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Beware My Stinger Tail

It counters a Zangoose's dazzling agility with its swordlike tail, which also oozes a horrible poison.
Pokémon Emerald Version's Pokédex, on Seviper

A tail is used for things like balance or grasping objects. Another use is a weapon, which can vary from flailing, whipping, or crushing. It is only logical then that a combatant would add things to make their tail hit harder like a club. Why just hit when you can also shoot stuff or stab with a stinger on the end, which may or may not be venomous? This trope is about weapons on tails, be they natural or not.

Part of the Anatomy Arsenal.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Mazinger Z: Several Mechanical Beasts had armed tails. For example, Danchel not only had a massive tail it used to crush things with but it also shot galons of acid.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has Adiane, who once used her scorpion-like tail to deliver a vicious beating unto Viral. It's unclear whether her stinger contains venom, since she does most of her fighting from within a giant robot.
  • Cell from Dragon Ball Z, who introduces a horrifying twist. After stabbing someone with his tail, he actually sucks up all of their internal organs through his stinger, while they're still alive.
  • One of the first villains in the second arc of New Cutey Honey had an acid-spewing tail.
  • A number of Zoids also have guns mounted in their tails, and not just the Scorpion-based ones.
    • The most notable one of course is on a Scorpion-Zoid: The Charged Particle Gun of the Death Stinger.
    • Another notable example would be the two main "sniper" zoids, the GunSniper and Snipe Master; both resemble dromeosaurs (raptors), with the tail forming the barrel of the primary sniping weapon.
  • Sasorina from HeartCatch Pretty Cure!
  • Mihiramon from Digimon Tamers has an attack that can transform his tail into a sansetsukon.
  • In The Tower of Druaga, the Big Bad uses his tail in a surprise attack that kills Ahmey.
  • Sasori from Naruto, whose fighting style is to fight from inside a puppet like a suit of armor. The first puppet he is seen in has a sharp tail coated in poison.
    • While his actual "body" lacks an actual tail, it is also designed to invoke the scorpion imagery - the role of a tail is filled by a long cable wound up inside his stomach and ending with a poisoned spike
  • The Xvm-mzc Zeydars from Mobile Suit Gundam AGE is a perfect example of this. In addition to it's claws and Diffuse Beam Cannon, it also has a blade on the tip of it's tail.
    • Most Vagan designs feature a tail with a beam cannon on the end of it, allowing them to fire from unexpected directions against inexperienced opponents.
  • Not a literal case, but an analogous one in an episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. A prototype Spider Tank is clearly modeled after a scorpion, and in place of its tail it has a turret-mounted cannon.
  • In an episode of Sailor Moon Super S, there is a Monster of the Week, Garigari, with a drill on the tip of her tail, as Para Para's trap is dentist-themed. When she tries to drill Sailor Moon and Sailor Mini Moon's teeth with it, they use the Scream Attack which hasn't been seen since the first episode of the first season.

    Comic Books 
  • The Scorpion from Spider-Man. Stegron too, who's very ineffective with it.
  • Manticore from the terrorist-for-hire group the Jihad in Suicide Squad.
  • In the Godzilla (2014) tie-in comic Godzilla Awakening, in its dragon-like form, Shinomura's tail ends in a sharp, blade-like protrusion.

    Fan Fiction 

    Films — Animated 
  • In Rango, Rattlesnake Jake, is a rattlesnake, which opts for a gatling gun instead of a traditional rattle tail.
  • The Stegosaurus in Fantasia.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Aliens, the Alien Queen uses her tail as a weapon while on board the Sulaco. The novelization makes clear that the xenomorphs secrete a paralytic venom from them which they use to pacify host organisms long enough to cocoon them.
  • In Dragonheart, Draco's tail ends in a barb.
  • Dren in Splice has one of these.
  • Men In Black: the Bug is a gigantic interstellar cockroach with a lethal stinger in its tail.
  • The Scorpion King, but only in The Mummy Returns.
  • A Stegosaurus attempts this in the second Jurassic Park film too, naturally.
  • Otachi in Pacific Rim has a claw on her tail which she uses to rip of Crimson Typhoon's head.
  • In X-Men: First Class, Azazel's tail ends in an arrow and he stabs an agent with it.

