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aka: Walking Head
There are a large number of video game enemies and creatures which physically resemble a coloured sphere with eyes and feet. It is a mystery how they are even capable of lifting their feet to take a step, let alone anything as complicated as running or jumping. These goofy-looking creatures are often The Goomba
of their respective games.
The most they have with regards to other limbs are stretchy, stubby stumps in place of arms or hands. Otherwise, expect them to lift and manipulate objects, if they must, with Invisible Anatomy
The reason for this is partly because it's cute
and partly practicality. Back in the 8-bit era, most video game sprites had to fit in 16 x 16 squares. The easiest way to make a cute, harmless-looking enemy with that many pixels is to just draw a big-eyed face, and put feet on the bottom to justify its ability to walk.
A subtrope of Cephalothorax
and Cartoon Creature
. Most of these are a variant of Mooks
, although there are also non-evil examples. The exact opposite is Tiny-Headed Behemoth
- Dizzy of the Dizzy series is another Player Character example. Dizzy is an egg with boxing gloves, as are the other Yolk Folk.
- Both the titular characters of Head Over Heels.
- The ghosts in Ufouria/Hebereke.
- Bubbles in The Legend of Zelda are skull versions of this, although they don't walk. They either hop around or use tiny wings to fly.
- Balrog from Cave Story. Though he's not exactly an oval, really. Interestingly, in the early version of the game, this character design was a common level enemy, rather than a specific character. (Perhaps Pooh Black is a remnant from this stage of development?)
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
- Pac-Man, in all incarnations except the early and Championship Edition games (where he's only a head).
- The Dread Heads from Crüe Ball are skulls with sandaled feet that wander the playfields.
- Kirby of the Kirby series is a rare Player Character example, but his foes include such quintessential waddling heads as Waddle Dee.
- Super Mario Bros.' Goombas are somewhat justified, as they're supposed to be stout chestnuts. Or maybe mushrooms. Try not to think about it. As are the Bob-ombs, which are Cartoon Bombs with eyes, feet, and (later) a windup key.
- Braid's grumpy-looking Monstars. (No relation to certain Space Jam characters.)
- Mega Man's Metools are just helmets with feet. They are also much tougher than most examples on this page.
- The main character of Eversion. Also the regular enemies, although they end up being footless Slithering Heads by the end of the game.
- Gooms, Pirate Gooms, certain other enemies and types of Bandineros from the Wario Land series are this kind of enemy.
- The Moos from Klonoa.
- Starfy resembles a Waddling Head more than a five-limbed aquatic creature rightfully ought to.
- The main character and many enemies in Mr Gimmick!
- An old computer game called Zeek the Geek features a little red alien who fits this trope.
- Most characters in Purple are wadddling heads, including the player character.
- Most minions in Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg.
- The Undergrounders from Mr. Driller
- The Pookas from Dig Dug
- BLOB, the protagonist of Starquake.
- Miss Chack'n & Mr. Chack'n from Chack'n Pop. They have three-fingered hands, but no arms. Mr. Chack'n does have legs, but shows it only when he jumps.
- The Great Circus Mystery staring Mickey and Minnie features different versions of the waddling head in each level.
- The Patapons (and their enemies) of Patapon
Shoot 'em Up
- Rabites, icons of the World of Mana series, are essentially furry blobs with puffy tails and rabbit ears. Though they are generally regarded as pitifully weak, there are some terrifyingly formidable variants.
- Many Pokémon are like this. In the fourth generation games, there's a new section in the Pokédex for body-types. Oddish, Poliwag, Bonsly, Seedot, Azurill, Shroomish, and Tangela are amongst the many.
- EarthBound's Mr. Saturns, and the generic enemy Foppy and its orange Palette Swap counterpart, Fobby.
- Yukkuris in Touhou fanon are essentially these.
- The true form of the final boss from the arcade game NARC, Mr. Big, was a giant head.
- The Minirobots from Mini Robot Wars, who bear a huge resemblance to the above-mentioned Metools from Mega Man. They're not so much waddling heads as they are standing heads, however, because they are not shown walking in-game.
Non-video game examples:
Anime and Manga
- In Dog Days, because of some protective enchantments, when someone is wounded or "killed", they temporarily turn into one of these rather than dying.
- Don Patch from Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo (and his Kopatch lackeys).
- Most baby Digimon. Very few of them have any sort of limbs at all and most are generally constrained to bouncing around.
- Yubaba has 3 of them in Spirited Away. They get turned into a copy of Yubaba's baby by Zeniba later.
- In Castle Waiting, Affably Evil demon Leeds usually manifests as a demonic humananoid head directly attached to a pair of short goats' legs.
- MythBusters: Jamie Hyneman once made an (adorable) army of Waddling Head robots in order to see if a platoon marching in lock-step across a bridge could collapse it.
- "The Head Detective" sketches on In Living Color! featured your typical Cowboy Cop who happened to be one of these. He'd bring down the baddies by getting his partner to toss him at them.
- Mr. Potato Head might be the oldest example, though he can also have arms.
- Fuzzy fits the bill.
- The characters in the Tales of the Blode flash animations.
- Vocaloid: Tako Luka.
- JubJubs in Neopets (cute fluffballs with humanlike feet) and Kikos (inexplicably bandaged spheroids with clawed hands on the ends of two bendy arms). JubJub feet seem dexterous enough to serve in the office of hands. Kikos are aquatic creatures which use their arms to swim or paddle; on land they bounce.
- Looney Tunes: Marvin the Martian temporarily became this trope whenever his doomsday devices backfired, reducing him to a helmet waddling around on oversized shoes, making him a possible Ur Example.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Octo Octavia/Octotavia.
- Many of the characters from VeggieTales, such as Bob the Tomato. Though in his case it's more of a Bouncing Head, since they also have no feet.
- The title character of Fat Dog Mendoza.