aka: Everythings Even Worse With Sharks
"Everyone's always in favour of saving Hitler's brain. But when you put it in the body of a Great White shark, ooh, suddenly you've gone too far!"Want to make a (usually) aquatic situation a dangerous nightmare? One way is sharks. Trapped in the middle of the ocean with no realistic way of making it to civilization, likely go crazy and dehydrate in a couple days? That takes too long? No worries, the ocean is infested with sharks just waiting to devour you. Has the Big Bad got you? He won't shoot, that'd be too fast, he'll instead lower you into a Shark Pool. Want to ruin your show? Do a Shark Jump, or just introduce a Voodoo Shark. Want to cheat? GameShark. Want to ruin someone else's finances? Call in the Loan Sharks. Want to do the same but legally? Call in a legal shark. If you're swimming or anywhere near water, the last thing you want to hear is "shark". In fictionland, or rather fiction-ocean, Sharks are unstoppable sea-monster killing machines which devour everything in sight: fish, seals, people... license plates, car tires, suits of armour, car parts, severed human limbs. Sometimes they'll even attack ships: that's how Badass they are. Most animals eat to live, but sharks live to eat. Sharks are the ultimate Rule of Cool. Perhaps it's because it's how their mouths are literally lined with hundreds of teeth, or hey can sense your bioelectricity, meaning you can never hide from them. Perhaps it's because they have changed very little in the millions of years they existed, invoking a sort of reversed watery version of Everything's Better with Dinosaurs. It doesn't matter, they're the most Badass animal that isn't extinct or made up. If they ever find a way to take to the land or air, it would surely be the end of us all. Really, if Sand Is Water, expect Land Sharks. (Cool as they are, there are still ways to enhance them.) A Super Trope to Megalodon and Shark Man. Often first seen as a tell-tale Shark Fin Of Doom. Compare Sea Monster (for other scary things in the ocean), Never Smile at a Crocodile (for the rivers-and-lakes counterpart), and Bears Are Bad News. You can relax if there are Heroic Dolphins, though. Contrast Shamu Fu, the one situation where things may legitimately get better when you add a shark. See also Jump the Shark, in which this trope proved very true for the trope namer, and not in a fictional context. Ironically, sharks are nowhere near as dangerous as the stereotype makes them out to be. Hundreds of people have been attacked and killed over the last few centuries, but the vast majority of shark species are harmless to humans, with just a handful of species that have been documented to kill, and even then only two (Bull Sharks and Oceanic Whitetip Sharks) are consistently dangerous. The rate of shark attacks and deaths average out to about a couple of deaths a year, making them less dangerous than elephants, jellyfish, domestic animals like horses and dogs, and the common staircase. In fact, some sharks are surprisingly intelligent and social animals, rather than the mindless omnivores they're portrayed as, and they've taken on a diversity of habitats and body designs beyond the usual torpedo shape.
— Professor Farnsworth, Futurama
open/close all folders
- Sharks go from even worse to hilarious in an ad for Nicorette lozenges.
- There's also this Snickers Peanut Butter Squared commercial.
- Inverted by The Most Interesting Man in the World. Sharks have a week dedicated to him.
- Discovery Channel Shark Week 2013 ramps up its coverage with Bloody Hilarious fake news coverage of a beloved rescued seal getting chomped by a shark in front of hundreds of its adoring fans. In a 2014 follow-up, the shark is finally caught, only to have the seal escape intact from its maw, followed by some hapless swimmer, who announces Shark Week in a casual tone.
Anime & Manga
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Viral. He is a Beastman that Gainax has explicitly stated is a shark with feline genetics. Besides his claws and cat eyes, he's got a mouth full of shark teeth. They grow back if they're pulled out. His smiles tend to make viewers rather uneasy.
- Shark Fujishiro from My Bride Is a Mermaid is a literal shark with a human guise from a group of mermaid Yakuza. His motto being that all problems can be solved by eating the cause of the chaos. He's constantly trying to eat the main character of the series, Nagasumi. The fact he can turn into a shark on land doesn't help matters much either.
- The manga Gyo is about fishes with mechanical legs that crawl out of the ocean and invade the city, infecting the people with poisonous gasses. Needless to say, there is a shark involved, and that's when things get really bad. There is a scene where a shark kicks down a door, with a big GASHUNK sound in the English version. This has become a Motivator meme: "GASHUNK: Clearly the sound a shark makes when it kicks down a door."
- Iron Wok Jan: The semifinal battle of the second Tournament Arc has shark as the theme ingredient. The pre-prepared shark meat is unusable. What do you do? Jump into the tank of live sharks also prepared, kick a shark out, and butcher it in front of the audience. Of course after Jan and the rival from China jump into the shark tank to secure their ingredient, one of the other contestants realizes that it would be easier to just smash the glass walls of the shark tank to drain all the water out of it.
- Ranma ˝
- In the early manga, Ranma and Cologne fight at the beach and in the ocean. When Cologne touches down lightly on the surface of the water, everyone is astonished at how an Old Master can find footing even on a floating twig. Turns out she landed on top of a great white shark, which she somehow commandeers to do her bidding. It doesn't end well for the shark when Ranma goes into the Cat-Fist, though. The anime, for some reason, traded the beach fight (the final part of the Phoenix Pill storyline) for a fight in the mountains; apparently, they figured Cologne using telekinesis to fling showers of ice boulders would be more dramatic.
- Both the manga and an anime episode have Akane accepting Principal "Nutjob" Kunô's offer to teach her how to swim. Plan 1: strap a big boulder to her back and toss her into the pool... which is currently home to a four-meter-long shark.
- The Beach Chapter in Mahou Sensei Negima! involves The Hero being attacked by a shark... that knows kung fu. It turns out to be his martial arts teacher Kuu Fei in a stuffed shark that she borrowed from the hotel lobby, along with Natsumi in a shark costume in a ploy to get Negi and Asuna back together by placing him in a perceived danger to be rescued.
- Hoshigaki Kisame from Naruto is a human with shark-like traits and has an affinity for attacks that use water including several that blasts the opponent with water shaped like at least one shark. Hence the Fan Nickname Sharkman. He also has a shark-like sword, which he can merge with to become a full blown half-man half-shark creature.
Unlike the animal stereotype, though, Kisame seems rather played straight. He seems to have a good sense of humor, is definitely the most mentally sound of the Akatsuki, and has a certain joie-de-vivre that his partner needed to pick up on (and on the note of his partner... Kisame seems to have been more of a father toward Itachi than Fugaku). In general, he is a polite, intelligent, and a very social man... however, his mere presence seems to announce "You lose," with natural chakra reserves rivaling the Jinchuriki, who host 100-meter-tall chakra demons. Until even more fittingly he meets Killer Bee... who has octopus traits.
Kisame's shark appearance takes on even greater meaning when you consider his backstory. He kills all his comrades so that they won't get captured and interrogated by Ibiki, then kills his superior, the previous wielder of Samehada, for selling him out. After being paired with Akatsuki, he notes that they were put together because both had killed their comrades, noting how sharks' offspring kill and eat each other.
- Bleach has Tier Harribel, whose visual theme is that of a shark. In stark contrast with the usual shark tropes Harribel is a Mama Bear Martial Pacifist who is willing to die for Fracción.
- One Piece
- Of all the Fishmen, the shark ones are definitely the worst to run into. Arlong, the Big Bad of the East Blue arc, is a sawshark.
- Jinbei who is definitely making everything worse for the World Government by teaming up with Luffy and Crocodile is a whale shark. He soon inverts this trope, summoning a whole school of friendly, grinning whale sharks to carry the escaped prisoners to safety. Not much of a surprise, since whale sharks can't eat most mammals — they feed on krill, instead.
- Now things are even worse with Hordy Jones' crew, which has four different shark Fishmen, Jones himself being a great white shark.
- Add on Captain of the Flying Dutchman, Van Der Decken IX, who is a bullhead shark. Not as fearsome as a great white, but he seems to be the main villain of this arc.
- The trope is also inverted by Prince Fukaboshi, a shark merman (unspecified, which is odd considering Oda's penchant for classifying his mer/fishpeople) who the Strawhats assume is there to give them trouble and run away... when he intended to personally invite them to the royal palace and give Luffy a message from Jinbei.
- Also averted with Madame Sharley, who is very polite and calm. As long as you're not rude around her. This is even more notorious because she is the younger sister of Arlong, of all merpeople.
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: Apparently inspired by the pirates of How to Kill a Mockingbird, Squalo rides a flying burning shark as his box weapon. Seriously.
- BrokenGao in GaoGaiGar FINAL forms the right shoulder of Genesic GaoGaiGar and represents destruction in all its glory.
- Averted in Transformers: Robots in Disguise with Sky-Byte. While one of the Predacons, Sky-Byte is an aspiring poet and quite fond of humans — between these and various comedic appearances, he's something of an Ensemble Dark Horse. He's also the only one of the Predacons or Decepticons to escape at the end of the series, so everything works out for him.
- Hayate the Combat Butler: While Sakuya's Titanic was sinking, an already-wounded Hayate swam in the frigid water to push a raft holding Isumi to safety. Then the sharks attacked him.... But all bets were off when he saw one of them attack Nagi.
- In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure part 5, the situation is played straight with Clash, a Stand that takes the form of a metallic shark with three eyes. Its power is teleport from one body of water (or other mostly-water liquid like a bowl of soup or glass of wine), capture its targets, and drag them along on the teleporting trips (where, if Squalo isn't stopped quickly enough, they'll drown). And Clash's user works with someone whose Stand, Talking Heads, inflicts Tongue-Tied - so even if you see the shark, you can't tell anyone.
- In Blue Submarine No. 6, not only is there an antagonist who is a shark-person but it seems as though his main mode of transportation is built on a WHALE SHARK.
- Agito from Air Gear has sharks as his animal motifs. He's brutal in battle.
- Inverted in Nichijou. Ask the Professor, and she'll tell you Everything's Better with Sharks.
