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Winged Humanoid
Angel? Nah.

Lina: How are your wings attached?
Serene: They just grow on my back.
Lina: They don't come off?
Serene: Do your arms come off?

Simply put, it's a human with wings sprouting from their back.

Biologically improbable due to human bone and muscle structure (though at the same time, usually easy to rationalize due to the at-a-glance nature of our shoulders), and if they're intended for actual flight, you may have to write off several laws of physics as well. Therefore, such characters are often assumed to be not entirely of this world. This ties into the classic depictions of winged angels as well.

The type of wing is usually indicative of the character's morality — see Good Wings, Evil Wings.

If there's something even slightly resembling feathers, expect a Perpetual Molt. Don't expect flapping, however there will be plenty of floating.

Best done via animation, as live-action wings are bulky and can look rather silly. Animated wings are also easier to "tuck away", or may even vanish into hammerspace. If a character suddenly sprouts a pair, it's because Power Gives You Wings.

Generally seen as highly attractive, even if the Wings Do Nothing. If you're looking for the flying partner of an Ace Pilot, try Wing Man.

Subtrope of Monstrous Humanoid. See also Draconic Humanoid, who may have dragon wings but looks decidedly less human. Compare Peacock Girl, Pegasus. May become a Broken Angel if their wings are clipped.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

Permanent Wings

    Anime & Manga 
  • Bizarrely, Cell has large, insectoid wings in his first and perfect forms, which couldn't have conceivably come from any of his genetic donors. Even stranger is that nobody ever comments on this.
    • Also, while he doesn't use them explicitly to fly, when he flies, especially if he's moving forward quickly, the wings will flare out & make a peculiar buzzing sound.
    • Supplementary material reveals that Goku, Vegeta, Nappa, Piccolo, Freeza, and King Cold are merely the primary genetic material and he also retrieved material from a number of creatures on Earth. He likely intentionally cultivated cells that would bring out his more insectoid form.
  • Aleksai Amigochaz from Tower of God has devil wings.
  • Rozen Maiden season one's Big Bad, Suigintou, has a pair of black wings on her back.
  • Every Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch villain introduced from Michel on had wings. Michel himself has white angel wings; Lady Bat's were, well, batlike; Lanhua/Ranfa/whatever had butterfly wings and Alala was a fairy (or a dragonfly?). Fuku's, as befitting a Small Annoying Creature, were tiny and lacking any detail that might align him to a particular animal.
  • The Onkamiyamukai in Utawarerumono are a race of angel-winged humanoids, who all have white wings except for the cutesy-ditsy princess Kamyu, who has black wings.
  • The Harpie Lady cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! Although their wings were actually attached to their arms rather than coming from their backs. Guardian Eatos, the native wind spirit and Raphael's trump card in the Orichalcos arc, has hers on her back above her shoulders.
  • In Haibane Renmei, the Haibane of the title are humanoids who hatch full-grown from mysteriously appearing eggs. They have small, non-functional wings, and are given metallic "halos" that float over their heads by an unknown force. In addition, certain Haibane will have their wings get darker or entirely black, the mark of a rather nebulously defined "sin".
  • Virtually everyone in Angel Sanctuary fits this trope. Some even have three wings.
  • Angels Feather. Given its title, it is not surprising that there should be plenty of winged people.
  • The "angels" in Mnemosyne are actually mindless killing machines and the male counterparts to the Always Female immortals.
  • The goddesses' angels in Ah! My Goddess, like Holy Bell, have permanent wings.
    • And ironically Lind, the "one wing", actually has two, though heaven help you when both come out...
  • Most of the members of the Sky Tribes (Skypedian, Shandorians, and Bilkans) of One Piece have wings, but none of them seem able to fly with them.
  • The people of Mt. Phoenix in Ranma ½ posit a bizarre case: for generations, they have used Jusenkyo water in which birds (and only birds) have drowned, for their everyday chores and consumption. The current generations, therefore, not only have flight-worthy wings, but also scaly, hawk-like talons instead of hands or feet.
  • Subverted (and possibly lampshaded) in the Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind manga. Legend has it that a white-winged humanoid, clad in blue, would rise to lead the people to their salvation, as shown in an elaborate tapestry. However, Chikuku (a young acolyte) strongly insists that such a creature would be a monster. Instead, he says that Nausicaa's "wings" are represented by her pure-white glider.
    • Played straight in the On Your Mark video, where the winged girl (who looks a lot like Nausicaa) is held prisoner by a cult.
  • The phoenix and dragon-based Machine Gods in Magic Knight Rayearth have the appropriate style of wings despite being humanoid in appearance. The leonine one gets Hot Wings, since it's fire-elemental. Upon combining with Rayearth, the composite mecha has very deliberate-looking angelic wings and a smaller set of dragon-style wings underneath.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Both Kerberos and Yue have angel-like wings, tinged gold and silver, respectively.
    • Spinel "Suppi" Sun and Ruby Moon, too. Subverted with Kero and Spinel because Kero is a winged lion and Spinel is... a panther, maybe? Some sort of big black cat with wings. Yue's wings are angel-like, and Ruby's are like a butterfly's.
    • Nadeshiko, Sakura's late mother when she makes an appearance now and then.
    • Sakura herself, while using the Fly card after converting it.
    • The Fiery Card takes the form of a young boy with large, firey wings.
  • Yayoi of Koi Koi 7. This appears to be her only cyborg ability, though it has its occasional uses.
  • The Balmlings in Toushou Daimos is practically a race consisting of this trope.
  • The crows in Free Collars Kingdom are shown as this. Justified Trope since the cats are all shown as cat people.
  • Subaru of .hack//SIGN, who has small, nonfunctional wings. Justified in that the show is set inside an MMORPG. Other examples in the .hack// verse are listed in the Video Games section.
  • Kanade Tachibana (aka Tenshi/Angel) from Angel Beats! doesn't have wings (due to not actually being an angel), but she's shown with them in the opening. Near the end of the series, she actually does create wings for herself, at Otonashi's suggestion.
  • In Eureka Seven, Eureka eventually grows large wings due to her inhuman physique. They're more reminiscent of a butterfly than a bird, and they don't seem to be able to give her the ability to fly. They were also the result of a rather Painful Transformation.
    • By the sequel she learns to hide and manifest them at will.
  • A strange example is Tsubasa from Mikakunin Shounen Gedoh who had to train and build up muscles in order to flap her wings hard enough to fly. The results are...terrifying...
  • Haruka and Sugino from Tactics, with black and white wings respectively.
  • In Rosario + Vampire, both Kurumu and Ruby become these in their true forms. Though technically Ruby MIGHT not have them without her magic, since hers is based more on shapeshifting (c.f. her turning into birds, etc.).
    • Tsukune also sports them in his One-Winged Angel state. And as of the finale, so does Moka.
  • A number of characters in Shinzo, including the Bird Enterrans and Celestial Mushra.
  • While I don't know if it actually counts, the Sekirei sprout wings upon "mucas membrane" contact with their Ashikabi.
  • All of the Tengu from Kamisama Kiss are this.

