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Combat Tentacles
Too bad the ship's insurance didn't cover attacks by giant squids. Suckers.

"I'm warning you, I'm armed... Eight-armed, that is! Uwee hee hee!"

Tentacles used for combat. More specifically, throwing cars at people or strangling them or impaling them or crushing them. They may also be used as (somewhat oversized) whips or bludgeoning weapons, as a tentacle is basically a flexible mass of muscle, and as such can impart a lot of force.

This may also happen with plant parts like vines and roots (if the plants are sentient or being controlled by someone else), elephants' trunks, or with the whole bodies of long-bodied creatures like snakes and worms. Combat Tentacles are frequently utilized by Stock Ness Monsters and, of course, Cephalopods. Possibly because of the unusual nature, the association with strange creatures like squid, this is commonly a power associated with evil characters or at least dangerous animals that the protagonist needs to beware.

Often a form of Lovecraftian Superpower.

A Sister Trope to Tentacle Rope, Multi-Armed and Dangerous, Spider Limbs, Partial Transformation, Tail Slap.

Compare Prehensile Hair, which is often used this way.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Suzumiya Haruhi has Ryoko turning her arms into energy tentacles when fighting against Yuki.
  • One of the magical creatures in the second season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha had these, as did the Book Of Darkness since it absorbed its Linker Core.
  • Sugiura from Call Me Tonight becomes a non-hentai tentacle monster whenever he gets turned on.
  • Several of the Awakened Beings in Claymore
    • Riful of the West from Claymore is nothing but these in her Awakened form. She actually uses them for...other things, tough.
    • And she is not the only one either. Standard Youma often spring spear-like tentacles from their hands, and then there is former #2 "Red Blood" Agatha, first seen in Scene 75.
  • In an interesting variation, Lucy from Elfen Lied visualizes her telekinetic powers and those of other mutants in the form of long translucent arms. To normal people they are completely invisible, simply causing everyone who gets to close to her to seemingly randomly explode in a fountain of blood.
  • Several Mechanical Beasts from Mazinger Z sported Combat Tentacles: Stronger T4, Megaron P1 and its "siblings", Gumbina M5... Needless to say, so did other Robeasts from Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer. And in Shin Mazinger Zero Juzo Kabuto.
  • Pantyhose Taro from Ranma 1/2, whose Jusenkyo form is a two story-tall chimera that resembles a giant ox with wings and sasquatch arms, eventually added octopus tentacles to the mishmash. He can smash through concrete with these, either by jabbing their tips at people, or whipping them down like enormous flails. At one point, he used them to rip a bathhouse's smokestack in half.
  • The Guardians from .hack//SIGN, buggy freudian nightmare monsters from a Virtual Reality MMORPG who not only stab you with their tentacles, but put you into a short-term coma in real life.
  • Kekkaishi has Princess, a kitsune whose nine tails can be used in this fashion. She's even seen nearly mummifying opponents in them on occasion. Made even more formidable in that they can grow to a huge size.
  • Karasu from Noein has a power similar to Omega Red, where he has wires as extensions of his body.
  • Shadow type magic in Mahou Sensei Negima! acts in this manner: creating physical darkness in the form of black tendrils which violently cut things, which one shadow-user Kagetarou used to slice the titular character's right arm clean off. Being that they were in a magic world which had advanced medicinal techniques, he had it re-attached. Recently, a shadow mage has appeared who's so powerful he's capable of pulling Haruna's Cool Airship out of the sky (along with several others). It's explicitly compared to Cthulhu.
    • Paio's sandworms.
  • Naraku from InuYasha mainly fights by turning parts of himself into a mess of these to immobilize, crush, impale or outright devour his foes.
  • Several of the Angels in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Shamshel has two tentacles instead of arms, Zeruel's "arms" are technically very long, sharp and flexible blades, and Armisael is essentially a giant, glowing-white tentacle.
  • Several Radam in Tekkaman Blade can spit tentacles. In part II, some of the alien Tekkamen have them as well.
  • The Maguar from Figure17 fall under this trope, being as their tentacles are in all cases their primary means of defending themselves.
  • The titular creatures from Parasyte turn parts of their bodies into razor-edge Combat Tentacles capable of slicing through humans like butter.
  • The Benizakura from Gintama, wielded by Okada Nizou before fusing with his arm like a parasite. He first takes advantage of this by strangling Matako when she talks out of turn. And then later on it gets worse.
  • The ribbons Wilhelmina uses from Shakugan no Shana are used much like tentacles. Also Shana gets captured in Episode 13 by the twincest twins using vines.
  • There's a ninja in Basilisk who does the same thing as Wilhelmina. In fact his hair is so strong that when it gets turned against him he ends up suspended in a doorway with all his limbs shattered.
  • In Saint Seiya, Specters of the Worm (such as Raimi, in the Sanctuary Saga) can use their Surplice's earthworm-like appendages to ensnare, whip, crush, or slice (with sufficient force.) A favorite tactic of this Specter is to burrow underground and let his tentacles burst up to entangle his foe, at which point he'll run a few more tentacles through the enemy.
  • Dark Nova and its Novaroid mooks in Transformers Return Of Convoy all have tentacles.
  • Bleach:
    • Luppi's Flower Motif is the ivy. As a result, when he releases his power, he gains 8 powerful vines that can be used as tentacles to capture, crush or punch his enemies. They can also manifest spikes on the end for clubbing an opponent and filling them full of holes at the same time. This power is played straight with him as he's an antagonist.
    • When Yumichika is willing to release his Coverblowing Superpower, his zanpakutou transforms into a mass of vines that capture the enemy. The vines function by way of Energy Absorption to kill the opponent. By means of Vampiric Draining, it can then use the stolen Life Energy to healing any wounds Yumichika may have received in battle. Yumichika's Flower Motif is the lily, and his vines are full of lilies that collect the stolen spiritual power. Lilies are symbols of death, rejuvenation and beauty. Despite the power, Yumichika's actually a protagonist and not a villain.
  • Used by the machine designed to implant Mr. Gentleman's consciousness into Junior at the end of ROD the TV to prevent the heroes from interfering with the process.