- Ryoga "Shark" Kamishiro of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, introduced as the school bully and a major Jerkass. He also uses a marine deck, including sharks. Later inverted after he joins Yuma's group.
- Played with in Kyo Kara Maoh Yuuri is transported into the middle of an ocean and appears to be under attack by a shark. It turns out that sharks in the other world are friendly vegetarians.
- In Guardian Fairy Michel, since nature is out of balance, sharks attack Donna and her son Will in episode 3.
- The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living by Damien Hirst is a piece of art (in a wide sense) consisting of a dead shark preserved in blue-colored formaldehyde, made in 1991.
- The Giant Shark and Hammerhead Shark from Magic: The Gathering. Unfortunately, since they're sharks, they can only attack if the opposing planeswalker is near a body of water (i.e. they have islands). And since your character is a planeshifting physical god, you can turn your opponents' lands into islands with certain spells.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has a few: Corroding Shark and Cyber Shark, a zombie/robot shark respectively, Metabo Shark, Deepsea Shark, Shark Cruiser, a shark ship, Man-Eating Black Shark, Great White Terror, Misairuzame, a missile shark, Abyssal Kingshark, and the Great White, a giant shark with hands.
- Water Baby revolves around this. Brody was a surfer, one day she was riding the waves and a shark confused her with something edible. Bit off her leg up the knee and went his merry way... while Brody was left bleeding her life out, she got better but now she has nightmares of sharks, and now so do you.
- A story arc of Fallen Angel has a shark goring Jude's leg... in the middle.
- The old British comic Action had a serial called Hook Jaw. The title character was a great white shark. None of the other characters lasted more than one story... Well, except for the token good human in the first story, though even he got eaten alive about two thirds of the way through the second story.
- Cyclops has fought sharks on occasion. Great whites, naturally.
- The short-lived X-Men character Thunderbird III had very few badass moments, but one of those was when he fought and killed a great white shark all by himself.
- Batman even keeps Shark-Repellent Bat-Spray in his utility belt!
- There's also the Batman villain Great White, a former "white collar criminal". It started as a nickname due to his shady financial practices. However he gets sent to Arkham and, well... let's just say he ends up with an Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance.
- In Watchmen, the cast-away of the comic within a comic Tales of the Black Freighter suffers from this. Not only does he have to escape from the island in a raft made of the bodies of his partners, he also has to fight several sharks.
- The Punisher
- Barracuda from MAX series, a badass hitman, manages to win a brutal fight with the Punisher. Instead of just shooting him, Barracuda throws him into the ocean with a bleeding gangster and a Great White.
- An earlier oneshot had a villain attempt to shoot Castle, who was standing in front of an Aquarium shark tank. Castle dived out of the way, and somehow, the handgun bullets managed to shatter the tank and send an angry shark right at the gangster.
- Iron Man, or rather Tony Stark seeing he was out of his armour, was dumped into shark-infested waters once. He proceeded to fight a great white, bite into it to get it to start bleeding, which drew the other sharks in order to attack it.
- Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods: Oh, so the Big Bad Nazi has Indy at gunpoint in a seized ship miles away from the nearest coast. If he kills him there nobody will know. But does he shoot him? Naaah, that would be too easy. Better drop him in a lifeboat with no oars to starve or die of dehydration. But wait, that would be too slow. Shoot the boat with a machine gun so it'll sink sooner or later. Enough? Nope, make a cut on the Girl of the Week's arm and kick her into the water so sharks will smell her blood and do a Zerg Rush to the area. And if loads and loads of sharks aren't scary enough, don't worry, a massive Great White will show up to teach them the job.
- In Wonder Woman, the island of Themiscyra is protected by Megalodons, who are good and even offer themselves up for a Heroic Sacrifice to save the island on one occasion.
- DC Comics also gives us the character King Shark, the son of the Hawaiian shark god (we're assuming Ka-moho-ali'i). He's capable of regeneration, which is good because Jeanette of Secret Six breaks his jaw and rips off his arm.
- One of the "possible" stories included in Hack/Slash: Trailers feature a slasher shark named Blackfin, who was big enough to devour the great white mistaken for him in one bite.
- Aquaman can command anything in the ocean. If he's feeling generous, he'll just send dolphins, whales and giant squid to beat you up and ensnare you. If he's not, he breaks out the sharks. Get him in a bad mood, and you can have sharks and Eldritch Abominations up your ass.
- German comic Haiopeis.
- Tintin: Subverted in Red Rackham's Treasure, where Professor Calculus builds a small submarine in the shape of a shark. Haddock first sees it when trying to take a potshot at a bunch of circling sharks.
- In an issue of X-Force, an alternate universe version of Nightcrawler confronted the Blob from the same universe, during a battle in an underwater base. While at first the Blob looked like winning, Nightcrawler got some outside help - he teleported a passing shark into the Blob's stomach.
- The newspaper comic Sherman's Lagoon stars the eponymous shark. Who's actually a very nice guy when he isn't eating other sentient life-forms.
- The Far Side practically predicted this entry and its terrestrial counterpart, with a strip showing a shark attempting to scare humans into the water by yelling "Bear!"
- From Chapter 12 of Takamachi Nanoha Of 2814, there's Nanoha's "Bruce" construct, a giant hundred meter long green shark with whirring chainsaw teeth and insides that look like a nightmare of spinning cutting rings.
- From Divine Blood, Naiki Satomi, the daughter of Ranma Saotome and Poseidon has an affinity for sharks right down to a mouth full of sharp teeth. She is the most obviously reckless of the three Satomi siblings and, especially in early chapters, sometimes has a tendency to make situations worse by sheer accident. However, she is described as having a cute smile despite having a carnivore's dental work. In battle against her father, she summons a megalodon and a swarm of other sharks to fight him.
- Late in Christian Humber Reloaded, the main character meets a shark/human hybrid named Chridion. Chridion manages the improbable feat of gaining the upper hand against the God-Mode Sue protagonist for most of the fight, largely due to his superior speed and Shoulder Cannon, only conceding defeat when Vash powers up enough to almost destroy the world.
- A Growing Affection changes Kisame's back story to make him instead Jinchuriki of the Seven-Fins Shark, and Samehada is made from a strip of the demon's skin.
Films — Animation
- Shark Tale, obviously by its name. Features a subversion of this trope though, a vegetarian shark who actually gets nauseated at the very taste of a fish.
- Another one for sharks that don't eat everything in sight, Finding Nemo. Not quite vegetarians, it's hinted that they eat dolphins, and they have a "slip" every now and then and eat a fish. The heroes run into three, including one named Bruce, a Shout-Out to the Jaws prop.
- In James and the Giant Peach, there's a robot shark.
- In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Mort is chased by a shark. Through land. All the way into a volcano.
- In the Pixar short Partly Cloudy (shown before Up), living clouds make human babies, puppies, kittens, etc., who are delivered by Delivery Storks. There's also a rain cloud who specializes in... slightly less adorable critters, and his stork seriously begins to regret their partnership when the rain cloud presents him with a model shark (which is bigger than the stork).
- Lilo & Stitch: "Oh, look, a friendly little dolphin. They helped sailors during the war... It's a shark! It's a shark and it ain't friendly! Looks like a dolphin... Tricky fish! Tricky fish!"
- Glut the Shark from The Little Mermaid.
- The sequel The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea has Undertow the tiger shark.
- Tintin animated film Tintin and the Lake of Sharks has, wait for it, a lake... full of sharks. Metaphorical ones, that is. It's actually a Balkan mountain lake. The villains' Underwater Base may also have a Shark Pool or two.
- The Land Before Time V has a prehistoric shark — possibly a Ginsu shark — as a "swimming sharp tooth".
- Vector, the villain in Despicable Me, has a guard-shark.
- In The LEGO Movie, President Business' office is guarded by, amongst other things, sharks, lasers, and laser sharks. Also, one of the Master Builders throws a shark at Emmet when the latter's speech fails to rally the heroes. It chirps like a dolphin.
Films — Live-Action
- Jaws is the Trope Codifier, to the point that in Real Life, Humans declared a full-out Extermination of all Sharks. Media-sanctioned Genocide upon a keystone species made the original writer, Peter Benchley, denounce the film as his Old Shame. He often stated in later years that he could never again write a book like Jaws, and he devoted much of his post-Jaws career to ocean conservation.
- 2-Headed Shark Attack: Double trouble!
- Ace Ventura: Goes to a tank expecting to find a stolen dolphin. He finds a shark. Hilarity Ensues. Specially when he returns to the main hall via the bathroom, his clothes all torn and wet: "Do NOT go in there!"
- The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl: Averted Trope. The sharks do briefly mention taking a bite out of Sharkboy when he becomes lost at sea but, once they realize that he's a friend, they raise him as one of their own.
- Austin Powers: Dr. Evil wanted sharks, with Frickin' Laser Beams attached to their heads no less, but logistical problems meant he had to settle for ill-tempered, mutated sea bass. He gets his laser sharks by the third movie, though.
- Bait 3D: A tsunami engulfs an Australian beach town, and a handful of survivors are trapped in an underground convenience store. Then they discover that a great white shark is there with them, which starts picking them off one by one.
- Batman: The Movie: While investigating a yacht at sea, Batman is attacked by a shark. After he uses Bat Shark Repellent to make it let go of him, it falls into the water and explodes: one of the villains had planted a bomb in it.
- The Beach: In this film, the seemingly idyllic youth community is revealed to be anything but when one of the members is gored by a shark.
- Blue Water, White Death: This 1971 documentary, for its name alone.
- Dark Tide: Features great white sharks
- Deep Blue Sea: Has super-intelligent sharks. If there's one creature you do not want to give super-intelligence to, you'd think it'd be sharks, but hey, there you go. (They're smart enough to know what dramatic irony is.) The official explanation was that making sharks super-intelligent would cure Alzheimer's. No, really. Most notable is how the character played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson is eaten by one of these sharks while indoors. To be specific, the scientists were extracting some kind of fluid from the sharks' brains for their research. They genetically modified them to grow larger brains so they could extract more fluid. Of course, larger brains also meant smarter sharks.
