Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Main / RiddlingSphinx

Go To



*** Androsphinxes are much like gynosphinxes, but far more intellectual and emotionally aloof; they have relatively little interest in riddles and games of with, but enjoy pondering complex philosophical questions.

to:

*** Androsphinxes are much like gynosphinxes, but far more intellectual and emotionally aloof; they have relatively little interest in riddles and games of with, wit, but enjoy pondering complex philosophical questions.


{{Subtrope}} of RiddleMeThis and ([[OurMonstersAreDifferent usually]]) BeastWithAHumanFace. Related to OnlySmartPeopleMayPass.

to:

{{Subtrope}} of RiddleMeThis and ([[OurMonstersAreDifferent usually]]) BeastWithAHumanFace.RiddleMeThis. Related to OnlySmartPeopleMayPass.



* ''Tabletopgame/DungeonsAndDragons'': There are multiple subspecies of sphynx, of which the gynosphinx is the most like the Greek one. One supplement lists potential riddles for her to use. One riddle, which she uses when she's too hungry to play fair, has the answer "Kill me".
** Module I3 ''Pharaoh''. Inside the tomb of Amun-re the {{PC}}s can encounter an androsphinx who offers to play a RiddleMeThis game with them. If they can answer one of his riddles he will answer a question from them about the tomb. Riddles he can ask include the RiddleOfTheSphinx or a KnightsAndKnaves (Group A always tells the truth and Group B always lies) logic puzzle.
** The gynosphinx is not present in the 4th Edition, but there are sphinxes with magical powers that make games of riddles more dangerous. A normal sphinx (presented as a guardian of tombs and sacred areas) is bound to ask a riddle and let intruders pass if they can answer it. However, if they answer wrong, the sphinx becomes stronger. (In game terms, it gains a temporary bonus to its attack rolls, defenses, one action point, and a second use of a powerful ability it can use to heal itself.)
** The sphinx mystery is an even deadlier creature that is much like the gynosphinx (often challenging prey with riddles for fun instead of attacking outright). One powerful supernatural ability she has (called "Riddle Me This", appropriately) is a mild curse that causes mental damage to a victim if he doesn't at least ''try'' to answer her riddle once per round, and does not end until he tries to answer it. (If the victim gets help from an ally, the spell is broken, [[NoFairCheating but he takes damage one last time.]]) The Game Master doesn't even need an actual riddle; the victim needs to make a History Skill check to solve the riddle. Note that while a wrong answer will end the curse, if a wrong answer is given by a victim who is under it, the sphinx mystery gains the ability to reuse a ''very'' powerful physical attack called Corrective Mauling; given what the usual penalty for a wrong answer is, this clearly gives her an advantage. (Also, a sphinx mystery is under no real obligation to let a victim go if he answers correctly; Riddle Me This is an At Will ability that it can even use while fighting, so in theory, it could ask riddles over and over again during combat. However, the source does say that it might not attack at all if a potential victim simply plays along an answers them.)

to:

* ''Tabletopgame/DungeonsAndDragons'': There Sphinxes are multiple subspecies of sphynx, of which generally associated with either riddles or with knowledge in the gynosphinx is the most like the Greek one. broad sense. One supplement lists potential riddles for her sphinxes to use. One riddle, use; one, which she uses when she's too hungry to play fair, has the as its answer "Kill me".
** Module I3 ''Pharaoh''. ''Pharaoh'': Inside the tomb of Amun-re the {{PC}}s can encounter an androsphinx who offers to play a RiddleMeThis game with them. If they can answer one of his riddles he will answer a question from them about the tomb. Riddles he can ask include the RiddleOfTheSphinx or a KnightsAndKnaves (Group A always tells the truth and Group B always lies) logic puzzle.
** The gynosphinx is not present in the In 4th Edition, but there are sphinxes with magical powers that make games of riddles more dangerous. A normal sphinx (presented as a guardian of tombs and sacred areas) is bound to ask a riddle and let intruders pass if they can answer it. However, if they answer wrong, the sphinx becomes stronger. (In game terms, it gains a temporary bonus to its attack rolls, defenses, one action point, and a second use of a powerful ability it can use to heal itself.)
** The sphinx mystery is an even deadlier creature that is much like the gynosphinx (often challenging challenges prey with riddles for fun instead of attacking outright).outright. One powerful supernatural ability she has (called "Riddle Me This", appropriately) is a mild curse that causes mental damage to a victim if he doesn't at least ''try'' to answer her riddle once per round, and does not end until he tries to answer it. (If the victim gets help from an ally, the spell is broken, [[NoFairCheating but he takes damage one last time.]]) The Game Master doesn't even need an actual riddle; the victim needs to make a History Skill check to solve the riddle. Note that while a wrong answer will end the curse, if a wrong answer is given by a victim who is under it, the sphinx mystery gains the ability to reuse a ''very'' powerful physical attack called Corrective Mauling; given what the usual penalty for a wrong answer is, this clearly gives her an advantage. (Also, a sphinx mystery is under no real obligation to let a victim go if he answers correctly; Riddle Me This is an At Will ability that it can even use while fighting, so in theory, theory it could ask riddles over and over again during combat. However, the source does say that it might not attack at all if a potential victim simply plays along an answers them.)



