Sewer Gator

Alligators that have been flushed down the toilet will end up living in the sewers down below the streets. Most of the time, these alligators can be an example of Never Smile at a Crocodile. They are sometimes said to be albinos, like many real cave-dwelling creatures, due to living in a mostly lightless environment.

Expect the sewer that they inhabit to be an Absurdly Spacious Sewer.

The alligator-in-the-sewer thing is probably one of the oldest Urban Legends New York has.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Heat Guy J: As Daisuke and J look for Daisuke's bullet pendant in the Absurdly Spacious Sewers of Judoh in the "Circulation" episode, an alligator briefly surfaces near the boat that they are travelling in.
  • Log Horizon: One of dungeons described in the Eastern Yamato Map is a sewer that extends from underground of Akiba to Kanda called Kanda Flume / Akiba Sewer that is populated by monsters that are inspired by urban legends, including a white alligator.
  • Patlabor "The Dungeon Again": When they hear about a very valuable pearl that was secreted by an albino alligator that was recently captured from the sewers beneath the SV2 hanger, some mechanics go into the tunnels to see if they can find some more and a rescue team is sent in after them when they do not return. Hilarity Ensues when they run to booby traps left a by a crazy guy living there and when they find the "pearls", it turns out that they were actually eggs.

    Comic Books 
  • Astro City: One of the outcast heroes that was recruited by Bravo to become one of the founding members of the Astro City Irregulars was a mutant alligator that lived in the sewers of Astro City with the unoriginal name of Alligator.
  • The second Babe series by John Byrne has the titular character fighting an army of Cyborg alligators coming from the sewers under the control of Shrewmanoid.
  • Batman #577 - "Mike and Allie": While searching for the source of the rats that are infesting the Batcave, Batman finds a blind girl who ran away from home and lived with a group of sewer gators after her abusive foster parent flushed her pet alligator down the toilet. She grew close enough to the gators to develop a Psychic Link with them.
  • Daredevil #180 - "The Damned": Ben Urich realizes a bag lady in pictures of an abandoned subway tunnel looks like the missing Vanessa Fisk and contacts Daredevil to help him find her. While they are looking for Vanessa in the tunnels, Ben and Daredevil are captured by a group of homeless people. They are brought before the Sewer King and he feeds them to an alligator that the King had raised ever since he found it flushed down a toilet as an infant.
  • Big Al, a villain introduced "The Sewer of Doom" story of E-Man, is a talking, cigar-smoking, albino sewer gator who wants to conquer the world in the name of reptile-kind.
  • In the Judge Dredd comic, "Gator" from 2000 AD progs #384-386, two perps are eaten by blind, white alligators while running from Dredd in the sewers and Dredd himself is almost killed. Just as he is about to arrest the boss of the sewage works for negligence in allowing the tunnels to become infested with gators, Dredd learns that a survival club is in the tunnels and he has to go back down to save them.
  • One of the first enemies (after child mooks and small robots) the new Ms Marvel encountered were sewer gators both in giant and armed with Fricking Laser Beams variety, thanks to the local super villain.
  • Marvel Universe character, the Piper is a mutant that lives in the New York sewers and he keeps a pack of alligators under his control with the music from his flute.
    • The Mighty Thor #364-365: As part of the The Fight For Asgard storyline, Thor is transformed into a frog by Loki and ends up in Central Park. While there, he becomes involved with a war between a kingdom of frogs and an evil army of rats. Since most of the frogs aren't really capable of standing up to the rats, Thor decides to investigate the frog's legends about "dragons" that live in the sewers and they turn out to be the Piper's alligators. Thor steals his instrument away and leads the gators to feast on the rats.
  • Untold Tales of Spider-Man: The Lizard takes reptiles from the zoo in the "Cry...Lizard!" issue and leads them into the sewers to make them into an army.
    Spider-Man: Alligators in the sewers, Lizzie? Isn't that a little...cliché?
  • In a story told over five 7-page back-ups in Wonder Woman #309-313, the Huntress tracks down a baby trafficking villain called Earthworm in the Gotham sewers. He uses his control over the animals in the sewers to make some alligators attack her.