- Ghost Shark: The ghost of a great white shark. That can appear in any body of water, no matter the size.
- James Bond
- Jersey Shore Shark Attack: a parody of the TV series Jersey Shore... with sharks added.
- Jumper: One of the teleporting Jumpers assassinates the Paladins by dumping them at sea surrounded by sharks.
- Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: Subverted/parodied in the second movie, where being surrounded by sharks, Lara Croft punches one in the nose and proceeds to ride it to the surface.
- Lethal Weapon 4: Has caught a small shark (alive) while out fishing with the heroes. When their boat sinks, the shark escapes; rather than booking it for the horizon, as any sensible animal would do, its fin is shown lingering near the swimming characters to add menace to the scene.
- Le Magnifique: This French movie, a parody of spy flicks, begins with a spy character "eaten by a shark while in a phone booth." Yes, that's how it is actually described in the movie. To be more specific, the phone booth was lifted up by a helicopter with the spy inside, dropped into the sea, and then a caged shark was freed to attack him while still in the phone booth. Hard to top as a needlessly complicated execution method....
- Mako, the Jaws of Death: A telepath uses sharks to kill anyone who threatens the sharks themselves.
- My Super Ex-Girlfriend: The title ex-girlfriend throws a shark at the protagonist. The protagonist is in his new girlfriend's bedroom at the time. Several stories up in an apartment building.
- Open Water: The first film, anyway. Slight subversion, since nothing bad happens the first time a shark appears. The problem is later when it, presumably, gets curious and comes back... with friends. From then on, it just gets worse. Also notable is the fact that not only are the sharks all real (even the ones interacting with the actors), but are all species one would have a reasonably good chance of encountering in Real Life, compared to, say, the more-famous-but-rarer great white.
- The Reef: This Aussie film features four tourists forced to swim to an island ten miles away when their boat capsizes. Through a known shark zone. And yes they do encounter great white sharks.
- Revolution (2012): Averted Trope. Rob Stewart and an assistant are in the water with sharks at the start of the Documentary and nothing bad happens to them.
- Sand Sharks. A bunch of armored demonic-looking sharks that breathe air and swim through sand terrorize a cliffside beach.
- Sci Fi Channel
- There have been times when this channel has shown several movies of sharks attacking people back to back. Megaladons (giant prehistoric sharks) are quite often involved, e.g.. Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus.
- Incidentally, if the title has Shark vs. anything, it's probably by Asylum — if they make anything that isn't a Mockbuster or a bad Christian flick, it's a giant shark fighting something else equally nasty.
- Mega Shark has returned to face off against another giant prehistoric predator: Crocosaurus.
- Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.
- Sharknado: It's a tornado... carrying tons of sharks.
- Sharknado 2: The Second One: It's a blizzard tornado... carrying tons of sharks.
- Shark Night 3D: Obviously centers on this trope. A group of college students spend a weekend at a lake which has inexplicably become home to various man-eating species of sharks. The kicker? The sharks were supplied by a couple of rednecks who want to cash in on the Discovery Channel's Shark Week craze...by feeding college students to the sharks, and recording video footage of the attacks to post online, sell to various channels, etc.
- Sharktopus: Combines this with Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods.
- Shark Week: This Asylum-produced film combines Jaws with Saw.
- Spring Break Shark Attack: This Made-for-TV low-budget-gore-fest. Exactly What It Says on the Tin: attractive coeds in bathing suits and sharks.
- Swamp Shark. A mutant demonic great white shark terrorizes a swamp.
- Undercover Brother: At the end, Mr. Feather falls from a helicopter and chomped by a shark just before falling into the ocean.
- Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Has a Shark Pool inside a submarine. Yes, really. A villainess meets her end in it.
- The TV-movie adaptation of Peter Benchley's novel "White Shark" changed the title creature from a man-turned-Nazi weapon with metal teeth and claws into an American military-made bipedal great white shark.
- Yellowbeard: This pirate comedy plays with this when the title character's wife is taken captive by the Royal Navy and pumped for information offscreen; when she's ready to talk, she says, "I think it was that shark that jogged my memory." "The Shark" is the handsome sailor (David Bowie in a cameo) who brings her into the office, who has a shark's fin strapped to his back; he "jogged her memory" via sex.
- Zombi 2: This Lucio Fulci film has a shark fighting a zombie.
- In Terry Pratchett's The Last Continent, the wizards, out at sea, see one. One wizard starts to burble about how they are maligned, and list all their wonderful attributes. Unfortunately, it's the list about wolves, not sharks.
- At the beginning of Interesting Times, a shark tries to attack Rincewind, but is eaten by the Luggage.
- Jingo: "Vimes's grin was as funny as the one that moves very fast towards drowning men. And has a fin on top."
- The brain sharks of More Information Than You Require.
- The second Young Wizards novel has a ninety-foot long shark as a major character. While he doesn't make things worse for the good guys, he definitely makes things worse for the bad guys. However, he still scares the crap out of his allies, because he will eat anything that's in distress, including his friends. Note that he's not a great white: he's older than that SPECIES of shark, considering that, you know, he was the original shark to accept the first Silent One's sacrifice.
- In The Princess Bride, when Buttercup tries to swim away from the ship, Vizzini warns her that, unless she comes back immediately, he will cut his arms and legs and draw blood into a cup and throw it into the water "and sharks can smell blood in the water for miles and you won't be beautiful for long." She doesn't, he does, the sharks go mad, and the narrator interrupts to say that, of course, Buttercup doesn't get eaten at that time. (The movie replaced the sharks with shrieking eels.)
- Gentleman Bastard. Sharks turn up repeatedly in The Lies of Locke Lamora: the city of Camorr features Gladiator Games where female gladiators fight them, and Camorr's top crime boss employs a Shark Pool when the need arises. The Big Bad begins a final overthrow of said crime boss by having a shark (being controlled by magic) jump out of the pool and bite his arm off.
- The finale of Deception Point takes place on a marine biologist's rig over a massive swarm of sharks. Some baddies do find their way in, naturally.
- Towards the end of Red Storm Rising, a Soviet pilot and an American one, both of whose planes went down during the big dogfight when NATO retook Iceland, bring their life rafts together to take advantage of the American's shark repellent. The Soviet pilot voices a distinct unease with being devoured by "a carnivorous fish".
- At one point in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Captain Nemo invites Professor Arronax on an underwater stroll to visit a pearl fishery, and then mentions the prospect of sharks. This makes the professor quite nervous: "So there I was, daydreaming about sharks capable of cutting a man in two with their row upon row of teeth. I could already feel a pain in my side." Talking to his friends a few minutes later, he accidentally speaks of "a hundred and fifty sharks" instead of "a hundred and fifty pearls."
I slept rather badly. Sharks played an important role in my dreams.
- This trope is invoked as early as the fourth book. That's when the kids morph dolphin and end up on the wrong end of a battle with sharks, leaving Marco almost bitten in half. Dealing with the intrinsic fear of sharks the experience left him with is a major plot point in The Escape.
- In The Escape, fifteenth book in the series, it is revealed that Yeerks have established an underwater base where they capture hammerhead sharks and implant brain-controlling chips in their heads to turn them into shock troopers for an invasion of an alien aquatic world inhabited by psychic man-frogs... The brain-controlling chips are mostly intended to make them smarter... smart enough to hunt in packs, like wolves do. Also to enlarge their earholes for even more convenient brain control. The Animorphs later go to said alien world morphed into hammerheads themselves. It proves to be an inspired choice.
- In The Pendragon Adventure, Saint Dane sends a quig shark to attack Bobby and Loor on land in another DIMENSION!
- The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall features a "purely conceptual" shark that swims through memes, eating memories and identities.
- Jaws, the original book by Peter Benchley. Benchley also wrote White Shark, about a genetically-engineered Half-Human Hybrid Nazi shark. A keen environmentalist, he later regretted his contribution to the Threatening Sharks trope, and wrote several nonfiction books about sharks and their important place in the ecosystem.
- Sharks often show up during the seafaring scenes. In The Bellmaker, Finbarr Galedeep sings a silly song about sharks, and later that evening a very worried Rufe Brush comes and asks him what a shark looks like. He tells him that mostly all you'll see is a big pointy fin, to which Rufe responds "Does it look like this one circling our ship, sir?"
- And in Triss, Krrova, Scarum and Saxtus run across a shark at least twice.
- Subverted in Codex Alera. At one point, Captain Demos mentions that sharks are likely to be more of a problem to a group of swimmers than leviathans... But when a shark messes with Isana, she throws it bodily out of the water and up twenty feet onto the deck of a pirate ship.
Played straight in the book before that, when Tavi had his army dump the blood and guts from butchered animals in the river when he was defending a bridge, attracting sharks from miles downstream and ensuring that any Canim attempting to swim around the bridge wouldn't make it very far.
- In Nation, sharks are practically the personification of From Bad to Worse:
- The general idea behind Steve Alten's Meg series of novels.
- Subverted in Sergey Volnov's Army of the Sun, where sharks and whales have been artificially given intelligence and develop Psychic Powers. The sharks actually become deeply philosophical, benign creatures, able to open portals from one planet to another, as long as both feature large bodies of seawater.
- Charlie the intelligent, bipedal, amorphous mutated great white in Slimer.
- Redshirts has ice sharks, though the characters can't figure out whether they're sharks made of ice or sharks living in ice; all they know is that some hapless crewmember got eaten by one.
- Shark Wars, a book series by E. J. Altbacker is about a shark named Gray and his fellow shark friends as they defend their home waters from their enemies.
- In Star Island, Bang Abbott lured a pack of hungry lemon sharks to a crowded beach so he could take a lucrative photograph of the ensuing mayhem. The discovery of his unethical scheme forced him out of newspapers and into tabloid photography, where he shows similar poor judgment.
- In the Fairy Tale An Impossible Enchantment, the fairy queen summons two thousand sharks to guard the tower where Princess Graziella is imprisoned - to prevent anyone from approaching.
