Whether huge and hideous or helical and handsome, having horns can hamper the head of hatless heroes and hated hostiles homologously. Habitants of Hell trade Holy Halos for hot horns. Horns adorn the heads of hairy hombres and hembras hermosas, highlighting the Half Human Hybrids' heterogeneous heritage that hybridizes human with hoofed husbandry. The Horned Humanoid hails from the Hellenic, characteristically hefting the horns of haughty rams, honored stags, hilarious goats and hoary bulls. Humorously, holding a single horn hardly ever confers holiness. Subtrope of Monstrous Humanoid. Not be confused with Horny Devils, although some examples of that might be examples of this. An important aspect of the Big Red Devil physical archetype. Many an evil example sports Horns of Villainy. A few might be Cuckold Horns (or compared to them). See also Crown of Horns.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Nosferatu Zodd from Berserk. He loses one of his horns after fighting against Griffith.
- Sabato from Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan.
- The characters who are souls encased in armor from Fullmetal Alchemist tend to have these, notably Al and Barry the Chopper.
- Roa gets this a little bit while fighting Major Armstrong. He is half cow.
- Ao No Fuuin depicts Oni with small, sharp horns on their heads.
- A little hanyou girl in the InuYasha movie has tiny curling horns rather like a ram. The many oni are depicted with the traditional single horn.
- Tony Tony Chopper from One Piece has horns coming from holes in his hat. It should be noted that he is an anthropomorphic reindeer.
- Word of God also says that horns are not uncommon on species of humanoids in the world like humans and giants, being analogous to buck teeth. For example, Moria (a human) and Oars (a giant) both have horns.
- Several citizens of the Magic World in Mahou Sensei Negima! have these, most notably Princess Theodora, President Seras, Shirabe and Tamaki.
- Hanyuu from Higurashi: When They Cry has two horns on her head, one of which is chipped slightly. No one ever comments on their appearance. In the original visual novel, it's shown that she still had them when she was a living human, hinted to be due to a recessive genetic defect. They're a large part of the reason why she ended up being sacrificed, since her horns led people to think she was a demon.
- The demons in Chrono Crusade all have horns that mind link them to Pandemonium. Pandemonium controls their actions to a certain degree via this link and constantly supplies their "legion" cells with energy. If their horns are ever removed they must find an alternate source of power, such as a human's soul via a contract, or else they will die after their "legion" is depleted.
- Scanty and Kneesocks from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, beings demons, naturally have horns. Scanty has two curved ones on the back of her head while Kneesocks has a single sharp horn on her forehead.
- Frieza, King Kold, Captain Ginyu, and Dabura of Dragon Ball fame. In Frieza's case, they're most prominent in his first and second forms (the second, in particular, looks rather Satanic), and vanish entirely when he crosses the Bishonen Line.
- The Boazans in Voltes V.
- The Oni in Urusei Yatsura.
- The Diclonii, the pink-haired, always female, psychic and (generally) homicidal Human Subspecies from Elfen Lied have horns that conveniently enough look like cat ears.
- Aries, The Spirit King, and Capricorn from Fairy Tail.
- Onimaru and most of his demon servants from Yaiba.
- Son Goku the Four-Tails from Naruto.
- And Kinkaku and Ginkaku. And Kabuto in Sage Mode.
- Three of the members of Orochimaru's Sound Four gain horns when they reach the second stages of their Cursed Seal forms - Kidomaru gets two brown conical devil-style horns, Sakon & Ukon each get a long, thick, curved red horn curving up from their foreheads, and Tayuya gets a veritable crown of sharp white horns growing in several directions.
- The Sage of the Six Paths, as well as his mother. His mother's were large enough that she was nick-named the "Rabbit Goddess" while the Sage's were significantly shorter. His sons in turn lacked horns, with the older son possessing only markings on his forehead.
- Ririchiyo and Shoukin from Inu × Boku SS is this when they access their youkai heritage.
- The two princesses of Ledomiam in Drakuun.
- Humans possessed by demons in Blue Exorcist often look like this. The protagonist himself gains a pair of fiery horns when using his flames.
- Digimon: Devimon, Wargreymon, Flamedramon (a rhino-like nose-horn), Agunimon, and Yakasmon
- The Santovasku of Royal Blood in Outlanders have cute horns that curl over their face like big eyebrows.
- Akura-Ou, a powerful demon lord, from Kamisama Kiss is one.
- The Pillar Men from Jojos Bizarre Adventure. Although they keep them hidden as displaying them is a sign of honor.
- Tear is one in Unlimited Fafnir, and has tiny horns sticking out of her head.
- Hellboy prefers to file his down to stumps.
- Due to his Bizarre Alien Biology, Concrete grew antlers for a while. He files them down now.
- Blue Devil and his former sidekick Kid Devil, what with being devils.