    Film — Animated 
  • King Gator in All Dogs Go to Heaven is a big-lipped alligator (yeah, THAT big-lipped alligator) living in the New Orleans sewers, worshipped by the sewer rats.
  • The film The Wild saw the zoo animals meeting up with a pair of alligators in the sewer who actually turned out to be friendly and helped the heroes find the way to the Statue of Liberty.

    Film — Live-Action 

  • In A Storm of Swords, though not identified as an alligator, the sewers of Meereen contain some large white lizard-like creatures that will attack humans if they encounter them, surely inspired by this.
  • In the second of the Never Deal with a Dragon trilogy of Shadowrun novels the protagonist Sam learns that generations of childhood belief in the fact that alligators live in sewers after being flushed has caused them to become an urban magical totem as well as a nature one.
  • In Neverwhere, Hunter in a Badass Boast says that she killed the biggest of the New York sewer gators.
    Hunter's voice was quiet and intense. She did not break her step as she spoke. "I fought in the sewers beneath New York with the great blind white alligator-king. He was thirty feet long, fat from sewage and fierce in battle. And I bested him, and I killed him. His eyes were like huge pearls in the darkness."
  • In Sewer, Gas & Electric there are entire hit squads patrolling the sewers on heavily armed gunboats in search of these and other critters (such as the plot-relevant Great White Shark codenamed "Meisterbrau"). The turnover rate is atrocious.
  • In The Truth, ace salesman CMOT Dibbler briefly peddles a kind of "Fung Shooey". He is so good at it that one buyer discovers the Dragon of Unhappiness literally comes up through a lavatory which has been celestially mis-aligned and bites the believer in the bum.
  • One of the illustrations in the children's book "Underground" by David Macaulay shows a cutaway section of a city street. There's an alligator in the sewer.
  • In chapter 5 of V by Thomas Pynchon, Benny Profane hunts with the Alligator Patrol in the sewers of Manhattan. According to the narration, he had already managed to bag four gators and a rat during his first two weeks on the job.
  • Sewer Jack from the Wild Cards series is an Ace with the power to shapeshift into an alligator. As his name indicates, he has taken to hunting in the sewers in his alligator form when he is not working as a NYC Transit worker.
  • In Brian Keene's City of the Dead (the sequel to The Rising), some zombie alligators attack the fleeing humans as they travel through the sewers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who "The Dalek Invasion of Earth": Susan is almost eaten by alligators that escaped from zoos during The Plague and managed to thrive in the London sewers.
  • The wesen from the "Cold Blooded (Part One)" episode of Grimm is an alligator-like creature. They originally served the Praetorian Guard and hid in the aqueducts after the fall of Rome.
  • Lost Girl: The Alligator Fae introduced in the "SubterrFaenean" episode are a type of Under-Fae, Fae that cannot pass as human, that were rounded up and quarantined in the sewers when they started showing signs of a mysterious illness.
  • The Naked Truth: Nora gets assigned alligator duty in the "Sewer Gators, Swordplay, Santa from Hell!" episode which consists of searching the sewers for gators and trying to get pictures for The Comet. At the end of the episode, all of Nora's friends who have joined her in the sewers for Christmas dinner are chased off by an alligator, except for Camilla who stays to get pictures.
  • Supernatural: The third victim of the "Tall Tales" episode was an animal researcher who was devoured by a sewer gator after sticking his hand down the drain to get a gold watch at the bottom. The gator was created by The Trickster because the researcher was involved in Animal Testing.
    Dean : An alligator in the sewer. Come on.
    Sam: What? Well, Dean, it's a classic urban legend. A kid flushes a baby gator down the toilet, and it grows huge in the tunnels.
    Dean: But no one's ever really found one. I mean, th — they're not real.
  • The Carbonaro Effect: One target thought she was assisting a realtor, when he pulled a small lizard out of the kitchen sink...and then one nearly twice that size. He eventually told her that this trope was so common that there was a "lizard law" in realty.

