Knotty Tentacles
Try wiggling out of that!

One way of beating something with tentacles, long stretchy limbs, or serpentine features is by tying it up with said features. For smaller creatures, those about the size of the protagonist, this often involves physical tying. Larger creatures will have to be wrapped up with more complex maneuvers, similar to what one would use to dispose of a Misguided Missile.

Sub-Trope of Bound and Gagged, and almost always involves Hoist By Their Own Petard. Compare and contrast Tentacle Rope. Little relation to the infamous trope "Naughty Tentacles", other than by pun. Not to be confused with Human Knot.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z has Goku face a giant snake called Princess Snake. He defeats the snake by flying around it until it ties itself into a knot trying to eat him.

    Comic Books 
  • Incredible Hulk
    • Hulk has at least once defeated Mr. Fantastic of The Fantastic Four by tying him in knots.
    • He also tied Doc Ock's arms into knots in retaliation for the beating he received in a Sinister Six storyline.
  • In the X-Wing Series, a teenaged Wedge Antilles was restrained by Booster's tentacled copilot while going berserk as his parents were dying. Somehow, off panel Wedge slipped out and got to a window, and the copilot was seen looking startled with its tentacles knotted.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Jungle Book, Mowgli pushes Kaa's coils off a tree and he collapses on the ground in a tangled heap. As he crawls away, his tail ends up tied in a knot, which gets snagged and trips him up.
  • In Robin Hood, Prince John punishes Sir Hiss by tying a knot on his throat, then later by tying him around a pole.
  • The animated film The Secret of Kells has the boy protagonist face off against a tentacle monster to retrieve another magnifying crystal to replace the one his mentor lost years ago. Part of his tactics for defeating the thing invokes the trope as he evades the tentacles.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Myths & Religion 
  • When attacked by two snakes, the baby Hercules defeated them by tying them together.

    Video Games 
  • In the video game adaptation of Hook, the instruction manual says that the reason the snake enemies are attacking you is because you used to tie them into knots when you were a kid.

    Web Original 
  • The Adventures of The League of S.T.E.A.M.: In "Tall Tails", three men boast of their encounters with a kraken, including one man who claims he defeated it by tying its tentacles in a nice square knot. While he's talking, a kraken attacks, but as the man only has one arm now, he's got a good excuse not to volunteer to fight it off. "I need two arms for that!"

    Western Animation