Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods
"Squid, cuttlefish, and other similarly baleful creatures are all members of the cephalopod family, characterized by HUGE EYES, BEAKS, INTELLIGENCE, and AMBITION. ... They're jet powered, did you know that? They're jet-powered animals and their heads are covered in PREHENSILE TENTACLES. They're carnivorous and most are cannibals!This trope is about octopodes, squid, cuttlefish, nautiloids, and ammonites. Something about these animals is just plain alien. Few Earth natives can lay claim to having anything like Bizarre Alien Biology, and cephalopods are among them — they have two gill hearts, one systemic heart, and blue blood. They are invertebrates without carapaces, yet unlike worms and their mollusc kin snails and clams, they move with purpose and have large, staring eyes with Hellish Pupils. There are suckers on their tentacle-arms, and a few species like the colossal squid have hooks. Their mouths are beaked and positioned strangely, their bodies look weirdly like heads, they expel clouds of ink to distract their predators, they move strangely, and some can leap out of the water like flying fish. Many of them can change colors and even the texture of their skin and they're somehow able to do this while being completely color-blind. Some species have donut-shaped brains and their esophagus runs through the "donut hole". And of course, they are bizarrely intelligent: On the same level as a cat or a bird, but unlike cats or birds, they don't learn from any parent as they die right after the eggs hatch. In fiction, sometimes they're horrible, mysterious denizens of the deep. Sometimes they're cute and funny. Largely this is a matter of size, but it's also true that generally the east favors the comical cephalopod while the west favors its big, evil cousin. Cephalopods live in every ocean. See Flying Seafood Special if they can fly, and Cthulhumanoid if they're Half Human Hybrids. Expect Combat Tentacles, Tentacle Rope and, in racier fare, Tentacle Rape. Bigger ones can apply for Giant Squid status, and from there it's not that big a jump to Kraken and Leviathan up to Eldritch Abomination. Not to be confused with Cephalothorax — those also have large heads and limbs spawning off them, but they're humanoid. While you're here, also remember to introduce yourself to Great Cthulhu, the appointed spokesperson of the Cephalopod Nation. He gets very upset if people do not properly acknowledge him.
— T-Rex, Dinosaur Comics
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Anime & Manga
- The Magic World of Mahou Sensei Negima! has the pseudo-octopus called Cerberus Cloth Eater, which only eats and dissolves your clothes, but is still greatly feared by travelers since it licks them thoroughly then leaves them naked in the jungle. Poor Chisame encountered one.
- Squid Girl, the eponymous Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain Protagonist from Shinryaku! Ika Musume, is a humanoid (whether she has a backbone is not mentioned), but has several squid traits, specifically Bioluminescence, Combat Tentacles, the ability to spit (or Waterfall Puke) ink, and Tentacle Rope.
- The Kraken Surume of One Piece. He starts off as the legendary ship-devouring monster one would expect, but upon taking a beatdown from the Straw Hats, he ends up befriending them and turns out to be pretty amicable. And Adorkable.
- The Umbrella Academy:
- Opens up the first issue with a man wrestling a giant space squid. For no real reason.
- And then there's the character Horror, who's actually pretty squidish himself, for obvious reasons.
- Sam & Max: Freelance Police: Sam & Max get rescued from pirates in "Hit the Road" by "Ratso" and his "howling band of cephalopods." Sam comments on how their floppy heads look gross on land.
Films — Animation
- Finding Nemo: One of Nemo's classmates is a young, somewhat nervous octopus ("Aw, you made me ink!").
- Vector's Squid Launcher gun from Despicable Me is shown to be practically useless. With the exception when he used it as a grappling hook; it worked quite well there.
- The sushi chef from Monsters Inc.
Films — Live-Action
- Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster makes use of a prop octopus that gets Bela Lugosi in its clutches (though Bela has to toss the tentacles over himself for the effect). Supposed to be "evil" but clearly in the "comical" category.