  • The Radiohead song, "Fog" from the Knives Out album is also called "Alligators in New York Sewers" because the reference to this trope in the chorus.
    Baby alligators in the sewers grow up fast
    Grow up fast

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Parodied in a Garfield strip, where Garfield falls into a sewer and meets up with a giant alligator that was in the sewer, along with a canary and a goldfish that have also become giant after ending up in the sewer.
  • A Sherman's Lagoon strip had Sherman and Megan lost in New York while on vacation. They get directions from an alligator in the sewer and comment that New York gets a bad rap since the alligator was very polite.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dragon Magazine #269 article, "Urban Legends" adapts the sewer gator legend for Dark Matter. Rather than any human origin, the gators are introduced to the sewers by the Kinori to guard their subterranean bases. The Hoffman Institute have recently begun to find Kinori remains in the digestive tracts of the gators.
  • GURPS has a few different takes on the Urban Legend:
    • The "Monsters" supplement for third edition has Specimen Alpha-39, an alligator that was used as a guinea pig for genetic experiments and was disposed of via the sewers. It now rules the Jersey sewers with its enhanced intelligence and size.
    • In the "Black Ops" setting, sightings of Sewer Flukes are said to create the legend of sewer gators. How a giant, white centipede is mistaken for an alligator is not exactly clear.
    • "Monster Hunters 3: The Enemy" for fourth edition plays this straight with the Albino Alligators. This version is blind but capable of tracking prey by sound or by the vibrations in the sewage that they make while moving around.
    • The Discworld Roleplaying Game scenario about mapping Ankh-Morpork's forgotten sewers includes "the Albino Aligators, who have arrived from a different set of narrative assumptions".
  • The collectable version of Illuminati features an "Albino Alligators" card.
  • The "Urban Adventure" supplement for Iron Kingdoms details a savage tribe of albino gatormen that have lived in the sewers of Corvis and preyed upon the homeless ever since they fled the wrath of another tribe.
  • It Came from the Late, Late Show. The Giant Alligator Monsters are based on the Urban Legend. They're angry about being flushed into the sewers and express their feelings by eating subway commuters and sewer workers.
  • In the Judge Dredd War Game from Warlords Games describes the sewers of Mega-City One as being infested with giant, white alligators.
  • New World of Darkness "Urban Legends": As urban growth started to overrun the wetlands home to alligators, an incarnation of an unknowable entity that was once worshiped as Sobek was drawn to the alligator's want for survival. The incarnation came into being in the only suitable environment close to the old wetlands: the sewer system. The supernatural influence of incarnation strengthened alligators and drew them to it. The incarnation has also begun to draw humans into a cult, slowly transforming the worshippers into beasts no different from the alligators and changing the tunnels to more closely resemble the swamps and jungles that alligators call home.
  • Paranoia adventure Send in the Clones. In the "Sewerworld" segment the PC Troubleshooters can encounter gatorbots living in the sewers.
  • Promethean: The Created One of the NPCs from the core book is the Great Albino Alligator, a Pandoran of the Sebek lineage. Back when New York was called New Amsterdam, a collector with an interest in Egyptian artifacts brought the half man, half crocodile Pandoran to the city under the belief that it was a statue made by an ancient Nile cult. A young Nepri accidently awoke the Pandoran while searching for an amulet amongst the collection. After the Great Albino Alligator found and consumed the young Nepri, it descended into the sewers to hunt any Prometheans that sought solace within them.
  • Shadowrun: The Ghost Gators are Awakened, albino sewer gators that show up in the 4th ed adventures, Back in Business and On a Silver Platter. They are four meters long while still managing to being stealthy, can Wall Crawl and their skin is tough enough to resist small arms fire.
  • In Transhuman Space the urban legend has developed into the Lurker Below, a huge alligator-like creature with writhing tentacles along its back, supposedly created by experimental biotech being flushed into the sewers and altering whatever's already down there.
  • Unknown Armies: Urbanomancers, adepts who's occult powers revolve around cities, keep albino alligators in the sewers as pets.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: Nosferatu vampires will sometimes train alligators to protect their lairs beneath the cities. Some of the problems with alligators actually living in the sewers can be handwaved by the vampires turning them into ghouls. Calebros, the ex-prince of New York, has a gigantic pet albino alligator called Charioteer that is trained to ferry visitors through the sewers to one of his sanctums. Ghoul alligators also show up as foes in Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption in the drains.
  • In the Victoriana supplement Faces in the Smoke Volume Two: Shadows and Steel, one of the Adventure Hooks for the Fellowship of the Red Pharaoh is hunting for a giant crocodile that has escaped from a London zoo and is hiding in the sewers..
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken: A powerful sewer-spirit from the "Predators" supplement book is described as riding "a great albino alligator".

