- Just Brain: The brain moves around by itself. It might have some bits attached, such as legs, hovering jets or helicopter rudders, but its main "body" is a brain. Alternatively, it is stationary, and attached to something.
- Acranial Monster: A monster that has an incomplete skull, thus exposing their brain.
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Anime and Manga
- Vademon from Digimon Adventure has a huge exposed brain, seeing that he's an alien Digimon.
- Big Bad Dr. Wheelo of Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest had his brain preserved in a jar by his assistant before he died, and is currently searching for the world's strongest warrior to serve as a host body. For some reason, the process also made his brain gigantic; how he expects to transplant it into a human-sized skull is unknown.
- Several incarnations of Brain of The DCU — as the disembodied, preserved, sentient Brain in a Jar of a Mad Scientist. Together with his sentient gorilla servant/boyfriend Mallah, the two of them would go on to gather the Brotherhood of Evil.
- The B.P.R.D. short comic that introduced Lobster Johnson involves a scientist who gained Psychic Powers in an experiment, then used those powers to kill his colleagues. When the Lobster shoots the psychic in the head, his brain crawls out of the bullet hole, grows several times larger, then flies around the room. The Lobster barely kills the mutant brain before it strangles him with its spinal cord.
- Gor and Vol from The Brain from Planet Arous are aliens that resemble giant disembodied floating brains. The former wants to take over the universe, the latter wants to stop him.
- The 1958 film Fiend Without a Face featured invisible monsters that when revealed are actually slimy crawling human brains. Said brains strangle victims with their spinal cords.
- The 1988 film The Brain featured an alien that resembled a gigantic brain with a face as the titular monster.
- In The Time Machine (2002), the Morlock leader is of a caste in which the brain has become so enlarged that it's not only visibly exposed on the back of his head, but its lobes extend halfway down his back as well.
- The invading Martians from Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! are the acranial type. Their brains visibly pulsate and explode inside their clear helmets when exposed to their Weaksauce Weakness: really bad singing.
- Madeleine L'Engle's novel A Wrinkle in Time. The Big Bad IT is a huge disembodied brain. It has Mind Control abilities that involved making the victim think in repetitive patterns.
- The Grand Lunar from H. G. Wells' work The First Men in the Moon is the ruler of the "Moonies," and rests in the throne room with his exposed brain taking up most of the cathedral-like ceiling space. There are lesser Moonies that hover around moistening this huge brain. The Grand Lunar is Lawful Neutral, but takes Doctor Cavor prisoner on the belief that humans are intelligent anarchists.
- In the Lensman series novel Galactic Patrol, Mentor of Arisia is revealed to Kimball Kinnison to be (barring a few minor bits and appendages) "simply and solely a brain." Then in Second Stage Lensmen the Boskonian Prime Minister Fossten is revealed to be a nearly identical brain, explained by his being a renegade Arisian. Except that this was a false appearance in both cases, arranged by Mentor to hide from Kinnison that Fossten was really Gharlane of Eddore.
- In Rudy Rucker's Master of Space and Time, a giant brain became the Messiah of a Religion of Evil in an alternate dimension. Then it spawned regular-sized brains that can move around by crawling, attach to people's backs and mind-control them.
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Ron gets attacked by tentacled brains in the Department of Mysteries that Mind Rape and leave gouges behind when they touch someone.
- The Yuuzhan Vong in Star Wars use a semi-telepathic creature called a yammosk to coordinate their forces. (Yammosk actually communicates through gravity pulses.) A massive yammosk, the World Brain, is introduced to manage the Vong-forming of Coruscant.
Live Action TV
- Farscape. The evil version of Crichton of the "My Three Crichtons" episode is the future version with the wrinkly head to show off his advanced brain lobes.
