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Oxymoronic Being
Aya: By the way, you're also a living human, aren't you? Why do you work in the Netherworld?
Youmu: Me? I've never thought of that. But I'm a dead human, too, so... hmm.
Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red

Starfish Aliens and Eldritch Abominations are plenty strange, but an Oxymoronic Being's mere existence is self-contradictory. To make one, take any two mutually exclusive characteristics; anything that somehow has both is an Oxymoronic Being.

And no, "honest politician" doesn't count.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Starburst had been running advertisements with people like this for a while; for example, an albino lifeguard. One of them managed to be stunningly offensive by having the "contradictory" traits being Korean ancestry and Scottish nationality. It basically amounted to a painful national stereotype going off on a racist tirade against a kid. Strangely, this is one of the most commonly-run of the series of ads.

    Anime 
  • In Naruto, Kisame's personal amount of chakra is great enough to draw comparisons to the Tailed Beasts, and thus he has been given the oxymoronic nickname "The Tailed Beast Without a Tailnote ". To make this even more hilarious, in spite of his nickname when he fuses with Samehada he does have a tail(fin), though it's possible that those don't "count" as tails in Japanese.
  • Taken to hilarious extremes with minor One Piece character Seńor Pink; he's a disgusting slob who somehow has women fawning over him, acts like he doesn't care for his crew mates when his actions and words say otherwise, and has the power of the Swim-Swim Fruit, which lets him swim through solid objects, but the standard Devil Fruit weakness is Super Drowning Skills.

    Comic Books 
  • Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird have claimed that they at first came up with the idea of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because they wanted to create an absurd satire and thought that "turtle" and "ninja" were pretty oxymoronic. (A turtle is a slow, clumsy creature, not one that suggests a martial artist that relies on stealth.) To their surprise, the concept turned out far better received than they thought it would.
  • Loki is technically a small giant, since he's the son of the Frost Giants' king and is about the same size as an average Asgardian.
  • Technically speaking Daredevil's super senses allow him to see as well or better as a person with regular vision. So he's a blind superhero without actually being completely blind.

    Literature 
  • The Phantom Tollbooth:
    • Milo meets an average-looking man who claims to be both "the smallest giant in the world" and "the tallest midget in the world". He's also the thinnest fat man and the fattest skinny guy.
    • There's also Canby, warden of the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), who among other things is smart as can be and stupid as can be.
    • The triple demons of Compromise are described as "one fat, one thin, and a third exactly like the other two." (The illustrations show it as fat in part of its body and skinny in another part.)
  • Due to his being adopted, Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson of Discworld is a dwarf who stands at 6 feet 3 inches in his socks. The other dwarfs accept him as one of them because he is devoutly observant of their traditions and even tries to teach his girlfriend to speak Dwarfish. He's just a tall dwarf.
    • Also, Bloody Stupid Johnson can create circles where "the pi is exactly 3". Pi (the ratio of diameter to circumference) is, by definition, always 3.14159265358979323846264338 and a bit.
      • The only way to make this possible is to imagine a circle being drawn in a non-euclidean 2D world.
    • There are also occasional mentions in the Discworld of mystics who can see "four-sided triangles" when they meditate.
  • There's one story in an obscure German's childrens book about the inventor Scheibenkork who invented among other things the sphere with five vertices.
  • In Witch Week, a novel by Diana Wynne Jones, Simon unintentionally turns himself into one while under a "Simon Says" spell that makes everything he says true. He first claims that he doesn't know anything, then mindlessly repeats a teacher who says he's not that much of a fool, resulting in him being both stupid and clever at the same time.
  • In The Lost Years of Merlin, Shem in the first book is a tiny person (even shorter than child Merlin) who claims he is a giant. This is confirmed when Shem sacrifices himself to destroy the Cauldron of Death to save Merlin. He immediately comes back to life and starts getting bigger and bigger...

    Myths and Legends 
  • The mythical hippogriff is half-horse, half-griffin. However, since griffins hate horses and attack them on sight, it's hard to imagine how this could happen. That was the point, originally. The Roman poet Virgil referred to the birth of hippogriffs alongside several other metaphors for things that couldn't happen in real life, in a "the lion shall lie down with the lamb" sort of sense.
  • The Undead, in all of their various forms. Despite the fact that they are dead and shouldn't be able to do anything but rot in their graves, they somehow can still interact with the living. This contradictory nature is also what makes them such formidable foes. Not even death itself could stop them. What makes you think the heroes can?