    Urban Legends 

    Video Games 
  • Presumably drawing on his representation in the animated series, Killer Croc is usually found in the sewers in some Batman games.
    • In Lego Batman, he's chased through the sewers before a boss fight with him. The corresponding villain level begins in the sewers and involves him leading the Penguin through said sewers to rescue Catwoman from the police station (apparently right before leading the Dynamic Duo on the chase that ends in his defeat).
    • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Croc's 'cell' is actually a network of disused sewers on Arkham Island, beneath the asylum itself. Hardly surprising, since it's unlikely any normal cell would fit him; he's stated as being eleven feet tall! Croc never escapes the sewers during the Joker's takeover, but Batman has to descend into the sewers to find a certain plant to cure Titan transformation...and to apprehend the Scarecrow.
    • In the second game of the Batman: Arkham Series, Batman: Arkham City, Croc's new 'home' within Arkham City is the sewer network right beneath it. He's also taken over parts of the subway in there as well. Croc is never encountered unless you do something specific at a certain point in the game. Do this, and a short cutscene in the sewer where he and Batman talk will play, and you can then find a small out-of-the-way room in there with a broken mattress and the Shock Collar he wore back at the asylum.
  • In the "Root Of All Evil" level of Crysis 3 there is a broken pipe with a fish on it and if you interact with the fish, an alligator will swim out. It can even be ridden!
  • In Déjà Vu, you can be attacked by an alligator while in the sewer.
  • The second level of Ed Edd N Eddy The Mis Edventures primarily takes place in a sewer, and alligators are a common and strong enemy that take multiple hits and deal a lot of damage quickly.
  • Grim Fandango: One of the puzzles in year 4 is finding a way to get around a huge albino gator that is blocking the way to Bowlsley's sewer hideout.
    Manny: I don't see how Sal, with all his crazy conspiracy theories, forgot to mention to me that there were alligators in the sewers.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has Sewer Gators living in the Maze of Sewer Tunnels that connect the clan basement with Hobopolis.
  • Parasite Eve: The final boss of day one is a mutated alligator in the sewers beneath Carnegie Hall.
  • Psychonauts: Sometimes a plunger-wielding G-Man will say "There are no documented cases of alligators found alive in sewers".
  • In Resident Evil 2, a gigantic alligator mutated by the T-Virus appears as a boss battle when the player traverses the Raccoon City sewers.
  • The sixth mission of Superhero League of Hoboken requires the League to defeat fifteen Alligators From Hell that can be found in the New York sewers.
  • Trio the Punch has alligators emerging from sewer pipes in a Down the Drain level.
  • True Crime: New York City: There is an alligator at either end of the Sewer Tunnel fight arena.
  • Swampy and all the other gators in Where's My Water? live in the sewers of some unnamed city.
  • Wizard 101: The goal of the "Sell Out" and "Raging Rumors" quests is to retrieve a newspaper from Gamma for Zan'ne because all the other papers were sold due to interest in a story about sewer gators.
    Zan'ne: Alligators in the sewers? They're everywhere!
  • World of Warcraft
    • A level 50 albino crocolisk called the Sewer Beast is a rare spawn in the canals of Stormwind City.
      Justin: You know there are crocolisks in the Canals. They were brought from the swamp as pets, but got thrown in the canals.
    • In the Underbelly section of Dalaran there is a sewer pipe near the Black Market that contains a crocolisk called the Underbelly Croc that snaps at anyone who gets near.
    • The "Crocolisks in the City" fishing quest requires catching some baby crocolisks that a travelling merchant sold to some gullible children and then escaped into the waterways of Stormwind and Orgrimmar. The reward can include a crocolisk battle pet.
      Old Man Barlo: Catch any crocs in the sewers yet?
  • Reptile's ending in Mortal Kombat X. Despite this, it's heartwarming to see Reptile find others of his race in Earthrealm.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The online Bonus Material for season one of Torchwood (no longer available) strongly implied that the "aligators" in the New York sewers are actually Weevils.