    Literature 
  • Animorphs: Andalites and their super-fast scythe tails.
  • Piers Anthony's Xanth novel "A Spell For Chameleon". The manticora has the tail of a scorpion (and is featured on the cover).
  • Redwall: Cluny the Scourge has a poisoned blade he attaches to his long tail.
  • In Spellsinger, the gatekeeper of Polistrindu is an intelligent beaver, whose personal armament includes a spiked metal plate that turns his flat tail into an intimidating weapon.
  • Naturally becomes a worry in The Magic School Bus book where the teacher shrinks the class and sends them into a beehive.
  • Chimeras are one of the confirmed magical beasts of the Harry Potter setting. Hagrid's Blast-Ended Skrewts also have stingers among their many unpleasant attributes.
  • Vornskrs, first appearing in The Thrawn Trilogy, are vaguely wolflike creatures with heavy venom-bearing tails. When the tails are amputated, the creatures become calmer and are easier to domesticate.
  • Semi-the-fish in Dr Franklins Island is a creature similar to a manta ray, with a tail that can lash and splash about dramatically when she's at the surface of the water. There is a sting in it, she doesn't know if it's lethal. She never gets the chance to find out.
  • In Deathtrap Dungeon the Choose Your Own Adventure the videogame was based on, one of the paths can lead you to fight in an arena against a giant scorpion. If it manages to get attacks in with both its pincers it would follow up with a stinger, which guaranteed a near instant kill for the reader.
  • During Dinoverse Bertram is put into the body of an Ankylosaurus, and naturally his clubbed tail comes in handy several times. It's not his only rear-mounted offensive talent, just the one that's actually dangerous.
  • In Robert R. Mccammon's novel Stinger the alien antagonist and the biomechanical replicants it creates have segmented tails ending in a heavy ball of spikes which are used as brutal weapons(and in the case of the larger replicants, they are also used to demolish buildings and cars like a wrecking ball).
  • In Miranda Leek's Twisted, Static the living bumper car can sting people with his cable-tail, apparently vis an electrical shock.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In That Mitchell and Webb Look, not the Armored Scorpion of Death. Its tail simply fires "helpful bullets".
  • Scorpina in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers has a deadly tail capable of electrocution in her giant, monstrous form.
    • Dragonzord also has a drill on the end of its tail.
  • The slashers on Terra Nova have tails tipped with hard, serrated blades that they wield like whips.
  • Merlin had the Manticore, a creature of legend, and the serkets, giant scorpions, both with stinger tails.
  • A hypothetical species of predator with a pair of stinger-tails appeared on an alien life-themed episode of Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking.
  • Young Hercules gives the hydra a spiked tail.

    Oral Tradition 
  • Thanks in no small part to Mix-and-Match Critters, many mythical and legendary creatures are described as having barbed, spiked, or otherwise dangerous tails.
    • Some go so far as to have a snake for a tail.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The villain Ankylosaur from Champions is a man wearing powered armor with a Grenade Launcher in his tail.
  • In some versions of Dungeons & Dragons dragons could use their tails as weapons (usually to hit creatures directly behind them).
    • Wyverns have a stinger with very strong poison.
    • So do giant scorpions.
    • Purple worms too.
    • In the Oriental Adventures supplement, members of the Nezumi race can equip tail spikes as an exotic weapon.
  • A common form of Striker in GURPS.
  • The "Tsunami" Dragon Borg in Rifts has a particle-beam cannon for a tail.
  • Wyverns (again) in one of the previous versions of Warhammer. A wyvern who was slain could make one last Taking You with Me attack with the stinger before it fell.
  • Likewise, the 4th Edition Carnifex in Warhammer 40,000 has either a scythe or mace tail upgrade option. The difference? The scythe tail has 1-3 (relatively) weak attacks; the mace tail has one strong attack.
    • Both attacks can only be used if there's enough enemies around, too.