  • Pride of Fullmetal Alchemist is a Living Shadow / Eldritch Abomination who can form endless amounts of "shadow tentacles" which he uses to rip people apart.
    • Sloth from the first anime frequently turns her arms into liquid tentacles used to drown or immobilize people.
  • The Sailor Moon anime has the Makaiju tree, who uses its branches as this during the climatic fight against the Senshi. More than one Monster of the Week had similar attacks.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: Every opponent that Chrome fights uses these in some way. Mammon uses illusion tentacles, Glo Xinia uses a squid, Verde uses an octopus...
  • Shikamaru from Naruto has his "Shadow Sewing" Jutsu, which is basically shadow tentacles. And let's not forget his Shadow Neck Bind. And, of course, Kakuzu has the ACTUAL physical version of these, being basically a human ragdoll.
    • The host of the 8-tailed demon, an ushi-oni, or, in layman's terms, an ox combined with an octopus, can use this battle style in his fully released state but he seems more fond of spitting out a giant blast of chakra. However, he does often do "partial transformations" where he just has one or a couple tentacles sprout from his body.
    • After partially mastering the Kyuubi's chakra, Naruto can use the chakra cloak to form arms for use in forming the Rasengan and its variants, eliminating the need for multiple clones.
  • In Code Geass, Knightmare Frames generally have rocket propelled "Slash Harkens", which are knives/anchors on retractable cables. Its spin-off, Nightmare of Nunnally, however, has Mark Nemo, whose rocket propelled Blonde Knives... float in mid air when they aren't being used, as hair-like tentacles. Zero's cape does likewise.
  • Tetsuo from AKIRA develops these as his Power Incontinence grows, cranking up to Lovecraftian Superpower levels as the anime progresses.
  • Ika from Shinryaku! Ika Musume has ten of those (she's a moe-fied squid girl). They are absurdly strong, faster than sound, can reach ludicrous lengths but are also precise to put a string into a needle. And they can regenerate just as fast.
  • Medusa from Soul Eater has her "vector arrows" function half like Combat Tentacles half like a bunch of spears. Later in the manga, her son/daughter Crona develops these as a part of hir worsening Black Blood infection, with a bonus of creating poisonous thorns that infect people with madness.
  • When the demonic Yuragi of Mahou Shoujo Ai aren't using their tentacles for... other things, they're breaking bones and punching holes in people with them.
  • In Saiyuki, Hakkai's demon form has vines that can be used this way, overlapping with Tentacle Rope.
  • One of the first monsters encountered in Devil & Devil is a weird-ass tentacled monster. These tentacles' main use is to suck time out of their victims, reducing them to cute, helpless infants. The monster can, however, use the tentacles to attack its foes directly. It was offed very quickly though, returning its victims to normal.
  • The giant fairy/slime nautilus is the sixth episode of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita uses this. Not that it has much choice, being a nautilus and all.
  • Played with in Jojos Bizarre Adventure. It's played straight with the Vampire Bruford and his "Dance Macabre Hair" (which he controls with turgor pressure)and the yandere Yukako Yamagishi and her stand Love Deluxe which is bound to her hair, both of whom use them in direct combat. Played with the pillar man Esidisi who can use his blood vessels to surround his foes or inject his boiling blood into them.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man nemesis Doctor Octopus has a harness with four superstrong robotic arms that he uses for battering and throwing objects and opponents. The claws on each arm can rotate like miniature sawblades. The comic writers go back and forth on whether or not he can remove 'em, though the Spider-Man movie and The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series had them fused to his spine in a Freak Lab Accident, apparently for good. Too bad about that attitude adjustment the tentacles' software gave him.
    • Comic book Spider-Man also had Dr. Smythe and son, creators of 'Spider Slayers', as enemies. These always had multiple tentacles used pretty much the same as Doc Ock's. Even if built bipedal with two arms, Spider Slayers would have hidden hatches to throw out extra appendages mid-battle, usually with some kind of trap, such as gas, electricity, webbing, etc.
    • Spider-Man had for a short time additional mechanical limbs created by Iron Man. Though not as long and flexible as Doc Ock's tentacles, they served a similar function.
    • And a more minor Spidey foe is the Squid, who is essentially a slender, not especially bright, and organically tentacled Doc Ock.
    • Venom and Carnage are also capable of using parts of their symbiotes as combat tentacles, as well.
  • X-Men foe Omega Red, whose tentacles can bash and smash as well as transmit his "death spore virus" (its name changes from one appearance to the next, but he's got a fatal disease he's gotta give to victims periodically or it'll turn back upon him. It becomes his best weapon, though he doesn't appreciate it.)
  • Jackie Estacado of the Top Cow comic book The Darkness fights with this.
  • The strictly C-list Marvel villain Constrictor. Think Doctor Octopus...now take away two of his tentacles, put the other two on the ends of his normal arms (taking away the "multi-armed" aspect), and take away the grippy claws on the ends that Doc Ock has... and there you have it, the Constrictor. Now you see why he's considered C-list?
  • The tentacle creatures in Amulet.
  • Brainiac's Skull-Ship.
  • Callisto from the X-Men books. Thanks to fellow mutant Masque, her arms were altered into a set of multiple prehensile tentacles on both sides. She's unique in the fact that she generally used her tentacles to throw a barrage of knives in battle.
  • Wild Storm Comics character Backlash, founding member of the U.N. superhuman crisis response team Storm Watch. As a result of his Kherubim heritage and his exposure to the Gen Factor, Marc Slayton can sprout tentacles of pure telekinetic energy from his forearms.
  • Though used more frequently in the Animated Adaptation, Spawn is capable of using both the chains that drape his bodysuit and the tendrils of his tattered, shroud-like cape as this. He particularly enjoys using his cape-tentacles to blind and smother his foes. It's eventually revealed he can do this because the costume is a living being in its own right, and the chains/tatters served a similar purpose for it before it melded to him.
  • Due to its composition, Shinomura from the Godzilla (2014) tie-in Godzilla Awakening is able to grow two tentacles which it uses on Godzilla on Moansta Island.

