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[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tailswipe_archie_comics_5351.png]]]]

There are reasons most vertebrates have tails. They can propel you through the water, free up your other limbs for multitasking, are great for balancing, can bait predator and prey alike, are good for showing your intentions, and they can swat flies. Why stop there? If it works on a small pest, why not a larger one? You may not have the thumbs necessary for cracking a whip or swinging a chain, but your tail can be just as good.

{{Prehensile Tail}}s can be flexible enough to hit things, but not all of them are powerful enough to be effective deterrents. For added power, some tails have a weapon attached. See BewareMyStingerTail for those. Also compare with CombatTentacles.

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!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Chimera Ant King in HunterXHunter is one of the most powerful beings on earth and is fond of striking down anyone and anything that annoys him. His long needle-pointed tail can turn almost anyone it hits into a red mist and he is more than happy to use it.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'' and ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' has Goku, Korin, Raditz, and Frieza do this. Usually for comedy in early on, but when a villain attacks with their tail, it's usually very serious.
* Several {{Robeast}}s from ''Anime/MazingerZ'' (such like Danchel or Deltan V8) and ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' (such like the whole Reptilian Warrior Beasts division) were endowed with powerful tails, capable to hit or coil around the enemy and strangle it. Often they had some weapon attached or shot missiles, acid or poison.
* The Nine-tailed Fox's tails in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' are incredibly strong, sharp, and hot; they can devastate ''mountains'' and raise tsunamis, as well as pierce human flesh and leave chakra behind, which repeatedly burns and heals the affected area.
* In ''Manga/{{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.
* A somewhat different example of this shows up in a particular arc of ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'', where Katsura and Gintoki have been turned into cats, and both them end up tearing off their tails and using them as improvised weapons. The former [[ImplausibleFencingPowers somehow manages to slice through a steel cage]] to free Gintoki and Kondo, but when he uses it against some {{Mooks}}, it's just a blunt weapon. One is probably better off not knowing what Kondo (Who's been turned into a gorilla) decides to improvise as a weapon, though...
* It's hard to notice, but Renamon whips one of the Flybeemon with her tail in ''Anime/DigimonTamers''. Also, as Kyubimon she whips Vajramon with her nine tails later on.
** Earlier Allomon does this to her.
** Mihiramon's main attack is Samurai Tiger Tail, which he uses on Kyubimon and Gargomon.
* In ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', Ash's Charmeleon, Giant Onix, Crystal Onix, Nurse Joy's Gyarados, and the pink Nidoking all - on separate occasions - whip Team Rocket with their tails to send them blasting off.
** This is how Pikachu defeats Lt. Surge's Raichu in the first season.
** In Advanced Generation, Pikachu learns the Iron Tail move, where it charges its tail (in later episodes the tail has an actual iron effect to it) and whips the enemy with it, a technique Pikachu uses frequently afterwards.
* The Bikaku-type kagune in ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'' is essentially a tail, and described as the most [[JackOfAllStats balanced]] of the four types. It isn't as dramatic or powerful as the other types, but in exchange lacks any distinct weaknesses. Nishio uses his to strike at Kaneki from a distance, as well as wrapping it around his leg to make his kicks more powerful.
* In ''Anime/Monster Rancher'', this is one of Suezo's primary attacks. Poritoka has a legendary variant of this.
** Gray Wolf whips Tiger in the eyes with his tail, blinding him during their battle.
** Naga does this to Genki and Mocchi as well.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* The Lizard likes to do this in ''Comicbook/{{Spider-man}}'' stories.
** Also, the Lizard's copy cat Komodo from the Avengers stories is capable of this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Franchise/{{Godzilla}} will sometimes attack this way in his movies.
** How Godzilla kills the male Muto in ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}'', coupled with ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice (since it was slammed into a skyscraper and ''got a support beam through its spine.''
* Littlefoot's mother in ''{{The Land Before Time}}'' (see the dinosaur Real Life example below).
** And then Dil does the same to Ichy in ''Journey Through the Mists'', which presumably kills him.
* The Raptors in ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' occasionally, but they use their claws more.
* At the end of ''{{Disney/Dinosaur}}'', Aladar and Neera use their tails to attack the Carnotaurus.
** Actually Neera doesn't, but in addition to Aladar, Kron does [[spoiler: before the carnotaur kills him]], and earlier on, so does Bruton.
* Many, many, MANY instances of it in ''Film/{{Anaconda}}''.
* Master Viper's fighting style is based primarily around this in ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'', despite being a viper.
