Literal Maneater

Alice and Bob meet up at a bar. Alice is dressed very provocatively and is acting rather seductively towards Bob, which Bob is obviously enjoying. Things start to heat up between the two and they exit the bar and slip out to somewhere nearby that's dark and quiet. Things start getting intimate. Alice seems Ready For Love Making, and Bob is ready to comply but suddenly things take a horrible turn for Bob. Alice's mouth gets inhumanly wide as she seizes Bob before he can run away. Bob lets out a final scream as she eats him whole and alive.

Bob has run into a Literal Maneater. This character, oftentimes an alien or demon of some kind, has the appearance of, or at least takes on the appearance of, a beautiful woman in order to attract men so she can eat them. She (and it's almost always a she) is a very popular type of monster to appear on Monster of the Week style shows. Expect her to be Ms. Fanservice since that's how she lures in victims.

Sub-trope of To Serve Man; related to Honey Trap. Despite the Animal Motif involved, not inherently related to the Black Widow trope, though a Literal Maneater who legally weds her victims before consuming them would be an example of both.

A subtrope of Consuming Passion. Compare Horny Devils, who have sometimes been portrayed as seducing people before eating them, and The Vamp, who also uses her sexuality for evil purposes but doesn't eat her lovers (at least not literally).

Needless to say, this is often pretty closely tied up with Death by Sex.

For an inversion of this trope — a female monster who preys on women rather than men — see the Lesbian Vampire.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • The unnamed female Apostle that Guts kills in the very first scene of Berserk behaves this way, luring lustful men to her so that she can transform into her true demonic form and eat them, as she did to Corkus during the Eclipse. Also counts as I'm a Humanitarian because like all Apostles, she was once human.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • In the very first chapter, Cute Bookworm Kaneki scores a date with the beautiful Rize Kamishiro. They spend their date going to bookstores and discussing literature, then she asks him to walk her home because of recent Ghoul Attacks in the area. He complies, and when it's time for them to part ways, the couple ends up in an embrace... and Rize sinks her teeth into his shoulder. Turns out, she is the Ghoul responsible for all the recent killings and uses her beauty to attract young men to eat. He only escapes with his life due to a cruel twist of fate.
    • In the sequel, Nutcracker uses her job as an employee at a hardcore S&M club to find male victims. She arranges for a "private session" outside of work, then kills and eats them.

    Comic Books 
  • Judge Dredd: There's a very rare breed of Giant Spider somewhat akin to the black widow who will take on the appearance of humans to get close enough to devour them. It initially appears as a woman to seduce hapless men, but it turns out it can take on both female and male forms to lure mates.


  • In American Gods, Bilquis the Queen of Sheba is a literal and figurative example. She acts as a prostitute to have sex with people... Who she subsequently devours with her own vagina as her form of Human Sacrifice to keep some power.
  • A predator in Stanley Weinbaum's A Martian Odyssey is telepathic/hypnotic and makes its prey "see" something highly desirable to lure it within reach.

     Live Action TV 
  • In one episode of Grimm, the Monster of the Week is a spider Wesen, who is involuntarily compelled to periodically suck the guts out of men to maintain her youthful appearance. Interestingly, she maintains a monogamous relationship with a male member of her species, and moonlights as a serial killer, mostly to stave off her natural urge to kill her husband.
  • The salt vampire from the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Man Trap" mostly operates this way, though there is one exception where it takes on a hunky male form to attract Lt. Uhura.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): The stranded alien fugitive in "Stranded" at one point transforms himself into a hot girl to lure a teenage boy closer so he can eat him.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Teacher's Pet, Xander is smitten by the substitute biology teacher, Ms. French, who turns out to be a giant praying mantis who needs a virgin male to fertilize her eggs before she devours him.