    Fan Fics 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The trees (roots) in the Prince Caspian movie.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Pictured. See Folk Lore.
    • In At Worlds End, Davy Jones himself pulls this one off with his tentacle beard.
    • The rigging of Blackbeard's ship.
  • The various spawn of the Ogdru Jahad in Hellboy.
  • Biollante (A massive plant-human-Godzilla hybrid monster) falls under this trope.
    • Also, there's the Giant Octopus from King Kong VS Godzilla
    • And Gezora from the obscure film Space Amoeba
  • Deep Rising centers around a gigantic octopoid monster infesting a cruise liner. It first consumes every single passenger onboard and then uses its hundreds of tentacles to pursue a bunch of pirates who show up later.
  • Irys from the 1999 film Gamera 3: Incomplete Struggle not only has these, but he can also use them to fire energy blasts and suck the life outta ya.
  • The Moorwen from Outlander is a giant, lizardish thing, but its prehensile tail can be used to grasp, slice, or impale its victims.
  • The tyrant from Resident Evil: Extinction.
  • Scorpion's rope spear from the games becomes a living snake-like tentacle in the film Mortal Kombat.
  • A giant animated vine crushes and drags away a police car in Jumanji.
  • Monsters (2010)
  • The Thing (2011), especially in the 2011 movie where they're used to kill as well as assimilate humans.