- Cretaceous-era sharks in Dinoverse cause some apprehension - Janine notices an Ischyrhizz and thinks "Oh, good. A killing machine with a Ginsu knife attachment. Mother Nature must have been in a funny mood when she came up with that one" - but the real danger is from the Elasmosaurus and Mososaurus lurking in that same ocean, picking off said sharks when the whim takes them.
- In Balefire by Ken Goddard, a terrorist is planning to infiltrate the United States by swimming from a cargo ship, which is being followed by a shark feeding off the garbage thrown from the vessel. At first the terrorist is amused by the shark and even feeds it to stave off the boredom of the voyage, but as the time for his infiltration grows near he realises that the shark is being conditioned to regard anything thrown overboard as food. He becomes increasingly paranoid as the shark keeps following them even after he orders the crew to stop disposing of their garbage, and eventually has to resort to shooting it.
- Rip Tide, the 80's novel by D. Cheatham, involves a 26 foot tiger shark stalking Florida shores. Halfway through the focus of the novel switches to an incoming hurricane which dramatically increases the death quotient, with the shark only a bit player.
- James Bond
- Felix Leiter in Live and Let Die is captured by the bad guys, who proceed to lower him into pool with a hungry shark, which bites off a hand and a leg from him.
- As Bond swims his way to the secret island base of the Nebulous Evil Organization SPECTRE in Nobody Lives for Ever, he is chased to the ground by a bull shark which he happens to come by.
- In his essay "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" (collected in an anthology of the same name and about a luxury Caribbean cruise he had taken to report on for Harper's), David Foster Wallace goes on an extended tangent about his horror of and fascination with sharks, detailing his boyhood obsession with shark attacks (including an extensive knowledge of the attacks on the survivors of the sinking of USS Indianapolis) and how crazy it was to see Jaws when he was 13. He also tries to lure sharks to swim by the ship, to no avail.
- Invoked in Scarface the shark-man in Heart Of Steel, whose job it is to patrol the waters around Shark Reef Isle for potential intruders. Of course, His creator, Alistair Mechanus, thinks he's an absolute sweetheart.
- As Jeff Corwin oh so eloquently explained about any sane animal's reaction to this trope: "If you wanna get them all out of the water and onto the beach all you gotta do is go like this...SHARK! SHARK!"
- The Bionic Woman episode "Deadly Music". A villain plants a homing device on Jaime Sommers that will summon sharks to attack her. Hey, wait a minute!
- The Six Million Dollar Man episode "Sharks". A villain group has learned how to train and control sharks.
- "Adrift", the second episode of Lost's second season, features Michael and Sawyer stuck on tiny remnants of their exploded raft. Sawyer's gunshot wound eventually attracts a shark, because of course floating in the middle of the ocean on scraps of bamboo isn't jeopardy enough! At one point, Sawyer tries to get from one raft to another, with the shark nearby, which may have been a play on the phrase Jump the Shark.
- Chevy Chase's "Land Shark" sketches on Saturday Night Live.
- Discovery Channel's Shark Week deserves a mention, since that wouldn't exist if sharks weren't so badass and awesome.
- On said network, the MythBusters have done multiple shark myths rooted both in real life anecdotes and popular fiction. Fun fact: MythBuster team member Grant Imahara is absolutely terrified of sharks. Naturally, he gets to be the one who goes into the water for every myth involving sharks.
Tracy Jordan: Live every week like it's Shark Week.
- Shawn Weatherly's character was killed off Baywatch in the first season by being attacked by a shark.
- That episode of Happy Days. You know the one. Not dangerous for the characters, but the show got wounded pretty bad.
- Kamen Rider
- Kamen Rider Decade has Kamen Rider Abyss, whose motif is a shark, and is the antagonist of Ryuki's World.
- The Decade net movies claim that Kamen Rider Faiz's suit is partly shark-inspired (hence the sawtooth pattern on the mouthpiece). However, in this case it's a subversion, as Faiz is the main character and is (typically) wielded by a good guy.
- Shows up in the occasional Monster of the Week in Super Sentai and Power Rangers, but subverted as often as not when there's a shark among the heroes:
- Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger/Power Rangers Wild Force and Tensou Sentai Goseiger/Power Rangers Megaforce each have a shark-themed Blue Ranger and an additional hammerhead mecha.
- Juken Sentai Gekiranger/Power Rangers Jungle Fury gives the Red Ranger some shark gear.
- Power Rangers Samurai has a shark-themed upgrade. (It was originally a dinosaur in Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, but the US production did some tweaking.)
- One of the toughest Monsters of the Week in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was called the "Slippery Shark".
- The shark-based monster in episode 36 of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger may be a Monster of the Week like usual, but it delivers a very brutal beatdown within that brief time. One hero gets sent sliding across the floor after his weapon is smashed.
- Subverted on Walking with Dinosaurs. During "Cruel Sea", there are plenty of sharks (called Hybodus) about, but they aren't the top predator. That would be Liopleurodon, one of the few creatures that is proven to always make things even worse than they are with sharks. How much worse? Try 21 ft aquatic reptilian killing machine with a combined jaw size of just under 9.5 ft. Run.
- Sea Monsters has sharks as well. Stethacanthus in the Devonian barely even registers as a threat. There's also the obligatory Megalodon in the Pliocene. (For reference, the babies are the size of an adult Great White.) The Jurassic still has Hybodus, and the Cretaceous has more sharks that barely register as a threat. There are also Xiphactinus (a.k.a. The Ugliest Fish in History) and giant mosasaurs, just to make the sharks look irrelevant.
- In The Future Is Wild, a distant-future flooded Earth has as its top predator a charming critter called the Sharkopath, a highly intelligent aquatic pack hunter that communicates with its packmates using flashes of bioluminescence.
- In the Doctor Who episode "A Christmas Carol", the Doctor and young Kazran nearly get eaten by a shark (that swims in the fog). Subverted in that the shark apparently isn't as vicious as it seems: the Doctor, in true Cloud Cuckoolander fashion, harnesses it to a flying sleigh and goes for a joyride.
- CSI has an episode where a tiger shark was released into a swimming pool full of people and bit a woman's arm off, but it turned out she was already dead.
- CSI: Miami has several episodes investigating victims of sharks.
- Played straight in one episode of H2O: Just Add Water, subverted in another. This show's version of Driven to Suicide has Cleo swim into the middle of a known shark breeding ground (don't worry, she lives). Another episode has Rikki deciding to enter a short film competition about heroes and make the film about sharks. Because she is a mermaid she is able to get much closer to sharks in their natural habitat with a camera than professionals (she can't use the footage however for the same reasons). When Zane runs into sharks Rikki simply uses her powers to heat up the water and scare them off.
- In the Haven episode "Over My Head", a woman named Daphne is trapped in a crashed car at low tide, while a shark circles and waits for the tide to rise so it can reach her. Her Trouble causes her to manifest these dangers to people she believes might rescue her. As such, an imaginary shark gobbles a woman in a pool, among other, less immediately fatal occurences.
- The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries: the third season episode Last Kiss of Summer has one of the bad guys trying to kill off Frank Hardy by taking him surfing at a university breeding area for great whites.
- In an episode of ''Psych, the Victim of the Week appears to have been killed by a shark. As it turned out, this shark was framed.
- Shark Tank (known in other countries as Dragon's Den) uses shark imagery to represent how ruthless the investors are.
- "Shark Fighter!" by The Aquabats! is about a man who goes on a shark-fighting rampage after a shark eats his girlfriend.
- "Surfin' Shark" by Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra.
Myths & Religion
- Averted in Polynesian mythology, in which the sea gods are usually portrayed as benevolent shark-shaped guardians of the sea. Examples include Ukupanipo, Kamohoalii and Dakuwaqa.
- Hawaiian mythology goes one step further, and reffers to tiger sharks as "na 'aumakua", benevolent ancestor spirits.
- Garbage Wrestler Shark Tsuchiya from FMW.
- John Tenta was billed as the Shark as a member of the Dungeon of Doom in WCW from June 1995 until Big Bubba shaved off half of Tenta's hair to kick him out of the group in June 1996. His ring gear had a shark design and he had shark "teeth" painted onto his beard. His Finishing Move was a running clothesline called the Shark Attack, and he would sometimes "bite" his opponents.
- Heartland Wrestling Association's El Piranha became "Shark Boy" when he was called up by WCW. He had a toothed mask and would get stuck to those he bit.
- Destroy The Godmodder: A large swarm of flying sharks was summoned to take down a rogue team member hiding beneath a giant pile of fish in the tvtropes session. Needless to say, it did not go as planned.
- The old Arduin Grimoire has a Air Shark monster.
- Minor historical tidbit: The totemic animal of Clan Sea Fox got all but wiped out by a new predator introduced into its native oceans by a rival Clan. The Sea Foxes turned insult into opportunity and simply adopted said predator as their new totem instead; today, they're known as Clan Diamond Shark. The Diamond Sharks somewhat subvert this however; they generally would rather do business with you than fight you and treat their civilians well by Clan standards.
- The Rim Worlds Republic played it straight; their government was often brutal and they eventually gave rise to an Evil Chancellor who would destroy the Star League and plunge human space into 300 years of war. The symbol of the RWR? A shark.
- Cthulhu Tech has megalodons, big enough to be a threat to aquatic Humongous Mecha.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- The monster called the Bulette... better known as the "land shark". (Complete with fin cutting through the surface of the ground as it burrows toward you...)
- D&D also has sharks that live in acid and lava. Because even when you're drowning in acid or lava, sometimes it's just too easy. The monster entry for the Acid Shark sums it up pretty well: "What's worse than a pit full of acid? A pit full of acid with a shark in it."
- It also has regular sharks, the megalodon (giant prehistoric shark) and weresharks as well as Sekolah, the sahuagin deity in the form of a giant shark. The Sahuagin themselves are sometimes depicted as basically resembling humanoid sharks.
- The Hero Clix miniatures game set of Arkham Asylum had a figure of Black Manta, who while being a decent playing piece, was pushed into the category of awesome by having his sculpt feature him surfing on the head of a shark with a frikkin' laser beam on its head.
