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Wouldn't life be just super if you had an extra hand? One that could be used to fetch your coffee or dial your phone
? Or throttle the crap out of that yappy dog
? Look no further than behind you, attached to your spine. If you are a bit of a pickpocket in the midst of those that keep watching where your hands are at,
this might become extremely useful.
And not to worry, it's the world of fiction, in here you can be far less picky with species.
Dogs? sure. Cats? why not. Lizard Folk
, certainly. Monkeys? Duh. Gorillas? ... well we said monkeys, already, didn't we?
It should be noted that a few Petting Zoo People
and most Horny Devils
both tend to have these for Fantastic Arousal Service
. For the less dexterous there may still be another
option. See also, Beware My Stinger Tail
, when the tail has stuff attached, and Handy Feet
for other dexterous appendages.
Just to mention
, "prehensile" means "adapted for seizing, grasping, or taking hold of something".
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Anime and Manga
- Dragon Ball:
- The Saiyan's tails, though only Goku gets the best use of it.
- Frieza is especially notorious for using his highly prehensile tail to not only bludgeon opponents, but strangle them. Unfortunately, his tail becomes a minor weak point when Goku decides to bite him to avoid being decapitated.
- Cell is quite similar, strangling Trunks with his tail before stealing his time machine and attempting to do the same to Android 16.
- Young Saiyans, like Goku, have tails capable of supporting their body weight, but it's unknown if adult Saiyans can suspend themselves with their tails. In fact, Saiyan tails are notoriously sensitive, & the only instance of a full-grown Saiyan using their tail to attack was when Raditz knocked Krillin through Kame House early on in DBZ.
- The Pokémon Aipom has one of these, with an actual hand on the end. Its evolved form Ambipom takes this to a higher level by having TWO prehensile tails, hence the name of the Pokémon being a play on the word "ambidextrous".
- Deviluke's inhabitants of To Love-Ru, of course. Most of them, especially the females also can have Fantastic Arousal with their tails.
- Kekkaishi has Princess, a kitsune who has nine tails that she often uses to wrap an opponent to the point of nearly mummifying them.
- In Bleach, Ulquiorra's second form has a tail which he uses for slamming people into the ground and holding people up by the throat, let alone the fact it looks like a whip.
- The Tailed Beasts' tails in Naruto can be used as "extra limbs". Oddly, it is incredibly easy for their hosts to utilize the tails (and chakra appendages), even though a gentle grasp can crush boulders.
- Kawarino from Yes! Pretty Cure 5 blocks attacks with his tails. He can temporarily concetrates his enemies' powers by in his tails rotating them.
- The fairy Melan from Doki Doki Pretty Cure invokes this in her dragon form. When Cure Diamond attacks her from behind, Melan attacks her from behind by whipping her tail.
- In Digimon Adventure, MetalSeadramon grabs Scorpiomon with his tail and sends him falling to his death as punishment for his failure.
- Sandiramon in Digimon Tamers constricts Kyubimon with his tail. Concept art and action figures depict him holding a staff with his tail but he does not do this in the anime.
- Megidramon does a similar thing to Beelzemon shortly before Beelzemon kills Makuramon and breaks free.
- In Kung Fu Panda Viper and Tai Lung are demonstrated to have this ability and for the latter, it was instrumental in escaping imprisonment. Since his hands were all tied up he used his tail to pick the lock of his shackles with a feather.
- The Moorwen from Outlander is a giant, lizardish thing, but its prehensile tail can be used to grasp, slice, or impale its victims.
- Abu in Aladdin.
- Maruti from The Return of Hanuman uses his tail once to grasp on a branch to hang on.
- The cows from Homeonthe Range.
- The vampire spawn from Van Helsing, which is weird because the parents are tailless.
- Azazel in X-Men: First Class. It's strong enough to lift a person and sharp enough to stab them.
- The aliens in Alien vs. Predator. Like Azazel, they can stab people with it.
- Godzilla has one of these in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. This is the only film in which he demonstrates this ability.
- Dragon in Shrek.
- Otachi and Slattern in Pacific Rim.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Splinter is able to extend his tail and use it like another arm. Seeing him fighting the Foot Clan with it was pretty neat.
- Squirrels in the Redwall series hang by their tails a lot.
- In Piers Anthony's Race Against Time, the protagonist first figures out he's not really living in a 20th-century small town when he discovers that his dog climbs trees and his kitten has a prehensile tail.