    Comics 
  • The Hawkmen alien race, led by Prince Vultan, were the allies of Flash Gordon, whose original comic strip started in 1935. Noticeable in that they were big, muscular men, which would make flight more difficult. Their leader was memorably hammed by BRIAN BLESSED in the 1980 movie.
    • Which inspired the Thanagarians from The DCU, including Hawkman and Hawkgirl, who use the Applied Phlebotinum of "Nth Metal" to provide antigravity. That metal is usually carried in the belt, the wings themselves are typically attached to a harness and are only used to steer in flight. In some continuities, however, the wings are a part of their body.
  • Archangel of the X-Men is a mutant with white feathered wings. He was later Retconned into having super-strength and unbreakable, ultra-light bones, to explain away the biological improbabilities (he also has eagle-keen vision, though no one seems to remember this). When transformed into the Horseman Death by Apocalypse, his previously amputated feathered wings were replaced by razor-sharp mechanical ones that shot poison-tipped feathers. His white-feathered wings returned eventually, having grown back underneath the metal ones.
    • He can now switch between normal Angel and blue-skinned, metal-winged Archangel forms.
    • The younger Angel introduced during Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men had fly-like wings sprouting from her back, though she was de-powered after House of M. Her husband Beak, who resembled a sort of human-chicken hybrid, also had bird-like wings on his arms, but he also lost them after M-Day.
  • The Marvel Universe also has the Bird-People, a technologically advance race of winged humanoids who live on their floating Sky-Island. The Golden Age hero Red Raven was a regular human adopted into their civilization.
  • Komodo of the comic Nocturnals used to have wings, but when he tried to escape the evil laboratory he was raised in by flying, his creators removed them. While taunting a guard who tries to re-capture him, Komodo indicates that he doesn't miss his wings, as they "itched like hell."
  • CrossGen's Sojourn had a race of winged humanoids, who were depicted as black people with red wings, dressed in a vaguely Ancient Egyptian theme.
  • The latest volume of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles introduced Raptarr, a winged super-hero in the mold of the X-Men's Angel.
  • ElfQuest has Tyldak, who may be a bit of a subversion in that his whole body was (painfully) reshaped via magic so he could fly where most of his fellow Gliders would simply use their powers of levitation to float; for example, his batlike wings are clearly his former arms.
  • Sigil, from the short-lived Bar Sinister comic, was a humanoid artificially evolved from a vampire bat who had, of course, bat wings.
  • Dawnstar from Legion of Super-Heroes.
  • Shy Crazy Lolita Canary, of The DCU's Super Young Team. An interesting case, she's the size of an actual canary.
  • Demi The Demoness, and her heavenly counterpart Imed the Angel.
  • The Inferior Five once encountered a team who were a parody of the original X-Men who were genetic throwbacks. The team included an Angel counterpart named Icarus who was a throwback to the birds (and, yes, the fact that humans aren't descended from birds was Lamp Shaded). Somewhat ironically, and probably coincidentally, the actual X-Men would decades later have a member called Icarus.
  • The Jimmy Natale version of the Vulture from Spider-Man (the previous Vultures all relied on high-tech flight suits).
  • Swift of The Authority and Stormwatch was a 'seedling' who grew wings out of the backs of her arms and talons on her feet once her powers were activated. She later got upgraded to full wings coming out of her back.
    • Her counterpart in the G7 Authority, Rush, also had full wings coming out of her back.
  • All aliens native to the planet Landfall in Saga look like humans with wings of one type or another. Some are feathered, some are bat-like, some are insect-like.
  • Subverted during the Bob Oksner run on Supergirl in the mid-1970s. Linda encountered a young man who had assisted a Mad Scientist on a faraway island (before making off with a huge diamond from the head of an idol — there always is at least one). The professor had an idea on how to create winged humans and experimented on the locals by injecting them with DNA and other essentials from birds. Instead, he ended up with half-bird, half-human people who were very annoyed with what had been done to them.
  • Pixie of the X-Men had originally butterfly-like wings. Later, they changed into fly-like wings.
  • Among the "wonders" encountered by the Runaways during their visit to the early 20th century was Tristan, a giant with mechanical wings that were apparently affixed to his back with some heavy-duty screws.
  • Superhero Divangelic from Empowered is a pair of Conjoined Twins - her left half, Charity, is an angel, but her right half, Vanity, is a devil. They share a pair of wings (traditional style, that is feathery / bat-like, respectively).
  • Batman often squared off against Man-Bat, a human-bat hybrid.

     Fan Works 
  • The fairies in The Blue Blur of Termina sport two pairs of wings.
  • John in With Strings Attached. Turned into one by the Fans in order to prevent something worse from happening. Has big white and blue feathered wings. Humanoid now, not just a human with wings, and magic-based, which explains why he can fly. In fact, if he went back to the magic-free Earth in this body, he would instantly die. Ouch. And he can't float; he has to glide or flap to stay airborne.
    • Though he's never seen molting and never mentions it... of course, during the book he only has the wings for about three months.
    • In the New Zork chapter, Ringo meets John's “Beagle” counterpart, who has small, useless wings “only good for attractin' birds,” heh.
  • Maesterus in Star Wars: Paranormalities is an unusual example. He didn't always have wings, and he didn't grow them until Vjun. He then grew second pair on those wings later and he's had them ever since. This is because he's actually a human mutated by a Forceless symbiote.
  • Navarone gains a pair of functional wings in Diaries of a Madman, due to a botched spell by Trixie.

    Films — Live Action 
  • The Boy With Wings; an obscure movie about a boy born with feathered wings. He spends most of the movie hiding it and not doing anything cool, and at the end of the movie, the CAMERA flies around and it's IMPLIED that he learned to fly.
  • Michael and Gabriel in Legion.
  • The John Travolta movie Michael is about an actual angel (albeit a Jerk Ass angel), complete with wings.
    Huey Driscoll: Can I just pull on your wings to see how they're attached?
    Michael: Why don't you pull on your pecker to see how it's attached?
  • The Monkeybirds of MirrorMask, nearly all of whom are named Bob. They had gorilla-shaped bodies and only their faces were remotely bird-like. Strictly speaking they didn't have wings, but they were able to glide with flaps of skin under their arms.
  • X-Men:
    • Angel’s "only" power in X-Men: The Last Stand. Bonus science points in that his wings are probably large enough to actually lift a human, although there are still the typical issues of musculature and bone structure.
    • In X-Men: First Class, Angel's most obvious mutation is insectoid wings, though she's able to disguise them as tattoos.

    Live Action Television 
  • In an episode of the Outer Limits from the 1990s, a group of college students are taken forward in time to when humanity has disappeared off Earth. They find the skeleton of a winged human, the result of genetic experimentation, which they determined to be the cause of humanity's extinction.
  • In Wizardsof Waverly Place fairies, angels (both guardian and darkness), pegasi, and vampires have them.