* The Super Shark from SyFy's ''Super Shark'' attacks this way, which would be fine (see real life) except that it does not seem to be based off a species known for it. Then again, it is "super".
* The crocodile does this to Kelly in ''Lake Placid''.
* Dragon uses a variant of this in ''Film/ShrekTheThird'': She whips a tower with her tail, [[spoiler: which falls and crushes Prince Charming.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''{{Raptor Red}}'' by Robert T Bakker uses the Diplodocus version, calling them 'whip-tails'.
* In the ''{{Redwall}}'' series, the otters frequently use their tails as a weapon; the strongest and most skilled can knock an enemy unconscious with a single slap from their tail.
* In the body of some kind of sauropod, Zane from ''{{Literature/Dinoverse}}'''s tail is quite a weapon. Unfortunately he's too prone to panic to use it effectively.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''{{Dinosaurs}}'': four-legger Monica gets a job as a tree pusher at Earl's job site. She can knock over a whole lot of trees at once by slapping with her tail.
* ''MightyMorphinPowerRangers'': The Tyrannosaurus Dinozord and the Dragonzord do this a lot, the Dragonzord especially. It once tail-whipped a giant-size monster so hard the monster was sent flying from the seabed onto the beach. To make things ''really'' suck for the monsters, the Dragonzord's tail has a [[ThisIsADrill high-speed drill]] on the end.
* Many of the monsters in the various ''Franchise/UltraSeries''.
* How the Mayor kills Larry in the Season 3 finale of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* The tail is something most people forget about when depicting the Behemoth, except for those who think it was a dinosaur. Most sources depict it as an hippopotamus or a bull, animals most definitely not known for powerful tails.
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[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' once did this to a spider, saying that he learned it from a Jersey cow.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''DungeonsAndDragons''. During 1st Edition a Dragon Magazine article gave dragons a tail attack usable against creatures directly behind them. In 2nd Edition this was officially added to the game.
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[[folder:Video games]]
* ''VideoGame/MonsterRancher'': Card battle 3 is the {{trope namer}} and it is mostly used by Dinos, Suezos and Nagas. Dragons also use this technique, but it is less common compared to their far more powerful attacks.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'': The SignatureMove of Minccino and Cinccino is named such. They usually use their tails to [[NeatFreak sweep away dust]], but at a high enough level can use it offensively in combat. In addition, the moves Slam, Iron Tail[[note]]which involves the tail becoming encased in ''[[ExtraOreDinary metal]]''[[/note]], and [[KillItWithWater Aqua Tail]] follow this trope.
** A variation: Tauros has whip-like tails, but instead of swatting others it swats itself to psyche up.
** The move "Tail Whip" has existed since Gen 1, but it merely lowers the opponent's defense without dealing any damage, and flavor text describes it as a cute gesture that puts the enemy off-guard rather than an actual attack. The Japanese name of the attack is actually "tail ''wag''".
* Tails of ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' fame can defeat most enemies with a simple swipe of his twin namesakes.
** Of all characters, Metal Sonic, who usually doesn't HAVE a tail, transforms into Metal Madness in ''Sonic Heroes'', and one of his attacks is a tail whip, which he uses against Amy and Vector's teams.
* This primarily how {{Gex}} fights.
* This is also primarily how VideoGame/{{Croc}} fights, despite being a crocodile!
* ''Jurassic Park Warpath'' makes use of the dinosaur version
** Ditto for ''JP: Rampage Edition'', where both the playable and enemy Velociraptors can use a powerful whip attack with their tail.
* Nearly ditto ''{{Primal Rage}}''. Sauron (no not [[LordOfTheRings THAT one]]) and Diablo (no not [[VideoGame/{{Diablo}} THAT one]]) have tail-swinging blows, as does Vertigo).
* Dragon pets in ''VideoGame/{{Mabinogi}}'' always finish their combo on an enemy by spinning in a complete circle and bashing the enemy with their tail.
* In ''BattleForWesnoth'', the campaign unit Merman Brawlers can use their fish tails to hit and stun their enemies, slowing them. Also, the downloadable setting "Era of Magic" has the lizardfolk's [[DragonRider Chaos Riders]], who can use their Chaos Wyverns to perform a "tail sweep" at the enemies.
* In ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'', Makoto (a [[LittleBitBeastly squirrel girl]]) does this in some of her grab attacks.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' has the Raccoon Suit's tail as well as the P-Wing and Tanuki Suit. In ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand'', this is extended to a lot of things.
* In ''VideoGame/{{La-Mulana}}'', the boss Tiamat can whip out her massive tail to do a lot of damage to Lemeza.
* Crocodile-like enemies in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' can "swing their tail very hard" as an attack.