  • In Greek Mythology, there were female monsters called Empousae that could shape shift and would take on the appearance of beautiful women in order to seduce men and then eat them alive. Luckily, it seems that a man could repel them by cursing at them.
  • Many different Youkai with human-like appearances have tales to this effect, but perhaps the most prominent is the Jorogumo; this "whore spider" is a Giant Spider who shapeshifts into the form of a beautiful woman or Geisha to seduce men, only to eat them or feed them to her children.
    • The Bakeneko and Nekomata, who are malevolent ghostly cats, also commonly feature in stories where they use the forms of beautiful women to attract human men for food.
    • Although normally innocuous and innocent, the Kawauso (a shapeshifting otter) does have at least one story where a female used the guise of a human maiden to lure men to a pond, where she drowned and ate them after tiring of their dalliance.
    • Some stories also depict the Kitsune as a shapeshifting predator, but these are comparatively rare and they are more commonly seen as tricksters, pranksters and loving spouses instead.
  • Speaking of Fantastic Foxes, the Korean Gumiho is, unlike the Japanese Kitsune, traditionally depicted as a vicious man-eating fox that uses its guise of a beautiful human maiden to get men alone so it can feast on their livers or hearts. The Chinese Huli Jing is also sometimes portrayed this way, but feeds on spiritual energy rather than flesh.

     Tabletop Games 
  • In the Shadowrun universe, the Incubus is a large octopus-like creature that has magical powers that can make it appear as a desirable person to its prey. The critter's actual form isn't changed, only how others perceive it. One runner describes an encounter with it at the docks in the middle of the night, where his partner saw a beautiful naked woman and as he approached it, it attacked him and revealed itself as an Incubus.
  • Extremely common in Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder, where almost every Always Female One-Gender Race of monsters does this — it's honestly easier to point out aversions or subversions, such as Pathfinder's Thriae and Sirens, than to list them all. Often overlaps with Conceive and Kill.

  • In Charby the Vampirate Adria has a preference for seducing men before killing and eating them, not necessarily in that order.

     Western Animation 
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: One of the most iconic and horrifying Monster of the Week was the Queen of the Black Puddle, a water-demon/nymph of some sort whose underwater kingdom periodically became aligned with various real-world areas through any form of water. She hypnotised her victims and left them in a sensual trance, which made it easier for her to abduct them and take them to her domain where she would show her real form and her demonic and predatory nature by devouring them alive.
  • The villain of the Gravity Falls episode "Roadside Attraction" was a Giant Spider disguised as a human women to lure in men to eat. Oddly, rather than take a young, beautiful form, she looks like a middle-aged woman with caked-on makeup. She apparently targets older gentlemen, and her charms do work on Grunkle Stan.
  • The opening sequence for the Men in Black episode "The Inanimate Syndrome" has an incredibly rare Spear Counterpart to this trope; K and J follow a couple into the tunnel of love and have to kill the male teenager because, as a Tresfin, he doesn't "break hearts" - he eats them.
  • The Simpsons episode "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" had a Show Within a Show example, where one victim in Space Mutants 7 is preyed on by a shapeshifting mutant disguised as his wife.

     Real Life 
  • The females of some species of firefly imitate the flashes of females of different species in order to lure males of that species to them. Once the male gets close enough, the female then proceeds to eat him.
  • The scientific term for this is sexual cannibalism, in which the female of an insect or arachnid species devours the male either before or during the act of mating. The redback Black Widow spiders are so named for this behavior, though it also shows up in Praying Mantis species.
    • It's also gender inverted in one species of wolf spider where it's the male that eats the female
  • This is literally the core foundation of the dominant form of "vore" fetishism in online media; voraphillia is a sexual fetish for the consumption of living prey,and the primary form of vore fetish art consists of a beautiful woman who plays on their appearance to attract suitors, who end up being eaten involuntarily as part of the sexual act. Such cannibalistic lovemaking doesn't necessarily have to be fatal, as the common depiction involves the "prey" being Swallowed Whole without dying and it is a purely fantastical form of fetishism, but the majority of such works do result in the prey's death, usually from being digested alive.