One way of making a character look bizarre or comedic is to give him a long neck. He/she/it can be born with it as due to some strange birth defect. Or when the character is anthropomorphic and has a long neck because of his real life animal counterparts like giraffes, geese, swans, sauropod dinosaurs, snakes, tortoises,...
In comedic stories a long neck is usually stretched out by accident. The neck is either fully erect and only able to rise and down or it can be bended into all kinds of shapes like a snake. Long necked characters are usually able to oversee things from great distances. Or when swimming, he is able to use his neck as a periscope. Disadvantages of this condition are that the character's neck will frequently be tied in knots or bump against lower objects or people.
Also a frightening type of Body Horror
in horror movies, because it is such an unusual sight. On the other hand: to women it is sometimes seen as a sign of beauty.
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Anime And Manga
- Orochimaru from Naruto can stretch his neck out like a snake, drawing from the rokurokubi discussed below.
- The Brothers Grimm story "The Six Servants" has a character with a very long neck who's able to see things from enormous distance. In the fairy tale attraction park De Efteling he is named Langnek ("Long neck") and has a statue of him in the park. His neck rises and lowers and he is one of the mascots of the park.
- When Alice starts to grow after drinking from a magic potion in Alice in Wonderland her entires body stretches, including her neck.
- Many illustrations of the Jabberwock give it a long, snaky neck.
Live Action Television
- Mentioned by the Doctor in Doctor Who episode School Reunion, that the Monster of the Week the Krillitane used to have extremely long necks, but due to the fact they constantly take on other race's traits, they now looked like giant bats.
- E.T. is able to make his neck longer. He usually does this when he is frightened, but near the end when he has to say goodbye to Elliott's older brother he does this too.
- In The Phantom Menace one of the Council Members has a very long neck.
- One of the monsters in C.H.U.D. starts extending its neck, which makes it all more easy to decapitate it.
- Ditto one of the Deadites in Evil Dead.
- Shown briefly towards the end of Black Swan during a surreal and disturbing depiction of the main character's transformation into the 'swan' of 'Swan Lake'.
- The baby from Eraserhead has an abnormally long neck, among other deformities. Its neck gets even longer in the scene where it pops out from underneath Spenser's head.
Mythology & Folklore
- The Questing Beast, pursued by several knights from Arthurian legend, was described as having a snake-like head and long neck.
- The Rokurokubi appears as a normal woman at first, but she can elongate her neck like a snake. According to the tales, this happens while the Rokurokubi is asleep.
- A very popular interpretation of what the Loch Ness Monster looks like. Sometimes, the head and neck are the only parts of the animal people see!
- Inspector Gadget was able to stretch his neck to great lengths.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Run Away Runway", Candace becomes a model because she's got a naturally long neck that goes with the high collar on a fashion designer's newest outfit.
- Ren and Stimpy: In the "Royal Canadian Yaksmen" episode one of the yaks that accompanies Ren and Stimpy suddenly freaks out in a psychotic frenzy. During what is already a frightening scene his neck suddenly elongates several metres.
- The Simpsons: In "Treehouse of Horror X", Bart is able to stretch out his body parts, including his neck.
- Also characteristic for many characters in Tex Avery's universe.
- Puppeteer's Nebula Oblongata is the Rukurokubi daughter of the Headless Horseman, Mayor of Hallowee Ville. Despite her stretching neck, she insists that she's a cosmic traveler trapped in a normal human's body in the middle of a town of monsters.
- Many animals have long necks, probably inspiring this trope: geese, swans, giraffes, flamingos, storks, ostriches, llamas, tortoises, turtles,...
- Many dinosaurs as well: sauropods (actually called 'long necks' in The Land Before Time), spinosaurids, therizinosaurids, ornithomimosaurs, coelophysids, Miragaia...
- Not just dinosaurs; Azhdarchid pterosaurs (like Quetzalcoatlus) had very long (and very stiff) necks, as well as equally long beaks. These were ideal for snatching small animals off the ground.
- Plesiosaurs. It was once speculated that a relic plesiosaur was the source of Loch Ness Monster sightings, but later evidence revealed that plesiosaurs would not have been capable of bending their necks the way Nessie is often reported to do.
- The utterly bizarre looking Tanystropheus, a type of prehistoric reptile with a neck that made up most of its body. Scientists believe that it used said neck as a built-in fishing rod.
- Long necks are a component of the breed standard for many dog breeds, particularly tall, lightly-built hunting breeds.
- Interestingly, giraffes have the same number of neck vertebrae that almost all mammals (including humans) have, which is 7. In birds and reptiles, the number varies.
- In Africa women of the South Ndebele tribe traditionally wear many rings around their necks. Little girls are given one ring on top of the other each year until their necks actually resemble that of a giraffe's. It's an Urban Legend that if they were to commit adultery, the rings would be removed and their necks would immediately collapse, but this is not true, a woman can remove the rings without risking a neck injury. Also contrary to popular belief, the rings don't actually lengthen the women's necks so much as they displace their shoulders downwards.
- Certain tribes in Burma have this tradition as well.
- Rapist Chester Malott.
- Racist internet crank Eric Hufschmid.
- Actor Alan Ruck.◊