- Harvey Comics' Hot Stuff
- Illyana Rasputin and Daimon Hellstrom.
- Marko's kind in Brian K Vaughan's Saga .
- Abin Sur of Earth-20 in Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1. He is well aware this makes him look like a demon.
- Since they are themed after the Western Zodiac, many of the denizens in Swordquest: Earthworld fall into this, such as Ares, Capricorn, and Tarus.
- Volume 2 of Rat Queens reveals that Hannah is one, though, as there is implied to be a stigma against folks with demonic blood, she typically keeps them hidden in the buns on top of her head.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- The Darkness in Legend.
- Star Wars' Darth Maul, and various other members of the Zabrak species in the Star Wars Expanded Universe and prequel trilogy. Devaronian males have two horns; the one seen in A New Hope is actually wearing a secondhand devil costume.
- The Faun in Pan's Labyrinth
- History of the World Part I has this in the Viking Funeral.
- Unlike her animated counterpart from Disney's Sleeping Beauty, the eponymous protagonist of Maleficent is shown to clearly have horns.
- The beast in some versions of "Beauty and the Beast", most predominantly the Disney version.
- The Horned King in the Chronicles of Prydain.
- Memory Sorrow And Thorn: In the main character's dream, the king of the elves has a rack of horns like a deer. For most of the book, that's what he thinks it is. It's not until he sees the king in person that he realizes it's a crown of branches.
- True Blood: Maryanne builds an effigy featuring a man with horns, and when she sees a pure white bull, she calls it her god. Presumably she is referring to Dionysus.
- Thomas Burnett Swann's mythological fantasies have lots of fauns and satyrs. Even his minotaurs (both of them) are more like bovine satyrs than the classical description.
- The Damiani in the Star Trek Novel Verse. Damiani have three sexes, with the number of horns signifying which sex an individual belongs to. The loose equivalent of females have three, one on the forehead and one above each temple, the loose equivalent of males have only the forehead horn, and the third sex has only the two on the temples.
- This is part of what identifies demons in the web-novel Domina, along with red eyes, fangs, and (sometimes) a tail. Note that none of these are natural; demons are humans modified in specific ways by the toy maker.
- The premise of Joe Hill's novel Horns.
- The King of the Elves in Lords and Ladies appears as a satyr with huge antlers, reflecting the Horned God of Celtic mythology. A more parodic version of the Horned God is Herne the Hunted, who has little horns between his rabbit ears.
- Astfgl, King of Hell in Eric, generally appears as a pantomime Demon King, wearing a cowl with little red horns on it. When he gets really annoyed, he turns into a demon from a heavy metal cover, and massive ram's horns rip through the cowl.
- The Doctor Who story The Daemons claims that most of the mythological examples are due to race-memory of the eponymous Ancient Astronauts.
- Also "The Beast" from "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit", and his son, Abaddon, from the Torchwood episode "End of Days".
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel have many horned demons.
- Power Rangers/Super Sentai has had a number over the years. Some have been monster minions (like Wolfbane/Bara Goblin), some have been main villains, others have been heroes (like Magna Defender/Bull Black), and others still have been giant robots. The most famous is the original Megazord from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
- In Reaper, demons in their human form still have small horns on their heads.
- In Hannibal, Hannibal Lecter is symbolized by a wendigo in Will's dreams and hallucinations. Wendigo appears as either a stag or a man with stag horns and charred skin.
Myths & Religion
- Dionysus was often called "the horned god," and was depicted either wearing horns or actually having them.
- And then there's Pan, the satyrs and the Minotaur.
- Apollo in his Carneios aspect is also depicted with ram horns. In fact, it has been suggested that Apollo's horned iconography had more impact on Satan's horned depiction than Pan, as Pan tends to be depicted more animalistically rather than just a guy with horns.
- Oni of Japanese legends had a single, sometimes off-center horn. Modern depictions in anime often have two-horned oni as well; when there's a literal Red Oni, Blue Oni pair, most likely one will have a single horn and the other will have two.
- Classically, horns were thought to be a symptom, not of cheating on one's spouse, but the opposite: being cuckolded. Supposedly, the reason Oberon had horns was because Titania got around. (With no less than the personification of dreams, to hear some tell it.)
- Derived from that, many Latin languages use horn-related words to describe a betrayed man.
- Cernunnos from the Celtic Mythology.
- The male god in Wicca is often referred as "The Horned God" and is often depicted similarly to Pan and/or Cernunnos.
- More folklore than mythology, but Herne the Hunter definitely fits this trope.
- In ancient Canaanite mythology, bulls were an important symbol of power — hence why several major gods, including the wise, kingly El, are sometimes depicted as bulls or simply having bull horns.