    Western Animation 
  • Aaahh!!! Real Monsters occasionally showed alligators living in the sewers with the monsters. One episode had Ickis learning to ride the alligators as part of a quest.
  • Archer mentions CHUDs in the "Midnight Ron" episode and Ron thinks the idea of mutants living in the sewers is crap but insists that there are alligators living down there. The idea freaks Archer out due to his phobia about alligators.
    Archer: Ron! C'mon, seriously, at some point I'm gonna have to take a shit, so —
    Ron: So why didn't you go before we left?
    Archer: Not now! In the future! And I won't be able to if I'm thinking about giant alligators rampaging up into my toilet!
    Ron: Talk about tearing you a new one...
  • Archie's Weird Mysteries: The Monster of the Week of the "It Lives in the Sewers" episode is a sewer gator that grew to enormous size and started walking on two legs after being exposed to toxic waste. Originally, it was Jughead's pet before Veronica flushed it and he gets the gator to stop before it does any more damage.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • Killer Croc generally uses the sewers of Gotham as a hideout and means of stealth travel.
    • The episode "The Underdwellers" has sewer gators in droves. They're actually the Sewer King's pets.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: Ben mentions the possibility of alligators while going into the sewers in the "Vengeance of Vilgax, Part 2" episode which manages to freak Kevin out.
    Ben: Hey, I wonder if there are any alligators down here.
    Kevin: Alligators?
    Ben: Yeah. I heard that people get baby alligators as pets, and flush them down the toilet. They grow gigantic in the sewers!
    Kevin: Maybe I should go up and guard the exit.
    Ben: Ooooohhhh! Big tough Kevin is scared of alligators!
    Gwen: There are no alligators. That's just an urban myth.
    Kevin: Yeah, and we're supposed to be an urban myth too.
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers has Sewernose de Bergerac from the "A Case of Stage Blight" episode. Sewernose grew obsessed with the opera after being flushed into the sewers beneath a theatre when he was young and is quite insane.
  • Creature Comforts: An alligator appears in the "Animals in the Hood" episode that praises her sewer dwelling and dismisses the idea it could have a dampness problem.
  • DuckTales: While searching the sewers in the "A Drain On The Economy" episode, the Beagle Boys dress up as a gator to frighten off the nephews. Then the Beagle Boys run into a real sewer gator.
    Louie: Uh, is it true that alligators live in the sewers?
    Huey: Well, according to the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook-Aah!
  • The Dimmsdale Sewer Gator from the The Fairly Oddparents episode, "Ruled Out". It has 800 teeth and eats anything that moves.
    Timmy: It's violent and educational, but mostly violent! Yay, violence!
  • A sewer gator showed up in the "No Chris Left Behind" episode of Family Guy, interrupting one of the fights between Peter and Ernie the Giant Chicken. It was not a good idea on the gator's part.
  • An episode of Freaky Stories is about a young boy who flushes his pet baby alligator down the toilet because his parents won't let him keep it. As an adult, he encounters the now-grown alligator while he is working in the sewers.
  • Futurama: Parodied in the "I Second That Emotion" episode when Bender, Fry and Leela meet a community of Mutants living in the sewers.
    Fry: So, is it true that alligators flushed down the toilet survive here?
    Supreme Mutant: No, that's just an urban legend.
    Fry: Then what are those? (Gestures to a pool full of them)
    Female Mutant: Crocodiles. (Snorts)
    Supreme Mutant: We keep them as pets, then when they grow too large, we flush them down into the sub-sewer.
  • One episode of Mr. Bogus had Bogus and Brattus get eaten by an alligator while they are in the sewer, but escape, before calling on the help of this gator in order to help them stop Ratty, Mole, and a trio of biker rats.