    Literature 
  • Bartimaeus in The Ring Of Solomon likes taking the form of a 'handsome Sumerian youth' with white wings, ironically he's actually a 2,000 year old 'demon' with the in-human monster persona down pat...mostly. Also, it's only in the prequel, in the other books he's a 14 year old ancient Egyptian kid.
  • The title character in the book Skellig is noted to have a number of physical properties, aside from wings, that would have once allowed him to fly, such as having hollow bones like a bird's.
  • The "bird kids" in James Patterson's Maximum Ride series, including the title character, Max, are said to be the results of what happens when one splices hawk DNA into orphaned human children. On top of this, the character Angel has New Powers as the Plot Demands that have nothing to do with birds or mammals ("Guess what? I can breathe underwater!")
    • It's worth mentioning that the kids are based off characters in a earlier novel, "When The Wind Blows" and its sequel "The Lake House". The kids there, however, have been extremely reformed to allow flight as well, creating a disturbing winged human-looking thing instead of a Winged Humanoid. Among these changes, as Max proudly declares, is that the bird-kids are oviparous. (They lay eggs.)
    • Also worth noting is that this trope is pretty much the reason the series exists.
  • All of the Awians in Steph Swainston's Castle Circle series have wings, but only one character can use them to fly.
  • The extinct natives of Resurgam in Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space were originally descended from birds, but a group of them did re-engineer themselves for flight and were found to have structural changes like a larger sternum for the wing muscles to anchor to.
  • The Icarii in Sara Douglass's The Wayfarer Redemption'' universe.
  • In the Discworld novel Going Postal, Terry Pratchett made an attempt at depicting a Winged Humanoid while also managing a nod towards real-life physics: a flying banshee character has a slender light-weight frame, enormous flight muscles across his chest, and leathery wings that attach to his very long arms, rather than sprouting out of his back.
  • The Garuda from Perdido Street Station by China Miéville are humanoid avians, though much more bird-like than person-like. A major character in the story is a garuda whose wings were cut off; he visits the city of New Crobuzon with the intent of finding someone to grant him flight again.
    • The khepri have small, non-functional insect wings, but attached to their beetle-heads rather than their backs.
  • The Council Wars series has incredibly advanced genetic engineering that allows for two types of winged-humans. The first type look like normal humans with wings and can't fly without an outside power source. The second type can fly on their own but this is a much more significantly modification so they look less human.
  • Gaea, the ring-like artificial world of John Varley's Gaea Trilogy, has the angels: winged humanoids designed by the satellite's decidedly off-kilter "god". Since they had to obey the laws of aerodynamics, they come out looking a lot less human-looking (their wings have been moved to their center of gravity, for instance) than the angel-like creatures she desired, and they can only fly in low gravity (they live in the spokes, and most of them hate going down anywhere near the rim because it's very hard for them to get back up to where they can fly comfortably). There's an angel who saves humans who fall from the top of the spoke (he can't halt the fall, but he can slow it and steer them towards a lake, allowing them to survive impact). He does this because a lot of the human women he saves are rather grateful, and he's a chubby-chaser — all human women are "fat" compared to angels.
  • Peregrine of Wild Cards fame. Interestingly, it's a form of telekinesis that lets her fly — her wings and hollow bones are a useless deformity, making her as much of a Joker as an Ace.
  • Icari in The Darkangel Trilogy have a dozen black-feathered wings, which are attached by their witch creator at the age of sixteen.
  • In the lovely juvenile novel Wings by Bill Brittain, the main character is an Ordinary High-School Student who inexplicably develops a huge pair of fully functional bat-like wings.
  • Some of the Half Human Hybrids in Dragons in Our Midst.
  • In Samantha Henderson's Heaven's Bones, a mad doctor in the 1860s uses radical surgery and clockwork to turn kidnapped women into Winged Humanoids, obsessively convinced that he's "making angels". Believe it or not, this one's justified, as he's being manipulated by a gypsy escapee from Ravenloft, and the Dark Powers are supernaturally ensuring his "creations" will survive and function, so he'll be pulled into the Land of Mists and drag this wayward Vistani back with him.
  • The Winged Monkeys from the Oz books and film. Assuming Winged Anthropoids count.
  • Derk creates two of these in Dark Lord of Derkholm, though we don't see them till the sequel.
  • David, protagonist of Edmond Hamilton's Tear Jerker short story "He That Hath Wings," is explicitly stated to have both hollow bones and a skeleton adapted for flight.
  • There is a race of winged people in Maggie Furey's The Artefacts Of Power books, introduced in Aurian and integral to the plot hereafter. They were somewhat shorter and slighter than humans, and possess 'large keeled breastbones'. Passages of description imply that their wings are enormous, reaching above their heads and sweeping down to the ground. In the book they were once mages of air, now bereft of power - however their nonhuman advantages seems to serve them well enough to not have to rely on any dregs of power left.
  • Caitlyn in Broken Angel.
  • Book five of The Lost Years of Merlin series, called The Wings of Merlin, has characters earning wings as a plot point
  • The Nightgaunts from H.P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands, which resemble faceless devils.
  • Growing Wings, by Laurel Winter, features a girl named Linnet who, at puberty, starts growing large, auburn-feathered wings. It's revealed that her mother had them too, but her grandmother cut them off with a knife. Even later we find that that's what happened to the grandmother, too. In time she joins a little commune of people with a similar issue; the cutwings are normal except for the scars on their backs, there's a young man whose wings were bound instead of cut and as a result are tiny and stunted, and a few with whole wings. Notably, none of them can fly, though one is obsessed with the idea. They're just not adapted for it.
    Half of them were waiting around to see if they could fly. Half never would, but somehow they were always waiting too. Waiting to grow wings back or grow wings straight or lose enough weight for wings to lift an intentionally slender body.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Queen of the Black Coast", winged humanoids are the Back Story behind the ruins and treasure they find.
  • Several alien races in S.L. Viehl's Star Doc universe.
  • Laurie J. Marks's Aeyries (hermaphroditic, furry, bat-winged monotremes) are both a justification and a deconstruction of the concept: Their wings are huge, they have very high metabolisms, they depend a lot on air currents to stay aloft for any length of time, and—aside from strong shoulder muscles to power those wings—they're quite a weak and fragile species. (One Aeyrie self-deprecatingly describes the race as "ineffectual" and "too heavy to fly easily, yet too light to do anything else.")
  • Ray Cummings' Tama Of The Light Country, written in 1930, is a Planetary Romance about the social and political structure of the civilizations on Mercury. People there are generally small and slim and the women have enormous, functioning, feathered wings. The men are wingless. For centuries, the law has been that once a woman marries, she must have her wings "clipped", and for clipped, read hacked off without benefit of anesthesia. Tama is a very young woman who leads a "revolt of the winged virgins".
  • Peter Greenaway's Flying Out Of This World art exhibition and companion book treat this subject seriously and philosophically.
  • Barbara Berger's Gwinna starts out in classical fairytale mode with the added twist that the little Wonder Child girl has wings, which her mom tries to bind to keep the child with her. Doesn't work, of course.
  • Ashlyn Nafina's To Dream, Perchance to Soar takes place in an alternative universe France (you know it is an alternative universe because it has zeppelins cruising overhead). Aile is a woman with a passion for flying, who has always felt she should have wings. Then one day the sky opens and les volants show up. They are called Ka'aulele and besides wings the author has spent a considerable amount of effort on giving them a beautiful ConLang.
  • Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies, from William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood series. She's actually half-human, with her mother being one of the Sisters of Flight, an entire race of winged women. Toothiana herself only grew her wings after losing her last baby tooth. And then everything went pear-shaped.
  • In the 1930 philosophical science fiction novel Last and First Men, the Sixth Men—descendants of humans who had fled to Venus following Earth's destruction—became obsessed with flight, and, taking advantage of Venus's lighter gravity, ended up genetically engineering their own winged successors, the Seventh Men. Like bats, the Seventh Men's wings were part of their arms and hands, rather than being separate limbs, but they kept two fingers (thumb and index) reserved for use as actual fingers.
  • Terminal World has the angels, a race of humans bio-engineered and nanotechnology-enhanced for flight. In addition to being very light, they are noted to take advantage of the thermals rising from lower Spearpoint and to wear propulsion harnesses for additional thrust. And it helps that they're only in 1/3 gravity.
  • Israeli writer Etgar Keretnote  wrote a short story about a man making a wish to have a friend. He gets a winged human who claims he’s an angel, but refuses to show the man how he can fly. After repeated Jerkass behaviour, the man gets angry and pushes him off from a great height to force him to show his ability. He can’t. That’s when the man realises he wasn’t an angel or anything; he was just a liar with wings. The film 9.99, is based on this story and two others, also by Keret.

    Music 

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The early Zoroastrians depicted a winged sun-disk called a farahavar. This later developed into the modern representation of the fravashis; the fravashi has the same "Assyrian" look as the angels of Byzantine iconography. Speaking of whom, the Assyrians depicted both gods and devils with four wings in a "fairy" or "butterfly" configuration.
  • Early Mesopotamic cultures had imagery of humanoids and animals (of non-winged species) with wings. Ancient Greece took that feature and incorporated it into its own iconography, resulting in various gods, personifications and creatures with wings in Classical Greco-Roman Mythology and Imagery. The wings depicted are usually feathered bird-wings, with the notable exception of Psyche's (Eros' lover) butterfly wings. Among the winged persons are among others: Nike (goddess of victory), Pegasos, gryphons. The Erotes Eros/Amor (love), Anteros (requited-love), Himeros (desire), and Pothos (longing) are usually depicted as young winged boys of various ages. Same as Thanatos (death).
  • Tengu from Japanese folklore.
  • Angels from the Abrahamic religions, but only in artwork, not in canon texts where they are instead multi-eyed, four-headed horrors, or normal looking joes.
  • The Badass Garuda from Hindu Mythology.
  • Post-Norse depictions of Valkyries from Norse Mythology. Often depicted as winged maidens armed and in full armor who lifted the souls of the worthy from the battlefield and into Valhöll to train for Ragnarök. No such ideas known to be found in the original religion.
  • The gorgons. Yes, the Gorgons. They were said to have, as well as snaky locks, fangs and scales, wings of gold and brazen claws.
  • When Egyptian gods have winged humanoid forms, they usually have the wings fused with their arms. But occasionally a deity will have two wings fused to their arms and one or more pairs sprouting from their back.
  • Alans in Filipino folklore. They're usually described as either half-human and half-bat or half-human and half-bird, but in all versions they're at least partially humanoid. Another example from Filipino mythology is the manananggal, which is decidedly less friendly.