    Folk Lore 

    Literature 
  • Cthulhu's tentacles can gobble up 1D3 investigators per round.
  • The Watcher in the Water from The Lord of the Rings.
    • The Games Workshop tabletop game didn't even have a body for the Watcher, you just got to place a whole load of tentacle models in a body of water on the board.
  • In The Mist (the novella), there is a huge mass of tentacles complete with rows of suckers that cut into human flesh.
  • The Dresden Files
    • Deirdre combines this with Prehensile Hair. Razor-sharp Prehensile Hair.
    • Summer Kelpies are a straight, octopus-style example.
    • "Sharkface" uses these that look like strips of cloths and seem to have a mind of their own. They're basically immune to magic and shrug off bullets and shotgun shot.
  • Drake in Gone. After Sam burns his arm off, the Darkness (using Lana's healing powers) replaces it with a tentacle.
  • In the first book of The Immortals by Tamora Pierce, Daine has to summon up a kraken to defeat the Carthaki "pirates" threatening the Swoop.
  • From Andrew Boland's Hell's Children: "Several bloody tentacles shot out from Offal’s body and proceeded to rap around Z.Y.9.0 and drag him screaming like a child into the nightmare that was Offal. A moment and quite a few screams later Offal threw up a mangled and twitching robot body."
  • In the short story "Epinikion" by Desmond Warzel, the alien Squids have tentacles that can effect a Clean Cut on a human—and secretions that keep the victim alive for hours after being bisected.
  • The eponymous antagonists from John Christopher's The Tripods use these to ensnare, crush or whip any opposition.
  • The kossief and shan-kossief from the Icerigger trilogy.
  • In E. E. “Doc” Smith's First Lensman, we get to see what the Rigellians are like in hand-to-hand combat. They have four tentacle arms with hands on the end, each arm as long and strong as an elephant's trunk. Dronvire goes into a zero-gee battle carrying four space-axes but ditches two of them, using the free arms to grasp space pirates and drag them in to be beheaded, two by two.
  • Visser Three's tentacle swinging morphs in Animorphs Also possibly the Leeran-Controllers in "The Decision".
  • These are the main weapons of The Grim in Septimus Heap. The Task of Keeper's Apprentices entails cutting off part of these tentacles.
  • In Galaxy of Fear, the vines of the vesuvague tree are simultaneously this trope and Tentacle Rope. They grab unfortunate passersby, wrap them up so they can't move, and then squeeze them to death. Spore, being made partially from vesuvagues, has its People Puppets shoot vinelike black tendrils from their eyes and mouths into the skin of other people, assimilating them.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Kthonia's primary weapon is four of these. She uses them as whips and restraints for taking hostages.
  • The Fablehaven series has a ghost lady using strips of cloth on her torn dress as these.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The second Vorlon ambassador uses a blow from his tenticle to knock a security guard over a railing.
  • The smoke monster on LOST usually turns parts of itself into tentacles with which to drag people along the ground or throw them into things.
  • Villainess Camille can use her tongue as one of these in Power Rangers Jungle Fury.
  • Kamen Rider Gills from Kamen Rider Agito can use these, especially in his Exceed Gills Super Mode.
  • In the 2009 remake of The Day of the Triffids the Man Eating Plants used these to immobilise people even more than their stings.
  • Buffyverse:
    • The tentacle monster in ''Angel' that lifts Fred and Angel off the ground until Angel stabs it.
    • Buffy had a few as well, one example being the Hellmouth creature in "The Zeppo".
    • The Plagiarus demon in Season 9 of Buffy.

    Music Videos 
  • In the animated music video for Linkin Park's "Points of Authority", an alien race invades a highly technified human outpost defended by robotic soldiers. When the aliens breach the perimeter, the humans activate a machine that causes an entire underground installation to rise up out of the ground and destroy the enemy forces with energy tentacles.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Especially common in Mortasheen, most notably with Malignus' homage to the Cenobites, Septacle, who also happens to be a toilet and Underfiend, whos tentacles are of both the combat and naughty variety.
  • The Tyranids in Warhammer 40,000 have a variety of specialized, weaponized appendages, running the gamut from the flesh hooks a lictor uses to grapple up a cliff, to the feeder tendrils genestealers use to eat your brains, to skyscraper-sized tentacles their living spaceships use to break enemy vessels apart. Quite a few of them are also bladed.
    • Daemons of Slaanesh have weaponized Naughty Tentacles, and given their nature it can quite difficult to tell how they're using them at any given time.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The spell "Evard's Black Tentacles" can summon a bunch of these.
    • D&D has tentacles by the bushel: krakens, mindflayers, phantom fungus, otyughs, chaos beast, many of the Elder Evils, and dozens of others in too many splatbooks to list.
    • Players can get in on the Combat Tentacle action with a feat from the Lords of Madness (Book of Eldritch Abominations) source book. The Aberration blood feats represent a character having a common ancestry with Eldritch abominations, and the aberration blood feat Deepspawn causes the player to sprout two tentacles which can be used for attacking.
    • 1st and 2nd Edition monsters with damaging tentacles
      • Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia Cthulhu Mythos monsters: Cthulhu (30 mouth tentacles), Azathoth (20 pseudopods), Cthugha (2 tentacles), Great Race (2 tentacles), Primordial One (3 tentacles), Shub-Niggurath (1 tentacle), Yog-Sothoth (12 tentacles)
      • aboleth (4 tentacles), displacer beast (two hook-tipped tentacles), froghemoth (4 tentacles), giant octopus (8 tentacles), kampfult (6 tentacles), the kraken (10 tentacles), the mihstu (4 tentacles), storoper (6 tentacles), xag-ya and xeg-yi (6 tentacles) and yochlol (8 tentacles).
      • Modrons with attack-capable tentacles: decaton (10 tentacles), nonaton (9 tentacles), octon (8 tentacles)
      • Dark Sun monsters: Black Silt Horror (8 tentacles), Brown Silt Horror (8 tentacles), Cistern Fiend (12 tentacles), Floaters (5 tentacles), Gray Silt Horror (12 tentacles), Magma Silt Horror (8 tentacles), Red Silt Horror (8 tentacles), Silt Paraelemental Beast (6 tentacles), Stalking Horror (7 tentacles at a time), White Silt Horror (10 tentacles).
      • The demoness Lady of Fungi Zuggtmoy had 4 pseudopods that each did 2-8 Hit Points of damage per hit.
  • A common weapon on Engels, Dagonite mecha, and monsters in Cthulhu Tech.
  • The Lasombra clan in Vampire: The Masquerade had the ability to grow these out of shadow with the Obtenebration discipline.
  • Exalted has these as a Wyld mutation, though Lunars can get them less riskily. Since this is Exalted, they're useful for enhancing your Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot-ness, but the main book doesn't really cover the other uses, oddly enough for this game.
    • Additionally, She Who Lives in Her Name (and some Infernals) has a psychic version of this, producing tendrils of solidified force to fight, pick things up etc. They 'looks' and acts like a Diclonius' vectors.
    • Tsk, tsk. Are we seriously forgetting the Celestial Circle spell Magma Kraken?
    • The queen of all offensive tentacles however, is Kimberry, better known as The Sea That Marched Against The Flame. She can create tentacles out of any liquid, including spilled blood. And they are deadly poisonous. Her shintai charms turns you into giant monster made of very naughty tentacles, i.e. a shoggoth.
  • Many units/monsters from the Lords of Cthul faction in Monsterpocalypse use tentacles as their main weapon, but Ancient Osheroth really takes the cake. Hell, he even has names for four of them.
  • Tentacle arms can be purchased in GURPS: Bio-Tech. There's tentacles hair in Ultra-Tech.
  • Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth
    • The Kraken is a 100 foot long Giant Squid with tentacles powerful enough to tear open a ship.
    • The Giant Octopus has eight tentacles that can grapple and damage opponents.
  • Marvel Super Heroes supplement Uncanny X-Men boxed set "Adventure Book". In chapter 2 "Lunch Break", while the PCs are eating lunch with the Beast they're attacked by a Spider Tank that has six 12-foot long tentacles. The tank's tentacles strike at, entangle and fire a water jet at the PCs. It turns out to be a Secret Test arranged by the Beast to find out if the PCs are worthy to be superheroes.
  • Starblazer Adventures, campaign setting Mindjammer. In the adventure "Mind's Eye" the Big Bad The Entity is an extradimensional being that can inflict horrible "cold burns" with its tentacles/pseudopods.