- Medieval and Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo often depicted Moses with horns, due to the Vulgate (Latin Bible translation) misreading the Hebrew of The Book Of Exodus 34:35 as stating that Moses's face was "horned" (keren) instead of "shining" (karan). This contributed to the anti-Semitic belief that all Jews have horns.
- The klezmer group The Klezmatics played with this stereotype by titling one of their albums Jews with Horns.
- Satan is often portrayed as having horns, which probably owes something to the pagan gods describes above. Note that the only passage in the Bible that even gets close to assigning Satan a physical form describes him as a serpent instead.
- The Bible also says he often appears as an angel of light, so there's that...
- At least a few people interpret horns as originally being a sign of good, or, more specifically, truth. For example, a goat with seven horns and seven eyes is said to have held the Seven Spirits of God.
- Veles, a prominent Slavic god and opponent to the god of thunder Perun, is often depicted as having horns. This may be due to him being a patron to peasants and protector of cattle, among the many, many other things he's associated with.
- The title monster of Gorgar, a giant red-skinned Satanic Archetype with small bull horns.
- The referees in Capcom Pinball's Flipper Football are depicted with small red horns.
- In Big Bang Bar, Ray (of "Ray's Ball Busters") is a large blue-skinned alien with a pair of curved ram horns on his head.
- Played with in Varkon; the two arrow lights on the lower playfield give Varkon the appearance of having small orange horns.
- The Devil and lesser demons in Devil's Dare all have a pair of horns on their heads.
- Not surprisingly, devil horns are prominently featured in the AC/DC pinball:
- The Underworld playfield looks like a fiery head topped with small curved red horns. In the basic version of the game (those without the lower playfield), the horns appear on lead guitarist Angus Young's head instead.
- On the "Luci" Premium Edition table, the three female Horny Devils (Luci on the backglass, and a blonde and a brunette in the Underworld) all have small horns.
- Not a humanoid, but the Rock 'n Roll Train also has horns on its smokebox.
- Psicosis seemingly grew a set horns as a result of jumping from CMLL to AAA
- K-ness of Toryumon Japan
- Murder Clown from AAA has stubby little horns.
- LLF's Dark Unicorn, who has also toured AAA
- Lucy Furr was depicted with red horns in video packages and photo shoots but was hornless when she physically appeared at shows.
- Bullfight Sora, who got her start in ARSION. (she's a cow)
- MosCow, the communist bovine of CHIKARA. (he's a cow...wait what?)
- Boogeyman was originally planned to have antlers, but they kept sliding around, so he dropped them.
- \(^o^)/ Chie of The New Generation HUSTLE Army. And she used a running headbutt for good measure.
- AHII in All Japan Pro Wrestling
- Estonian Thunder Frog and Latvian Proud Oak of the Baltic Siege in Chikara and Wrestling Is
- Satyrs and Trolls in Changeling The Dreaming.
- In Changeling: The Lost, the Beast, Ogre, and sometimes even Fairest seemings sometimes have horns.
- Horns are an option for the Fallen's Apocalyptic Form in Demon The Fallen, which, in addition to looking badass, also gives them an extra attack form.
- Unsurprisingly a fairly common trait amongst the forces of Chaos in Warhammer & Warhammer 40k, most notably the daemons of Khorne, fitting as they do into the Big Red Devil archetype. Interestingly, many Nurgle demons have what appear to be antlers, which seems a bit incongruous until you realize that they're actually a reference to Shope papilloma virus, the so-called "Jackalope Disease".
- In D&D from Planescape up until 3.5, tiefling characters could have horns as a mark of their fiendish ancestry. In 4th Edition, all tieflings fit the trope. (And as one might guess from that, so do several sorts of actual fiends in every edition.)
- While Pathfinder follows the earlier editions' lead in terms of keeping horns optional for tieflings, you'd be hard-pressed to find one without them in a Pathfinder illustration prior to the release of the tiefling-specific splatbook Blood of Fiends. And even in said supplement, those with horns outnumber those without nearly two to one.
- Planescape's bariaurs have goat or sheep horns, but arguably don't fit the "humanoid" part of the trope.
- Standard Trolls in Shadowrun sport a variety of different types of horns, as do the Fomori, Cyclops, and Minotaur subtypes.
- The Hero of Fable will end up growing a nice set of horns if one is particularly evil.
- The Succubus class from Disgaea, as well as Taro and Raspberyl from Disgaea 2 and 3
- The Desire Demons in Dragon Age look like beautiful, scantily-clad women... with horns.
- Dragon Age II shows that the Qunari are also horned, though the ones you meet in the first game are hornless. It's stated that naturally hornless Qunari aren't all that uncommon and it's a sign that they're meant for a special role, while the others are members of a merchant caste. The mercenaries and the merchant in Awakening apparently removed their horns, something that Qunari who have abandoned their people's dogma decided to do. Despite this, interestingly, there seems to be a positive correlation with horn size and rank—Qunari grunts in the second game have unimpressive horns, more skilled soldiers larger ones, and then the Arishok's set puts Texas longhorns to shame.