- A stock-footage octopus (and one prop tentacle) make a cameo in the Crosby/Hope comedy Road to Zanzibar.
- The Thermians' true forms in Galaxy Quest.
- Harry Potter features a Giant Squid in the lake at Hogwarts. It eats leftovers people chuck into the lake (Harry's toast in Goblet of Fire), occasionally tosses out students who fall in (Dennis Creevey in the same) and has been around for at least a generation, if what Lily Evans tells James Potter ("I wouldn't go out with you if it were a choice between you and the Giant Squid!") is anything to go by.
- Terry Pratchett's Nation features arboreal octopodes that are smart enough to count. Definitely awesome.
- The Grel from Doctor Who spinoff Bernice Summerfield are a race of squid-headed humanoids whose hat is data collection, going so far as to engage in space piracy to get it. The nicer ones are kind of adorkable.
- Henry the Octopus, a supporting cast member of The Wiggles. Known for breakdancing with all his legs.
- A nice one at any rate, in Ringo Starr's "Octopus's Garden". He'd let us in, knows where we've been. On a vacation in Greece, Ringo was told of their penchant for collecting objects to put around their homes. Truth in Television: aquariums often report that if they do not give their octopus shiny things to play with, it will often escape and steal them.
- Takoluka, a parody illustration of one of the newer Vocaloids, Megurine Luka, as a very cute octopus.
- Gaia Online:
- Aquarium Cuttlefish are as difficult to please as they are adorable. One of the items they can drop when they die suggests that they are Emo. In addition, the Squid set and The Experiment play tentacles for laughs.
- The Yemaya's Pearl item has a pose in which purple tentacles replace the wearer's legs. Yeah.
- You can become one in Champions Online. There's a "tentacle" mouthpiece, hand item (tentaclely fingers) and foot item (tentaclely toes... About 8 per foot.) In the underwater zone, there's a few squidly enemies to boot.
- Illithoids in Lusternia, which are something like a cross between Illithids and lampreys. Psychic lampreys, descended from an Eldritch Abomination.
- City of Heroes gives us Lusca, a tremendously huge octopus that pops up occasionally in Independence Port. So giant, its head and each tentacle individually count as a Giant Monster-class creature. Strangely, "Kraken" is a Giant Monster from another enemy group, but looks more like Swamp Thing than anything to do with squids.
- Octoman from F-Zero is the comical kind, while his anime counterpart is mostly the western evil octopus but also has a comical side.
- Blooey the Blooper from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is of the comical variety. Unlike Mario's partners, who followed Mario out of respect or another benevolent reason, Blooey, as well as the rest of Luigi's partners (excluding Hayzee), follows Luigi around out of a desire for revenge after Luigi accidentally threw him into lava.
- Give it my best shot, to keep myself red hot!
- The aliens in Sonic Colors resemble squid or octopodes.
- Ultros from Final Fantasy VI. He's kinda evil, though.
- Sly Cooper
- Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, the first game, has squid-inspired mooks in one level and the second game has octopus-like tentacles the player has to deal with in one level.
- "Crusher" from Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves; a gigantic squid that attacks the gang during the pirate level and later aids them in taking on the big bad of the level.
- Kingdom of Loathing includes familiars like the Cuddlefish and (obtainable only on one day, ever) Emo Squid. Also, adventuring in the Octopus's Garden risks a fight with (naturally enough) an Octopus Gardener.
- The Octodad games are about an amiable cephalopod and his clumsy attempts to pass himself off as a Standard '50s Father.
- A recurring element in the series are the Warp Squids, who despite their name, look more like octopuses. They have human-level intelligence, have the ability to teleport others and themselves around, and have a tendency to lose track of their many, identical children.
- Shantae and the Pirate's Curse also introduces Heart Squids, adorable, constantly smiling heart-shaped cephalopods who could be cruelly melted down by a Squidsmisth to increase Shantae's max HP. You get an achievement in the Steam version if you collect them all and complete the game without using them.