- In an episode of Angel "That Vision Thing" Wolfram & Hart hire a psychic with an exposed brain to torture Cordelia, forcing Angel to release a soul from torment in return for stopping the torture.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Evolution of the Daleks", Dalek Sec turns himself into a Dalek/Human hybrid, which has a large exposed brain.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Illithid elder brains, which float in large brine pools in illithid cities. They are made up of the combined brains of old illithids that sacrificed themselves to join it.
- The Intellect Devourer is basically a brain running around on four little legs. Its modus operandi is to crack a victim's skull open, remove the brain and then squeeze inside, taking over the body.
- In Warhammer 40,000, several Tyranid creatures, especially those with strong psychic powers, have partially exposed brains.
- In Metroid the final boss, Mother Brain, is a massive brain in a tank, with a laser shooting eye. It's stated that it started off as an organic computer built by the Chozo, which took command of the Space Pirates.
- In Super Metroid, Mother Brain reappears as the final boss this time as an "acranial" example, having gained a massive mechanised body.
- In Star Fox 64, the Final Boss, Andross, is a (possibly robotic?) giant monkey head with unattached hands that attacks the player's Arwing Space Fighter with telekinesis. After taking a certain amount of damage, the surface layer of the...thing explodes to reveal an equally giant brain with attached eyeballs. No in-game explanation is given for how his brain got so large or why it can operate without a body.
- In Salamander, the first boss is the Brain Golem, which resembles a giant brain with an eye at one end. It attacks mostly by waving two serpentine arms around. Brain Golem reappears in another Womb Level in Monster Maulers, now equipped with Eye Beams. A frozen-over cousin, "Brain Freeze," appears as an exclusive boss in the Game Boy version of Parodius, and wields a Paper Fan of Doom in its second attack phase.
- Alien Syndrome's level 1 boss (A big brain with bonus supplemental brain attached).
- The first boss of Stinkoman 20X6 is the brain of the Humongous Mecha Stinkoman defeated in the opening cutscene.
- Doom series
- The first final boss - the Spider Mastermind - was essentially a giant brain carried by a robot body. Its children in Doom II are the Arachnotrons, which are basically smaller versions with plasma guns.
- Doom 2's final boss is the Icon of Sin, a giant skeletal goat face with an exposed brain as a weak point. It is only vulnerable to rockets, however.
- One of Duke Nukem 3D's monsters is Octobrain, a large floating brain-like creature with tentacles hanging down beneath, 3 red eyes and a large mandibled mouth.
- The first XCOM game also features the Alien Brain on Mars as the Big Bad.
- The demon Omoikane from Shin Megami Tensei series isn't evil, but is a floating brain with tentacles nevertheless.
- Metal Slug 3: Rootmars, the Final Boss, is an alien with a big exposed brain that serves as his weak point. Said brain can occasionally emit a shockwave that is hard to dodge.
- The final boss of Vectorman 2 is a giant black widow spider with an exposed brain in her thorax. Sure enough, that exposed brain is her weak point.
- The Lickers of Resident Evil are T-Virus zombies which have mutated further and have had their brain extend out of their cranium. Despite the (relative) boost in intelligence, they also become more bestial; crawling on all fours and attacking based on sound with an elongated tongue.
- The Binding of Isaac has enemies that are large brains that crawl around the floor, leaving a trail of blood that damages you if you step on it. There's also an even larger variant that splits into two smaller ones when it dies.
- The Mind Cripplers in Underworld Ascendant are floating humanoid brains that aggressively attack the unwary with psychic powers.
- Deadly Rooms of Death has the brain enemy. It just sits there and doesn't attack. The problem is that it gives all other enemies much improved path finding, greatly complicating avoiding being overrun by them.
- The Weirdboy in Dawn of War 2 has an upgrade called Bigger Brains, the icon for which shows his brain swelling out of his skull.
- The fourth guardian in Unepic, the aptly-named Neuron, is a giant floating brain with a single eye which lives in the castle's library. It has an ungodly amount of Psychic Powers — up to an including mind-controlling your character or causing an Interface Screw — that make it one of the trickiest (and most annoying) enemies in the game.
