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. 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.
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.
, most instances of which will fall under this trope. Doesn't have anything to do with Twin Tails
Very rarely, animals are born with extra limbs, tails included. For example, here's a twin-tailed cat found in Canada
Anime and Manga
- The Seth Animal, the creature that the Egyptian god Seth is supposed to have the head of, has a forked tail.
- 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.
- Dungeons & Dragons. The demon lord Demogorgon has two tails. The Warped Beasts also have multiple, flail-like tails.
- 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).