    Pinball 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000, The Eldar Swooping Hawks have mechanical wings which generate an anti-gravity field, allowing them to fly. Chaos Space Marine jump packs are sometimes wing-like in design, and they also sometimes use biomechanical wings (justified because Chaos doen't give a damn about what's physically feasible). In adition, there's two examples of humanoids with actual wings. The Primarch Sanguinius, known as "the Angel", has perfect white wings, and the Battle Sisters' Living Saint manifests them as part of being a saint. Of course, this being 40k, the Angel is a vampiric demigod who fights giant blood daemons, and the saint is spouting lines like "By my light, we shall purge this wretched, tainted land."
    • Although describing them as "humanoid" would be a massive stretch, many of the huge winged Tyranids fit the spirit of this trope.
    • Kroot of the Vulture kindred also fall here, though whether the wings are feathered, webbed, or just feathers extending off their arms depends on portrayal. Only good for short-distance jungle-jump, anyways.
    • The Sisters of Battle's Seraphim use jump packs that look like angelic wings.
    • Somewhat subverted in Warhammer Fantasy. Some of the vampires have wings, but they replace their arms instead of growing out of their backs. This doesn't solve the problems with physics, but at least it makes more biological sense.
    • As of the latest Dark Eldar Codex, Scourges are particularly courageous Dark Eldar who managed to get a Haemonculus to graft wings onto their backs. They do address some of the physics problems, as it is also stated that the Haemonculi have the medical technology to graft extra muscle across their chests and to hollow out their bones, and the wings are realistically sized.
    • The Lord of Change and Bloodthirster, bird-sorcerer and dog-headed warrior daemons of Tzeentch and Khorne have feathered and bat wings respectively. Except Anggrath, whose wings were ripped out by Khorne after he was Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Certain demons in Demon The Fallen have wings in their apocalyptic forms, usually either eagle, owl, or raven wings. Notably, most can only glide, but some of them can even fly. To quote the Player's Guide, "At the cost of one extra form point, the demon can take off from standing position and actually gain altitude by flapping her wings."
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the typical fairy, divine and demonic humanoids, who we could fill far too many pages listing. Sylphs (female-only elemental kin here) are naturally levitating and use their gossamer wings only to move themselves around. Also, the winged elf subrace who have feathery and very much flight capable wings, called the Avariel in mainstream variant (e.g. in Forgotten Realms), Ee'aar in Mystara and Al Karak Elam in the Beastlands.
    • Many years earlier, a race of winged humans (called simply "winged folk") were described in a Dragon Magazine article, as an optional new race for 1st Edition AD&D.
    • Aarakocra have been described as a possible flying PC race, for Dark Sun in 2E, also present in Spelljammer and some locations in Forgotten Realms and for any sort of campaign in 3E. Their arms are feathered wings, so they don't fit the most common image for this trope, but are a lot more plausible.
    • Mystara also has Enduks — winged minotaurs.
    • d20 made standard of previously exotic and case-by-case Half Human HybridsHalf Dragon, Half-Fiends and Half-Celestial.
    • The Winged template in the Savage Species splatbook lets anyone or anything have wings for a mere +2 level adjustment. It's actually one of the better templates for PCs to take.
    • Raptorans, added in Races of the Wild, are traditional winged humanoids, except for having taloned feet.
    • Any character with Dragon Wings (a 1st-level only feat that requires having a bit of dragon blood) is this. Dragonwrought kobolds (Races of the Dragon) are a bit funny in that they and only they are allowed to take it at third level, meaning that they can just suddenly wake up one day and have developed dragon wings overnight.
    • And avariel, reclusive winged elves. Particularly with D&D 3.5E, we could be here all day even without listing fey, celestials and fiends.
  • The German RPG Engel features these as the protagonists. It does at least try to accomodate physics by equipping angels with the physical appearance of 10-year-olds and 10 metre wingspans with massive flight muscles powered by nano-tech. The problems arising from these wings are also explored in the system — entering a common peasant's hut is difficult when the wings can at most be folded to occupy 3 metres, as is simply lying down.
  • GURPS Fantasy Folk has the Winged Folk (Exactly What It Says on the Tin) available as a playable race.
  • Talislanta has the Gryphs and Stryx as winged humanoid races, complete with HUGE wings that actually look like they might get them off the ground. It also acknowledges the implausibility of this trope with the Aeriad (a race of bird-people who have lost their ability to truly fly—though they can still glide—in the course of adapting to a ground-based life) and the Muses (who have pretty butterfly wings, but can't stay aloft for very long).
  • The People of the Air in Exalted. The extreme improbability and impracticality of humanoids developing wings is both Lampshaded and justified by the fact that the titular Exalted created them with the secret arts and Lost Technology of the First Age, basically just to see if they could. Wyld mutants can also develop functional wings; in this case it's justified because, well... it's the Wyld.
  • Ravenloft features Diamabel, darklord of Pharazia, whose winged appearance is a gift - and curse - from the Dark Powers.
    • One of the Twisted from the Carnival supplement is a young woman with huge bat wings.
  • Magic: the Gathering has standard angels, but also the diminuitive fae, and the aven. Among others.

