Lizard Folk: an entire race of intelligent anthropomorphic rodents or a single specimen thereof. They may be villainous creatures that live in filth and squalor, reproduce at a dizzying rate and worship foul deities, just another humanoid race with no particularly outstanding good or bad traits, or simply victims of an unwanted transformation. They may be (or descend from) rodents that developed humanoid features or humans that developed rodent features, whether through magic, science, radiation or natural selection. Ratman supervillains often have either "rat" or "vermin" somewhere in their names. Ratman civilizations are sometimes given a quasi-Japanese flair or called "Nezumi," which is simply the Japanese word for mouse or rat; the proper Japanese translation for Ratmen would be "Nezumi-jin." Subtrope of Petting Zoo People. Contrast Rodents of Unusual Size (where the rodents are huge but not humanoid or intelligent). Note when adding examples: Do not confuse ratmen with wererats: the latter are humans who can assume the form of a rat (or a giant rat, a human-rat hybrid, etc). Normal-sized rodents with human mannerisms do not count unless they are explicitly called out as abnormal in the fiction they appear. Refer to Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism for guidance.note
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- The Rat Man from Tomb Of Terror #5 (1952). A man is resurrected into a giant rat by a life-restoring fluid. He is intelligent and can talk and use things, but is also evil, like later examples.
- One character from the comic strip Snarfquest was a human prince who'd been transformed into this trope by an evil wizard, and was seeking to be restored to normal.
- One of Ghost Rider's minor villains is the bipedal, flesh-eating rat creature Verminous Rex, the sole survivor of an entire race of such creatures that lived int he spaces between dimensional walls.
- The Klarion and Manhattan Guardian miniseries in Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers briefly feature a race of sentient, bipedal rats who dwell beneath New York City's subways. Since they're still the size of ordinary rats, Klarion's cat Teekl rather casually devours their king off-panel.
- The Spider-Man and Captain America villain Vermin is a human being mutated against his will into a cannibalistic, insane Rat Man.
- In Joe the Barbarian, the hero, a diabetic teenager trying to stave off death, hallucinates that his pet fancy rat is a noble Rat Man warrior who aids him on his Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane quest to defeat "Lord Death" and retrieve his insulin.
- Master Splinter in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Depending on the continuity, he was either a normal rat or a Japanese ninja who was mutated into a ratman.
- Itchy is portrayed in a manner that evokes this trope in the Dick Tracy media: small, pointed nose, slight overbite, and a nasal and occasionally squeaky voice.
Films — Live-Action
- In the 1984 Italian post-apocalyptic horror movie Rats: Night of Terror, the group of survivors gets decimated by common rats that seem to be driven from their underground habitat, making them extremely aggressive and dangerous. In the film's twist ending, it is revealed that intelligent mutant rat-humans are responsible.
- The title character of the 1986 flop Ratboy is a mysterious hybrid of human and rat found in a dumpster by the female protagonist.
- In Peter Jackson's Brain Dead (aka Dead Alive in the States) the zombie plague is carried by the "Sumatran Rat-Monkey." It has as much in common with ratmen as monkeys do with human beings.
- In The Ratman, a scientist creates a murderous humanoid rat creature named Mousey note in hopes of getting a Nobel Peace Price.
Myths & Religion
- Japanese folklore gives the tale of Raigo the Rat, based on a historical figure from the 11th century. The emperor broke a promise to him and uses black magic so that when he dies he comes back as a giant rat, with a rat army to eat valuable scrolls.
- There is an urban legend about a girl who threw the Koran after her mother and was turned into a rat girl by Allah. This is often accompanied by a picture of a Human-Rat-Hybrid-Sculpture, which is orginally part of an art exhibit titled "Leather Landscape" by Patricia Piccinini
- In the town of Southend-on-Sea, in England, there is a local legend about a ghostly Rat-Man living in a tunnel. The story goes that an old tramp lived there until a group of teenagers found him, beat him, and left him to die. His spirit now appears there, looking just like the rats who nibbled at his body.
- The Rats in the Rats, Bats and Vats series by Dave Freer and Eric Flint are still rat-sized, but have human-like intelligence and use tools. Technically, they are not rats or even rodents, but genetically modified (including some rat gene-splicing) and cybernetically uplifted elephant shrews. Everyone (including themselves) call them rats, though.
- The bakenezumi ("queerats" or "monster rats" in translations) of From the New World are bipedal rat people who live in warring colonies and serve only their respective queens, occasionally helping humanity out. However, there's a lot of Fantastic Racism going on, with the humans despising them and the bakenezumi eventually growing to resent the humans for lording their Psychic Powers over them. As it turns out, the bakenezumi were originally humans with no Psychic Powers, genetically engineered to mutate into rat-people in order to protect the psychics' oligarchy.
- The giant rats from The Underland Chronicles, which are sentient. There are similar giant versions of many small animals from our world.
