"DEATH WATER!"When Hazardous Water indirectly trying to kill you isn't good enough, it's time to take this to the extreme: The water itself has somehow developed a mind of its own. Current desire? Kill the meatbags. For obvious reasons, actual water trying to murder someone is a little unlikely, so a common workaround is that the water is being possessed or manipulated by a malevolent force — in which case, the only way to stop it is by taking out whoever is doing the controlling. (This doesn't always mean killing them; sometimes the heroes can reach an agreement, such as doing a favor or request in return for stopping the water's deadly rampage.)
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Anime & Manga
- In Naruto, Suigetsu can not only turn himself into water, but he can control and shape up to a lake's worth at will. Kisame has a variation on this trope in that he creates the water from his chakra, allowing him to flood areas and drown people wherever he is.
- The last Jewel Seeds in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, which were activated over the sea and proceeded to take the form of several water spouts to try and kill the characters with.
- Aquaman can "command the creatures of the deep!" Including microscopic ones. Combine this with a generous helping of comic book physics, and voilà, this trope!
- In Calvin and Hobbes, when Calvin is taking a bath.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, we get the Chaos Devil (Chaos forcefully controlled by a Devil core). It's a pretty deadly opponent, being able to take on Sonic and Mega Man while using its Chaos Fluid to negate the Devil weakness.
- The Hungry Sea in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. Fall in or swim in it, and you soon begin to babble incomprehensibly and act crazy. Not a problem for three of the four, sitting in a boat... but John is in the water, pushing them along. And the Hungry Sea also eats boats and is full of sea monsters, and their boat falls apart in the middle of the stormy sea. And George's ring chooses to stick at that moment, trapping him in his own form at the worst possible time. He drowns.
- It's all a carefully choreographed moment by Durothé, though, to kick at least one of them out of gameworld-C'hou and into the real C'hou so they can finally learn what's really going on.
Films — Live-Action
- The sequence in the Prince Caspian movie where the bridge is destroyed (though the water-god is on the good side).
- Another morality-flip occurs in The Fellowship of the Ring, with Gandalf and Elrond (book) or Arwen (movie) summoning the crazy death river horses to wash away the Nazgul after Frodo and the Ring.
- At one point in The Abyss the aliens decided to exterminate humans, and created tsunamis so huge that, if they hadn't been persuaded to change their minds, the waves would have met in Oklahoma.
- The Raft segment on Creepshow 2 is about a malevolent oil slick in malevolent water. "I beat you!"
- In the first Final Destination movie, the toilet that Tod has just used leaks a puddle of water that actively follows him until he slips on it and strangles himself on the clothesline. Then it retreats quietly into the crack under the toilet.
- In The Mummy Returns, Imhotep can control the waters of the Nile, causing it to flood at will, which is useful for him as the Nile is the fastest way for the protagonists to seek their destination. Controlling the Nile flood was a power actually attributed to the Pharaohs (which Imhotep never was).
- In Lady Friday by Garth Nix, if you're not wearing the proper clothing (i.e., made of paper and letters), the water in the Middle House's Canal will actively try to drown you.
- A Mercedes Lackey novel, The Outstretched Shadow, had a water golem sent after The Mentor, who was on the docks at the time looking to escape the City. Of course, it looked like he had simply drowned.
- In The Tales of Alvin Maker, the Big Bad (the Unmaker) primarily acts through possessing water for some reason. Apart from simply drowning people, at one point it froze the water, causing a knot to form in a particular tree, causing a weak point in a particular log, causing a building to collapse on the hero.
- Again, The Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf and Elrond cause a flood to wipe out the Ringwraiths chasing Frodo and company.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Pool of the Black One", the water will shrink you into a figurine. It's not nice even without that.
- In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the crew of the title ship discover an island with a deep pool containing a gold statue. Shortly thereafter, they discover that anything the water touches turns to gold... the statue was probably a person once. The island is named Deathwater as a result.
- In "The Iliad", Achilles is attacked by the river god neighboring Troy in this way, making this trope Older Than Feudalism.
- Doctor Who:
- "The Waters of Mars" had an ancient contagion released from beneath the surface of Mars that was so virulent that just one single drop would infect a victim completely. Oh, and turn them into a walking bloated terrifying zombie.
- Inverted in "Death In Heaven", in which rainwater contaminated by Cyberpollen brings the dead back to life as Cybermen.
- An non-lethal example appeared in an episode of Round the Twist, which featured a vengeful water spirit using her water-controlling abilities against those she perceived as having damaged her stream by building a dam in it.
- The X-Files: The episode "Aqua Mala" (Latin for "bad water") seems to have this in the most literal form. Mulder speculates that there was a sea monster carried from the sea by the hurricane. As usually, his guess is confirmed.
- In an episode of Supernatural, the ghost of a murdered boy is possessing the water in a town and drowning the families of the men responsible for his death. Everything with water, including the kitchen sink, is a potential threat.
- The Star Trek episode The Naked Time has Polywater, which renders crewmen recklessly uninhibited. Normally, this just makes them seem obnoxiously drunk and short-tempered, but it causes one crewman (lightly implied to be a Death Seeker) to literally lose the will to live.