    Toys 

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy VII has The Guard Scorpion of Midgar's Sector 1 Mako Reactor. Attack while its tail is up, and it will tear you a new arse.
  • Many Notorious Monster Species in Final Fantasy XI have special attack for players who get hate from behind, such as Behemoth with "Kick Out", Hydra with "Serpentine Tail", and Khimaira with "Plague Swipe". But the absolute kings of this trope are the Wyrms with Spike Flail which is virtually an Instant Death Radius for the Alliance fighting the mob if someone pulled hate from behind, or for anyone who happens to be near by in the case of certain powerful monsters like Nidhogg.
  • One boss from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the Helmasaur King, can attack with its spike tail.
  • Succubi from Disgaea can attack with their tail, draining hit points.
  • The first stage in disabling Final Fantasy X-2's Vegnagun is destroying its vicious tail. Its attack is called Noli Mi Tangere.
  • Vertigo in Primal Rage.
  • Tail attacks are commonly given to Xenomorphs in Alien vs. Predator games as well.
  • Dizzy's tail in Guilty Gear games.
  • Trypticon in Transformers: War for Cybertron uses his enormous tail for both projectile attacks (two rows of cannons along the underside fire at you when he has it curled up over himself) and physical attacks (slamming his tail down on one side of the stage, you have to get out of the way AND jump to avoid taking damage).
  • The giant scorpion boss from God of War III can attack with its sting.
  • Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow had two souls you could get that allowed your character to grow a tail. It would strike whenever you attacked for an additional hit.
  • In the DonPachi series, Hibachi, the eponymous Angry Boss Bee can shoot Eleventy Billion bullets at you from her stinger and shoot the stinger itself and then pull it back with a chain that also shoots bullets.
  • The Skorp Badnik from Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Charmy from latter games, being a bee.
  • Most dragon bosses in World of Warcraft do this in some manner.
  • One of the possible monster powers available in Crush, Crumble, and Chomp!
  • In The Legend of Spyro, Cynder has a metal blade at the end of her tail that can be used as a weapon in various ways, including imbuing it with her Poison element. Being she's the only Black Dragon shown, it's unknown if this is simply natural or something Malefor had done to her.
  • A few Pokémon attacks, such as Seviper's Poison Tail as described in the page quote.
  • Most Wyverns and other types of monsters in Monster Hunter can and will smack you with their tails. The Rathian and Rathalos can even poison you with theirs like the Wyvern of legend. Luckily, you can usually cut the tails of most monsters off, greatly reducing their effectiveness (or range, at the least).
    • Standout examples include the Duramboros, which uses its tail like a hammer; Nargacuga, which throws long-range spines by flinging his tail around; and Rathian, who can do an aerial back flip to poison you with it.
  • You'd better beware the Radscorpion's stinger tail!
  • Bug! had the eponymous character, who defeated his enemies by jumping on them with his stinger tail. There were also literal army ants that fired grenades out of their stingers, as well as scorpions (who rarely used their tail, preferring to attack with their claws instead).
  • Black Scorpion from City of Heroes has one of these, as his name would imply. His tail is used for firing energy beams, not stinging, though.
  • Dark Souls has beast-based enemies that use their tails to knock the player off their feet, and deal significant damage if there is a weapon attached to the tail. Said tail can usually be cut off and collected as a rare weapon...
    • Which makes the optional killing of the cute dragon girl and cutting off her really short tail very cruel and violent.
  • Ridley of Metroid fame has a vicious serrated tail. Other adherents of this trope in the Metroid series include Kanden, the War Wasps and the Kihunters.
  • Tail eaters from the Dragon Quest games, as well as mad hornets.
  • The worms and arrowheads from Monster Rancher have extendable stings.
  • Giant Scorpions wander the Shapeir desert in Quest for Glory II, and are deadly combatants, the second-toughest random monsters you can fight. Their tails are particularly deadly: when it starts to shake, you'd better either run away, prepare to dodge, or prepare to die, as a single strike will kill you no matter how many health points you have left. Poison cure pills can make you temporarily immune to the scorpion's tail strike, but due to the way the game is coded, it will always wear off when the stinger starts to shake, making the pills functionally useless.
  • Dante's Inferno: Horny Devils from the Lust Circle have deadly scorpion tails. Just not in the usual place...
  • Shantae features scorpion people in the desert outside Oasis Town. The female variant just swipes at you when you come close, but the males will jab their stinger through the ground to hit you from farther away.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 

    Other 
  • There's a small group of fans who like Tailmouths, which are literally humanoid people with 'mouths' in their tail, which is according to them Fetish Fuel material (Not always though, sometimes it's just for the sake of coolness). Unfortunately, there aren't that many tropes for them, so you gotta look real hard.

    Real Life 
  • Many prehistoric creatures, perhaps most famously Ankylosaurus and Stegosaurus.
    • The Other Wiki has a subtrope of this as "Thagomizer" (taken from The Far Side).
    • Gyptodonts, giant armadillos with clubs at the end of their tails.
    • There are small vipers that have similar spiky tails, but they don't use them to attack. It's still the other end of the viper you should beware of; the thagomizer, which resembles a small invertebrate, is used to attract prey towards the viper.
  • Some bees, wasps, and ants can spray formic acid from the end of their abdomens.
    • Including one of the most dangerous flying insects in the world, the Asian Giant Hornet.
  • Stingrays. A peaceful fish, but bothering it is a very bad idea. Depending on the species, may have a spike up to 40 cm long stabbing with force enough to pierce a wooden boat's bottom.
  • Those pretty blue or yellow tangs seen in saltwater aquariums? They get their name from the "tangs" protruding from the hilt of a dagger, because they have retractable spines on each side of their tails that they use to discourage pursuing predators. As do their cousins, the surgeonfishes.
    • And Dory is one of them!
  • Scorpions, of course.
  • Porcupines defend themselves by turning their backs on and lashing their spine-filled tails in the predator's face.
    • Note that this only applies to the Canadian Porcupine native to Canada and the United States. Other species of porcupines either lack long tails (like the African and Asian species), or have a spineless, prehensile tail (South American arboreal porcupines).
  • Thematically similar are aircraft tail gunners, much more common in WWII bombers but still extant in modern Soviet bombers, to fight off chasing fighters. Descriptions of them often reference them as the "stinger in the tail".


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