- Infernum has Obsidian Sharks, Spawn (a sort of proto-lifeform) that look like sharks made from living volcanic rock which swim through the seas and rivers of flame, magma and molten metal that flow just about everywhere in Hell. And, as Spawn, kill one, and more will promptly tear their way out of its carcass and attack you.
- In Chaosium's Stormbringer supplement Demon Magic, the adventure "Sorcerer's Isle" had a megalodon that could sink ships by biting through their hulls.
- Swashbucklers Of The Seven Skies has skysharks: "Horse-sized, arrow-shaped carnivores (little more than fanged mouths with wings)".
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse has the Rokea, the weresharks. The Garou serve as Gaia's warriors on land, and the Rokea serve as her warriors at sea. Only since most of them spend all their time away from humanity, they seem a little... off.
- World Of Synnibarr, well-known for its flying bears with laser-beam eyes, also has sharks. Sharks with armor-penetrating teeth, and shapechanging abilities so they can climb aboard your ship.
- LEGO's much earlier Aquazone set-line had the classis Aquasharks as the villains for a time.
- Meta example: The Beast Machines Hammerstrike toy (hammerhead shark beast mode) has elbow joints prone to cracking at the sockets, rendering both modes unworkable (each forearm has half the shark mode's lower jaw).
- BIONICLE: Pridak is the leader of a group of Barraki warlords and an evil shark-man with an army of mutant Takea sharks and suspicious red makings around his mouth. This is the guy who destroyed a platoon of his own men for a minor infraction, gave the Big Bads reason to fear him, got Makuta thinking about taking over the universe, beat the crap out of his fellow Barraki (and everybody else) including ripping out Kalmah's eye and tearing off Nocturn's arm, and he threw Sarda to his army of sharks for mouthing off. He lived.
- Sharpedo. (It doesn't help that its pre-evolved form is a piranha.) Huge attack power and nice speed, but in return it dies from the weakest Electric attack (Though it can learn Destiny Bond to take advantage of this). And in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, it gets a Mega Evolution, which makes it move vicious looking and gives an overall boost in all stats, in addition to giving it an ability which increases the power of biting attacks.
- There's also the hammerhead land shark/dragon Gible family, consisting of Gible, Gabite and Garchomp, the last of which has phenomenal attacking power, blinding speed, and decent defenses as well. It also has a respectable movepool. It's sufficiently powerful enough that some parts of the competitive battling community have moved it from standard play to the "Uber" tier. The threatening part mostly comes from its battle prowess, though, as it's often shown to be capable of being a friendly Pokemon (unlike the aforementioned Sharpedo). Bizarrely, the anime shows (and the 'Dex suggests) that Garchomp can fly at sonic speeds. That's right. It's a fast, powerful, and bulky Hammerhead Landshark-Dragon that can fly at the speed of sound. And Garchomp too has a Mega Evolution, which can potentially make it into an even more threatening shark if it has the proper support, as while it gets significantly stronger in almost every regard, it loses out on speed, which can open it up to being defeated by numerous Pokemon who wouldn't be able to handle its normal form.
- Disgaea: Hour of Darkness also has a land shark dragon in the form of the Serpent monster class (Or shark dragon, as it was more appropriately called in Japanese), though it's considerably more shark-like in appearance (But still remarkably similar to the aforementioned Garchomp). It's also one of the stronger monster types, boasting a high attack stat and good values in everything else, and it flies for some of its special attacks. It later makes an appearance as an enemy in the second Prinny game (Where it's now properly called a shark dragon), and returns as an unit in Disgaea Dimension 2.
- Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories has Sammy (he's called Same in Japanese, which literally means shark), the land shark/news reporter. He's one of Plenair's friends, and appears in her third attack in Dark Hero Days.
- Banjo-Kazooie has two.
- The first, Clanker, is a subversion; he's an ally of the titular characters, and being "swallowed" by him (or entering his stomach via his gills, or dropping down his blowhole) don't harm you in any way, and indeed is required to get a Jiggy. He's a mechanical shark that floats in one place and eats garbage by grinding it up. No need to worry about any biology failings there.
- The second example is played straight. Snacker lives in Treasure Trove Cove, and will spawn anytime you fall into the water and will bite at you until you return to shore... or die. He also has a message every time he spawns about how much he'll love eating you. He can be killed with ordinary attacks, but that will only save you for that time in the ocean. Go in the ocean again, and he'll be back like nothing ever happened. Snacker also shows up in Rusty Bucket Bay. In oily water that makes Banjo suffocate on the surface.
- Tales Series
- Super Mario Bros.
- Kingfin in Super Mario Galaxy. It's a skeletal shark, with the typical Glowing Eyes of Doom that summons skeletal piranhas and attempts to kill Mario.
- Played with in Super Mario RPG. Jonathan Jones and his minions are sharks and you have to fight them for a Star Piece. However, once you win, they cool off and become nice guys, even helping you when another baddie tries to take the Star Piece you just won.
- The shark noise in The World Ends with You. Furthermore the Swing Shark of Week 1 Day 4 provides the first Player Punch of the game by killing off Rhyme, Beat's partner, during a sneak attack at Towa Records.
- Ecco The Dolphin
- Sharks are, of course, some of Ecco's natural enemies, and tough ones, to boot. One of the crazier levels from the first game is Open Ocean: you, a lone little dolphin, vs. about a million sharks, with nowhere to hide. The Open Ocean is cold and dangerous.
- The second game turns this on its head at points by transforming Ecco into a shark, mostly so you can rampage about the level eating everything.
- The Playstation entry to the series, Defender of the Future, ups the ante to including a boss fight with a shark capable of devouring you whole. (Ramping up the insanity factor? In order to hurt him, first you have to swipe a power-up right from out of his mouth.)
- The Japan-exclusive game Fighting Layer a.k.a. Where Blair Dame's Bus Stopped features a shark as one mid-level boss that you must defeat to move on. It's as hard as you might imagine, but the satisfaction of leaping into its tank and clobbering a shark on its own turf simply is too awesome for words. Oh sure, Ryu and Akuma might act grumpy, throw fireballs and yell a lot, but how many sharks have they kicked the crap out of? That's right, none.
- Mega Man
- SharkMan.EXE from Mega Man Battle Network.
- Diveman's stage from Battle Network 6 has some pesky sharks that must be avoided in order to progress.
- Mega Man X 6 is worse with Metal Shark Player in more ways than one.
- The third game of the Mega Man Star Force series has the Sharky viruses, which are more or less colorful sharks wearing shades. Their battle chip lets you sic a trio of them on your foes.
- Gran Bruce from Viewtiful Joe. His entrance is even done with a Jaws First Person Perspective.
- Some of the aquatic levels of Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has the Gyorg, which is very shark-like and competes with the Seahat for title of "most annoying enemy". Both have the distinction of being in a position to knock you into the water, where you cannot fight and must (find and) get back into the boat. Sometimes it's not a second later that they knock you right back in again. Grrr!
- The sharks in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins are nearly invincible. But how do they swim with boxing gloves on?
- Ty the Tasmanian Tiger has sharks show up whenever you step off the beach into deep enough water; you can encounter entire schools of them this way. They'd be far, far more intimidating if they weren't each a One-Hit-Point Wonder...
- The strongest monster in zOMG! is the Landshark, affectionately referred to as Landy by many players. And Bruce by the devs. The April Fool's 2009 event also resulted in the "Airshark" meme.
- One of the signature villains in City of Villains is Captain Mako, a mutated shark-like Pirate and Psycho for Hire known for tearing his enemies apart.
- The sheep-herding game Sheep has, as a possible sheep-killing device, shark-infested ice-cream.
- T-Virus infected Sharks appear in many of the Resident Evil games.
- Knights of the Old Republic
- Firaxen sharks, a.k.a. firaxa, on those underwater levels of Manaan. You can one-hit-kill them, but: you are in a pressure suit at the bottom of the ocean, which slows your movements to a torturous crawl. The suit and the water pressure mean that you can't use any of your usual weapons or Force abilities. The sonic emitter is your only weapon, and although you can fire it repeatedly in quick succession, it only works at close range. When the firaxa notice you, they immediately glide after you, mouths open, and that's the only time you can strike. Sometimes you don't get the chance to see them coming.
- There's also the Progenitor, the giant firaxan whose cry drove the smaller firaxa into a frenzy and made the Selkath researchers on that underwater base homicidally insane. She's not actually evil, though, and if the machinery is destroyed she lets you pass. Poisoning her means dooming the entire biosphere.
- Jaws Unleashed is an alright-to-downright-terrible sandbox adventure game, based on the movie Jaws. The upshot? You play as the Great White Shark. Controls are a mess and it is sometimes frustrating, but still you play as the great white shark. And you can kill/destroy everything from seals, to smaller sharks, to whales, to fishing boats, to a fricking oil platform! There were also less thrilling Jaws games for the NES and PC.
- World of Warcraft
- There's a few sharks, generally patrolling the border between shallow sea (where players can swim) and deep ocean (where they can drown of fatigue). In classic Azeroth, most sharks are elite (and thus very strong, but killable), but the coasts of Northrend (WotLK expansion) have many non-elite sharks. Their level and variety differs depending on the level of the zone where you are.
- Also the immense raid boss shark named Maws. He's gained a Cataclysm cousin in Gnaws, who has a model more closely resembling a real-life great white shark.
- Unfortunately they have failed biology forever in Cataclysm by having the patrolling gigantic shark that keeps you from swimming into certain areas be a whale shark — long noted as one of the gentlest things in the ocean, which eats krill. This is a shark known for not only letting divers swim around it, but specifically folding its fins back (even when it inconveniences the whale shark) to avoid running into them. Why they didn't create a fictional shark type for this (Dragon Shark anyone? Or maybe Wyrm Shark?) we may never know.
- The Whale Shark actually is quite docile: it doesn't aggro unless you attack it, now Mobus <The Crushing Tide>, which shares a model and animations with the Whale Shark, is incredibly hostile: If you enter its waters and it's there (it's a rare mob), be prepared for a boss fight or be prepared to die.
