in the Australian Capital Territory during 2007. The names a bit of a misnomer, as he is dressed head to toe in black but does have a big spider for his chest insignia.

Tabletop RPG

Video Games
  • Tarantula from Wet.
  • Juri Han from Super Street Fighter IV fits the bill. Her style of Taekwondo shows a great degree of flexibility, her top is fashioned after a spider, and her nickname within S.I.N. is even "Spider." Juri is a lewd, flirtatious character with a mean streak and a very predatory nature (sometimes sexually, sometimes not). According the developers, the basic idea for Juri was to "make her an evil, sexy character."
  • Zafina from Tekken 6. Director Katsuhiro Harada likened some of her moves to that of a spider and a few of her animations even involve Zafina crawling towards her opponent in an insect-like manner. While she possesses a large degree of mystique to her character and a cold and distant personality, she is working to prevent The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Lord Recluse from City of Heroes, Incarnate of Tartarus, head of the Nebulous Evil Organization Arachnos and ruler of the Rogue Isles. He is spider-like in appearance, with eight arms growing out of his back fitted with metal claws, and clad in armor resembling a spider's exoskeleton. His organization as a whole shares his spider motif.
  • Black Widow from Ring of Destruction: Slam Masters II. Aside from her ring name, she's known for her bedazzling flexibility (in spite of her large frame).
  • Mephala of The Elder Scrolls fame, particularly in her Daggerfall incarnation. Bonus points for being the Daedric patron of sex and murder.
  • Death-sphere wizard Arachna, the Spider Queen, from Age of Wonders 2.
  • Yamame from Touhou is a spider youkai, and as such has six buttons down the front of her dress, which was designed to form the silhouette of a spider's abdomen.
    • She subverts much of the trope, however, by having blonde hair and a brown dress with golden accents.
  • Spider from Galerians: Ash.
  • In Dirge of Cerberus, Nero's Arachnero form.

Web Comics:
  • In Drowtales, there are several characters that might fit this:
    • Melanarch is the resident Crazy Spider Lady. Her "lair" is filled with cobwebs and her outfits are all made of silk. She doesn't act like a spider, though.
    • The Beldobbaen clan has a spider motif. Their matriarch, Weas is perhaps the most notable example (her spider legs are not real, they're some sort of spell or shapeshifting).
    • Naal (Waes' daughter) is an Elegant Gothic Lolita Ill Girl who carries her pet spider on her back.
    • Thera is a Half-Human Hybrid whose spider parts are quite real. Melanarch's clothes are made from her silk.
  • Homestuck: Marquise Spinneret Mindfang wore a black, skin-tight pirate outfit, with a webbing design on the jacket. Oddly, Mindfang's modern-day descendent, Vriska Serket, continued the spider motif in every manner except her clothes—except for one scene where her most powerful attack causes her to take on Mindfang's abilities and wardrobe.
  • The evil-Spinnerette from Spinnerette had this even before her transformation.

Western Animation
  • Blackarachnia from Transformers: Beast Wars and her Transformers Animated expy. Since both series don't share continuity, and are thus different characters, they're technically separate examples.
  • Lady Illusion from Ace Lightning, a villain with a prehensile spider atop her head as opposed to hair, and a webbing theme throughout her clothing.
  • Adelaide from Over the Garden Wall. She traps children with a web made of twine and has a black widow's red hourglass on her back.


Alternative Title(s):

Arachnid Appearance And Apparel, Spider Motif Character