- William, the protagonist of the concept album "The Hazards of Love" by The Decemberists, pledges his life to a wild, magical river in return for allowing him to cross safely. After rescuing his beloved, William and Margaret attempt to cross back, but the river demands that the debt be repaid.
- "Lake Pontchartrain" by LUDO details how the singer and his two friends were traveling to the titular lake in Louisiana, making a stop along the way to get some food. The two friends both ate shrimp, but the singer chose a chicken meal instead. When they get back on the road, the weather kicks up and their car just barely makes it through the dark rains to the shore of the lake. The two friends then got out of the car and ran toward the shore for no reason, as if the lake was calling for them. The singer watches in terror as the lake swallowed them up.
- In addition to more traditional water elementals (which pretty much embody this trope in their own right, especially when on a rampage trying to kill the summoner whose leash they've just slipped), earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons classically featured the "water weird", a monster that would lie in wait looking for all the world like a harmless pool of water until some careless adventurer approached closely enough to make the effort of suddenly turning into a watery snake and trying to drown them worthwhile.
- Shadowrun has Toxic Water Spirits, water spirits who were perverted by pollution.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had Morpha, a boss that is effectively a pool of water. It has a round ball as a weak point and is subtitled as a "Giant Aquatic Ameoba", though it's unclear if only the ball is the boss and it's hydrokinetic, or if the whole pool is the boss and the ball is just its nucleus. After it's defeated, the entire room dries up with astonishing quickness, supporting the latter idea.
- Psychonauts has Raz's entire bloodline cursed by another psychic family to die in water, which forms a ghastly arm when Raz is near to drag him to his doom. Oddly, this even applies to fake water inside other people's minds.
- Brütal Legend has the Sea of Black Tears, which is Hazardous Water taken to its logical extreme. If someone is thrown into it, they are dragged underwater by what appears to be the sea itself to join the ranks of the world's Goth faction, called the Drowning Doom. Both Brutal Legend and Psychonauts were written by Tim Schafer. One wonders if he can swim...
- Sonic Adventure has Chaos, the God of Destruction (allegedly), a Chao mutated by Chaos Energy seemingly made of water and with mainly water-based skills. When he grew to his full power in said game, he caused Station Square to become completely flooded.
- The Pokémon Manaphy, who is made up almost entirely of water, can become this if you give it Tail Glow, Rest, a couple of attacking moves, and partner it with Kyogre.
- The Amiga shoot 'em up Apidya has mutated sewer water that tries to attack you.
- One Aquatic Mook family in zOMG! was the Water Spouts, animated sirens made of water, which hung around Gold Beach and in the first undersea section. This was a game where the enemies were all inanimate objects that suddenly became sentient and actively murderous, so they were par for the course.
- The Lord of the Rings Online: Darkwaters — spirits of long-undead people who animate water in such a way that it resembles a skeleton with a sword.
- In Kingdom of Loathing, the Heavy Rains Challenge Path has the bosses replaced by deadly, sentient watery versions of themselves. Except Ed the Undying, who curbstomps his own doppelgänger.
- Evil Natural Water from One-Punch Man is a monster made up of water that responds to the emotions of other people and attacks accordingly.
- The Slender Man Mythos: Although he's normally given connection to trees, the Slender Man is often thought of to have some connection to water; likely due to his fluid form (see: tentacles, variable height).
- EAT, of The Fear Mythos. As soon as you touch the water, you're probably gonna get grabbed by tentacles. As soon as you get a drop of that water in you, you're absorbed into the great and almighty Hive Mind.
- The possessed lake in Chapter Two of Antlers Colorado requires a blood sacrifice twice a year to stay dormant.
- The Secret Saturdays had an episode with a microscopic cryptid that could turn the water it inhabited into a rather unpleasant collective monster.
- The titular Dark Water from The Pirates of Dark Water consumed anything that touched it. The main quest was to find the 13 artifacts required to neutralize it.
- One episode of Challenge of the Superfriends has members of the Legion of Doom, using a helmet that turns dreams into reality, transform the ocean into an anti-Superfriends weapon that, surprisingly, the Superfriends can't figure out how to defeat. Don't worry, though: Despite having possession of an apparently invincible superweapon, the Legion managed to find a way to screw it up.
- As a hydrokinetic, Liquidator of Darkwing Duck was easily able to do this. However, in the comic revival, a strange force (other than Liquidator) has taken over the entire bay in St. Canard, pulling people into it and seemingly regurgitating all the negative emotions of the citizens as tidal waves and currents. Turns out Paddywhack, a Monster of the Week from the original show, is possessing the bay.
- The constantly irate tenant of the Fantastic Four mentioned that water from her sink once attacked her.
- A two-part G.I. Joe episode featured a plot to make Shipwreck believe he'd just woken from a decade-long coma as part of a plan to obtain the missing ingredient from a chemical formula that turned water into a weapon-grade explosive.
- Brady's Beasts revealed that the Loch Ness Monster is actually sentient water.