    Toys 

    Video Games 
  • The Resident Evil series has Plant 42 from the first game, the lickers from the second game (which like to use their blade-tipped tongues for this), and Nemesis from the third.
    • Many enemies, like Garradores or Gigantes in Resident Evil 4 sprout "tentacles" (Actually the Plaga inhabiting their body) when hit hard enough. Also, Plagas will randomly grow their tentacles out of an almost-dead Ganado. And Resident Evil 5 gives uns Uroboros which is basically nothing but a giant wriggling mass of Combat Tentacles.
    • Osmund Saddler also uses one to kill Luis, and sports a different one during the final boss fight.
    • An odd variant is the Bandersnatch in Resident Evil: Code: Veronica; it has only one arm, but that arm is apparently boneless, as it fails around like a tentacle and it can stretch out a considerable distance to either "slap" the player (a fairly damaging attack), or grab hold of the player's head and start trying to wrench it off their shoulders unless they can hammer on the buttons to wriggle free first.
  • The exoskeleton used by Solidus Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2, and Laughing Octopus in Metal Gear Solid 4.
  • Octopi and squids are recurring boss creatures in Final Fantasy:
    • Ultros, from Final Fantasy VI, a recurring joke villain with an impeccable sense of timing.
      • A writhing, sentient mass of tentacles which entangles the engine room of Figaro Castle and prevents it from returning to the surface. The tentacles can ensnare individual characters and drain their HP.
    • The Final Fantasy XI playerbase has many bad memories of the Sea Horror, a 60+ monster that, while very beatable by most jobs at 75, almost always spawns when the highest level player in the area is around level 30. Fun times.
    • Kraken, Fiend of Water in Final Fantasy I, Xande's minion in Final Fantasy III, and one of the Four Chaoses of Memoria in Final Fantasy IX. He can even get critical hits for each of his eight tentacles in Final Fantasy I.
    • Octomammoth in Final Fantasy IV, which bars the waterway between Kaipo and Damcyan.
    • In Final Fantasy X, Yunalesca has these in her second and third forms.
    • More common occurences are creatures with tentacles-as-whips, such as Molbor and Ochu. However, they're more dangerous/annoying for the status ailments they can inflict than their tentacular assault.
  • The Alura Une soul in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow gives this ability to Soma Cruz.
  • Ultimate Venom does this, though mostly in the Ultimate Spider-Man video game.
    • Mainstream Carnage can also put you under wraps, though being much more Ax-Crazy than Venom (and given some of Venom's finer moments, that's saying something!) he's just as likely to make 'em pointy and impale you.
  • The Dahaka in Prince of Persia: Warrior Within.
  • Flaaghra in Metroid Prime, as well as Metroid Prime's final form.
  • Gooper Blooper in Super Mario Sunshine.
  • Ming Xiao's war form in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines.
  • The Memory of Richard Grady, a boss from Silent Hill Origins, has several tentacles hanging from the ceiling as Travis fights it. If you're too close to them, they'll loop around Travis's throat and attempt to strangle him. Also, in Silent Hill 2, the final boss does this as well, only with some kind of scorpion tail.
  • Majora's Wrath in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
  • Halo - Flood combat forms. In the second and third games, at least on the higher difficulties, they can insta-kill MC with a single swat.
  • In Super Robot Wars Original Generation (PS2): Judecca's Final attack uses this at the end.
  • World of Warcraft has more than one tentacled horror, although in general they stick to oversized humanoids for their dungeon monsters.
    • Notable example would be the raid boss C'thun (a literal Giant Eye of Doom), who in addition to having a nasty one shot kill eye laser, spawns tentacles, eye tentacles that fire Eye Beams and giant versions of the two. One of the items he drops is the Vanquished Tentacle of C'thun, which allows the player to summon his very own combat tentacle to attack an enemy for a short time.
    • While the attack on the tentacle has been sadly outleveled into oblivion, some people still use it for kicks.
    • C'thun's spiritual ancestor, the unnamed Forgotten One in WC3, also spawned tentacles.
    • Yogg-Saron, end boss of the Ulduar raid dungeon, also appears to use tentacles as weapons. It seems like there's a theme developing here around the Old Gods...
    • Having noticed the popularity of the Vanquished Tentacle of C'thun, Blizzard introduced an improved version, the Vanquished Clutches of Yogg-saron. The concept's the same, but now it can summon 3 types of tentacles! One of them shoots acid.
    • Continuing the tradition, the BFS Gurthalak, Voice of the Deeps, has the ability to summon a tentacle that will cast a very powerful Mind Flay on your target, sometimes more than once.
  • The Magus in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning can extrude a massive tentacle from his disc (yes, disc) to swipe across enemies' faces. The Marauder class may come under this also, as his arm can be mutated into a variety of goopy shapes, some more tentacly than others, but all quite nasty.
  • The Zerg base defenses, Sunken Colonies, attack with a giant burrowing tentacle.
  • The Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi probably didn't get much to eat on Tatooine. The Force Unleashed has another one on Felucia, and that one has grown much bigger, slapping at you with arms 3 meters in diameter.
  • A couple of City of Heroes giant monsters - Lusca (big octopus) and the Hydra (big slime thing) both spawn extra tentacles to fight with. The Hydra is so damn big its tentacles can attack you from anywhere in the thousands of meters of tunnels making up the abandoned lower level of the city sewer network.
    • Also evoked by a few powers. The Plant Control ability Carrion Creepers causes huge vines to sprout from the ground and lash at enemies, and the summoned pet Fly Trap from the same set attacks with whip-like vine arms. And, of course, there's the Dark Blast power Tenebrous Tentacles.
  • One of the Sai units in the game Stormrise can generate energy tentacles from their lower arms to clobber their enemies with. They can also learn to electrolute said tentacles, further increasing the damage they do.
