Spider Limbs

Spider-Man, Spider-Man
Now he walks like a spider can...

Flint Marko: So, uh, Doc, what's with the arms?
Dr. Otto Octavius: These? Well, uh, well, they allow me to multitask, manipulate different objects, (quietly) and of course maintain a safe distance...

Spiders are creepy. People with spider legs growing out of their body much more so. It does have a few perks, though. Characters who have an extra set of spidery appendages can often use them to scuttle about on walls and ceilings freely, jump great distances, and even reach the jar of cookies hidden on the top shelf!

These spider limbs can also be used instead of walking on human legs, giving the character an extra meter or two of height, and almost seeming to float. These limbs can be of any make. Maybe they're Artificial Limbs, Combat Tentacles with Mundane Utility, or even inky tendrils born of the deepest darkness. Though for some reason they're always attached/growing out of the small of the back.

The limbs aren't usually prehensile, but some of the stranger variants are equipped with claws, hands, or cartoon strength static cling that allows the limbs to manipulate objects. Likewise, tentacle rather than spider based limbs can also be used as Tentacle Ropes.

Usually, this is exclusively a case of Bad Powers, Bad People due to the spider/octopus/tentacle factor. Still, there are cases of Dark Is Not Evil.

Not to be confused with Multi-Armed and Dangerous, but may overlap if the extra combat arms can also be used to scuttle around.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Diclonii's 'Vectors' in Elfen Lied.
  • Medusa in Soul Eater utilises this as well, as part of her snake/arrow themed powers. She can balance on her tail and create many "snake" arrows that sprout out of her back, among other uses.
  • In Busou Renkin, Tokiko's busou renkin, the Valkyrie Skirt, takes on the form of four scythe-like blades that latch onto her legs and are controlled by nerve impulses through her skin. She can use them to move over difficult terrain, as well as climbing up walls and ceiling.
  • InuYasha Big Bad Naraku and his Combat Tentacles fall into this category. Though there is a certain element of Body Horror for sure, the underlying theme is definitely arachnid in nature as he was once a human named Onigumo (demon spider) and all of his incarnations manifest a spider on their backs.
  • Nakua from Princess Resurrection and Naqua-Den does this by growing turning her hair into spider legs to either attack someone or just doing something mundane.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man in all his incarnations has a lot of instances of this trope.
    • Firstly, there's arch enemy Doctor Octopus.
    • Then there's the Powered Armour Tony Stark gives Spider-Man in the Civil War.
    • There's also Midnight Sons rogue Spider-X, who has boney spider-limbs.
    • Pre-dating the Civil War Iron Spider armor, a possible future Spider-Man was shown to be a genius with Powered Armor using a similar system to Doc Ock's. Interestingly, the future Goblin serving as his nemesis had equivalent technology on her armor as well.
    • Spider-Man once had a teenage fanboy who built himself a set of mechanical spider legs and tried to become Spidey's sidekick. Since he was a clumsy, out-of-shape teenager with no combat experience, it was a good thing that Spider-Man was able to talk him out of it before he hurt himself. A few years later, he reemerged as the Steel Spider, having gotten into shape and learned some hand-to-hand fighting ability in the interim. After beating up some guys who'd attacked his girlfriend, he decided to hang up the costume but then reemerged during the Civil War on the anti-registration side. His super-hero career apparently ended when he fought the Thunderbolts and Venom bit off and ate one of his arms and he was imprisoned in the Negative Zone.
    • The Superior Spider-Man has added similar waldoes to his second costume. Makes sense, since he's actually Doctor Octopus after stealing Spidey's body and life. They are destroyed during the "Goblin Nation" arc.
    • The third and fourth Spider-Woman both possessed these at different points. Originally they were a power of Charlotte Witter (Spider-Woman IV), as a result of genetic manipulation by Doc Ock. After a lot of back-and-forth power-stealing, the limbs — along with the other powers of all three other "Spider-Women" — ended up with Mattie Franklin (Spider-Woman III).
    • This has happened to Spidey before, but he managed to cure his condition thanks to the help of Dr. Curt Connors (a.k.a. the Lizard).
  • The X-Force villain Forearm was so-named because... well, you can figure it out.
  • The villain Mojo from the X-Men series moved around on robotic spider legs as his species has no spine.


  • In Quest for the Fallen Star, the "Tenebrite" variant of Ill-creature is usually humanoid, but can morph its lower body into a set of spider legs.
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 novel series Soul Drinkers, Sarpedon's mutation is his legs turning into eight large spider-like legs. They prove to be extremely useful as the series progresses, and after Sarpedon is captured by the Imperial Fists, an Apothecary remarks that he finds Sarpedon's inhuman pelvic structure fascinating and looks forward to hanging it on his wall after Sarpedon's execution.