- Bloodborne has Amygdala and its brethren, whose head consists of a mostly-exposed brain occasionally covered in eyes. As well, the Brain of Mensis is a giant brain covered in eyes.
- In Terraria, the boss of the Crimson is the Brain of Cthulhu, a giant demon brain with some tentacles and a few vertebrae sticking out of the bottom. Once you kill the Creepers surrounding it, the two hemispheres open up, revealing a beating heart with an eye on it.
- Gestaltians from Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger are a non-villainous example. They are born as just a brain with eyes and rudimentary limbs, and assemble a body out of various symbiotes.
- Parodied in Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, where a Mad Scientist discovers that his creation, a T-Rex with its brain in a giant jar, is anything but terrifying.
- Violet's monster in Monster Pulse. It's literally her brain pulled out of her body and given monster form, like other monsters in the comic. Unlike other monsters, it's also where her personality now resides, remote-controlling her human body.
- Paranatural: Hijack, the arc villain of chapter 5, is a spirit who has the appearance of a floating brain with a face and arms.
- Pip from Sequential Art is mistaken for an agent of Vault One Eleven, and is brought to Spankaton Academy in a post-apocalypse London. There, he's brought before its administrator: a Butter Face with a shapely body, one eye and a huge exposed brain. Her name is Dot, according to strip #963. In a world of barbaric moo-tants [sic] and Action Girls with Multiboobage, Dot fits right in. Fortunately for Pip, it's all a Dream Apocalypse.
- The Brain Spawn of Futurama are a race of giant, flying, telekinetic brains with the ability to telepathically drain the intelligence of animals, robots, and some plants. Their goal is to store all knowledge in the universe in a giant database, then destroy the universe so that no new knowledge will be generated, because apparently that's less work than making continual updates for all eternity.
- The principal antagonist of the French film Gandahar, a.k.a Light Years, is a giant brain, made by the people of the utopian city of Gandahar as a prototype organic computer. When the superbrain didn't work out as planned, it was dumped in the ocean and forgotten. Interestingly, when the heroes first encounter this giant brain, it seems docile, and even gives the heroes the tool for its own destruction.
- Krang, as seen in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), has been reduced to a brain thanks to a judgment in his home dimension of Dimension X. He went through several iterations of armor to protect this squishy body until he reached a full robotic suit of armor.
- Ben's Alien Brainsorm from Ben 10: Alien Force can open his head to reveal his oversized brain and shoot electricity from it.
- The Brains from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, contestants in the Galactic Showdown game. They bragged on how they evolved to not need bodies anymore, as they consisted of nothing but floating brains.
- Gunter briefly becomes this leading up to the sixth season finale of Adventure Time, after a head injury literally splits his head open, and Gunter remembers that he is in fact Orgalorg, an ancient Eldritch Abomination from space, prompting his brain to hijack Princess Bubblegum's spaceship.
- Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls has his enlarged brain protected by a helmet.
- An episode of George Shrinks featured these in a B-Movie.
- In Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot Dr. Neugog transforms into a giant spider monster with an exposed brain, that drains other people's intelligence to make himself smarter.
- What other show has such a creature as its main character other than Evil Con Carne?
- The Darkwing Duck episode "Heavy Mental" revolves around a machine that gives the user Psychic Powers and enlarges their brain as a side effect. At the episode's climax, the villain crank the machine Up to 11 and turns himself into a truck-sized, floating brain. Darkwing and his friends beat him by making him think too much during the power-up process, which blows him up, making this one of the Squickiest episodes of the series.
- In The Iron Giant Hogarth stays up past his bedtime watching TV, and the movie playing seems to be a Science Fiction B-Movie about killer brains. Just before the TV loses reception it shows the scientist character being attacked by a brain with tentacles. This is probably an Affectionate Parody of Fiend Without a Face.