"It is as if I have draped myself in a penis!"
Simply put, there is something about snakes that inspires our worst fears and greatest dreams. Maybe it's their graceful way of moving, their cool, dispassionate gaze, the smoothness of their scales. Maybe it's the fangs, the way they flick their tongues, or the way they wrap tightly around you in a kind of slinky hug. Maybe it's the fact that they're inherently dangerous
, even if they can't actually hurt you.
Whatever the reason, in any situation not emphasizing Reptiles Are Abhorrent
, snakes are used as a symbol of Evil Is Sexy
Depending on the Mythology you reference, the Lamia or Naga
are pretty much the epitome of this. The Lamia is often described as a creature with the body of a snake, and the head, arms, and torso of a human
, and are rarely depicted as anything other than incredibly attractive, if not naturally malevolent. The Naga also fits the former's description, but is otherwise depicted as having the entire body of a snake, with the head taking on a human-like face.note
Often they are shape-shifters
, capable of taking a human or serpentine form. The Western interpretation of Naga is where you get the sexy snakes.
See also Feather Boa Constrictor
, for snakes worn draped over the shoulders, which often overlaps with this trope.
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Anime and Manga
- In Naruto, Orochimaru has a ridiculous amount of snake symbolism, summons snakes to fight for him, and turns into a giant snake made of smaller snakes. He slithered off the Slippery Slope long before the story began, and yet he has a huge fan-following.
- Also his students Kabuto and Anko.
- Adiane in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is a scorpion-woman, but she also has some elements of this, mostly flicking her tongue out like a snake.
- Not a real snake, but Naga the White Serpent from Slayers has a name that invokes this.
- Boa Hancock from One Piece is drop-dead gorgeous. No man (except Luffy) can resist her beauty. She has the power to turn them to stone as a result of this and has a giant snake as her 24/7 personal attendant.
- Her sisters, on the other hand, subvert this trope... hard.
- Medusa Gorgon, one of the primary antagonists of Soul Eater, definitely plays this up when she's not actively distorting her features for the hell of it or riding around in a 5 year old girl's body as a method of cheating death.
- In Wolf's Rain, Hub talks to a woman wearing revealing lingerie and a snake around her neck while investigating. He seemed less distracted by her sexiness and more distracted by his allergies to snakes.
- In Felarya, Nagas are one of the main races. Disturbingly, they are very humanlike, tend to have a carefree disposition, and eat humans.
- In Rosario + Vampire, Hitomi Ishigami and Kagome Ririko are both snake monsters.
- Cobra and his snake Cuberious/Kinana from Fairy Tail.
- Bleach has Sun-Sung.
- Mizuki from Kamisama Kiss is a white haired Bishōnen who can turn into a snake.
- Benisato from Ninja Scroll is a seductress who uses snakes to kill her victims. She also has snake tattoos all over her body, which we know because she spends most of her scenes totally nude. And then there's her last ditch snake...
- "That one is particularly deadly."
- Echidna from Queen's Blade has a snake motif and her pet snake, Keltan, is her underwear.
- Maii the Lamia in Daily Life with Monster Girl is a well endowed snake-girl who's head over (metaphoric) heels for Darling. Unfortunately for her so are all the other girls.
- The mutie biker Harley from the Dredd fanfic Highway Don't Care is described as curvaceous and attractive - despite her scales, slit-pupilled eyes and unhinging jaw. Her partner, Indian, has a helpless crush on her. She doesn't like being described as a snake, threatening to cold-cock anyone who describes her as such.
- The Lair of the White Worm. The sexy Big Bad Lady Marsh (Amanda Donohoe) acts in a snakelike manner (including dancing and swaying to music), can change into a partially snake-like form and has a giant snake as her deity.
- Thulsa Doom, the Big Bad from the Conan the Barbarian (1982) movie. He turns into a snake during the orgy, one assumes for some fun.
- In the film of Cole Porter's Musical Can-Can, in the "Adam and Eve" ballet, the Snake in the Garden of Eden is played as a very sexy woman.
- Salma Hayek's snake dance in From Dusk Till Dawn.