    Rhetoric 
  • The common Parody Religion known as the "Invisible Pink Unicorn": If it's always invisible, how do you know it's pink?
    • It's a combination of reason and faith: we know that she is invisible because we can't see her, but we believe that she is pink.
  • Also the Invisible Red String of Fate, which is one of the things the Invisible Pink Unicorn references.

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • Dimitri Martin posits the (non)existence of the Paradoxataur which is a mythical creature that exists if you don't believe in it, but doesn't exist if you do. The speculative forms of the Paradoxataur are supposedly Oxymoronic as well, including a woman who is smart, beautiful, single, not crazy, and totally into you.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Spelljammer setting in Dungeons & Dragons has enormous hamsters living between the worlds, appropriately known as giant space hamsters. There's also a lesser-known tiny variety, the miniature giant space hamster, which for most intents and purposes is merely a hamster. (They're best known for appearing in Baldur's Gate, in which one character has one as a pet. Well, maybe. He's not exactly sane enough to be a reliable source on that.)
    • Another example is the Xeg-Yi, mentioned in the Planescape campaign and a few other sources. It is native to the Negative Energy Plane, which is a plane of, well, negative energy, something associated with death. Most inhabitants of the plane are undead, but the Xeg-Yi is a living creature. A living creature that is composed of negative energy. Even one sourcebook where its official stats are details mentions how contradictory its existence sounds. (In fact, its counterpart, the Xag-Ya, which is native to the Positive Material Plane, doesn't make much sense either. A living being shouldn't be able to have much individuality in a place that is life incarnate.)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! gives us the Anteatereatingant.note 
    • ...which is translated hilariously (or stupidly) wrong in German, where it's now called "Anteating Anteater".
  • In Magic: The Gathering, the Izzet League's Weirds combine two opposing elements into a single creature. They also make great pets!
  • In Exalted, the Yozi Oramus is the embodiment of paradox. Cytherea is the first of the Primordials to awaken, yet when she did, Oramus basically said, "What took you so long? I thought you'd never wake up."

    Toys 
  • Action Masters are Transformers who are unable to transform after consuming Nucleon. Then there are Action Master Elites Who can still transform. Making them Transformers that can't transform which can transform.

    Video Games 
  • The Horseless Headless Horsemann in Team Fortress 2. (While he doesn't have horse, he technically has a head.)
  • Youmu Konpaku, from the Touhou games. She is half-human and half-ghost (which as a form of undead are themselves oxymoronic), with her ghost half existing as a formless white cloud separate from her physical body. How it's possible to be half-human and half-ghost, even in the bizarre world of Gensokyou where you can't let yourself be held back by common sense, is never explained. Is she half-dead, or is she the product of a human and a ghost (somehow) mating?
  • Dwarf Fortress features Forgotten Beasts, creatures created by primordial chaos. In-game, they're created by randomly mixing any animals, materials, limbs, and strange attacks. Sometimes this can result in paradoxial creatures, the most famous being the "Six-Legged quadruped."
  • The backstory of World of Warcraft reveals that humans are oxymoronic beings since they are heavily implied to be corrupted Vrykul (Viking like beings who are an offshoot of giants). In other words humans are miniature giants.
  • Borderlands 2 features goliaths, a kind of Giant Mook, and midget enemies, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. You will eventually encounter midget goliaths. And, depending on what you do, you could well get your ass handed to you by a Giant Midget of Death.
  • The Pokémon series have a few:
    • Ferroseed and Ferrothorn are Grass/Steel types. Plants are organic while metal armour generally isn't, especially among plants.
    • Durant has a bug/steel typing. This presents the same problem as Ferrothorn, but you could probably hand wave it as exoskeleton. What you can't ignore however, is that it evolved its steel shell to protect itself from its long-time rival Heatmor. Both bug and steel types are weak to fire.
    • Mawile and Klefki are Steel/Fairy types. Fairy types are weak to steel, but these two are made of it.
    • The Dark-Type has long been thought to be the polar opposite of the Psychic-Type, being immune to Psychic attacks with Dark attacks being Super Effective against Psychic Pokémon. Behold Inkay (and it's evolved form, Malamar), the first Psychic/Dark hybrid, introduced in X and Y. (Of course, this little guy seems to be all about opposites, called the Revolving Pokémon, with an ability called Contrary (moves that lower its stats increase it instead, and vice versa), and attacks with names like Topsy-Turvy and Switcheroo. The craziest part? In order for it to evolve when it reaches the right level, you have to hold the Nintendo 3DS upside-down.
    • Volcanion, one of the few event-legendaries to not have been officially revealed, is rumored to be a fire-water type.
    • Stunfisk is also this, being Electric/Ground.
    • There is a glitch pokémon referred to in the community as "Invisible Shiny Bulbasaur". Similar to the Religion examples above, how can you know that it's shiny if it's invisible? (the answer is that the space where it ought to be sparkles when it first appears!)
    • Gligar, Gliscor and both formes of Landorus are Ground/Flying.
    • Mega Altaria is Dragon/Fairy. Dragon are considered to be the opposite of each other, with Fairy being super effective against Dragon and immune to it.
  • In Discworld II, a poster outside the cinema advertises Attack of the 50-Foot Dwarf.
  • One type of armor in Fallout: New Vegas is NCR salvaged power armor. The servo-motors that make it easier to move are gone, thus making it Powered Armor that isn't powered by anything. Attacks that normally do extra damage to power armor don't do so against salvaged power armor and it doesn't require Power Armor Training to use, but it doesn't boost your strength either.
  • After adjectives were introduced to ''Scribblenauts, you can summon them, including "giant dwarf" and "small giant." Or "friendly Cthulhu."