- One of the secondary characters in Errant Story has a pet miniature tentacle monster, Genre Savvily named Rape-kun. Despite the name, he is completely harmless, and oddly cute. It's mentioned that the owner doesn't have the password to unlock Rape-kun's "Adult Mode". Make of that what you will.
- Despite being a Mobile-Suit Human most of the time, Sam of Freefall is a Lovable Rogue who is said to be not remotely humanoid in his true form. According to the creator, his species is inspired by the intelligence and dexterity that octopodes often show.
- The Squiddles, adorable octopuses that star in a disgustingly cutesy cartoon. They're actual humanity's subconscious representation of the Horrorterrors, which take this trope and kick it all the way over to the "bizarrely and terrifyingly alien" side instead.
- Also, Feferi's cuttlefish.
You capture and cage CUTTLEFISH by the thousands for their own good, and also because they are funny and colorful and you love them. They often swim through the bars of their cages, but that is fine.
- The Giant Squid attacking the Nautilus in this Hark A Vagrant comic.
- Wapsi Square features Stinky the silly sea monster.
- Zelig, the vaguely cuddly coconut octopus on Academia, who functions as a sort of Team Pet.
- Otto Von Cuddlesberger from The Fuzzy Five is a pink octopus.
- Spongebob Squarepants: Squidward varies from Only Sane Man to Comedic Sociopath between the episodes, being the foil to SpongeBob's wackiness and unstoppable cheer. Also, he's not quite as good at playing the clarinet as he thinks he is.
- Hanna-Barbera gave the world Squiddly-Diddly, during the tail end of their Three Shorts format heyday.
- The heroic (and Academy Award-nominated) Oktapodi
- Futurama: Zoidberg isn't a Cephalopod, he's an Arthropod. He does, however, have cephalopodian features, such as his facial tentacles and ink-producing abilities. And his younger stages include a cuttlefish-like form (as well as a bivalve, a hydra, a sponge, and just about every other kind of aquatic invertebrate).
- Kang and Kodoss from The Simpsons.
- Avatar The Last Airbender features the absolutely adorable Purple Pentapus for one episode, Five legged, purple cephalopods that cling to any surface steadfastly. Despite this, they're completely benign and can be dislodged by rubbing their heads a few times. The show's Asian influence may have inspired the creature's ridiculous cuteness.
- The Cuyler family from Squidbillies.
- Octo from Almost Naked Animals. Three guesses as to what species he is.
- Tex Avery has a very helpful exemplar: "They went that-a-way!" (points in 8 different directions)
- Preschool character Oswald the Octopus is an extremely cute and friendly octopus. With a literal wiener dog for a pet, who wears a hot dog bun. Yes.
- Otto the octopus, who is known for stunts like juggling hermit crabs, throwing rocks at the glass, or totally rearranging his tank's scenery. His best prank involved shorting out the lights of the aquarium by shooting water at them (they have since moved the lights so he cannot do that anymore).
- Paul the Octopus, who successfully predicted the results of the 2010 Football World Championships in Germany.
- Magic The Gathering:
- The Kraken creature types, which includes the Polar Kraken, one of the biggest creatures in the game.
- The Cephalid, a race of squid-folk portrayed as physically weak but sneaky and conniving.
- Zendikar brings us the first true legendary octopus: Lorthos, the Tidemaker.
- Munchkin has the Level 18 Squidzilla monster (outright called Cephalopodzilla in French).
- Spider-Man's foe Doctor Octopus. Not really squishy, though.
- Spidey has a lesser foe called the Squid who really is all squiddly diddly.
- Octoboss, a minor Invincible villain, is a horrifying anthropomorphic octopus who straddles the line between Humanoid Alien and Starfish Alien. His head and hands are all masses of super-strong Combat Tentacles. Since Invincible is in part a Spider-Man homage, Octoboss is probably based loosely on Doctor Octopus.