- Ratmen (and a genius ratgirl) play a part in Glen Cook's Garrett P.I. series. It seems the wizards of a few generations back had quite a fad for the creation of new sentient lifeforms, and they shared real-world scientists' preference for using rats as research subjects.
- In Warhammer Fantasy, the Skaven are a race of ratmen that live in squalor and may be something of a Trope Codifier, having inspired numerous imitators in tabletop gaming. They are the most numerous race in the setting and would have taken it over long ago if their entire culture wasn't based on Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
- In the third-party Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting Scarred Lands, the Ratmen (expies of the Skaven) are rats that became intelligent humanoids by consuming the flesh of the fallen Titans. Some of them have been further mutated to develop special powers related to the Titan they are descended from.
- Ratmen can be found in the third-party Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting Ptolus. Here, they are divided by size into the halfling-sized ratlings, the human-sized ratlords, and the ogre-sized ratbrutes.
- Some third-party d20 supplements have included varieties of ratmen, such as Aradan (from AEG's Mercenaries), Cavian (from Races of Neo Exodus) and Ikrikit (from Masterwork Monsters: Rats in the Walls)
- Ratfolk in Pathfinder are halfling-sized, highly social, and good at tinkering. Many of them are Intrepid Merchants. For the most part, they are portrayed fairly sympathetically - most of them are neutral in alignment, and they can be player characters - but some of their racial options, like the Plague Bringer alchemist, have more of a Skaven feel.
- Magic The Gathering has Nezumi Rat Men in the Kamigawa sets of cards from 2004.
- Legend of the Five Rings also has a race of rat-men called the Nezumi in it. Alongside the naga, they're the only non-human race in the setting that isn't hostile towards humanity.
- Wicked Fantasy has the Rodden, who appear as giant humanoid rats and have a culture reminiscent of The Mafia.
- Small World has Rat Men as one of the races. Unlike the other races, they have no special abilities, as they have reserves.
- EverQuest II introduced the Ratonga race.
- The Rat Tribe of Inherit the Earth is the resident Proud Scholar Race of the setting. Their underground complex is part library and part monastery, all built into what looks like an old sewer system.
- Legend of Grimrock II has the Ratmen, both as a playable race and as NPC enemies (with a distinct piratical theme). They start out with fewer total stat points than other races, but they can gain random permanent stat bonuses from eating cheese and can take a trait that will grant them a random stat increase at each levelup.
- Majesty and other games set in Ardania (like Warlock: Master Of The Arcane) has Ratmen living in the sewers under pretty much every settlement. Unlike the Skaven they resemble, they're almost always Played for Laughs (their main reason for raiding the surface is an obsession with cheese, for example...).
- Slade the Thief from Shining Force II is a human-sized anthropomorphic rat.
- In Warcraft, Kobolds are a race of ratmen miners that live in Kalimdor. They are low-level neutral monsters, though they can be annoying in large numbers.
- Twitch from League of Legends.
- The Burmecian and Cleyran races from Final Fantasy IX, to which your dragoon Freya belongs, are anthropomorphic rats. They avoid the stereotypes normally associated with this trope, instead being portrayed as a peaceful and civilized race.
- The Ratboy Genius, as well as Little King John.
- In the Invader Zim episode "Game Slave 2," Dib stumbles across a group of "horrible rat people" living in a parking garage. They were originally normal people who became permanently lost in the parking garage and now live by scavenging, and this somehow mutated them into rat people. They don't look very much like rats, and Dib is skeptical that they've turned into actual rat people.
- The Captain Planet villain Verminus Skumm is a particularly anthropomorphic variation on this. Apparently he was created to represent the effects of urbanization and pollution on biodiversity.
- In one episode of Batman Beyond, the villain Shriek's lab assistant is apparently a teenaged Splicer who has given himself rat traits.
- In Thunder Cats 2011, among the many animal races are sapient rats and mice.
- In the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the turtles had a reoccuring villain named Rat King who controlled the vermin of New York and lived in the sewers. He seemed human in at least appearance, however.
- Charlie the Mouse, a Recurring Character in ''Courage the Cowardly Dog. A humanoid, overweight rat-man (despite his name, he looks more like a rat than a mouse) with a bad attitude (with a Brooklyn accent, no less), and an anchor tattoo on his arm who likes to eat rancid cheese, he may look as scary as most other monsters on the show, but he's actually a rather charitable guy who has helped Courage more than once.
- Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a pet rat who was mutated into a four foot rat-man, or a man who mutated into a rat-man, depending on the series.
- Rattrap, of Transformers: Beast Wars and Beast Machines, transforms into a giant rat, a choice influenced by Transformation Conventions. While not the genuine article, his personality is such that he might as well be, and he certainly seems to think of himself as one.
Rat...robot. Rat...robot. I'm a robot and a rat! Yeah, I like it!
- The quote above was said immediately after all the Maximals had a breakthrough of sorts resulting in the merging of their Transformer and animal psyches. Just saying.
- Alcazar's friend Rat Man and his girlfriend, from Futurama.