- In Death Or Glory a young priestess of the Adeptus Mechanicum has a mechadendrite attached to her lower spine. Useful to sit on (and freak people out, since it's hidden under her robes, and it looks like she's sitting on thin air) and steal snack bars.
- These are the main weapons of Land Wurms in Septimus Heap, with which they grab their prey and hold them.
Live Action TV
- There's a monkey in Dilbert who has an advantage over humans in the workplace because of his tail. He has directly questioned why humans designed the default mouse and keyboard layout, since the arrangement seems specifically made to accomodate two hands for typing and a tail to use the mouse.
- The mermaids of Fathom have long serpentine tails that are used to grab undersea anchors and choke unwary swimmers.
- Tieflings in the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons can take a feat that gives them this. You can even pick locks or pockets with it.
- Multiple female Tieflings in Dungeons & Dragons works have made jokes about the myriad uses of their tails.
- Star Munchkin has a Tailgun item only usable by Felines. What makes it notable for this trope is that the art depicts a normal-looking gun meant for hands curled up in a Prehensile Tail, not a gun specially designed to be tail-mounted.
- As mentioned above, the Pokémon Aipom and its evolved form Ambipom are examples, both of which have hands on their tail(s). Their Pokédex entries specify some uses, such as shucking nuts, communicating (by connecting with the tails of other Aipom/Ambipom), balance (when leaping from tree branches), and attacking (specifically, with Double Hit, the move that enables Aipom to evolve into Ambipom). Many of Aipom's Pokédex entries also indicate that since it deftly uses its tail so much, its real hands have become rather clumsy.
- Makoto Nanaya from BlazBlue: Continuum Shift slaps her opponent silly with her tail during her throw.
- Two recruitable aliens in Albion use this as a separate equipment slot, capable of holding either a one-handed weapon or a shield (the former being the game's only instance of Dual Wielding.)
- Zidane of Final Fantasy IX has one, although he only used it once (to hang from the rafters of the pilot's cabin of an Airship).
- He makes a more combative use for it in the introduction cutscene to Dissidia: Final Fantasy, hanging onto Tidus' leg, who then sends him soaring at Exdeath in order to break his concentration.
- In Sonic Lost World, Tails, who mainly uses his two tails for flying, uses one of them to grab a toothpick from Zomom's sandwich and reprogram Zavok's machine to prevent it from turning him into a brainwashed robot.
- Annah from Planescape: Torment is a Tiefling who has one, as it's a D&D game.
- Boots, from Dora the Explorer.
- Xiaolin Showdown: The Monkey Staff gives this power.
- Sometimes Scooby-Doo's tail is.
- In the Kim Possible episode The Full Monkey, when Kim is turned into a humanoid monkey, she uses her tail to grab a weight out of Doug's hand and throw it at Monkey Fist, then undoes the shackles on her chair.
- Jake Spidermonkey in My Gym Partner's A Monkey naturally has one of these.
- Gary the Rat's is used for Amusing Injuries because even though it is fully capable of moving around and grabbing things, he just drags it with reckless abandon.
- Fifi LaFume in Tiny Toon Adventures can use her tail to grab "boyfriends", as a bat (As seen in Buster at the Bat), as a shield (As seen in the Defenders of the Universe licensed game), and to spray stink (Being a skunk and all).
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the ponies are occasionally shown to have prehensile tails, despite the tails apparently consisting only of hair (althoug Pinkie Pie at least does have full Prehensile Hair as well...). They are often useful for doing things which would normally be difficult due to lack of hands. Most notably Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy.
- Not that lacking hands seems to hinder them in any way. The non-mage ponies can make clothing, cook food, and do all sorts of other everyday tasks that would normally require manual dexterity, either with the aid of their teeth, or with just the plain hooves themselves (not sure if this is ever really explained). The unicorn-types just use telekinesis/magic.
- Which makes what Rarity does in the second episode seem more violent.
- The Ahuizotl who appears as the villian of Daring-Do and the Sapphire Statue has a hand on the end of his tail, just as ahuizotls were said to have in Aztec Mythology.
- Dino from The Flintstones, but it is shown less after the first season.
- Cheetah from Justice League, though it is not confirmed until the Doom movie.
- Kevin 11 when he was in his mutant form in the original Ben 10 had a tail like this. It was used very rarely however.
- In Littlest Pet Shop (2012), Pepper, a skunk, can grab various things with her tail. She can also balance atop of it for increased height.