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • According to Chuck Norris Facts, Chuck Norris holds every record in the Guinness Book of world Records, which means, among other things, he's a planet, a pizza, a spider, and a distance.
  • JourneyQuest features Carrow, the Undead Cleric... of an undead-hating god. (Not his fault, it was a botched resurrection spell.) Notably, he has to be careful when using his Turn Undead power, lest he'd turn himself....

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender :
    • The spider-fly, which commonly gets caught in its own web. Noted in the creator commentary as "the most paradoxical animal in the world of Avatar."
    • There is also the two-headed rat viper. This is used by the Air Benders as an analogy of consequences of anger: "Revenge is like a Two-Headed Rat Viper; while you watch your enemy go down, you are poisoned yourself."
    • When Sokka gives Toph a piece of the meteorite he used to make his sword he calls it "space earth", prompting Katara to question how there could be such a thing.
  • Futurama:
  • Robot Chicken had a spoof of Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever movies called Attack of the Giant Midget. Said giant midget was about 6'5"... which is pretty tall, for a midget.
  • Sheep in the Big City has military characters with Punny Names that are usually oxymorons: General Specific, Private Public, Major Minor (who is a baby) and Corporal Ethereal (a hippy).
  • South Park has the Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka.
  • One villain from Sushi Pack, Paradoxter, enjoys things that are perfect paradoxes, such as sweet-and-sour sauce. His henchmen are jumbo shrimp (as in, man-sized), and in one episode he created animixes by splicing together two different animals, such as a sheep and wolf. One of his henchshrimp points out that he should call himself Oxymoron, since he's a Man-Ox, but Paradoxter does not appreciate this input.
  • In an episode of The Life and Times of Juniper Lee June met a giant ("You know, a giant," he said, "as in fee, fi, foe, fum?") who was only three feet tall. June got a laugh out of it at first, but it really wasn't funny to the poor guy; his condition had caused him to be the subject of ridicule all his life by the other giants. (June tried to make a growing potion for him, but suffice to say, things went a little haywire.)
  • Justice League Unlimited gives us the episode "Dark Heart," which features The Atom versus a giant nanomachine.
    Atom: He's bigger than my car now, Katie. Personally, I blame you.

    Real Life 
  • Referenced by They Might Be Giants - when an interviewer called them 'the biggest indie act in the world', they said it was like being 'the world's tallest midget'.
  • A quantum computer could be considered oxymoronic: quantum phenomena can only occur when a subatomic particle is not observed, however not only is a computer not a subatomic particle, its programs must be observed, as the whole purpose of a computer is to compute things. This is one reason why quantum computers have proved so difficult to design.
  • The No-Eyed Big-Eyed Spider. note 
  • Similar to the No-Eyed Big-Eyed Spider, a contradictory name can happen when you have to describe an animal whose common name has a color in it but which is actually a different color because of a mutation. For example, if you saw the description "red green iguana" you'd stop and wonder what color it really is, or if perhaps it's both. It's predominantly red, but it's still a Green Iguana, i.e. Iguana iguana.


NecromanticUndead IndexPerpetual-Motion Monster
Organ AutonomyAbsurdity AscendantPersonal Dictionary
Otherworldly And Sexually AmbiguousLiminal BeingPlanimal

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