- Considering that Azeroth's oceans contain many huge and frightening beasts, monsters, humanoids, and abominations, carnivorous whale sharks are the most mundane seagoing terror. Hell, in Vashj'ir the whale sharks share the waters (and "giant OHKO-ing beasts" title) with a titanic eel and a monstrous leviathan.
- Then there is Epicus Maximus which is almost certainly an inversion of this trope.
- In "Shark Tank" one of the Tol Barad Peninsula daily quests, players are sent to fight a shark named Tank. Tank has over 450,000 HP and as possibly the strongest quest boss in Tol Barad, generally requires a group of two or three people to kill. If players have the "Captain P. Harris" or "Boosting Morale" quests, they will also have to avoid him while going after the captain or the rum, and the questgiver admits to being scared of the shark in the latter.
- Subverted in one of GLaDOS's lines of dialogue in Portal 2, which makes sense considering just how important scientific accuracy is for her:
GLaDOS: Excellent! You're a predator, and these tests are your prey. Speaking of which, I was researching sharks for an upcoming test. Do you know who else murders people who are only trying to help them? Did you guess 'sharks?' Because that's wrong. The correct answer is "nobody". Nobody but you is that pointlessly cruel.
- The Big Bad in Crayola Treasure Adventure is a shark pirate.
- Miami Shark, a Flash game on Newgrounds where you play as a shark who eats people and animals, makes boats explodes and pulls down things from helicopters to a stealth bomber. It has a sequel set in Sydney. And somehow, the Shark manages to get at Koalas, Kangaroos and a nuke.
- Naturally, you can summon sharks in Scribblenauts. A single Scribblenauts shark is enough to defeat Cthulhu. You can also summon Megalodon.
- In Hitman: Blood Money, 47 sets a lady on fire at a party. She then manages to fall into a shark pool and the crowd applauds 47. And the more corpses you throw in that tank, the bigger that shark gets.
- Wacky Wheels has Razer the shark. Just like everybody else, he runs over hedgehogs and throws them at other racers.
- Armed And Dangerous: You would think that being in a firefight is bad enough. But what if your enemy has a gun that fires sharks which seeks out enemies at will? Yeap, you're screwed.
- One of boss-fights of Alundra 2 is a giant orange shark with vacuum powers.
- The Endless Ocean franchise features many, many types of sharks. In the first game, they're all harmless, but Magu Tapah (a very large great white) is good old-fashioned Nightmare Fuel. In the sequel, Blue World, the carnivorous species will now attack you, and the new "special" shark — this one named Thanatos — cranks Magu Tapah's scariness Up to Eleven.
- Illusion of Gaia subverts this when Will and Kara's raft is circled by sharks, only to have them swim away without attacking, leading Kara to conclude they aren't hungry because (she believes) only humans hunt for sport.
- Monster Hunter
- Monster Hunter Tri has the Sharq, which inhabits the waters on the northern end of the Deserted Island area. A subversion in that they don't make things worse, and only attack when you invade their territory.
- Played straight in the fourth game with the Zamites and their adult form, Zamtrios, amphibious monsters that resemble sharks with the legs of a frog. The smallest of the former like to latch onto prey and drain their body fluids, while the latter is big enough to simply swallow hunters whole if they're not careful and also possesses the bizarre ability to inflate its body to truly ridiculous proportions for the purpose of utilizing bouncing and rolling attacks.
- Scarface: The World is Yours has sharks in the ocean, which appear if you swim for too long. You get treated to a scene of Tony floating, looking about, then getting mauled by a shark that literally comes out of nowhere. You've Fucked Up. Tony gets the chance to do this to a crime boss in a later mission. Given a sniper rifle, you aim at the boss swimming in the water. Just perforate his gut a few times to make him bleed and let the sharks finish the job.
- King's Quest
- In King's Quest IV: The Perils Of Rosella you are a princess trapped on an island. You may swim to a few limited locations, but it takes a lot of trial and error, swim into the wrong screen and Jaws music starts and you get mowed over by a shark fin. Que the Have a Nice Death screen. This is especially unnerving when you're going at top speed. That fin comes out of nowhere!
- King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human has a similar Jaws-inspired death.
- King's Quest II: Romancing The Throne has an underwater sequence. Sharks are seen, but they don't attack. In Fan Remake however, Sharkees will attack you.
- In Dubloon, you can meet sharks when sailing between islands. They attack by charging forward.
- Command & Conquer
- E.V.O.: Search for Eden has the Kuraselache, King of the Sea, as the antagonists for the last part of the first epoch, the Age of Fish. The Mook Kuraselache are about your size and are annoying, but their leader is three times your size, attacks by biting, body-slamming and slapping you with his tail, and doesn't want the world above the water to become inhabitable. As the first major boss and, he's tough. Later on in the final epoch, you meet normal enemy versions of King Kuraselache in the Rogon section, who are still annoying but nowhere near as strong since you're far more evolved now.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters features a shark named Armaggon as a playable character, whose fighting style resembled an odd mix of Guile and Dhalsim.
- The game has a few sharks of various power. In Erud's Crossing, the Killer Sharks are especially deadly, since not only are they in the mid-40s, but they also can see through invisibility and guard one of several underwater scepters that wizards need for the Staff of the Wheel quest.
- Back during the Beta testing period, there used to exist the Megalodon in Lake Rathetear. A shark who's jaw was larger than a hill giant (who themselves stand 20 feet tall). Unfortunately, its sheer size presented many pathing issues while swimming between the various islands scattered around the lake, and had to be removed before the game went live.
- A rare inversion is 101 Shark Pets, in which the sharks are playful like puppies.
- In Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, sharks appear in some of the aquatic levels, such as the flooded Temple of Belisarius in Istanbul and the lagoons on Penglai Island. If you're not careful, Indy can be Swallowed Whole by them, but fortunately, they can be killed with a few shots from a speargun.
- In Batman: Arkham City, you must cross a half-frozen lake inside the Penguin's museum. This, of course, has a gigantic shark in it. Amusingly, you must quietly walk around on the ice, just as you needed to in Killer Croc's lair in Batman: Arkham Asylum. What's worse than a croc? Exactly.
- League of Legends:
- Fizz the Tidal Trickster's Ultimate summons a giant shark out of freaking nowhere to take a huge bite out of the enemy. A secret aspect of the ability is that, if the target is killed by the shark and they're a small enough champion, no body will be left after they die, indicating that they've been eaten alive.
- There's also a playable landshark in the form of champion Rek'Sai. She plays like Jaws if he lived in a desert and was the size of a house. Think a wall will save you from her? She'll just burrow under it and kill you. The lore states that travelers go out of their way to avoid Rek'Sai's territory. The real kicker? She's part of a species of landsharks called Xer'Sai. And she's the queen.
- In Fantasy Quest, a shark appears out of nowhere and attacks. It's particularly bizarre because every other threat in the game comes from mythological creatures.
- In this case, Fritz, disguised as one, in one of Lance's death scenes in Brain Dead 13.
- In Mass Effect 2, you can find the online search history of Grunt, a tank bred super solider from a Proud Warrior Race who was born ready for battle, but is still learning about the culture and history of his own people and of the humans he his fighting alongside with.
"the sun also rises"
"for whom the bell tolls" (finished)
"farewell to arms" (deleted)
"the old man and the sea" (finished)
- Sharks make an appearance as wild-life in Far Cry 3. Specifically, Bull Sharks. They make swimming in the ocean as hazardous venture, as you cannot attack in water except for a specific counter-kill when they bite you. They have even been known to swim inland via rivers, although if you're swimming in a river, you have another scary and dangerous animal to worry about...
- Appears twice in Skylanders. On the evil side, the boss fight for the Eternal Water Source features Kaos, in full Large Ham mode, summoning "MY DEADLY SHARK BATH OF DOOMSHARKS!" (and later in said boss fight, the "EVEN DEADLIER" version of same). On the good side, one of the Earth-element Skylanders is the landshark Terrafin, who can swim through the ground and summon mini-sharks to attack foes.
- Aquaman's Supermove in Injustice: Gods Among Us involves flooding the stage, leaving his opponent vulnerable to a massive, hungry shark.
- Dr. Jennifer of Smashmuck Champions is intelligent, sentient, and has access to high-tech weaponry, the most iconic of which is a robot shark body. Her PHD is in Murder, by the way.
- In Bubble Trouble, Normal the Shark is a fast-moving enemy who can push bubbles to squish the player, or spit bubbles to ensnare him.
- Zig zagged in Terraria. While sharks do exist as enemies, and they're not easy to take down, their likeness is more widely associated with the game's only two automatic firearms, the Minishark and the Megashark.
- Inverted in the later Animal Crossing games, where sharks are among the aquatic animals you can reel up with your fishing rod (don't think about it too much). Sharks are both fairly common during the summer and on the island and extremely valuable, so you'll probably be looking for sharks to catch—an inventory full of sharks (not that hard to gather) will net you several hundred thousand Bells.
- Sharks show up as seafaring goombas in Duke Nukem 3D. They also make a cameo in Duke Nukem Forever.
- Tomb Raider:
- Tomb Raider II has sharks show up in the Maria Doria wreck levels. They also make an appearance in The Golden Mask expansion pack. Lara can use a harpoon gun to take them on underwater, but it's usually easier to try and escape from them or shoot them from land.
- Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation has Hammerhead sharks. As Lara has no harpoon gun in this game, she can only avoid them or shoot them from land.
- Tomb Raider Underworld has sharks in numerous areas, and can be shot at underwater using the spear gun or even the pistols. Surprisingly, however, these sharks generally tend to leave Lara alone unless she swims too close, too fast, or attacks them first, although the sharks encountered in the Arctic Sea section of the game are much more aggressive.
- Might and Magic VII has the late-game Shoals area, which is infested with sharks. The sharks wouldn't be too bad — by the standards of monsters by the time you get there, their stats are actually pretty weak — but the Shoals, being an underwater environment, imposes a lot of restrictions (for example, you are limited to one type of weapon, and you can't wear any armour or use any type of magic), and attacks can come from any direction...
