[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/carp_37.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[Memes/{{Pokemon}} I swear to God,]] [[{{Magikarp Power}} when I evolve...]]]]

->''"I think I made the fish too hardcore."''
-->-- '''[[VideoGame/DwarfFortress Toady One the Great]]'''

Carp have a strange tendency to appear unusually powerful in fiction, often being gigantic. Giant Carp are venerated for being colorful and allegedly wise pond dwellers, especially in Japan. Sort of like swimming parrots. They are known for their ability to [[JumpingFish jump many feet into the air]] and their long lifespan, something which is usually forgotten amongst their more domesticated, ill-kept brothers called goldfish. [[http://www.koi-pond-guide.com/koi-fish-meaning.html According to legend]], a sufficently old and powerful carp that is able to climb a waterfall may even become a dragon.

See SeahorsesAreDragons for another animal that turns into a dragon in Myth/JapaneseMythology.

Oddly, despite goldfish being a sort of carp, and supposedly being flushed down toilets on a regular basis, this myth rarely seems to cross over with the [[SewerGator "giant alligator in the sewer"]] UrbanLegend.

See also TheCatfish, a more elusive kind of fish. If you searched for Legendary ''Crap,'' you either want BlatantLies, ToiletHumor, SoBadItsGood, or a page on the DarthWiki that shall not be named.
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!!Examples:

[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Magikarp in the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime usually appear as extras in underwater scenes and the badly-disguised wares of a SnakeOilSalesman, but occasionally have made a bigger impression:
** In the episode "''The Joy of Pokémon''" one Nurse Joy had a giant Magikarp for a friend.
** "''The Wacky Watcher''" had a direct reference to the legend -- a huge school of Magikarp (which were color tagged by how old they were) attempting to climb a waterfall to prove they have the strength to evolve into the dragonlike Gyarados.
** The episode "''Ya See We Want An Evolution!''" had a Magikarp and Feebas (its {{expy}}[=/=]{{foil}}) beating the snot out of Piplup and Ash's Pikachu almost effortlessly.

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* Turns up in ''Film/TheExorcistIII'', of all places.
-->There's a carp in my bathtub, Father. And for three days it's been swimming. Up. And down. Up. And down. And I hate it. I can't go home until the carp is asleep. You've been standing close to me for some time now, Father. Can you tell? I haven't had a bath for three days.

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* According to ''DaveBarry Hits Below the Beltway'', the Reflecting Pool in the Washington Mall is home to a legendary carp which has grown to 1900 pounds on junk food thrown by tourists and once swallowed a passing pedestrian (the Secretary of the Interior) whole. And yes, DaveBarry ''does'' mention in a footnote that "'Legendary Carp' would be AGoodNameForARockBand."
* In the story "Tunnel of Fish" from Kate Atkinson's short story collection ''Not the End of the World'', on his birthday Eddie is taken to Deep Sea World where, in an undersea tunnel, he receives a message from a giant carp.
* In Creator/AlastairReynolds' "[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Chasm City]]", research involving carp produced the earliest immortality treatments. As a result, the postmortal upper class reveres carp in general, and there is also a specific carp which is also several hundred years old and therefore extra-revered.
* In ''Literature/KeysToTheKingdom'', one of the [[GottaCatchEmAll parts of the Will]] takes the form of a carp.

[[AC:{{Mythology}}]]
* [[http://tinyurl.com/63sf6l Kintaro]] ("Golden Boy"), a character in Japanese folklore, was depicted as [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/194px-Kuniyoshi_The_Giant_Carp.jpg fighting a giant carp]].
* In Chinese Folklore, a carp that was able to jump over the Dragon's Gate would then transform into a dragon itself ("The Carp Jumping the Dragon Gate" is now used as an aphorism for any sudden success). This myth inspired Magikarp.
* In Mercer Mayer's [[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/633668.East_of_the_Sun_and_West_of_the_Moon illustrated version]] of "Literature/EastOfTheSunAndWestOfTheMoon", a LegendaryCarp is one of the beasts that assists the heroine on her journey. He gives her a ride across the sea on his back and a [[ItMayHelpYouOnYourQuest fish scale]] that proves useful later.

[[AC:{{Radio}}]]
* ''[[http://tinyurl.com/yz4ahvr Mr. Interesting's Guide to the Continental United States]]'' had the character Eddie, a talking giant carp.

[[AC:TabletopRPG]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' once had Giant Carp as a monster.

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* DoubleSubverted by Magikarp. It is a [[JokeCharacter horribly underpowered]] Franchise/{{Pokemon}} (stat-wise, very few are weaker, but those few can all learn better moves) which can do little else but splash around; it's said that it was stronger in the distant past. Also, it can pretty much be found anywhere. Its [[MagikarpPower evolution]], however, is the powerful, dragon-like Gyarados.
** The most direct reference to the legend is in ''VideoGame/PokemonSnap:'' after a Magikarp in the Valley stage endures multiple instances of VideoGameCrueltyPotential, it hops into a waterfall and evolves, bursting back out as a Gyarados and roaring at you -- which makes for a great shot, of course.
** A level 100 Magikarp can be caught in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Pokémon Platinum]]'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2''. It's AwesomeButImpractical, since it can't evolve.
** There is a gamer on Website/YouTube who created a Magikarp build that could sweep Uber-tier Legendaries, mostly by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye7b3bOQ6lY Baton Passing stat boosts onto it]].
* A BonusBoss in ''VideoGame/LiveALive'', Amulucretia, is a giant carp.
* In one of the versions of ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'', the game's creator accidentally made carp far too powerful: their default bite attack did as much damage as a wolf's and due to a bug in the skill system, they could increase their stats by swimming, which, being fish, [[CaptainObvious they did all the time]]. Undead carp were even worse: [[FlyingSeafoodSpecial they can walk on land]], so you were either screwed or [[AttackAttackAttack very brave]] if you tried building a fortress near them. Later versions ([[GoodBadBug happily or sadly]]) dialed their power back a great deal. Then aimed attacks were implemented, and fish became dangerous again (''sturgeon'' are the new aquatic dwarf-killers).
* Carp Armor and Carp Melee are a recurring joke between the fans and developers of ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes''.
* Referenced in ''SakuraTaisen V'' with the [[MacrossMissileMassacre giant carp missiles]] [[spoiler:[[WeaponizedLandmark controlled by the Statue of Liberty]]]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'': Features demonic goldfish as enemies.
* ''VideoGame/{{Okamiden}}'' references the above-mentioned myth with a giant evil catfish who convinced himself that he was a Carp that would turn into a dragon when he climbed up a waterfall.

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' begins with Aang riding a giant koi off the shore of [[{{Wutai}} Kyoshi Island]].
** Another ends with Aang becoming a carp-like {{Kaiju}} via [[SuperMode Avatar State]] and [[MakingASplash waterbending]].

[[AC:RealLife]]
* [[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124991924916619783.html?mod=yhoofront Benson the giant carp]], formerly of Bluebell Lakes, England.
* Because a fish's maximum size is based largely on the size of the body of water it lives in and the amount of available food, extremely large fish (including carp) are not only entirely possible in the real world but relatively common as well.

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