  • When she's not forming blades with them, Morrigan from Darkstalkers Sometimes use her wings/bats as these (see her standing and jumping Fierce Punch attacks). This is made much more explicit in the anime OAV, when she's shown using them like that in a fight. Not to mention the official names of the said attacks are apparently stuff like Orgasm Wire.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, the final bosses' most devastating attack involves you being paralyzed, lifted, and impaled by fluid tentacles and blasted by the creature fused with him.
  • The Smoker from Left 4 Dead can lasso the Survivors with his tongue.
  • In an unusual variation, angels in Diablo II have those in an imitation of wings.
    • Strictly speaking, they're beams of light that assume a form resembling wings. But close enough...
  • Alex Mercer of Prototype has this as a combat power, called the Whipfist. It is notably effective against helicopters, and has some particularly cool consumption animations.
    • Tendril Barrage Devastator. Area of Effect combat tentacles!
    • The Hydra enemy is just one giant Combat Tentacle that can split into three at its tip.
    • Sgt. Heller from Prototype 2 seems to specialize in his basic combat with tentacles (As opposed to his predecessor, who only had them as a Limit Break and whipfist, and used blades the rest of the time.) He gets rather...inventive with them.
  • Early promo shots and concept art for Half-Life 2 featured translucent blue tentacles bothering the leads. The tentacles would've been the surface manifestation of a huge under-ground being bothering City 17. Ultimately it was decided that it just wasn't a fun opponent.
  • Any Pokémon capable of using Vine Whip or Power Whip. Also Tentacool, Tentacruel, the Attack Forme of Deoxys, and others.
  • The Cloud of Darkness in Dissidia: Final Fantasy has two tentacles attached to her, which she uses to strike at mid-range opponents.
  • The Tentaclaws in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, which at first seem like seperate enemies.......but then it's revealed that they're part of the Leechgrave.
  • In Dead Space several necromorphs have these. The lurkers are infected infants with three tentacles; which can either shoot spikes or tear into a foe that they latch onto. Guardians are corpses stuck to the walls; immature guardians can only flail their intestines at Isaac, but advanced ones can shoot out pods with tentacles similar to the lurkers. In addition, if Isaac gets too close, the lurker will decapitate him. There are also tentacles which grab Isaac around the legs; if he doens't break free in time, they'll drag him to a gory death sequence. Finally, all three bosses (the Leviathan, the Slug, and the Hive Mind) all use these as their primary means of attack.
  • The Broodmother from Dragon Age: Origins is stationary, but has four tentacles that can pop out of the floor to make life difficult for ranged characters.
    • It also has a number of larger, thicker tentacles that it can use to grab anyone closing in melee. It then violently shakes them and vomits poisonous bile all over them.
  • Burn The Trash:Level 10
  • Rise of the Kasai features this as a reoccuring boss type; tentacles from an underground monster will burst out in a large area and the player has to hack them apart one at a time. Some are thin grabbers, some are spiked with mace heads, some are armored, and one has a grasper, or possibly the creature's mouth.
  • Arguably, Mr. Game & Watch's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, when he turns into an octopus.
  • Quite a few monsters in Dominions, what with it being the universal grab bag of mythologies it strives to be. Krakens, bukavacs, void lords, you name it. Oddly enough, aboleth ones are just for show - guess you don't really need base, squick weapons when you can turn brains into quivering goo at will.
  • The Kayran in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is a mutant hybrid with disproportionately huge mouth tentacles attached to a smaller, crab-like body. It attacks by slamming these tentacles to the ground, using them to throw rocks and whipping them across the entire battlefield (allowing the player to grab hold with a quicktime event).
  • Cuttlefish in Battle for Wesnoth. Heck, there's even a monster called Tentacle, which is described as the tentacle of a larger, unseen monster.
  • The final boss of Borderlands has two sets of tentacles. There are four purple flailing tentacles which shoot explosive spikes and two red tentacles which are slammed into the ground to create shockwaves.
  • Octo Diablo in Phantasy Star Zero. You can then turn one of his tentacles into a weapon yourself - but it becomes a rocket launcher.
  • The disembodied tentacles in Ecco the Dolphin that latch on and won't let go. Plus the giant octopus which sits on a ledge and slaps Ecco with a tentacle as he tries to pass.
  • The demonic foliage in Dark Souls have these in place of arms. The Pisaca in the Dukes Archives have this on their head, which they use to restrain you and deliver an extremely deadly attack.
  • The World Ends with You has a Jellyfish Noise that will attack you (or your partner) with its tentacle to violate your HP. Says so in the description.
    "If you're not careful, that obscene tentacle will start violating your HP!"
  • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten has Desco, who mainly attacks with the tentacled creature on her back. She can attack directly with them, shoot beams from them, or temporarily detach it from her in order to transform it and attack enemies with them.
  • Both The Darkness games have shadow combat tentacles. They become more powerful in the second game, offering several brutal methods of instant killing enemies.
  • Dungeon Crawl has the option of playing an Oktopode who can constrict up to eight oponents with these (though that is rarely a good idea). The spell Beastly Appendix can allso give you these.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Dragonborn, Miraak wields a staff that summons tentacles from the ground, wields a sword that turns into a tentacle when he swings it, and randomly sprouts tentacles around him when he is attacked. Appropriate, given that he is a servant of Hermaeus Mora.
    • Hermaeus Mora himself uses these to kill Storn Crag-Strider, and later, Miraak as well.
  • The final boss of KickBeat attacks you with tentacles. Some are accompanied by dark energy spears that appear in place of the power-ups that normally float over some of the mooks' heads in the other levels, and missing on a double-tap note will incur damage even if you destroy the tentacle with the first beat.
  • A number of instances of these show up in RuneScape, including among others the roots of the Evil Tree, the bosses Har'Aken and Agoroth, and the god Zaros (albeit offscreen - you read about it in a book). Reading the book in question gives you a number of tentacle related abilities as well.