- Final Fantasy: Most notably on the summons Bahamut and Ifrit.
- Exdeath's final form, Neo-Exdeath, in Final Fantasy V.
- The Ronso of Final Fantasy X. Party member Kimahri's horn was broken off in the past after he refused to admit that Biran, another Ronso, was stronger than him.
- Also, the Rev (and sub-species Revgaji) of Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics A2, and the Gria of Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
- In Final Fantasy IX, Summoners are born with with a single horn, evoking the horn-like accessories of the Summoner class in previous games.
- The Au Ra from Final Fantasy XIV
- Some creatures and units in the Warcraft games. Malfurion Stormrage is an example.
- Malfurion's brother Illidan grows horns after the Skull of Gul'dan turns him into a partially demonic being. The Satyrs are similar, being former Night Elves that were corrupted by Fell magic.
- In World of Warcraft, female Draenei have horns, while males have large bony crests. Some ogres also have a single horn.
- Not to mention the Tauren, giant fuzzy minotaurs one can play as a Horde-side character.
- Horns are surprisingly rare in Touhou. They seem to be exclusive to Oni, and they're not the most common species.
- Keine Kamishirasawa has a pair in her beast form as a were-hakutaku, which she decorates with a pretty ribbon.
- Multiple types of horns are some of the many, many costume options in both Champions Online and City of Heroes.
- Poor little Ico's fairly bovine horns are seen as a curse, and he's left to die in a haunted castle because of them.
- Playing the Endless Setlist in Rock Band 3 will unlock one horned hairstyle for each gender of rocker.
- Rider, from Puyo Puyo, has horns which she is ashamed of and covers with her Odango Hair. However, she learns to accept them after meeting Satan, another character with horns.
- Legacy of Kain: Many demons, the magic missile shooting creatures in Blood Omen, and in some concept art for Soul Reaver, Kain. What he has now may or may not qualify. Precursor murals sometimes add horns to their enemies.
- Jak of Jak and Daxter has horns in his dark form during the second game. Oddly enough, they are missing in the third. A fanon explanation is that the positive/balancing effects of the Light Eco caused them to disappear.
- The Draken of WildStar have an extensive variety of horns.
- Many of the Lesser Daedra from The Elder Scrolls, especially the Dremora Lords from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim who look like gigantic, black and red-skinned men with curling ram horns above their temples.
- Played with in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Big Boss gets a piece of shrapnel lodged in his head that comes to resemble a horn. Quite befitting for a man who is "already a demon".
- This is a racial feature of all the Trolls in Homestuck. The actual styles vary wildly from individual to individual though. You can get standard 'devil horns' like Terezi, curled ram horns like Aradia, goat like horns on Gamzee, even lightning bolts on Eridan. You can see all of their horns here.
- Some of the Trolls point out how annoying their horns can be. Tavros's are so large, he can't get into his sleeping chamber ("recuperacoon"). Karkat gets picked on because his aren't pointed at the end, they're round. Equius is so strong, he no longer has two arrow shaped horns, he broke one off, so he has a flat one on his right side.
- Evil Diva: All the devils have them. Tails too.
- Nudge from Wapsi Square is a trickster demigod who looks mostly humanoid, although she has long, curly mountain-goat horns, as well as hooves and a tail.
- In Sinfest, Monique tries to establish that a lack of horns and tail means she's not a devil. Satan and the succubi do indeed all have small horns.
- All the members of the Mouryou clan from Contemplating Reiko.
- Some, though by no means all of the Jägerkin from Girl Genius have horns of varying shapes and sizes.
- In The Forgotten Order there is a race of witches with horns of varying shape and size.
- In El Goonish Shive, Grace becomes one when she transforms into her Omega form while angry. The horns morph away when she calms down. Both the horns themselves and their association with anger are a result of her parentage including a creature whose horns behave the same way.
- The Demi in The Overture are renowned and hunted for there black moonshale horns.
- Tower of God - Androssi has a tiny, skin-colored horn above her right temple, Ho has a big red horn growing from the side of his head and Ja Wangnan has two small red horns at the rear base of his skull.
- Jimmy Two-Shoes has this trope in spades: Lucius, Beezy, Molotov, Jez, plus several background characters.
- A number of Transformers have horns, perhaps most notably Unicron, which helps to add to his almost demonic appearance.
- Like the Horned King, the Lich from Adventure Time has a helm with curled horns, one of them permanently broken.
- Human papillomavirus is known to cause an extreme form of this if you have a certain immune deficiency. Said "horns" are usually not on the head, though.
- Horned helmets can give this appearance, although such horns are accessories rather than being attached to the person.