- Ozymandias destroys New York using a giant squid at the end of the Watchmen book. The movie, however, removes the squid in favor of an energy machine that sends highly destructive blasts of energy to not just New York, but cities around the world, and makes it look as if Dr. Manhattan was responsible.
- Sonic the Comic has Chaos' final form which is squid-like, unlike the draconic form Chaos went for in the games.
- Diabolik had to fight octopi twice: the first time was when a millionaire, expecting Diabolik's visit, put his jewels in a chest and the chest in a pool containing seawater and a giant guard octopus (Diabolik planned to poison it, but found himself in a hurry and had to jump in and knife it to death), while the second time he was peacefully swimming when a wild octopus attacked him.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- The dianoga from A New Hope, the one in the Death Star trash compactor, happens to be octopus-like. They're also called "garbage squid". And they will invade toilets.◊
- Deep Rising has a rather disturbing example of Giant Squid size, which drinks its prey alive.
- The famously scary giant squid from Disney's version of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
- Sharktopus combines this with Threatening Shark.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: THE KRAKEN!
- The Fetus Terrible super-facehugger thing in Prometheus.
- Cthulhu Mythos: The octopus-headed star spawn, and their leader, the Dread Lord C'thulhu, Master of R'lyeh. HP Lovecraft had a strange thing about tentacles and invertebrates in general. There's always, always tentacles, to the extent that anything with tentacles will for better or worse be compared to a Lovecraftian horror. It might be because he was both violently allergic to pretty much all seafood and had something of a phobia about them. The reason there's such a strong "slimy creature from the sea" motif in his monsters is because, to Lovecraft, marine creatures were among the most vile and disgustingly ugly animals in the world.
- The Lord of the Rings has the Watcher in the Water (a huge squid-thing that guards the gates of Moria).
- Michael Crichton's Sphere had "Jerry" summon a swarm of impossible squid, and later a giant squid (an homage to the one from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea) to attack the undersea station.
- The 1957 French novel Niourk by Stefan Wul features amphibious, hyperintelligent mutant octopuses.
- John Wyndham's The Kraken Wakes is about the invasion of Earth's oceans by a race of alien cephalopods. (Or at least the organic weapons they deploy are somewhat squid-like; it's never revealed what the actual aliens look like..)
- Victor Hugo's novel The Workers of the Sea depicts at one point a fight between a sailor and a huge octopus.
A greyish form drifts in the water; big as an arm and half a yard long; it's a rag; this form looks like a closed umbrella without a handle. This rag slowly moves towards you. Suddenly it opens, eight spokes swiftly spread around a two-eyed face; these spokes are alive; there is flamboyance in their dance; it's a wheel of sorts; opened up, it is four or five feet in diameter. Frightening blossom. This thing throws itself at you. The hydra harpoons the man.
This beast crawls over its prey, covers it, ties it in its long coils. Below it is yellowish, above it is dirt-toned; nothing could adequately express this eerie dusty shade; it seems a beast made of ashes that would live in water. It is spiderlike in its shape and chameleon in its coloration. Angry, it turns purple. Horrifyingly, it is soft.
Its knots strangle; its contact paralyzes.
It evokes scurvy and gangrene; it's a disease made monstrous flesh.
- Ian Fleming's Dr. No has a giant octopus at the end of the obstacle course that the eponymous villain puts James Bond through.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea has a battle against multiple giant squid.
- H. G. Wells' short story 'The Sea Raiders' is about some giant squid who migrate to the English coastline and start eating people. They can even walk about on the shore a bit. The evil aliens in The War of the Worlds are also distinctly squid-like.
- The Martians in H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds are basically octopoids.
- The Grim in Septimus Heap, which lives in the sewer pipes below the Port and which feeds upon animals falling in them. It's the initiation job (the Task) of Keeper Apprentices to cut one tentacle of off them without being eaten.
- Not evil of themselves, but put to a nasty use: The murder weapons in The Night Season are blue-ringed octopuses, whose fatal poison has no antivenom.