    Webcomics 
  • Seen a couple of times in Girl Genius.
  • The 'Cubi in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures have these.
  • In The Order of the Stick, V once used "Evan's Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion" on a chimera.
    Trigak: We're not comfortable being grappled there!
  • Homestuck has the Red Miles, an immensely powerful attack which is capable of destroying buildings, planets, and even entire universes. Multiple characters are impaled by this attack.
  • Mike of College Roomies from Hell!!! acquires a single tentacle early in the comic's run as a result of drinking from and swimming in a polluted lake.
  • Ikago, the titular Squid Ninja, does this during transformations.
  • In Spinnerette, Legion of Canadian Superheroes member Katt O' Nine Tails is able to use her... er... nine tails this way.
  • Some were seen in a battle near the final one in Adventurers!.
  • Howard the Tentacle Beast in Tales Of Gnosis College suddenly manifests powerful tentacles with razor-sharp edges when a human being he cares about is threatened. The series also contains an panel in which a character imagines huge tentacles wrapping up and attacking an aircraft carrier.
  • In Grrl Power Syndey's violet power orb allows her to create a Hard Light pseudopod. After being forbidden to call it the Molestorb as a Hentai reference, she names it the lighthook.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamers Alliance, the Shadow loves morphing his hands into shadowy tentacles and attack with them to dispose of his enemies.
  • Alloy in The Descendants has a pair of sapient tentacles name Isp and Osp. They get extra points for themselves having Rubber Man powers.
  • Carmilla (Sara Waite) in the Whateley Universe works of fiction. Not too surprising given that her father is Gothmog, demon of lust, while his mother is Shub-Niggurath - and she's related to Cthulhu on her mother's side. She can launch tentacles out of any part of her body, and those tentacles may then have mouths or eyes or worse if she wants. She has killed several people (and a LOT of animals) by thrusting her tentacles into them and eating their souls. She has used them as Naughty Tentacles too: at least one side character is now pregnant from this. Oh, by the way, she's one of the good guys in this universe.
  • The Slender Man's default appearance is a faceless, abnormally tall and thin man, but his arms will sometimes become these (or be supplemented by them) if he's feeling particularly aggressive. This usually results in Visual Effects of Awesome, because most of the people making videos that have tentacles know what they're doing. Naturally, this isn't always the case.
  • Global Guardians PBEM Universe: Lasher is a mercenary supervillain whose costume includes two coiled, steel whips he can use to great effect.
    • Psionic hero Gray Matter can create multiple "tentacles" of purple-colored mental energy that array themselves around his body like a halo. He uses them in combat when his opponents get too close.
  • Metro City Chronicles: Squid Kid has black, hyper-elastic tentacles that grow out of her back.
  • This is a standard feature of all Terronians in Cordless. What exactly is on the end of them varies from person to person: fists, drills, rocket boosters...
  • Remember Game & Watch's tentacles mentioned in Video Games? They're in There Will Be Brawl too, and much more lethal.
  • EAT of The Fear Mythos. We're still not entirely sure what EAT is, but we do know there are tentacles. Tentacles that grab people and drag them, screaming, into ponds.
  • 99% of the Eldritch Abominations in Little Lenny Penguin And The Great Red Flood possess Combat Tentacles. Not only do they pack a punch, but, given the right circumstances, they can morph virtually anyone in their grasps into fellow eldritches.
  • Grin, one of the enemies from A-GENTS, has these as his most used ability. They're twenty feet long, can sprout out poisonous teeth, easily take the equivalent of a few anti-tank rounds, and seem to have minds of their own. Grin usually has a...different use in mind for them, though...