    Video Games 
  • Breath of Fire
    • In Breath of Fire II, Nina is looked down upon by the rest of her race because she has black wings, which are a bad omen. The females of the Dragon Clan (which the hero belongs to) possess wings as well, dragon-style of course.
      • Supplementary materials go out of their way to justify Nina's flight. Her internal anatomy is overall closer to a bird than a human, including things like hollow bones. So while she's incredibly light, 34kg including the wings despite being of average height, she's also incredibly fragile.
    • In Breath of Fire III, the Wyndians have long since lost their wings — Nina wears a fake pair.
      • Also in Breath of Fire 3, using the genes to turn Ryu into his Warrior Dragon or Myrmidon forms cause him to become a gargoyle-like Winged Humanoid. And then there are the Guardians, who look like winged gargoyles all the time.
      • The Goddess Myria has this in her normal form which also glow however the wings are upside down
    • And in Breath of Fire V, Nina has bright red abstractly wing-shaped appendages, but they're not actually wings.
  • in cat planet, you are an angel that must fly around and collect cats!
  • Pit from Kid Icarus. His wings don't become functional until the final stage, though.
  • In Age of Mythology, there are the Caladria - a mythological unit that flies around and heals other units.
  • The angels in the Disgaea series predictably have wings, as do some of the humanoid demons, like Etna, Raspberyl, and the Succbus monsters. Only the angels are actually capable of flight in gameplay, though.
  • In early 2007, City of Heroes added both feathered and bat-style wings to the character design options available to players. Oddly, these wings are not functional unless and until the player takes flight as one of the character's powers.
    • Since then the game has also added smaller versions of the bat and feathered wings, as well as dragon wings, insect wings (bee and butterfly styles), burned and bone wings (they have holes in the skin), and the cybernetic tech wings.
      • The wings were made to flap for any action which causes the player to leave the ground (I.E. Jumping, falling) by a later update.
  • Angels of the The Lowest Cosmic Denominator variety appear in several of the Heroes of Might and Magic games.
  • The bird Laguz in ma have these while in human form; all but one character can fly using these.
  • The (arch)angels in the Diablo series are agents of Heaven with a rather unusual appearance. E.g. Tyrael's wings are actually tentacles made of light.
  • The chivalrous, winged Balmung is one of the iconic characters of .hack.
    • Minor character Terajima Ryoko also has wings, though hers are substantially smaller and less functional. She also sports a halo which is held in place by a rather obvious rod. Justified in that this, of course, is set inside an MMORPG, where such accessories are not only common but frequently highly desired.
      • Interestingly, Balmung is among the very few cases of a winged character who can use them to fly. A non-player example somewhat includes the avatars seen in GU, such as Skeith (moreso in its third evolution), Innis (not the straightest example since such wings were incorporated in the form of a halo on its back) and Tarvos (who had what appeared to be large wings attached to its head). All of them can levitate without using these features, however.
  • Super Smash Bros.. Brawl
    • Tabuu has an odd, technologically inspired evil kind.
    • Also, Pit.
  • Dirge of Cerberus brings us Nero the Sable, who got wings installed on him via surgery.
  • Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings introduces the aegyl, a race of winged creatures living on a Floating Continent (or rather a floating archipelago).
    • Although the real life implications of having wings do seem to come slightly into play here, because it's stated that having the wings puts an incredible strain on the aegyl's bodies, so they only end up living to around the age of 40.
  • The Black Waltzes that the Queen sends after Garnet in Final Fantasy IX have navy blue-feathered wings, matching their cloaks. The child Eiko wears a pair of tiny, decorative wings on her back, which are actually a hindrance due to the villains' fondness for catching her by them. Then, in possibly the strangest occurrence of the trope, the gigantic living castle, Alexander, grows shining white wings that it uses to defend Alexandria from Bahamut's attack; quite horrifically, Garland's fatal attack on Alexander causes the wings to rot.)
  • Kaelyn the Dove in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. They don't let her fly, but do give a 20% speed bonus.
  • In the Legacy of Kain series, we have the ancient vampire race, who are mostly humanoid in appearance (with the exception of blue skin and three-clawed hands and feet), only with large feathered wings sprouting from their backs. The Hylden have leathery wings with no "finger bones", kinda like a pterosaur's. Raziel also gains a pair of bat-like wings in the prologue of Soul Reaver but has them ripped to shreds by Kain immediately after growing them and spends the rest of the franchise with the torn remnants of his wings on his back (which are still pretty handy to glide around with).
  • Mildred from Arcana Heart has angelic wings, but she's Evil with a capital "E".
  • The Reapers from The World Ends with You have abstract wing-shaped appendages coming out of their backs. While they CAN fly if needed, the wings don't really help with that, and are instead a symbol of their status. The Stinger shows that Hanekoma has a pair of angelic wings as well.
    • Beat gains the wings upon becoming a Reaper, and thus the character sprite both in-battle and in the cut scenes display them.
      • This is foreshadowed cleverly in the games artwork. Take a look at the tire marks on the pavement behind Beat. What do those look like?
    • And we also see in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] that Joshua not only has a pair of wings, but they are ANGELIC wings, which has some very interesting implications.
  • Millenia from Grandia II. Justified in that she's the Wings of Valmar. Strangely enough, despite being a fragment of Valmar, she's not an Eldritch Abomination(actually mighty sexy).
  • Chaos from the Xenosaga series utilizes the white winged option. A couple of his Tech attacks in the first game involved taking flight with two small wings, and while not shown, even the third game had a tech called "Angel Wings". Of course, he is essentially God's failsafe.
  • The High Entia race in Xenoblade are an odd version of this, the wings in question being on their heads instead of their backs. While they can be used for flight, one of them states that it takes too much effort for most of them to want to bother learning how.
  • Members of the Featherfolk race in the Star Ocean universe have wings, as well. The third game's dictionary handwaves this by explaining that, being descended from birds, they have hollow bones, and at some point in their evolutionary history, the humerus bone split in two. The vast majority can only fly for brief periods. A very small number can't fly at all. Although the only one we see that can't fly eventually learns.
  • Touhou: Largely the domain of characters based on winged creatures. So you have the bird-girls Mystia and Utsuho and the vampires Remilia and Flandre (though Flan's wings are truly bizarre). The crow tengu may or may not have wings. Then there's Nue with her tentacle-scythe/tail things coming out of her back. Of course, none of this really matters because everyone can fly to begin with.
  • The Winged Ones of King's Quest VI are white-winged, but their pomposity and cowardice belies their angelic appearance.
  • The Zenithians in Dragon Quest IV, like Orifiela.
  • Tengu Man, from Mega Man 8 and Mega Man & Bass. His are thin, spike-like jets. Shademan in 7 has bat-wings. Bass fits the trope even further when using the Treble Boost. Mega Man himself has had the Jet and Super armors, with squared-off jets.
    • The Mega Man X series has Storm Eagle and Storm Owl.
  • Aerie from Baldur's Gate 2 was apparently a Winged Elf at one point, before being captured and caged made her wings atrophy and become infected, requiring amptutation. The major result of this crippling confinement to the ground seems to be a tendency to bitchiness and whining.
  • The aptly named Wingers of Suikoden.
  • Serene, Ledah, and a few others from Riviera: The Promised Land.
  • Wings are common among demonic races in the Warcraft series. Dread Lords and Succubi both have wings, although they're never actually shown flying at any point in the games. Pit Lords also have wings, but they're only vaguely humanoid.
    • Paladins in World of Warcraft will sprout wings of light as the result of a Divine Avenger, with a glyph to make them butterfly wings. Priests can sprout Yellow, Blue, or Shadowy wings depending on their spec (and the latter two need a certain glyph). And Warlocks in both versions of their demonic forms have functional wings, allowing for a short bound and in Dark apotheosis' case, its defensive moves are blocking attacks with fel-reinforced wings that are hard as iron (though sadly there is no animation for this).
  • Sadie, the Breeze Witch in Luminous Arc 2.
  • The robot Angelg from Super Robot Wars is practically this trope in Humongous Mecha.
  • Two of the Dead Apostle Ancestors in Tsukihime are some sort of hybrid bird creatures. They haven't appeared in anything but supplementary material yet, though.
  • StarCraft's Kerrigan has wings but they are useless for flight; instead they're just wing bones with armor-piercing claws on the ends.
  • The Gria from Final Fantasy Tactics A2 are a race of dragon girls who have wings that magically increase in size while being used for flight. They allow them to bypass obstacles such as terrain height and enemy units that would limit the movement range of other races (Excluding the weak chocobo riders and those who have a pair of the elusive Faerie Shoes equipped). Coupled with their offensive prowess, this makes them extremely useful clan members.
  • The Siren race from Startopia are attractive human-looking winged people. Two things are unique about them: first, the Baywatch Babes are actually the males, and the Chippendales Dancers are the females. Secondly, their "wings" are their sex organs.
  • Inverted in the Metroid series with the Chozo; rather than being humans with wings, they're birds without wings!
  • The Master in ActRaiser 2. Can't truly fly, though (that would be a Game Breaker).
    • And in the first game you got a flying angel armed with a bow in the simulation stages.
  • The Eldeen in the Ys universe. Ernst also becomes one when he goes One-Winged Angel (pardon the pun).
  • The Ogre Battle universe has Hawkmen (Eaglemen & Ravenmen, too) the most famous being reoccuring character Canopus.
  • Princess Gwendolyn (and by extension, the rest of the valkyries) from Odin Sphere has feathery wings that protrude from her hips. She dresses like a battle-ballerina for this reason.
  • Harpuia and half-Harpuia in Agarest Senki definitely qualify, even if the wings are from lower in the back. And while their neutral battlefield stance is standing, they do take advantage of it via the very useful Float willpower.
    • Agarest Senki 2 however has Yumil who always uses her wings in battles.
  • The Goddess in Sa Ga 2 is one of these, as are the Goddesses of Destiny in the 2009 remake.
  • Will Rock has the Eroses, ugly, baby like monsters that shot arrows at you and Medusa, who looks like a fat gargoyle with a skeletal face.
  • In Allods Online, elves have wings that they can use to float (but not really fly). You can also, regardless of race, buy yourself some prop wings.
  • Rouge the Bat from Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Grim Fandango features a pair of child souls ("Angelitos"), who have the same skeleton/calaca appearance as all of the other souls, except with small white wings on their backs. Why exactly they have wings is never explained in-game. They're shown to be capable of flying, though Meche states that the Angelitos can't fly very far.
  • In Ōkami, the Celestials are humanoids with somewhat small wings growing out of their heads, just above their ears. They are divine beings, however, so it's unlikely their wings are actually useful. There are also the Blue Cyclops and the Great Tengu enemies, when they transform into their human-like shapes.
  • Runescape has Demons on any tier higher than Greater, Icyene, Vyrewatch, Aviansie, Dragonkin, and Zamorak.
  • Lydians from A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky are a less ridiculous depiction than most, since their wings don't actually do anything; in particular, they don't let Lydians fly (by natural means, that is).

    Web Comics 
  • Last Res0rt has the Celeste, which basically are a hybrid species effectively characterized as being "anything with wings on it". Only the ones with the largest wings (naturally, on their back) are useful for flight.
  • Celia from The Order of the Stick, as a sylph from the Elemental Plane of Air, has dragonfly-like wings. The various Celestials, inspired by the D&D templates, have feathery wings.
  • Aki of The Dragon Doctors has pixie wings, explained as working by magic instead of physics.
  • Consciences in MegaTokyo.
  • Firne of Linburger have bat wings. They aren't evil though, and so far they haven't shown any ability to fly.
  • Marsha of College Roomies from Hell!!! develops wings after being bitten by a "batato" that developed in the guys' horrendously filthy kitchen.
  • One of Aylee's transformations from Sluggy Freelance is mostly human, but with a set of leathery wings coming out of her back. When these wings aren't in use, she wraps them around her body so they form the shape of a dress.
  • Duv the White Terror has a single wing which marks her out as a chosen one of Maglubiyet, the goblin deity. Her backstory claims that she was born with two but the other one was burned off in a fire.
  • According to Hark! A Vagrant, Queen Bess has "[...] the wingspan of an ALBATROSS".
  • Alex's magical form in Angel Moxie has wings. Better yet, they do allow her to fly.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Nanase's Guardian Angel spell gives her a Winged Humanoid form with wings that last for the duration of the spell before disappearing with the rest of the form when the spell ends so its not likely she can morph away the wings separately.
    • Naturally, Nanase's fairy dolls have this appearance.
    • Also, Vlad was this due to the bat, bird and human DNA used in his creation.
    • Sirleck is a borderline example, he has wings of uncertain utility but is not exactly humanoid. However, he possesses human hosts to live which does give him this appearance in the Spiritual Plane.
  • Archipelago has an awful lot of these. Avians are an entire race of them, and Raven's wings seem permanent.
  • Played with in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. Body builders eventually grow organic jetpacks.
    Bandito: Wouldn't wings make more sense?
    Dr. McNinja: No. Animals get wings, humans get jetpacks.
  • Walter of Dubious Company, tends to forget he is a member of the avios race. The wings start out as cute but ineffectual appendages. Once aviousians become adults, however, the wings are fully-functional and capable of folding into their backs.
  • Homestuck's Summoner underwent an extremely rare secondary pupation in trolls sometime during his early adulthood and ended up with a large pair of butterfly wings. He could fly with them, too.
    • Thanks to strange game mechanics, any NPC wearing a royal ring from the first Sburb session gets a whole host of awesome powers, including flight and some wings. Flight in general is unrelated to wings, they're mostly there for flavour or mandatory part of a transformation.
  • Sombulus has two races, the Demshul and the Kanite, who look respectively like demons with devil wings and angels with feather wings. Astyr, one of the main characters, is a Demshul who somehow manages to fly with only one wing.