- Freedom Fall has a robot shark on one level.
- The Ocean Hunter is full of these. A Megalodon even appears as the second boss.
- In The Adventures of Lomax, in some of the levels with water present, sharks appear from time to time to either start swimming in one direction and chomp continuously, or outright jump out of the water to bite you.
- Depth is a First-Person Shooter with one side playing a quartet of treasure hunters, the other playing the sharks bent on eating them.
- During the surfing minigame of California Games, a shark will occasionally come up out of the water whenever you wipe out, implying an unfortunate fate for the poor surfer.
- Subnautica has three species of hostile shark, the Bone Sharks, Sand Sharks, and Stalkers.
- A game called "Sharks" appears in the deplorable Action 52 cartridge; both the NES original and somewhat improved (but not by much) Genesis version have it. You play as a scuba diver with a Harpoon Gun trying to hunt sharks and not get killed. The game is simultaneously too cluttered and yet incredibly easy and rather dull—it's notable only for the rather explicitly bloody death animations in the Genesis version. Sharks hit by a harpoon bleed out before disappearing, while the player is quickly and messily Stripped to the Bone if eaten by a shark.
- Homestar Runner
- This is combined this with its land-bound cousin in the form of the Bear Holding A Shark. Really just a cardboard standee that pops out from behind Strong Bad's fence, but a valid meta-character all the same.
- And there is, of course, our resident parenting expert, Hungry Shark. He's gonna eat your kids.
- How to Kill a Mockingbird: The pirates use flying, burning sharks as personal transports.
- Zig-Zagged with Dr. Shark from The Non-Adventures of Wonderella. He debuts attempting to turn the entire population of New York into sharks, but then quickly becomes an ally of the "heroine". However, Wonderella also sometimes forgets that he is occasionally a supervillain.
- The Noob Comic "You haven't really played an online game until you get chased by fish."
- The Order of the Stick
- Xykon entertains himself by feeding O-Chul to an acidborn shark. He survives.
- In a heroic subversion of this, Paladin Lien's Celestial Mount is a shark. It certainly makes it worse for the giant demon-octopus she's fighting, though.
- Hark A Vagrant: Sharks don't love you back. You are food.
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja has sharks with wings.
- Nedroid subverts this. There is a shark-like guy with a name that starts with H-something who wears a futuristic space suit.
- The Perpetual Aquarium subverts this. Ari, the main character, is a Jetsam, the Neopets equivalent of a shark, who not only refuses to eat fish, but rescues and cares for them.
- In Miscellaneous Error, Jack fills his backyard pool with sharks so he can catapult the shark.
- Featured extensively in an episode of the TV Tropes podcast On the Tropes.
- The poster image for this page is a photo Urban Legend that's been floating around the Internet for a long time. It shows a diver climbing up a helicopter's rope ladder and a shark is jumping out of the water to eat him whole. It's fake.
- Cyber Nations: Opethian and his Prism Protection Front. No questions asked.
- Sharks clearly possess the ability to give you seizures.
- Remi Gaillard parodied this.
- Shark Pool naturally, with the shark... in a swimming pool.
- The SCP Foundation's alternate universe counterpart, the Shark Punching Center,note takes the threat of sharks very seriously. There's two joke articles, SCP-3284-J and SCP-7475-J, an orientation transcript, and even a tiny wiki of its own.
- Inverted in this video, in which a CGI baby shark is tickled. And acts entirely like an adorable puppy or kitten. It's so cute!
- The Venture Bros.
- In episode "The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part 1)", the maritime-themed villain Go-Fish tries to kill Brock Samson by chumming the water to attract sharks.
- The Monarch teaches a lesson to a treacherous minion by putting him into a shark tank. However, since he'd previously replaced the guy's blood with acid, the sharks won't touch him. So... "Lower the giant HAIR DRYER!!!"
- A few Looney Tunes cartoons:
Tweety: That bad ol' putty tat sure don't give up easy.
- The Bugs Bunny cartoon Rabbitson Crusoe, which features Yosemite Sam, a pair of desert islands (1 Castaway, 1 Palm Tree), and the shark Dopey Dick, all in addition to Bugs.
- The latter-day Sylvester and Tweety cartoon Hawaiian Aye Aye, which features a shark as a dog-type pet of Granny's, who does everything he can to protect Tweety from Sylvester. Even at the end, as Granny and Tweety leave on a cruise ship, that bad ol' putty tat still tries to go after the little yellow bird, while the shark still goes after Sylvester.
Shark: Yes, and I don't give up easy either.
- Scooby-Doo once got involved with a prehistoric shark (or so it seemed).
- In The Mask, when ineffectual villain Fish Guy (who is half-fish, half-really dumb adolescent) puts on the Mask, he becomes "Shark Dude".
- In Code Lyoko Season 4, XANA controls shark-like monsters called "Rekins" in the Digital Sea. They fire torpedoes.
- Street Sharks was essentially the unholy bastard child of this trope and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No, really.
- And back in 1976, DePatie-Freleng has Misterjaw, a top-hatted, German-accented Great White, no less.
- Who could forget the marvelous subversion in Jabberjaw!!
- 11 years before the first Austin Powers movie, Centurions actually had sharks with Frickin' Laser Beams. In the episode "Man or Machine", Max Ray is menaced by a "Cybervore", a shark that Cyborg Mad Scientist Doc Terror has outfitted with high tech weaponry.
- Eek The Cat
- The show has that gag about a shark that can chase you on land on its "The Thunder Lizards" segment.
"Darn this evolution thing!"
- Cross the shark with the Angry Guard Dog and you get Sharky the sharkdog.
- The show has that gag about a shark that can chase you on land on its "The Thunder Lizards" segment.
- Much like Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Beast Wars provides an aversion with Cybershark. A Maximal, his bio describes him as a swashbuckling hero who chases after space pirates. He never appeared in the series however, and only appears in the IDW comics. Played straight elsewhere, however, particularly with the Seacon Overbite. He did appear, in a fashion, as the Predacon Sky-byte in Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
- Aladdin: The Series
- Two episodes deal with a gigantic, shark-like beast that swims through sand like water and has a fortune of treasures pressed into its underside. In the first episode it attacks Agrabah and Aladdin and friends joins with a hunter who had been after the shark for years, and they succeeded in driving it off. In the second episode the shark is slain by a race of Ewok-like desert hunters working for an evil wizard, but Aladdin and the hunter uses its skeleton to repair the hunter's ship and fight the wizard.
- In another episode, Aladdin actually becomes a shark via a transformation spell from a Clingy Jealous Girl mermaid and is forced to attack Genie, Iago, and Abu.
- In Family Guy Joe gets a past life reading and finds out he was once an octopus. He thinks this is great until a shark swims past and bites off all his tentacles.
- Timmy on The Fairly OddParents has to dive into shark-infested waters. Good thing he is missing his emotions at the time.
Shark 1: He's not scared!
Shark 2: He's weird, he's weird! (sharks run off)
- Sealab 2021
Quinn: What I did was I took nature's most perfect killing machine, and needlessly turned it into a robot.
- In the episode "Tinfins", Dr. Quinn placed a shark's brain into a robot shark's body.
- And then there's the episode where they are trapped in an underwater cave with their oxygen supply running out, with a very persistent Great White waiting for them at the only way out. They end up dying at the end of the episode when they run out of air.
- Kenny The Shark, where the titular shark is a household pet, subverts this trope and somewhat plays it straight. While Kenny does cause a bit of trouble, he usually has good intentions when causing it.
- A season 2 episode features a game set underwater. The User's submarine is very shark-like. Not to mention a scene where mer-Bob and mer-Dot are surrounded by a school of sharks until Bob cuts one in half and scares the rest off.
- One of those sharks reappears in "System Crash", only it's completely helpless with no water to swim in.
- Played with in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants where SpongeBob accidentally becomes the new lifeguard.
SpongeBob: Emergency! Everybody out of the water!
Bather: What's the problem?
SpongeBob: Um... there are sharks in there!
(cut to a nerdy-looking shark and his family)
Shark: Hey, that's my family you're talking about.
- Total Drama Island features freshwater sharks. Revenge of the Island has them return. One shark in particular, due to exposure of toxic waste, was mutated so that it can breathe air as well as water, and can walk on land.
"Okay, maybe I have a phobia of sh-sh-sharks... Can you blame me?"
- In All-Stars, Scott reveals that sharks are his greatest fear due to said land-shark brutally attacking him last season, forcing him into a trauma chair after his elimination. Don't worry, he got better.
- Turns up as Nightmare Fuel in My Little Pony Tales of all places. Schoolgirls Patch and Bon-Bon, through a major lapse in judgement by the former, find themselves floating over the ocean in a hot-air balloon, which is then damaged by birds. Just when they think they've hit their bleakest moment (and this isn't even the first time Bon-Bon's been in a life threatening situation), they look down and see shark fins in the water.
- Subverted in an episode of American Dragon Jake Long where Jake is tasked with guarding a shark-woman who holds in possession (in her stomach) Poseidon's trident. Despite her compulsive eating, the shark-woman means well and claims that all shark-people are misunderstood and friendly. The only evil shark-men Jake fights are a group of escaped delinquents who want to flood the world with Poseidon's trident.
- A shark can be seen chasing Scrooge McDuck's submarine in the DuckTales opening theme.
- Averted with Shark from WordWorld.
- Averted with Sharko from Zig And Sharko, who protects Marina from Zig who always tries to eat her.
- On The Real Ghostbusters, the Ghostbusters encounter a Megalodon while time-skipping and landing in a prehistoric ocean. Though, whilst citing the time period as being the Cenozoic Era is accurate enough, and the creature being introduced with a giant fin cutting through the water, when the Megalodon is actually seen under the water, it looks less like a giant shark, and is closer to looking like a Mosasaur, a group of sea-lizards that went extinct about the same time as the dinosaurs.
Peter: What does a Megalodon eat?
Egon: Anything smaller than itself.
