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Multiple-Tailed Beast

Normally in nature no creature has more than one tail. Not so in fiction.

Any creature at all can have more than one tail, often to establish its other-worldliness. Sometimes the tails look like they might come from different creatures entirely. Usually such a creature is some form of supernatural or semi-divine spirit being, elemental or demon.

The tail might split partway along into two or more tips, or there might be more than one complete tail springing directly from the base of the spine.

Compare Kitsune, most instances of which will fall under this trope. Doesn't have anything to do with Twin Tails.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Kuro the demon cat from Blue Exorcist has two tails of the split version.
  • In Naruto, there are nine tailed beasts, with the Kyubi no Yoko, his real name Kurama, being the strongest of the nine. Each was a creation of the primordial Ten-Tailed beast which was created by Kaguya Otutsuki to retrieve her chakra from her sons.
  • Moro, the female Wolf God that raised San in Princess Mononoke had a two-pronged split-tail.
  • Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito stars two kitsunes, one with nine tails and one with just three.

Film

Literature

Live-Action TV

Mythology
  • The Seth Animal, the creature that the Egyptian god Seth is supposed to have the head of, has a forked tail.
  • Youkai especially are known for having multiple tails, the most famous example being the Kitsune, which is depicted with up to nine tails. The Nekomata is another commonly portrayed multi-tailed youkai, which has the appearance of a two-tailed cat. Aside from the Nekomata and Kitsune, there are other Youkai with multiple tails. The Isonade is a giant shark with three tails (one larger and barbed), the Orochi is a giant serpent with eight (or possibly infinite) heads and sometimes the same number of tails, and the Raiju, or Thunderbeast, is depicted as various animals, sometimes described with multiple tails. One particularly powerful nekomata is described as having seven tails rather than two, a result of its great age.
  • It appears even in Europe, in The Brothers Grimm story Mrs. Fox Mr. Fox has nine handsome tails. When he fakes his death to test his wife's faithfulness she turns down several suitors with increasing numbers of tails before accepting one who also has nine tails, then Mr. Fox crashes Mrs. Fox's would-be second wedding.

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons & Dragons. The demon lord Demogorgon has two tails. The Warped Beasts also have multiple, flail-like tails.
  • In Kitsune: Of Foxes and Fools the players are Kitsune (duh) who are awarded additional tails by the kitsune elders for tricking sinful mortals. The first one to get nine tails wins.
  • "Twin Tailed" is a possible morphism in the furry sci-fi RPG Hc Svnt Dracones, it's considered one of the more "attractive" morphisms and many Vectors have tails surgically added to mimic them. In fact it's so common among Canidae that true twin tails are assumed to have had surgery and take a social penalty among their own kind.
  • Magic: The Gathering. The first generation of Slivers possessed a serpentine body that split into two or more prehensile tails. In their latest appearance, said tails appear to have evolved into legs. Their new humanoid shape comes as a bit of a shock, but considering their predilection for spontaneously sprouting all manner of extra appendages, legs are small time.

Web Comic

Video Games
  • Many species in Pokémon have multiple tails, such as Vulpix (six), Ninetales (obvious), Tauros (three). Espeon has a forked tail with two tips, as do Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf. Buizel and Floatzel have two (they even use them as propellers), as well as Ambipom, Electivire and Meowstic. There are also some ambiguous cases such as Grovyle (which has branching fern leaves for a tail) and Suicune (which has two ribbons for a tail).
  • Miles "Tails" Prower in the Sonic the Hedgehog series has two tails, and frequently uses them to helicopter around. As a nod to folklore concerning Japanese kitsune, he is the smartest character in canon and employs lots of transforming or disguised machinery as weapons and transportation.
  • In the video games of Harry Potter, there are several references to the Gytrash, which are ghostly dogs with forked tails. The gytrash is a creature in English folklore, though only the Harry Potter games describe it with a forked tail.
  • Touhou, with its focus on youkai, unsurprisingly has this. There are Ran, a nine-tailed kitsune, Chen, a twin-tailed nekomata, and, somewhat oddly, Orin, a kasha, who looks just like a nekomata despite the fact that they're mythologically unrelated.
  • League of Legends has Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox. Her lore is clearly inspired by the Gumiho (Korean version of the Kitsune mythology).
  • Chimaeras, the two-headed dragons(?) from Warcraft also have two tails. This partially helps to differentiate them from their Draenor counterpart, the Rylak.

Real Life