    Web Original 
  • Some agents in the Protectors of the Plot Continuum have these.
  • Arcana Magi and Arcana Magi Zero feature naturally winged humanoids. Alysia Morales in Arcana Magi sprouts a pair of misty magical wings after becoming a Sentinel.
  • Nadia Morel, a student at the Hyperion Academy, is a flying speedster with wings. Her code name is "Angel", naturally.
    • American Eagle is a winged energy blaster with sonic powers.
    • Black Angel is a sorcerer with demon-style leathery wings and dark powers. Claims to be a medieval-period sorcerer who made a really bad deal (or good, depending on your point of view) for immortality and power.
  • Three characters in The Questport Chronicles have these; apparently natural for two of them. The third was given wings through a spell.

    Western Animation 
  • Gargoyles are a subversion of the "batwings are evil" variety. They only glide via their wings (that is, they state in the pilot that they can only glide, but are later seen to "glide" faster and more maneuverably than a military jet can fly!), and have the ability to tuck them around their necks like cloaks when not in flight. The series' creator openly admitted that he invented this ability because, otherwise, "staging scenes where many of the major characters have big, crazy wings would have been a right pain in the ass." The one exception is Lexington, whose wings are under his arms like a flying squirrel.
    • It should also be noted that feathered wings appear just as much in Gargoyles as bat wings do. In fact, Bat wings seem to be the exclusive feature of Scottish gargoyles, which is why the main cast has them. Gargoyles from England, Guatamala, and Japan show an even mix in wing type.
    • Notably, in an episode where Xanatos expresses his desire to create his own race of gargoyles, the myriad problems that make it nearly impossible for a human-size creature to fly are explained to him (and thus the viewer).
  • The main characters in W.I.T.C.H. have tiny wings on their backs which enable them to fly (in the cartoon. In the comic, only Hay Lin could fly until a power upgrade gave everyone the ability much later). However, these are just for show, and the flight is explicitly magical.
    • The second arc introduces the Knights of Destruction, a four-member Quirky Miniboss Squad. One has bat wings, one has white bird wings, and the leader has black bird wings.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series featured an race called the Skorr in a few episodes who, unlike most winged humanoids were far more bird like than normal. Oh, and their feathers were yellow.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), Avians are a race of winged humanoids genetically engineered by Y'Lyntians as slaves. Now freed, they live in an undetectable city in the sky. One of these, Raptarr, is a recurring character in the series, and a member of the current Justice Force.
    • The Inawashi Gunjin from Fast Forward also qualify.
  • The title character of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law has (mostly unused) wings. Other characters such as Peanut and Birdgirl have metalic wings (that still do nothing).
    • This show was a recent-years parody of the original 1967 Saturday Morning show Birdman, of Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, in which his wings were used quite often. His power was derived from the sun/solar energy, and while his wings could change position (outstetched and at rest) they hardly ever flapped, mainly due to keeping the cost of animation down. Thusly he was able to float without flapping. The bird Animal Companion, Avenger, also suffered from this cost-cutting in that his wings never really moved, and he floated without flapping as well. His battlecry was an echoing "Biiiirrrrddd-MAN!!" The character 'Peanut' was known as Birdboy, his ward, and had artificial metal wings. How they were powered is unknown. Birdgirl never appeared in the original show.
  • Justice League's Hawkgirl (the animated version) is a member of the race of Thanagarians, who all have wings. (Word of God has said that these wings are a result of genetic experimentation and are not natural otherwise.)
  • Talon, from Static Shock, has wings on her arms and talons for feet.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power has Harpies. Harpies in general tend to be an aversion of the Good Wings, Evil Wings trope because, although they're evil and look it, they have Avian wings, like angels, as opposed to the bat wings of most evil Winged Humanoids.
  • In Exo Squad, the Bat and Avian forms of Neo Warrior naturally have batlike and feathery wings respectively. The Neo Lords have rather small mosquito-style wings.
  • Transformers often have these, depending on how they transform and what they turn into. If their alternate mode flies, their wings may let them do it in robot mode too. Otherwise, these "wings" are purely decorative, and generally an artifact of transformation. One of the most common is car doors projecting from the back, seen in virtually every series since the original (those that included vehicle transformations, anyway).
    • Incidentally, the running theme is Jets versus Cars, with the Decipticons having the Seekers and Megatron flying, no matter gun or jet as his alt-mode. Shockwave and Soundwave also fly; no idea how a giant gun and a Walkman manage that.
      • One piece of Fanon is that anyone who becomes a Decepticon has to undergo a painful and dangerous augmentation, which not only makes them physically mightier but fits them with anti-gravity generators allowing them to fly even when in Humongous Mecha mode.
    • Transformers Armada Starscream, the perpetual jet of the series, has one of his wings turn into a sword.
  • Zap Monogan from Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist has a pair of insect wings because he has fly DNA mixed with his.