- Doctor Who:
- Daleks are pretty much brains with tentacles in personal tanks.
- In Spearhead from Space the Nestenes create "a life-form perfectly adapted for survival and conquest on this planet"; it's basically an enormous squid.
- The Power of Kroll has a squid with sixty tentacles, some of them half a mile long, all because it had eaten a Cosmic Keystone.
- The Bane from the Doctor Who spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures are really squiddy things.
- The sex education video in Hyperdrive shows (fortunately not to the audience) the dangers of Interspecies Romance with such creatures.
"This crewmember had intercourse with a Glygonthian octopoid. Let's take a close look at his genitals. Pustules have developed, and on the pustules: warts. Soon, his entire groin explodes, leaving five baby octopoids, each with his face. Remember, Alien Sex is Danger Sex."
Myths & Religion
- The Kraken from the northern legends, though in the first incarnations it was more like a Turtle Island thing.
- The Oodako (great octopus) is the protagonist of a sad Japanese legend where he forces a girl to marry him.
- In the Hawaiian myth of Creation, the sun was imprisoned in the ocean by a gargantuan octopus, who was slain by a god.
- Dungeons & Dragons loves this trope.
- The most popular example are the Illithids, also known as Mind Flayers. They are mostly similar to skinny grey humans but with heads that look like an octopus with four tentacles, which they use to get hold of their victims' heads and eat their brains. They are also parasitic creatures that reproduce by implanting their tadpoles into the brains of humanoids, where they slowly feed on the victim's flesh and grow around its skeleton, eventually completely absorbing and replacing the host. Any humanoids that don't get their brains eaten or have embryos implanted in their heads are used as slave labor.
- And a more straight example would be the Krakens, a race of massive intelligent giant squids. That are also often wizards. They too like to enslave humanoids when they have the opportunity.
- D&D also has the Aboleths, sort of giant half-fish/half-cephalopod things, with three eyes and psychic powers. Like Illithids and Kraken, they too enjoy enslaving humanoids.
- The Old World of Darkness had a cephalopod race called the Chulorviah, who could parasitize humans and had plans for world domination.
- The Ceph from Crysis are as evil as these things come, waking up from their million-year hibernation to destroy humanity and take over the planet. They deploy terrible Freeze Rays and horrific flesh-melting bioweapons against population centers (such as New York) before invading and fucking the place up with their litho-ships.
- Ultros from Final Fantasy VI. He's mostly comical, though.
- King Kaliente from Super Mario Galaxy is also of the evil cephalopod bunch. Though like most Mario enemies he's also pretty comical.
- Quest for Glory IV has cephalopod imagery all over to represent the Dark One, possibly a reference to Lovecraft or Czernobog of Russian mythology. There are also "hexapods", six-legged monsters that guard the monastery.
- Mass Effect brings us the Reapers. An entire race of horrifically powerful squid-shaped starships bent on perpetuating a cycle of extinction on the entire galaxy every 50,000 years, as they have for at least the past 37 million years. And that's 740 cycles!
- Some theories suggests that they might have been doing this for a billion years. And that's 20,000 cycles!
- They're shaped like cuttlefish because they were created by the Leviathans, who are giant aquatic beings, and they remade themselves in the image of their creators once they Turned Against Their Masters and started killing everything.
- Oodako the giant octopus boss in Muramasa: The Demon Blade.
- As well as the Watcher from the book, The Lord of the Rings Online has a giant tentacled terror in the sewers of Carn Dum.
- Some of Ecco The Dolphin's more random enemies include giant octopodes called Eight-Arms. The Prehistoria levels have plenty of pointy ammonites, too.
- The first boss of Ratchet and Clank 2 is a huge swamp-octopus thing. Its big brother also acts as a hidden boss.
- Squiddicus from Donkey Kong Country Returns is a gigantic octopus that spends most of his time attacking ships in the background, but in a few levels he'll attack Donkey and Diddy, smashing platforms and swiping with his tentacles. And he's covered with small spikes, making him invulnerable.