    Live Action Television 
  • The Sci Fi Science episode "How to Build a Super Suit" had Dr. Michio Kaku's design, which included a pair of extensible robotic arms attached to the back and controlled by the user's brain. Dr. Kaku even mentioned Dr. Octopus by name. The arm control system is fully within the realm of current, or at most, 20 Minutes into the Future science. A early version's been done with chimpanzees.
  • The Spider Dalek emerged while developing a proposed revival of Doctor Who in the mid-1990s.
  • The demons who were Jasmine's previous worshipers in season 4 of Angel had lower bodies with four of these type of legs.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Fiends (Neberu) in Demon: The Fallen are associated with spiders (since they were the ones who "webbed" the entire universe together on the Fourth Day of Creation) and therefore prone to growing an extra pair of hands in their High-Torment Apocalyptic Forms.
  • In Exalted, the Terrestrial Circle Sorcery spell Lightning Spider gives the caster eight extra spiderlike limbs made of lightning!
    • While Alchemicals can achieve this with Manifold Transhuman Implants, the signature Apostate has modified himself into a full-on mechanical drider.
  • The Book of Vile Darkness sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons has a spell that gives the caster a set of four giant spider legs. This lets them climb, move quicker, and raise their body out of the way of enemy attacks.
    • Around the same time, the Song and Silence sourcebook also featured the Fang of Lolth prestige class, which culminated with fully functional Half-Human(oid) Hybrid/Spider limbs.
  • In the Infernum D20 setting, this is the effect of the first mutation for the Chain of the Spider. The demon (or fallen angel, or corrupted human) sprouts a number of secondary appendages to give them eight limbs in total — of themselves, however, they simply make it easier for the character to climb; it takes the Chain of Multiple Arms mutations to make them strong enough to be used in combat or for tasks.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Occasionally found on tech-priests of the Imperium. Mechandrites, which are cybernetic tentacles tipped with various useful things (manipulators, specific tools, weapons, etc) are a de-facto cyber implant amongst their ranks.
    • Techmarines (Space Marines who also function as tech-priests) often have a large servo-harness mounted on their power armor with multiple grasping arms.

     Video Games 

     Web Comics 

     Web Original 
  • Drowtales:
    • The Beldrobbaen clan contains several members who carry giant spiders on their backs, most notably the leader Waes'soloth and her daughter Naal'suul.
    • The driders. Much like centaurs, only with drow for top and giant spider for bottom. They can even make clothes with the silk.
  • In some of its incarnations, the Slender Man is capable of growing extra, amorphous limbs from his back.
  • Doctor Octogonapus (who is, after all, The Lazer Collection's resident Doctor Octopus Expy). Also, Randall, after discovering that Doctor Octogonapus is his father.)
  • Arachne of the Whateley Universe can manifest Spider Limbs along with her normal human limbs. She can also grow more spider-y in other ways when she chooses to, but she routinely is stuck with spider fangs that leak poison when she gets excited.
  • Arachne in Void Domain. She can grow extra limbs from her back and even sprout a giant abdomen.

     Western Animation 
  • Irken's PAKs in Invader Zim can extrude these on command. He has a strikingly matter-of-fact handling of these (to-him) familiar tools. They are likely purely instinctual. There's one episode when Zim's right next to something blowing up, and when the smoke clears you can see his spider arms in the same position as his actual arms, trying to shield himself from the blast.
  • Teen Titans
    • Gizmo often zips around on four mechanical legs. Kinda like Doc Ock, but they only have about three joints each.
    • Fang is a strange example: He uses four giant spider legs to carry himself rapidly across any sort of terrain and to hoist himself out of reach of his enemies. Instead of sprouting from his back, they come from the abdomen of the mutant giant spider that has replaced his head. The humanoid body just sorta hangs there, waving around limply, as it's pulled around by the spider legs. The whole thing is an homage to a scene in FLCL where a monster with spindly legs legs emerges only partly through a girl's head, and drags her body around in a similar fashion.
  • In Spider-Man: The Animated Series Spider-Man once grew four extra arms. This is based in a story from the comics.
  • One of the villains in The Secret Saturdays can transform into a humanoid spider with legs growing out of his back.
  • Darkwing Duck
    • A Monster Clown toy once features these, and they end in rather large axes to boot. It was probably the creepiest thing Quackerjack ever made. The kicker? It is made by an Alternate Universe counterpart who was actually a good guy.
    • Darkwing Duck himself, in the episode "Aduckyphobia", receives a radioactive spider bite that granted him two extra pairs of arms, though they seem to have minds of their own (he gets the hang of it when he learns they respond to verbal commands). The Spider-Duck costume is pretty sweet.
  • Ulimate Spidermonkey in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien.
  • Having the alternate forms of spiders, Tarantulus and Black Arachnia from Beast Wars naturally have these. Theirs come with machineguns.
  • Nidhiki in BIONICLE 2: Legends of Metru Nui has been mutated to have four arachnid legs.
  • Airachnid in Transformers Prime has six legs sticking out her back, and she switches from bipedial to... uh, hexapedal at will. She later gains a helicopter as her altmode.
  • In the two-part fourth season finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Darth Maul returns after being presumed dead for many years with his lower half replaced by mechanical spider legs. He has these briefly before they are replaced by more human-like legs.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door the character Numbuh 513, otherwise known as Scarf Girl, from the E.N.G.L.A.N.D. episode, uses said scarf very much like how Doctor Octopus uses his own tentacles.
  • Alpha Teens on Machines which is a sequel series to Action Man (Just don't ask which continuity) had the Mad Scientist of the Five-Bad Band with spider legs, as a Doctor Octopus homage.

     Real Life