Vanishing Wings

    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Crisis! features almost half a dozen dragons, all of which have retractable wings of various colors from the moment they hatch. Although identical to humans save for the wings and a small mark on their hands, they can turn into full-on dragons if they need to.
  • Subverted somewhat in Busou Renkin in that the hawk homunculus can transform his hands into giant metallic wings sprouting from his arms, which is a bit more realistic. He does not have any feathers, he doesn't really use them for flying in his humanoid form, and his morally grey nature is not indicated by the wing type. The author explained that he hates usual winged humanoids, so this was his compromise.
  • Yagami Hayate, who first appears in the second season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, sprouts 6 grey "Seraphim" style wings after her Transformation Sequence. This comes from her "unison" power with Reinforce, who also sports them in her original (evil) form. She seems to have given the wings to Hayate completely after her transformation into Reinforce Zwei, although she can still fly around.
  • Van from Vision of Escaflowne is a Half-Human Hybrid of the Draconian race, and has wings that he can "summon" when he needs to. His Aloof Big Brother also sports a pair.
  • Setsuna from Mahou Sensei Negima! is a Half-Human Hybrid of "the Bird Tribe" demons, which resemble traditional Japanese Tengu, but nobody says that out loud. Like Van, she can summon her wings at will. She has a sort of albinism, which makes her feathered wings white. While anathema to her demonic ancestry, her human friends think she looks like an angel. Occasionally, Setsuna will have her wings in a cute little 'cupid' form, although this might just be for laughs.
  • Digimon is replete with characters that have at least one evolution that fits this. Go ahead and try to find a season that doesn't, I dare you.
  • Athena in Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer sprouts big white wings in some battles for little reason, other than it looks cool. In Hikaru and Athena's battle, Hikaru also sprouts wings, without any previous indication that she was able.
    • Well, it is CLAMP. Wings play into practically all of their works at some point. To that end, Sakura of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle may also count.
    • All of the angels (and "devils") from Wish.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion and its follow-up movie End of Evangelion, various Angels are shown extending multiple pairs of energy wings.
    • The Mass Production EVA units from End of Evangelion are a particularly messed-up case. They enter their scene gliding on enormous, gliderlike wing-and-tailfeather sets. Upon landing, they retract their entire several-hudred-foot wingspan into a pair of small plates on their backs. At the end of the fight, they take off again and use their wings like actual birds, all the while in Perpetual Molt.
  • Chise from Saikano has metallic wings that sprout from her back, causing her large amounts of pain, whenever she becomes the "ultimate weapon".
  • Mew Mint from Tokyo Mew Mew has lorikeet DNA, and therefore sprouts lorikeet-sized wings from her back. Despite their tiny size, she can fly with them.
  • Some of Corrector Yui's battle forms have wings of sorts.
  • Sailor Moon's "Eternal" form costume seems to have purely decorative ones that cause nothing but inconvenience, like letting her be pinned to walls and squeezing through narrow doorways. However, in the first anime's final episode, Sailor Moon was stripped of her costume, but attained real (and realistic-looking) wings that allowed her to fly. The season's Big Bad, Sailor Galaxia, got red bat-like wings in the final episode, as a result of the transformation into her black "evil" form. In the manga, though, she had more realistic wings.
  • Fumika and Chiaki from Shigofumi use their talking staffs to sprout wings and fly. However, they have a limited time in which this function can be used, after which they return to normal.
  • Howl in the film version of Howl's Moving Castle occasionally turns into a bird-like creature.
  • The Crusniks in Trinity Blood have wings when the nanomachines in their bodies are at eighty and one hundred percent, although we don't get to see them use them until the last episode of the anime. In an inversion of the traditional color coding of wings, good guy Abel has black wings while his psycho twin Cain has white ones.
  • There is an angel in Chrono Crusade but he is wingless, while the Apostles, though initially human, grow wings from time to time.
    • Many of the demons also have wings, although unlike the Apostle's feathered ones, they look more like a bat's wings. Strangely, only some of them have wings—and it seems like the ones that do are mostly, if not all, male.
  • The final form of Monad Proxy in Ergo Proxy is that of angelic Re-l. Don't ask. It's complicatedly confusing.
  • Sakura in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle does not have literal feathered wings, but more fluid-looking wings which, we are informed, are composed of her collective memories from her birth and have the power to travel across the various dimensions without limit. When the wings are broken, they scatter into feathers of astonishing power, which do not look at all like they should comprise the wings themselves. However, the very first few panels of the first chapter seemed to indicate that Sakura's wings do allow her to fly, but that she does not control them, nor when they sprout from her back.
  • Weiß Kreuz Glühen: the OP features the main characters with wings on their backs. Black ones, to boot. But feathered, not bat-like.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, the Fly card initially puts wings on Sakura's staff, which she would ride on, broom-like. In a later arc, she modifies the card so that it gives her the wings (appropriately angelic and in Perpetual Molt) during a situation that requires her to both fly and use her staff as a sword (using, of course, the Sword card. Clow Reed was nothing if not straightforward in naming).
  • Dark of D.N.Angel. Black and feathery ones. But they actually are his shape-changing pet, With. (Conveniently explaining why they're not always there.)
    • Krad has white, feathery wings. These are apparently real in the sense that they're not shapechanged from anything. It's said that Dark can manifest his own wings, too, but doing so would damage his host, so he refuses to. These two also have an inverted color-code, because Krad is the bad guy (and, thus, willing to cause his host pain), and Dark the good one.
  • Kanna of Air, whose wings are central to the story's plot.
  • Shinigami in Death Note have rather ragged wings of the retractable variety.
  • In Bleach, Hitsugaya's bankai gives him a pair of ice wings, though they seem to be just for show, as most Shinigami of that strength can hover in midair with or without aid of wings.
    • More recently, Uliquorra's resureccion includes bat-like wings.
  • In ef - a tale of memories, Chihiro is shown sprouting wings during the highlight moment of her story arc. It's likely just symbolic, although with that series you can't take anything for granted.
  • Goddesses like Belldandy in Ah! My Goddess can sprout wings — apparently, "borrowed" from their angels.
  • The unnamed girl from On Your Mark by Hayao Miyazaki.
  • Nue in Harukanaru Toki No Naka De could achieve humanoid form and sprout wings in that form at will.
  • Shana in Shakugan no Shana, who grows flame wings during her second fight with Margery Daw.
  • The Tenchi series and Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure have the Light Hawk Wings. They are implied to be the same artifact, but Dual's version only appears on a mech. These wings cannot be used for flight.
  • The Tengu in Black Bird have wings, but they do not appear when they are disguised as humans.
  • In Pokémon Special, there would be a few shots of trainers that appeared to be winged; it's really just a Pokemon behind them. Pure Rule of Cool. Red once looked like he had Aerodactyl wings before it grabbed his shoulders and flew off with him, and another featured Cyrus with his Honchcrow, making him looking like some evil angel. Of course, the most iconic is Yellow and her Butterfree, which actually does clutch onto her back while flying making as look as if she really does have her own wings.
  • Ruby Toujou from Rosario + Vampire is a crow-motif witch who is able to sprout six black wings with razor-sharp feathers.
  • RahXephon had the titular mecha/Dolem having wings on it's head. In the penultimate episode, it grew proper wings from it's back, as did Quon's RahXephon as well.
  • In the Maximum Ride manga, the bird kids' wings disappear and reappear whenever they need to.
  • Konan of Naruto is nicknamed "Angel" by the villagers of Amegakure because of the large pair of paper wings she can create and attach by will. She is however capable of hovering without them.
  • Black Butler: Angela hides her wings to appear human. As Ash, s/he does the same thing.
  • Angel Sanctuary: All the angels, of course, and the demons too. The fact that their wings seem to appear and disappear as they're needed is never explained or commented on, despite housing the angel's immune system.
  • In Eureka Seven AO Eureka, who previously had permanent wings, learns to hide them and is mainly shown wingless. She does use them in several scenes, though, so she's able to manifest them at will.
  • In the epilogue of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Homura is seen sprouting a pair of giant wings out of her back before she fights a bunch of Grief Demons.
  • Ikaros of Heaven's Lost Property has pink wings.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Ignoring the actual angels, both Accelerator and Kakine Teitoku, the two most powerful espers, have the ability to manifest wings. If they do, run, because it means their Story Breaker Power just got turned Up to Eleven. Kakine's six white wings appear to be made of Dark Matter, the same exotic material he's able to produce en masse, while Accelerator's black, somewhat gaseous wings are made of... no one's really sure, but anything that touches them gets annihilated near-instantly.

    Comics 
  • Swift of The Authority can grow both wings and bird claws.
  • The Wasp of The Avengers has insect-like wings that sprout when she shrinks.
  • Following Zero Hour, Hawkman had actual wings which he can shrink out of and into his back, until Exiled from Continuity for awhile.
  • Crux from Red Hood and the Outlaws can turn into a massive reptilian bat-like creature thanks to his mastery of reverse-engineered alien technology. He can also swim lightning quick in this form.

    Fanfic 

  • Kingdom Hearts New Epic The First has the example of Wolfang Richler, though he seems to be more along the lines of Winged Humanoid Abomination. He occasionally manifests wings made of swirling black energy, and dispels them easily and quickly. These really reinforce the thought that this guy doesn't come from this plane of existence.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Sometimes the possession of wings can be gender-specific: In The Dark Crystal, male humanoid Gelflings have no wings, while females have a pair of well-hidden fairy-like wings they can use for gliding.
  • Several major characters in Dogma are angels who generally go around with wings in Hammerspace, but bring them out to impress mortals or go on aerial killing sprees. Notably, in this film, cutting an angel's wings off turns him into a mortal human, subject to things like death and plenary indulgence...
    • Interestingly, the Keanu Reeves-starring remake of Hellblazer, Constantine — which is basically the bearded Spock version of Dogma — uses pretty much the same system, right down to their removal rendering the (former) owner mortal.
      • That was in Hellblazer too, long before the movie, where he used a chainsaw. Film or comic, John Constantine does not like angels.
  • In Splice, Dren's mature and male form has retractable wing-flaps in both arms.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier features Falcon, a superhero with no powers and a pair o mechanical wings.

    Literature 
  • Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Black And Blue Magic is about an Adorkable pre-teen (named Harry, yet) whose mother runs a boarding house. A traveling salesman from what was not, in 1966, a Diagon Alley wizarding supply company (except it totally is), gives him as a parting gift a mysterious bottle. When he uses the ointment in it and recites the first of two incantations, he grows a pair of fluffy white wings. The second rhyme gets rid of the wings (total secrecy is one condition of his receiving this gift). Interestingly enough, even though A Wizard Did It, some attention is paid to the energy requirements necessary with the protagonist having to eat substantial amounts of food to fuel himself, and losing most of his clumsiness in favor of a "real athlete's build". There's also some mention of him feeling like he either has "new muscles, or muscles moving in some new way" across his back and chest when he first spreads his wings out.
  • The Guardians as human-angel hybrids all have wings. They can make theirs appear and disappear by vanishing them into Hammerspace.
  • Crowley and Aziraphale (both angels) have these. They get them out just before the anticlimax. The reason is given as "If you were going to go, you might as well go in your own true shape." and they aren't used. It is specified that angel and demon wings look the same, but further description isn't given.
  • In Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom, wings are used as a mode of transport and can be taken off and shrunken.
    • And the cheaper ones are made of paper.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Zarracka, Rana, Daniar, and Erowin, all have wings because they were blessed by the dragon god, Dronor. When not in use they disappear into Hammer Space inside the girl's back.
  • In The Vampire Diaries book series, Elena Gilbert is a Guardian and possesses special wings of power: These include Wings of Destruction, Wings of Redemption, Wings of Protection, Wings of Remembrance, Wings of Purification, and Wings of the Wind. Her wings only appear when she concentrates or when she wants to use them and they disappear when she is not using them.