    Western Animation 
  • Nergal and Junior from Billy and Mandy have retractable tentacles that can shock people with jolts of electricity and even mutate people by zapping them with red energy.
  • Doctor Drakken from Kim Possible got an equivalent to these with his mutant vines, using them in one scene to crush an enemy gun.
  • Waterbenders in Avatar: The Last Airbender frequently use a form of this that involves surrounding themselves in water that they extend into tendrils (fittingly called the "Octopus Form"). And at one point, a waterbender actually uses vines as combat tentacles, by bending the water in them.
    • In the sequel series The Legend of Korra we have Ming-Hua, who lacks arms altogether and uses water-tentacles in their place.
  • Transformers Animated has Spittor who uses tentacles from his beast mode mouth to drag in victims and spit them out in explosive goo.
    • Transformers Prime has Soundwave, who used his tentacles to hack a radio telescope and fought the humans from a distance when they tried to block him out of the network. He's also used them to bore through solid rock, and attempted to do the same to Wheeljack, but failed, and settled for using them to pick him up and throw him around... by the head. He's yet to kill anyone with them, but in both instances, he demonstrably could have had he not moved on to the next mission objective instead.
  • The Teen Titans encounter these on a pretty regular basis. Alien police bots, various goo monsters, and anyone passing by a supervillain garage sale have some of these. Even Cyborg and Raven on occasion.
  • Alpha from Men In Black: The Series, who grafts alien body parts onto himself.
  • On Futurama, Bender's jointless arms can twist and coil as freely as tentacles, and are certainly strong enough to invoke this trope if necessary. Subverted in that he's more likely to use their enhanced flexibility to pick your pocket than kick your ass.
  • Batman Beyond's shapeshifting blob Inque uses this as her primary method of attack and they're stronger than steel, no less, though in some instances, her body usually slides into either one single, thick tendril or a plethora of them at once.
  • Alpha Teens on Machines had Spider, who was basically Doctor Octopus but then with a metal mask over his top part of his head, yellowish skins, and he went by the name of Spider.

    Politics 

    Real Life 
  • Many sperm whales have heavily scarred heads from fights with giant squids. However it's now believed that in most cases the squids don't have much of a chance of winning these fights.
  • Octopi have been observed to ambush sharks and kill them.
  • Played straight with Jellyfish and Anemones who line their tentacles with Cnidocytes (stinging cells) that deliver toxins into their prey. This system is so effective that they usually just wait for the prey to come to them.
  • An elephant's trunk functions very much like a tentacle in its muscle mechanics, and can be quite a dangerous weapon.
  • Constrictor snakes, such as boas and pythons. Their whole body will act as a tentacle to wrap around the body of the prey.


Chest BlasterAnatomy ArsenalEye Beams
Chains Of LoveBound and GaggedControllable Helplessness
Breath WeaponNatural WeaponFeather Flechettes
Combat ClairvoyanceStock SuperpowersCombo Platter Powers
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's ChestImageSource/Live-Action FilmsMêlée à Trois
Spawn BroodlingEvil Is VisceralEar Ache
Combat SadomasochistCombat TropesCombat Uninterruptus

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