(cue frantic swimming away)
- Octonauts averts this besides being a kids' show with Lemmy the Lemon Shark, who after being helped by Peso twice, rescues the cute little penguin (and the cuter littler starfish said penguin came to rescue) from a volcanic sea vent.) After it's over and Lemmy is finally reunited with his fellow lemon shark "dudes," he's given a sticker on his nose by Peso.
- The House of Mouse short "Goofy's Extreme Sports: Shark Feeding."
- In the Goof Troop episode "Cabana Fever", this is played for sadistic laughs when a shark is really determined to eat Pete. Specifically. Enough to burrow under ground into an active volcano to chase after him.
- Classic Disney Shorts
- Danger Mouse: In "Heavy Duty", Dr. Crumhorn creates a food substance for sharks that enables them to traverse solid land. His own finned Fido has been trained to seek out and destroy Danger Mouse and Penfold.
- In Bob's Burgers, Mr. Fishchoder buys a mechanical shark used in a movie filmed in the town to attract tourists. The Belcher kids accidentally tip it over, causing it to crawl down the street and break everything in its path.
- Bull Sharkowski from My Gym Partners A Monkey is the school bully at Charles Darwin Middle School, though he lives in fear of his older sister Euripides, who is actually smaller than him but has museum-worthy baby teeth.
- Space Ghost episode "Revenge of the Spider Woman''. One of the title villain's monsters is a three-headed Hydro Shark that tries to eat Space Ghost. Unfortunately Space Ghost's Hammer Ray fails to stop it.
- In real life, sharks play a very important role in the marine ecosystem, and their presence is a good sign of cleaner, more productive seas. It was the unfortunate Jaws stigma that created this trope. Although it was also thanks to Jaws that scientists started taking a closer look at sharks than ever before, which in turn led to the huge push to preserve them as a species. So Jaws saved sharks from extinction nearly caused by... Jaws. Eh, talk about things coming full circle.
- The sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the fate of many of its crew. This was carried out primarily by Oceanic Whitetip Sharks, who are notorious for being unstoppable (people tried explosives, they failed to do anything) when it comes to hunting, as their open-sea habitat is barely capable of sustaining them causing them to be starving all the time. They're responsible for the most human deaths of any species of shark (in fact they have a higher death toll than all other sharks combined), namely because they would be the only ones to swarm shipwreck survivors, and they get away with it as the carnage happens out of sight, to people that don't care what shark it is. It was even they that mariners nicknamed "Sea dogs" because of their slow and cautious but curious pace when investigating something new. Yeah, most shark bites happen due to mistaken identity, but Whitetips apparently missed the memo on this one and usually eat the people they kill. They'll devour you if they even think that you're food and someone else might eat you before they can, because if they don't they will starve to death. Many people only know about this from hearing it recounted in Jaws. Or the Made-for-TV Movie Mission of the Shark.
- The Megalodon, a fifty foot-that's the minimum estimate-long prehistoric super shark. As well as a number of other large (and often freakish-looking) prehistoric sharks. Want some examples?
- Helicoprion was as large as a great white and had a circular saw-shaped bottom jaw lined with hundreds of teeth; its relative, Edestus, aka the scissor shark, had a line of teeth permanently sticking out of its mouth on both jaws. Although Helicoprion is now thought to have been a ratfish, not a shark. Not that this makes it any less badass, though.
- There's also Xenacanthus, a freshwater shark that managed to live through two mass extinctions events (one of which wiped out 95% of all life) and had a cool looking spike on its head. Its close relative, Orthacanthus, a shark with fangs — basically a shark crossed with a crocodile. Stethacanthus had a dorsal fin in the shape of an anvil and tiny spines covering it and its head, and Cretoxyrhina, a Cretaceous shark about as large as the great white that likely ate dinosaurs.
- If you thought the Tu-95 "Bear" nuclear bomber was bad news, there's the Project 941 "Akula"(shark) ballistic missile submarine (known in the west as the "Typhoon" class), the largest in the world. Threatening? You bet.
- The most modern Russian attack submarine, the Project 671B Schuka-B goes by the NATO reporting name "Akula". Although it is not as terrifying as the Russian Akula(the Typhoon), it is a definite threat for Western submarines.
- Also, the Russians have the Kamov Ka-50 attack helicopter, known as the "Chornaya Akula" (Black Shark).
- The Tiger shark. It's not all stereotyping. However, studies indicate that tiger sharks can easily be tamed.
- Bull sharks are known for their unpredictable and aggressive behavior, and have been known to attack people without provocation. Oh, and — they have a certain level of tolerance for fresh water. Just when you thought it was safe to go in the rivers... Just read about the Jersey Shore Attacks of 1916. Pure terror; it was so scary, it was the main inspiration for Jaws!
- It should be noted that they did catch a Great White Shark that had human remains in its stomach.
- What's really scary? Bull sharks are among the most dangerous sharks despite being generally in the six-to-eight-foot range. A thirteen-footer was caught, three full feet longer than the biggest anyone had seen before that.
- Oceanic Whitetip sharks. At least bull sharks will leave you alone if you keep your distance. Whitetips will follow you (hence the nickname "Sea dogs"), and if they even think that you're edible, they will eat you. And not stop. Hence why Oceanic Whitetips have a higher human body count than all other species of sharks combined. (See the Indianapolis above.)
- That's primarily because Oceanic Whitetip sharks are the species that are typically involved in attacking victims of shipwrecks or airplane crashes. They rarely come close to shore, much less far into river systems the way bull sharks do. This means they are constantly starving and willing to eat anything. Not even orcas or great whites mess with these things.
- Pilot fish take advantage of this trope. By eating any invading parasites, the sharks (or turtles or rays) will tolerate their presence, becoming a valuable bodyguard in the hostile open ocean. The whitetip sharks mentioned above are their preferred protectors.
- Ragged tooth sharks bear live young... which eat each other while still in their mother's womb. Out of the original 15 fetuses, only two generally survive until birth, and even that is only because the womb is split in two sections.
- There is a certain South African tourist spot where you can feed great whites by hand from a boat. They act like big, aquatic, tooth-filled puppies!
- Shark Knife. That is all.
- Subverted by the Whale Shark. It's even more like a whale than the name implies — it's the largest existing shark on earth, and feeds entirely on plankton. It's a Gentle Giant of the seas that lets divers pat it.
- Please do not try to grab a Whale Shark and ride it. The action will be highly unlikely to harm you, but will seriously invert this trope and cause the shark great distress and possibly injure it.
- It can injure or kill you if the shark accidentally hits you.
- Basking sharks are harmless to humans, too. Though they look damned weird when their mouths are fully open.
- Don't forget the Megamouth Shark.
- Also subverted by dogfish, (a type of cat shark) the smallest sharks. Most are just one or two feet long, and they're about as cute as fish ever get.
- A number of shark species are harmless to humans because it's simply implausible for a human to ever share their environment, like the goblin shark which occurs at extreme depths, or the Greenland Shark which lives in frigid arctic waters. Although it's probably pretty good that the Greenland shark does so, since some research will find them capable of giving humans nightmares. Such as the one who ate a polar bear. Turns out, that for these things, it's not that Bears Are Bad News, it's that bears are food. The one who was found with an entire reindeer in its stomach deserves an honorable mention as well. Actually, the Inuit has legends of the shark attacking kayaks, and although no confirmed cases of human predation exists, given is willingness to eat bears and reindeer, it is not wholly unlikely that it would take a human form time to time.
- Please do not try to grab a Whale Shark and ride it. The action will be highly unlikely to harm you, but will seriously invert this trope and cause the shark great distress and possibly injure it.
- To be fair, some sharks can be dangerous to deep sea divers, which is why many who visit sharks in the seas learn to read their body language. Despite essentially being a living torpedo in shape, sharks can convey their intentions by arching their back, shifting their jaws and eyes back, and by swimming in particular patterns. Any diver who ignores or fails to act upon such body language is in danger of failing to spot an impending attack. If a diver learns the tricks, however, they can not only know when best to leave the water, but also, with some species, know how to avoid inviting an attack in the first place. One example is to swim below the shark - sharks usually attack from below, so if a diver gets below them, the shark will be wary and will treat the diver as a fellow predator rather than as prey.
- Because Australia wasn't dangerous enough yet, the 2010-2011 Queensland flooding disaster has allowed aggressive bull sharks to roam the streets of Brisbane.
- The San Jose Sharks hockey team.
- Beware! It's the Shark Attack Cupcake ... Mountain?
- In a 2007 subversion, a Coney Island (New York City) lifeguard rescued a (2-foot-long) shark from attacking beachgoers.
- Brook Watson, the British merchant and trader form the 17th century, and later Lord Mayor of London, was attacked by an unidentified shark at the harbor in Havana at age 14. It ate his right leg, before he was saved by his fellow crewmen. He lived on to his remarkable career despite his handicap, although his political enemies poked fun at his predicament. Eventuelly, he was immortalized in the painting Watson and the Shark by John Copley (who had clearly never seen a shark), meant to encourage other orphans to seek out a long a good life no matter their situation.
- Inverted more often. Humans eat more sharks then sharks eat humans. Various forms of shark are regularly on the menu in many seafood-eating cultures. This has some strange effects; on one hand, Icelanders bury sharks in sand and let them ferment to produce hákarl, which is apparently one of the most vile-smelling and vile-tasting foods on Earth (to the point that it gives the other Nordic countries—who invented lutefisk, which, as you might know, dissolves silver—nightmares), but on the other hand many Pacific shark populations are under threat from the Chinese kitchen, where shark fin soup (which has a very mild flavor) is a delicacy but often leads to fishermen catching sharks, cutting off their fins, and leaving the creatures to die in the sea.note Aren't we Badass?
- Since many species have been driven to endangerment and their future remains in doubt, that's just one way to look at it.
- The Cronulla Sharks Rugby League team.
- If sharks could edit TV Tropes, they'd name a page after orcas instead. Orcas have a somewhat higher place on the food chain, beating sharks to death before eating their livers. Sharks will flee an area immediately if they discover nearby orcas. Except for the Whitetips, who are too damn hungry to feel fear.