Ear Wings

A trope mainly seen in fantasy: a character or creature is gifted with huge ears, possibly as large as his or her body.

Those ears don't just mundanely grant keen hearing: they can somehow flap, and are strong enough to actually give the power of Flight.

Don't expect the actual physics or biology behind this to be anything but handwaved.

Sometimes, the ears may even look more like real wings, with or without feathers, attached to the head rather than actual ears.

A Sub-Trope of Unusual Ears.

When the ears are instead spinning like a rotor, it falls into Heli Critter. Compare Hair Wings, Mercury's Wings, and Helicopter Hair.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Patamon, Terriermon, Lopmon, and Culumon from Digimon can fly with their large ears. Though whether Patamon's are actually ears or just wings growing out of his head is up for debate. And Terriermon more rides air currents than flies.
  • The demoness Syren from Devilman is within the subtrope of having large wings attached to her head.
  • Baku from Sanrio's Onegai My Melody series, can extend his ears and use them to fly.
  • Another Sanrio example would be Cinnamoroll. A puppy who was born from the sky, that would use his long ears to fly.

    Comic Books 
  • In one strip of Game Over (a spin-off to Kid Paddle), the Little Barbarian gains Ear Wings by drinking a potion. He can then fly on top of a stone pillar to rescue the Princess; unfortunately, she's startled by his appearance and screams, which deafens the hero and makes him fall to his death.

    Films — Animation 
  • Walt Disney's Dumbo, of course. The whole story being about young elephant Dumbo trying to turn his embarrassingly huge ears into an asset by learning how to fly with them, with the help of a Magic Feather.

    Myths & Religion 
  • From South American mythology, the Chonchon is a severed head enchanted by a kalkus (mapuche sorcerer) which take the form of a human head with feathers and talons, and very large ears acting a wings.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Crosses into Body Horror with the Vargouille in Dungeons & Dragons. This monster is a flying head with tentacles that turns people into other Vargouilles by kissing them. And it has bat wings in place of ears.
  • RuneQuest has the Chonchon (see above), a creature from the spirit world that manifests as a deformed head flying with its gigantic ears.

    Video Games 

    Web Original 
  • The imps on Gaia Online have literal wings for ears and they can use them to fly. That they can do this in humanoid form is somehow more confusing than when they can do this as Waddling Heads.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Blackstar cartoon, Gossamer the Trobbit is a gnome with large ears allowing him to fly.
  • In the Wakfu OVA The Legend of Ogrest, the title character finds by accident that his large ears allow him to fly by flapping very fast (hummingbird-like fast, in fact). It's quite instinctive at the start and Ogrest has a hard time controlling it, leading to a few crashes.
  • Kowl, the owl-like creature from She-Ra: Princess of Power, pictured above.
  • In a Fractured Fairy Tales-styled Dexter's Laboratory episode, Deedeelocks can make her ears grow by telling lies. She uses her giant ears to fly herself and her friends off into the sunset.
  • Sticking to the "insult everyone" theme, Family Guy portrays Ben Stiller as having this ability.
  • Alias the Jester: Boswell has a pair of small but functional wings sprouting from his head. There's reason to believe that Alias (never seen without a hat that covers the sides of his head) does too.
  • A Hanna-Barbera Pixie & Dixie short has Dixie learn to fly by flapping his ears.

    Real Life 
  • All squids have these (well, more like ear fins); Up to Eleven with the bigfin squid. Of special mention are two cephalopods that are not true squids, though closely related. The first is the "Dumbo Octopus" (Grimpoteuthis), and the second is the "Vampire Squid" (Vampyroteuthis). A subversion, as the "ear wings" have nothing to do with hearing and aren't even found on the mollusks' equivalent of a head; they're simply located on a part of the mantle which looks a little like a head, one on each side.