- Zhora in Blade Runner is working as an exotic dancer using a robot snake as a prop.
- Medusa from Clash of the Titans remake is half-woman, half-snake, all sexy.
- Who can forget Viper from Kung Fu Panda? And voiced by Lucy Liu no less!
- Green Snake is about two shapeshifting snakes who, in human form, look like beautiful maidens. One of them is played by Maggie Cheung.
- The Nollywood "Snake Girl" saga. The actress plays a cobra/human shapeshifter, and she is sexy, scary and verrrry snakish (even without any SFX) at the same time.
- In the Chronicles of Narnia novel The Silver Chair, the Emerald Witch transforms into a poisonous serpent.
- In Making Money Moist thinks that his girlfriend can sashay in a way that could put snakes to shame.
- Salmissra, Queen of the Snake People in the Belgariad.
- Crowley. Oh my God, Crowley.
- A variation in the Xanth novels is the Python of Mount Parnassus, an immense snake capable of swallowing live humans whole (with ease), who also has the ability to control any woman through the power of sexiness... which makes no sense, but hey, it's Xanth.
- Also from Piers Anthony, one minor character in the Incarnations of Immortality series is a dancer named Pythia, whose act involves dancing suggestively with a snake before letting it swallow her whole (she makes sure to use an ointment that'll keep her from being digested or suffocated).
- A Merritt's novel The Face in the Abyss has Ananda the Snake Mother, a beautiful silver-haired naga with pearly, heart-shaped scales.
- In Keats' Lamia poem, Lamia is a beautiful snake, being a "rainbow" of lovely colors. When she turns into a woman, she becomes The Vamp.
Live Action TV
Mythology & Religion
- The Snake in the Chinese zodiac is associated with sexuality, to the point where calling a woman 'a snake' in China is a compliment.
- "Madame White Snake" is also one of the best known folk tales in China, a fantasy tale revolving around a young scholar who marries an incredibly beautiful woman named "Madame White", only to find out that she and her maidservant are snakes in human form. See the other wiki article here for more details.
- Early versions of the tale of Melusine revealed her to be a Naga. Later versions changed this to a mermaid.
- In Indian mythologies, the Naga (the snake people) were described as extremely beautiful, both male and female, in their human forms.
- Bally's Mata Hari pinball prominently features the sexy spy on the backglass and art, with several snakes lurking around the edges.
- Viper takes this Up to Eleven, with a menacing robotic serpent and a naked chrome Fembot on the backglass.
- The Breath of Fire series features a recurring playable character named Deis (Bleu in the localization). She is an ageless, godlike Naga creature — and really stacked, to boot.
- Naga Sirens in Warcraft III: Four-armed snake-women whose quotes show them as the "seducing sailors off boats" type.
- Cloud of Darkness from Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Although they are called tentacles, they have a clear snake-like appearance and even have eyes and mouths resembling a snakes. The tentacles just add to CoD's allure. Other (and older) examples would Marilith, the multi-armed Fiend of Fire from the first game, and the Lamia Queen from II.
- Medusa, the Big Bad of Kid Icarus, as seen in◊ Uprising. It's heavily implied that this was Medusa's original form before Palutena, Goddess of Light cursed her for tormenting humans, as seen when Medusa dies in the original game. Overlaps with Hot Goddess, as Medusa was the Goddess of Darkness.
- One of the female costume options in Rock Band 2 is a top that consists of a large snake that covers the character's breasts and nothing else.
- The "Whacking Day" episode of The Simpsons, which deconstructs the Reptiles Are Abhorrent trope, has guest star Barry White invoking this trope in the animals' defense.
Bart: You like snakes, don't you, Mr. White?
Barry White: I love the sexy slither of a lady snake. Oooooooh baby.
- Some Belly Dancers use snakes as props during their shows. There's one pictured above for example.
- Though they should be careful at that, or else the trope would be quite squickilly subverted. What do you think happens to somebody who gets swung around too much? Exactly, they get sick.
- The undulating motion of a snake itself can be rather sexy—think of all those dances where women basically do the same thing (but standing).
- In some languages, the word for "snake" or "serpent" can be a euphemism for penis.