- Ozumat, the fiend from below, a massive spawn of the Old Gods who seeks to aid the naga and faceless with their campaign in Vashj'ir in World of Warcraft. He's also the bastard who sinks your ship at the start of the zone. Suffice to say, killing him feels good.
- The giant octopus boss of Quaria in Bug!, which stays in the background, grabs fish with its tentacles, and throws them at you. You counter by whacking them back at his head, after which he will come up close and personal, using his tentacles to hurt Bug directly.
- The Mega Man X series have Launch Octopus and Squid Adler/Bolt Kraken. Though they are anything but squishy- the former launches homing missiles and can drain X's life, while the latter makes liberal use of Shock and Awe.
- The Xarquids from X-COM: Terror From the Deep. Essentially, they're Nautiloids fed on a diet of alien steroids and have a sonic beam shoved up they're tentacles. And they swim backwards.
- Gohma Lashers from Asura's Wrath, designed to look like a combination of Octopuses and Shelled Cephalopods. They take this to an extreme, being an entire mile or more in length from the top of the head to the end of it's tentacle.
- The second The Dishwasher game has Squidface, a katana-wielding sword master with an octopus for a head.
- Kirby's Epic Yarn has Capamari, the boss of Water World. During the first phase of his battle, he appears to be a squid until you unravel the knitted cap he's wearing, revealing him to be an octopus and triggering the second phase.
- Malamar from Pokémon X and Y. Malicious-looking Dark/Psychic humanoid squids that are the Pokemon's equivalent of Mind Flayers. They can hypnotize others into doing their bidding, and it doesn't help that they are used by trainers for nefarious purposes. Its pre-evolved form Inkay is more timid and less overtly malicious, but it's still a Dark-type.
- Some characters in The Secret World believe that the Dreamers are extra-dimensional cephalopods.
- The single-player story mode of Splatoon features the octopus-based Octarians, who fought the Inklings in a previous war and have seemingly returned for revenge. It turns out their habitats were falling apart and running out of power, and they stole the Great Zapfish to try to fix it.
- The Kraken of Evolve invokes this. Its mouth is a series of fangs set in the midst of some tentacles, it had tentacles growing out of its back and head, and its 'wings' are essentially tentacles on the ends on normal limbs.
- Eight-Armed Willy from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. However, it turns out he's really just the Designated Villain. He loves to sing and would gladly give you his ink if you just asked for it.
- SilverHawks Big Bad Mon*Star rides an armored giant space-squid named Sky-Runner.
- While also mentioned under "comical", there are times when Early Cuyler can come close to belonging here too.
- The Penguins of Madagascar: Attack of the Martian Octopods! (Sorry, Private, they can't be convinced into Love & Understanding.)
- Magic The Gathering: The Cephalids of Otaria that showed up in the Odyssey block as a replacement to merfolk (kinda... Laquatus was still running around). They were almost humanoid squid creatures that were neutral to most of the events on the mainland, and involved in their own civil war, between the Emperor and Empress no less.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Night at the Museum 2 features an octopus that befriends Larry after he provides it with water, and happily sploshes into the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
- In Old Boy, the main character, after spending 15 years locked up, goes to a restaurant and orders "something still alive". He's served an octopus, which he proceeds to chew down while its tentacles squirm all over his face. Watch it here. Live octopus is a genuine South-Korean dish (called sannakji), but the critter is supposed to be cut up before serving. In the movie, he just ate it whole.
- Stephen Baxter's novel Manifold: Time has humans breed squid for intelligence, then use them to man space probes. These squids colonize an asteroid; their species actually outlives most of humanity.
- In the X-Wing Series, Loka Hask, the man who killed Wedge's parents, survived being shot down, but in the process a Corellian limpet got attached to his face, covering an eye and an ear and reaching tentacles into his mouth and nose. Corellian limpets look like vaguely jellyfish-ish eyeless, lumpy octopodes. Loka's limpet serves as a Red Right Hand, drawing a couple of circles around his evilness.