* Bullsquids from ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' possess surprisingly powerful spinning tail-smack finisher which often reduces a victim to LudicrousGibs.
* The Tyranto Rex, Hebby Repp, Fin Fatale, Toximander, and their variants in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3D'' all have a tail smack as one of their attacks. The first of the four's is the most dangerous, as it spins to deliver multiple hits to everything around it and has the longest tail of the bunch by far.
* In the ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' series, practically every monster with a tail of a decent length will use this in some manner; a simple SpinAttack being the most common form of it. A common means of reducing the threat is by [[SubsystemDamage cutting it off]].
** [[PantheraAwesome Nargacuga]] in particular is capable of doing a deadly tail slam that has [[HitboxDissonance a hitbox twice the size of the tail]].
* Dragons in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' gains this ability after a patch, along with Wing Attack. This allows them to hit you even when you are not in front.
* In ''WorldOfWarcraft'', never stand behind an enemy dragon or you'll get a face full of tail, which combines a [[HerdHittingAttack cleave]] with a KnockBack.
* Baton, the hero of ''VideoGame/TadpoleTreble", will use this as his main method of defense.
* Dragons in ''DragonQuest'' V and VI attack this way.
* Some of Ill-Goga's attacks in the ''VideoGame/{{Tobal}}'' games involve his tail.
* In ''Trip World'', one of Yacopu's forms has a tail attack with a good range.
* Riptor from ''VideoGame/KillerInstinct'' can use this as a jump attack, coming down on her enemy.
* When you fight Cynder as the final boss of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning]]'', one of her main attacks is a tail whip. She also uses her tail in a few melee attacks when you play as her in ''Dawn of the Dragon'', but in this case she [[BewareMyStingerTail slashes with the blade on the tip of her tail]].
** The Golem in ''Dawn of the Dragon'' does this as well when you are fighting some orcs at the beginning of his boss level.
* ''ChronoTrigger'': One of Ayla's abilities summons a dino so huge you can only see its tail swinging across the screen, and does more more damage the closer she is to death.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* WesternAnimation/{{Gary the Rat}}'s tail is strong enough to knock a man out a building with a flick.
* Grimlock from ''{{Transformers}}'' when not in Robot mode.
* The Kangaroo Monsters of ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog''.
** Katz uses his extra limb for an advantage during a handball game.
* Whiplash in ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983''. He gets clubbed [[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse2002 the 2002 run]].
** Dragons too, as people are roughly proportional to flies next to them.
* The white whale from ''Moby Dick''.
* Again the ''Godzilla'' animated series feature this. [[WesternAnimation/TheGodzillaPowerHour Both]] of [[WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries them.]]
* Also all of the ExtremeDinosaurs
* Fifi [=LaFume=] in ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'', though usually not violently.
* A dragon bird from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' pays Korra back for helping it earlier by giving an attacking Unalaq a well-deserved smack with its tail.
* After being corrupted by Discord, Fluttershy whips Twilight with her tail in ''[[MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E1TheReturnOfHarmonyPart2 My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic]]''.
** Rainbow Dash whips a cloud with her tail a few times in ''[[MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E3TooManyPinkiePies Too Many Pinkie Pies]]''.
** Rarity also does this to knock her original design for Twilight's dress into the garbage in ''[[MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E9SweetAndElite Sweet and Elite]]''.
** Twilight also does this to Parasprites in ''[[MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E10SwarmOfTheCentury Swarm of the Century]]''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Dolphins use their tails to stun fish, slamming them through the water at high speed to create a wave of energy that stuns and confuses the fish.
* Thresher sharks use their tails to stun potential prey.
* Most lizards, crocodilians, and similar-bodied reptiles, even juvenile water dragons.
* Dinosaurs in the Diplodocus family of sauropods had long tails that apparently seem to have been whip like. Possibly other sauropods as well, as they all had long, muscular tails. Some Dinos graduated to [[BewareMyStingerTail another trope]].
* As mentioned in the description, cattle make use of their tails to swat flies, as it can reach everywhere their head and legs do not and has multiple ends that the flies have trouble avoiding. They give the same treatment to farm hands they don't like.
* Catfish don't have stingers, but many species have fins bony enough that people will often assume they were stung by something if hit by them in murky water. Yes, this includes the tail fin.
* Some dog breeds, most notably greyhounds and their closer relatives, have tails that can leave welts on a human.
* Horses can do this if the tail hair is long enough, although it's usually accidental when it's simply trying to shoo a fly away. But like cows, a horse can easily smack a rider when it's not happy with something.
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