  • In the "Newt York, Newt York" episode of Ned's Newt, Ned is excited to go to New York City for the weekend because an xylophone note is on sale there, but his parents cancel it after hearing the urban legend that alligators live in the sewers. Ned and Newton go to NYC anyway, and try to "blend in with the locals" (e.g. when Newton turns into a shady watch seller with a Coat Full of Contraband) until they fall into a manhole by accident that leads to the sewers. Soon they come across the alligators that lived in the sewers ever since their musical on Broadway closed down. They help the alligators find a pipe that leads back to their home in Florida, and one week later Ned finally gets the xylophone note that he wanted.
  • Roger from The Penguins of Madagascar is a sewer gator who is good friends with the penguins.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Candace fights one in "Fireside Girls Jamboree" to get a "wrestling an alligator in a sewer patch".
    Candace: Alligator, you're goin' down!
  • In the second DC Comics special of Robot Chicken, "Villains In Paradise", Captain Cold flushes Starro down the toilet and Brainiac starts complaining.
    Brainiac: You shouldn't flush those things. That's how New York got giant alligators in the sewers.
    Captain Cold: That's just an urban legend.
    Killer Croc: Oh, you think so? (Everyone sits awkwardly for a few seconds, not saying a word, as Killer Croc silently walks offscreen)
    • Starro returns while they are at the beach and is bigger than ever.
    Martian Manhunter: It's Starro! Like a mighty New York City sewer alligator!
    Brainiac: I'd hate to say I Told You So. That is a lie. I tol... (Starro crushes him)
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police
    • Sam and Max adopt a baby alligator in the "That Darn Gator" episode after Max vacuums it up from the toilet. Max names the reptile John, because "that's where we found him". Their own attempts flush John away when he gets too big to handle only manages to get his head stuck.
      Geek: What are you doing?
      Sam: Returning John to the life he once knew
      Max: To the wild of the sewers system suit
    • There is a nod to this in the "They Came From Down There" episode while Sam & Max are in sewers.
      Max: Look, Sam, baby alligators!
      Sam: Well they're buoyant and log-shaped, but they're hardly alligators.
      Max: I don't feel so good.
  • The Simpsons
    • A sewer gator appears trapped in the Simpsons toilet - and battling Grampa - in "Marge in Chains":
    Bart: We flushed the gator down the toilet, but it got stuck halfway, and now we have to feed it.
    • The "Treehouse of Horror XV - The Ned Zone" episode has Ned gaining the ability to foresee people's deaths in a parody of "The Dead Zone". Ned has a flash of Hans Moleman being eaten alive by alligators and drops him in shock down an open manhole where he is ripped apart by gators.
    • While visiting Springfield's Chinatown in "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love", Lisa thinks it must be Chinese New Year when the family sees a dragon dance coming down the street. Then some animal control officers tranquilise the "dragon" and take it away.
      Animal Control Guy: People buy them when they're small and cute, then they flush them down the toilet.
    • "A Tree Grows in Springfield": After he falls down an open manhole, Homer tries to get help from a inquisitive alligator that he calls Flushie. According to the label around its neck, Flushie was a gift from Homer to Bart for his 8th birthday.
  • Leatherhead in most incarnations of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an alligator who ended up in the city sewers and was exposed to the same mutagen as the turtles, resulting in him growing into Lizard Folk and becoming sapient.
  • The Tick: In the "The Tick vs. Filth" episode, Tick and Arthur are attacked by giant lobsters in the sewers and Sewer Urchin chases them off with melted butter and lemon.
    Tick: (Distressed) What happened? What was that? What is it with the lobsters?
    Sewer Urchin: Sewer lobsters, Tick.
    Tick: I thought there were alligators in the sewer! I mean, I was ready for alligators!
    Sewer Urchin: Ah, no. That's definitely a myth. We got lobsters.
  • Total Drama World Tour: Part of the challenge for the "Broadway, Baby" episode involves the teams driving boats from the Statue of Liberty through the sewers to Central Park. While down there, the teams are chased by a giant, white alligator that manages to sallow Team Amazon and their boat whole. The "DJ's First Pet" exclusive clip reveals that the gator was originally DJ's pet that he called Vince and accidently flushed down the toilet.