    Live Action TV 
  • Castiel of Supernatural shows Dean his wings when they first meet, although most of the time angels opt for teleportation, with wing-y sound effects. They are invisible, but somehow manage to cast shadows, sometimes seen when they're banished and when they die.

    Music 
  • SHINee has them in the end part of the music video of Ring Ding Dong.

    Tabletop Games 
  • There are probably god-knows how many ways for a Dungeons & Dragons character to get themselves a pair of wings, but two common ones are the Dragon Disciple Prestige Class, which allows the character to unlock latent draconic abilities including leathery, draconic wings at the 9th level of the class. The second is the Favoured Soul class from Complete Divine, who gain wings on their 17th level in the class, the style of which is determined by the character's alignment and, thus, Color-Coded for Your Convenience.
    • Quite a few powers, paragon paths and epic destinies in 4th edition let you manifest wings and make them vanish, either at will or for the duration of the power.
    • One of the very first introductory-level published D&D adventures, B1: In Search Of The Unknown, included a room of magic wells, one of which caused the first character to drink from it to sprout wings. So many gaming groups started out with that module that having winged low-level adventurers in a campaign was common for several years.
  • Magic: the Gathering has numerous equippable or enchantable sets of wings. These fall off when the creature leaves the battlefield, and the first three examples can be removed by other, more conventional means. There's also one or two other enchantments that make your creatures into actual angels. This is only a half-example, however, as you can attach these wings to just about ANY creature, not just your humanoids.

    Video Games 
  • The titular Valkyries of Valkyrie Profile are capable of manifesting glowing, feathery wings. This is usually followed by summoning a ridiculously huge spear with which to stab the hell out of some poor sod.
  • Most of the inhabitants of the world in Baten Kaitos have "Wings of the Heart" — retractable wings of all different varieties that apparently respond to emotion. (Early in the game, one young woman's wings come out involuntarily when she's lost in a daydream.) The citizens of The Empire don't have these, and use mechanical wings instead; the hero has one real wing and one metal one. Notably, these wings aren't used for actual flight, except for short distances; long-distance travel is done in flying boats.
  • Quite a few Final Fantasy villains (and a few protagonists) sport wings representative of their status:
    • In Final Fantasy VI, the ascended Kefka gains two angelic pairs of wings and one pair of demonic ones.
    • The One-Winged Angel trope-namer, Sephiroth, in Final Fantasy VII. He actually has seven wings in his final form, but only one is on his torso where it replaces his right arm. It reaches uncomfortably absurd levels in the prequel, Crisis Core, where several other characters gain angelic wings mostly as symbols of their rank. Said wings are always only on one side, and are white for the "good" character and black for the "bad" one.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, Sorceress Ultimecia has black-feathered, frazzled-looking wings, whereas the heroine Rinoa can sprout angelic ones during her "Angel Wing" Limit Break.
    • Rinoa also has white angel wings painted (or sewn) on the back of her sleeveless duster garment ... thing.
      • Also, Leon(aka Squall) has red angel wings shaped just like Rinoa's stenciled or sewn onto the back of his jacket in Kingdom Hearts.
  • Sigma Star Saga gives you the girl wings. Like a girl! The logistics are somewhat addressed by the fact that you can't fly higher than a few inches off the ground, you move extremely slow, and you tire quickly.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, the organization Cruxis, which runs the Church of Martel, is made up mostly of angels, which are believed to be the Goddess' messengers. They're actually half-elves (most of them) with extra powers, most of whom have no souls, and their leader Yggdrasill is the game's Big Bad. The whole thing is his Evil Plan dedicated to getting his sister Martel a new body.
    • Lloyd also gets a pair at the very end of the game.
  • Jak from the Jak and Daxter series gains wings in the third game, as a Light-based power. It's also the only power that doesn't force you out of the mode when the gauge runs out — they'll wait until you land.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker features the Rito, bird-like people who gain wings after receiving the scale of a dragon. In The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Marin grows wings and flies away after the credits if you didn't die any time.
    • Note that the Rito are a special case, since their wings are on their arms, rather than the back. The wings of male Rito turn into sleeve-like warpings around their arms when not in use. The wings of the one female Rito, Medli, however seem to just disappear when she doesn't need them, as she never has sleeves.
  • Summoner has the Sudani, who in the mythical past lost their wings. They are the ancestors of all humans. Thus, almost every character in the games is a Winged Humanoid by descent.
  • Eddie gains a pair of demon wings halfway through Brütal Legend. They can only be used during strategic battles and simply vanish into his back when not in use.
  • Manaketes in Fire Emblem are dragons who take human form(typically old men, or young girls) to conserve their energy. They have retracable wings which are different depending on their dragon tribe of origin. The Majestic Divine Dragons have feathery wings resembling angels, Fire Dragons have wings made of solid flame resembling devils, and the other dragon tribes have reptilian wings in manakete form. Good Wings, Evil Wings may be at play as Divine Dragons have always been friendly, while the other types are usually hostile.
  • Dizzy, from Guilty Gear, possesses a light wing and a dark wing, which morph into an angel and a Grim Reaper.
  • This is the tagline of Aion, the player characters are daeva, basically humans mutated by the energy fields of the world (since they give them immortality and wings, they're often seen as servants of god), they can call and withdraw their wings at will, though they can only fly in designated areas.
  • God of War. Kratos, after tearing them off their original owner, gains the Icarus Wings. They vanish when not in use.
  • Shanoa from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia eventually can obtain the ability to conjure a pair of black wings for flight.
  • Super Mario Strikers - Peach's Mega Strike has her leap into the sky, grow a pair of Hard Light wings and then kick the ball.
  • In BlazBlue, brothers Ragna and Jin will temporarily sprout a single wing after doing their astral finishes.

    Web Comics 
  • Rumisiel, Vashiel and Cassiel from Misfile all have the standard feathery angel wings of the Hammerspace storage variety. They only pop out when they are wanted or needed, needs apparently include flying, though they seem stationary.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Princess Voluptua's true form is a vaguely humanoid butterfly creature with a beautiful pair of huge multicolored wings.
  • Sabine from The Order of the Stick has bat-like wings in her true succubus form, which she can make disappear at will by shapeshifting into a human.
  • MegaTokyo's "Dead Piro Day" sketches, as well as the "Circuity" omake, all feature the women of the comic with various styles of wings, including the haunting "Broken Miho" poster, featuring Tohya Miho with what look like broken mechanical wings with only a few feathers strapped to them. Fred Gallagher has said he is a big Haibane Renmei fan...
  • Zebra Girl: Definitely the evil wings variety, although it isn't really her fault.
  • Slightly Damned's angels are wingless by default; they have to earn their wings in the guise of Sun Pendants, which when worn give the wearer species and alignment appropriate wings.
  • Archipelago has vanishing wings as well as solid ones. Those possessed by Ravens seem to be able to have wings appear whenever they want.
  • The demon's wings in Friendly Hostility can vary from being tiny to large enough to be a beach umbrella. Though a lot of the times they aren't there at all.
  • In Homestuck, trolls gain butterfly wings when they achieve god-tier. They are apparently able to do something to hide them, as Vriska has been seen without her wings.
  • One of Gunnerkrigg Court's plotlines revolves around the revelation of one of these creatures.
  • In The Beast Legion Ginta appears in Issue 5.
  • The Senkari gain wings (with feathers matching their hair color) when they're resurrected.

    Web Original 
  • In Arcana Magi Zero, Alysia Perez and Megumi Miyazaki sprout a pair of wings after they transform into their magical outfits.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The Polish Winged Husaria. And the best thing, they could let them "vanish" whenever they discarded their uniform!
    • Okay, not really this trope, but still. This very trope was very much invoked by being worn on the hussars' armour on the battlefield, mainly for intimidational purposes. Not only were those wings very much a visual Trade Snark from the extremely brutal but efficient heavy cavalry which the Polish hussars were, but it also wanted to make the enemy believe that the hussars, in one respect or another, were closer to God than they. In other words, that God was on the Poles' side.


Wind From Beneath My WingsWinged TropesWinged Unicorn
SatanAngelic TropesWinged Soul Flies Off at Death
Spider LimbsVertebrate with Extra Limbs    
Horned HumanoidMonstrous Humanoid    
Willing ChannelerStock CharactersWorld's Best Warrior
Wild HairOlder Than DirtWoman Scorned
WendigoIndex of Fictional CreaturesYoukai
Haibane RenmeiImageSource/Anime & MangaHana-Kimi

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