- Ian Fleming's "Octopussy" features an octopus as a pivotal story device. It kills a major character, but not in any "evil" malice.
- Similar to the Discovery Channel instance but much creepier: near the end of the Earth's life in H. G. Wells' The Time Machine, cephalopods appear to have finally gotten around to invading the land. One of them crawls out of the ocean towards the time machine as the atmosphere begins to snow out around the traveler.
- The 'gods' of the Church of God Kraken.
- In The Exposed, twenty-seventh book in the Animorphs series, the gang uses sperm whale morphs to capture a giant squid, and then all six morph it to access a ship in the deep ocean.
- Sergey Pavlov's Aquanauts feature an absolutely tragic take on the trope, when the protagonist, a deep diver who's recruited to help to investigate the strange events at the automated underwater mine (one of two operators disappeared and the other had a nervous breakdown), finds what's really happens there. When he comes down, he finds there a mysterious giant squid that messes around with the equipment, and apparently shows signs of the intelligence. It turns out that the squid got injected with the consciousness of his girlfriend who recently died in an air crash, but whose brain was used by her father as a matrix for his AI research. When the plane carrying a prototype crashed near the mine, the prototype rewrites itself over the squid's brain, thus somehow awakening the girl's self-awareness. She, however, cannot cope and eventually commits suicide.
- The Chronicles of Professor Jack Baling features a hyperintelligent cuttlefish named "Gwendolyn."
- China Mieville's "Kraken", natch. (More of the Eldritch Abomination type, but didn't do anything evil in the book.)
- In Orn, the second book of Piers Anthony's Of Man And Manta series, Aquilon is able to communicate telepathically with giant ammonites in the Alternate Universe.
- In Raymond Z. Gallun's "Davey Jones' Ambassador" (1935), a human undersea explorer is captured by a deep-dwelling civilization of cephalapods who have a culture based on Organic Technology.
- From the Evillious Chronicles' Daughter of Evil and Deadly Sins of Evil Light Novels there is the "ziz tiama", an octopus species with a face (a reference to Tako Luka) which has magical properties.
- In the Discovery Channel The Future Is Wild project speculates on the Earth of 200 million years into the future.
- The ecological niche primates once occupied is now filled by tree-swinging, quasi-sapient "squibbons". It is strongly suggested that the squibbons will go on to form a civilization.
- 100 million years earlier, a variety of marsh-adapted octopus uses its color-changing abilities to hunt among reed beds, and rears its young in puddles trapped by gigantic lotus flowers.
- In part two of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Chain of Command," Gul Madred offers a starving Picard a pink Taspar egg. Picard cracks it open, revealing a squishy, squiddy thing inside which is still alive. Undaunted, Picard upends the egg and gulps it down.
- A seventh-season episode of House has the Patient of the Week eating sannakji, live octopus parts, still moving on the plate. Played for humorous Squick.
- On Primeval, Helen leaves a live ammonite on Cutter's desk as a sign she's returned from the distant past via one of the Anomalies.
- The d20 version of Gamma World has Octhofuses — a sapient race of octopodes, their name resulting from applying simulated linguistic drift to the original animal's name, like most creatures new to the d20 version. Most of them were actually friendly and curious — although there was a large, primitive, warlike subrace, roughly to them as orcs might be to humans in a fantasy setting — and they're considered a valid Player Character option.
- One of the starting morphs in Eclipse Phase are "Octomorphs", uplifted octopodes. Depending on the background you pick and your "fluff" choices, a character with this morph might be an actual octopus, another animal with an octopus body, a human with an octopus body, or an AI with an octopus body.
- You can also play an uplifted cephalopod in Transhuman Space. Some of them claim to worship Cthulhu, and humans who discuss it with them aren't sure if they're more unnerved by the possibility this is octosap-humour, or the possibility it isn't.
- Star Frontiers features a race of land-dwelling, intelligent, telepathic, purple octopuses (technically they have nine tentacles, but still) in the very first intro module. For extra awesomeness they ride DINOSAURS!
- Octoroks from The Legend of Zelda.
- Minecraft now has squids that spawn in water. They're a neutral mob, though, and quite passive.
- The Pokémon Octillery, which as the name suggests, is like a cross between an octopus and a cannon. (it evolves from a revolver fish). There's also Omanyte and Omastar, based on the extinct ammonite.
- Pokémon X and Y introduces a evolutionary line of Dark/Psychic squid.
- The Parodius series has Takosuke and other octopuses among the main characters. The subtitle of the original MSX game translates to The Octopus Saves the Earth.
- Endless Ocean has octopuses and squid who all act benign towards you, but the second game's giant squid can be periodically seen fighting with a sperm whale.
- The protagonist of Swim, Ikachan! is a squid, but, as a Heroic Mime, tends not to be particularly comical.
- Jazzpunk has a giant squid statue as a parody of the Maneki Neko.
- Fluik Games' mascot is a squid. In Office Jerk and its Spin-Off Office Zombie, you can use the squid as a projectile.
- The stars (and playable characters) of Splatoon are the Inklings, squids who can change shape into humanoid teens. Their main enemies are the Octarians, a race of octopus-inspired creatures that resemble octopus tentacles.
- In Evolve many of the animals are said to be descended from cephalopod like creatures. This is most noticeable with the mammoth birds, reptilian ostriches with Cthulhu heads, and cephaladons, which are crocodiles mixed with squid.
- PZ Myers loves cephalopods. There's even a Friday Cephalopod feature!
- Oddly enough, there's also a Friday Squid on cryptography badass Bruce Schneier's blog.
- The Delegation is a mysterious cuttlefish and Zoofights competitor who is ostensibly from Japan (the fact that it arrived three days before the invitations were sent out notwithstanding). The Delegation is later revealed to be just one of many bodyguards of a massive squid who was nicknamed The Representative and referred to itself as SeaNet.
- The rare and endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus (Octopus paxarbolis).
- Orion's Arm: Has an entire planet populated by cephalopods aptly named Cephalotopia. Some of the stranger examples of intelligent species are Bitenic Squids and PsySquids, neither of which are particularly friendly to humans.
- This story, about a Mimic Octopus who can imitate Humans (albeit unconvincingly), and then another or possibly the same one who's learned to do it well. While the octopus does try to kill the protagonist, he seems to eventually come to have some small degree of sympathy for it, since its actions were apparently the result of its habitat being overfished by Humanity.
- The Kraken in The Adventures of The League of S.T.E.A.M. short, "Tall Tails", is a cephalopod, although since only its arms are seen it is unknown if it is an octopus, squid or something else.
- The NHL's Detroit Red Wings typically celebrate the NHL playoffs by letting fans throw octopuses on the ice, a tradition that began in the 1950's (the octopus' eight arms signified the 8 wins—two best-of-seven series—needed to win The Stanley Cup in those years). The animal has been long associated with the team as a result, with even the team's mascot being one (Al the Octopus).
- Paul the psychic octopus was a resident of a German aquarium known for having correctly predicted the outcome of every game that Germany played in the 2010 World Cup, plus the final.
- Vampyroteuthis infernalis, the Vampire Squid from Hell.
- In South-East Asian countries (particularly Singapore and to a lesser extent Malaysia), there is a saying "blur like sotong", meaning someone is inattentive or easily confused. The thinking is the association with blinding ink and being confused and distracted. However, as pointed out elsewhere on this page, cephalapods are very intelligent animals capable of complex thinking processes, and the ink confuses their enemies, not them.
- Several cultures worldwide ascribe mystical properties or religious significance to Ammonite fossils; most notably Hinduism, where they are a symbol of Vishnu.
- Chambered Nautiluses have some of the most famous shells in the animal kingdom.