** Being a derivative of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', ''Pathfinder'' reuses its parent's classic gynosphinx/androsphinx/criosphinx/hieracosphinx setup. The chief difference is that, rather than tying species to parentage, the four races are born specifically of different kinds of mating between a gynosphinx and any of the three males; couplings born of love or respect produce gynospinxes and androsphinxes, couplings born from selfish desires or simple carnal lust produce criosphinxes (which means that both a criosphinx trying to seduce an gynosphinx ''and'' a gynosphinx bedding an androsphinx both have to work to earn their paramour's respect if they want daughters), and [[ChildByRape hieracospinxes are born from acts of hate and violence]]. (However, a gynosphinx is [[MamaBear always fiercely protective of her cubs]], no matter ''who'' the father was or how they were conceived.)
*** The gynosphinxes is the iconic Grecian sphinx, being a lioness with eagle wings and the head of a woman. They love riddles and logical puzzles, and offering one a tempting new riddle to ponder is a fairly efficient way to defuse a bad encounter with one.
*** The androsphinx is the SpearCounterpart to the gynosphinx, but far more intellectual and emotionally aloof; openly described as "prudish", they look down upon sex as messy, fleeting and incomparable to the true pleasures of mental stimulation. Unfortunately for them, the lustier gynosphinxes prefer androsphinxes as their mates and so seek androsphinxes out wherever they can. Not to mention androsphinxes are the most likely to father gynosphinxes in turn and thusly the survival of their species depends on their being brought to bed by gynosphinxes.
*** The crinosphinx is another AlwaysMale sphinx variety, being a comparatively dim-witted (though still above the average human) beast with the head of a ram. They lust ceaselessly after gynosphinxes and, whilst they don't value riddles themselves, they will trade knowledge of them in hopes of being able to use those rituals to help bribe or tempt a gynosphinx into submitting to their lusts. Despite their many flaws, they're the only male sphinx species that actually helps care for the cubs they father.
*** The hieracosphinx is the AlwaysChaoticEvil branch of the sphinx family (literally). With eagle-like heads that make them resemble [[OurGryphonsAreDifferent griffons]], they are the most brutal, stupid (this time objectively rather than comparatively) and foul of their kind, hated and reviled by all others. This is especially because their sole method of propagation is to trap, subdue and rape gynosphinxes.

to:

** Being a derivative of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', ''Pathfinder'' reuses its parent's classic gynosphinx/androsphinx/criosphinx/hieracosphinx setup. The chief difference is that, rather than tying species to parentage, the four races are born specifically of setup, with each variety having a different kinds of mating between a gynosphinx and any of take on the three males; couplings born of love or respect produce gynospinxes and androsphinxes, couplings born from selfish desires or simple carnal lust produce criosphinxes (which means that both a criosphinx trying to seduce an gynosphinx ''and'' a gynosphinx bedding an androsphinx both have to work to earn their paramour's respect if they want daughters), and [[ChildByRape hieracospinxes are born from acts of hate and violence]]. (However, a gynosphinx is [[MamaBear always fiercely protective of her cubs]], no matter ''who'' the father was or how they were conceived.)
*** The gynosphinxes is the iconic Grecian sphinx, being a lioness
association with eagle wings and the head of a woman. They riddles.
*** Gynosphinxes
love riddles and logical puzzles, and offering one a tempting new riddle to ponder is a fairly efficient way to defuse a bad encounter with one.
*** The androsphinx is the SpearCounterpart to the gynosphinx, Androsphinxes are much like gynosphinxes, but far more intellectual and emotionally aloof; openly described as "prudish", they look down upon sex as messy, fleeting have relatively little interest in riddles and incomparable to the true pleasures games of mental stimulation. Unfortunately for them, the lustier gynosphinxes prefer androsphinxes as their mates and so seek androsphinxes out wherever they can. Not to mention androsphinxes with, but enjoy pondering complex philosophical questions.
*** Criosphinxes
are the most likely to father gynosphinxes in turn and thusly the survival of their species depends on their being brought to bed by gynosphinxes.
*** The crinosphinx is another AlwaysMale sphinx variety, being a
comparatively dim-witted (though still above the average human) beast with the head of a ram. human). They lust ceaselessly after gynosphinxes and, whilst they don't value riddles themselves, they known that gynosphinxes do and will trade seek out knowledge of them riddles in hopes of being able order to use those rituals to help bribe or tempt a gynosphinx into submitting to bargain their lusts. Despite their many flaws, they're the only male sphinx species that actually helps care for the cubs they father.
way into a gynosphinx's good graces.
*** The hieracosphinx is Hieracosphinxes are the AlwaysChaoticEvil branch of the sphinx family (literally). With eagle-like heads that make them resemble [[OurGryphonsAreDifferent griffons]], they (literally), and are the most too brutal, stupid (this time objectively rather than comparatively) and foul of their kind, hated and reviled by all others. This is especially because their sole method of propagation is to trap, subdue and rape gynosphinxes.care about knowledge or wits one way or the other. In general, they will just skip straight to attacking travelers rather than asking them anything.

Added DiffLines:

Exactly why sphinxes are driven to do this varies from work to work. Sometimes sphinxes will be depicted as enjoying mental challenges and games of wits, sometimes they'll have mental compulsions driving them to engage others in this manner, and sometimes they'll simply ask riddles without any specific explanation provided for why they do this.


** ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'': Astrosphinxes are mad, evil sphinxes that compulsively ask inane, unanswerable riddles and questions (such as "what's the speed of down?" or "how loud is blue?"). When an answer inevitably fails to come, the astrosphinx tries to kill the one it was asked to. Since an astrosphinx's madness leads it to interrogate everything it meets, including things like wildlife, insects and plants, they tend to strip entire planets of life if allowed to run free in this manner.

to:

** ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'': Astrosphinxes are mad, evil sphinxes that compulsively ask inane, unanswerable riddles and questions (such as "what's the speed of down?" or "how loud is blue?"). When an answer inevitably fails to come, the astrosphinx tries to kill the one it was asked to. Since an astrosphinx's madness leads it to interrogate everything it meets, including things like wildlife, insects and plants, they tend to strip entire planets of life if allowed to run free in this manner. They can be defeated by giving them equally mad answers, which has a 1% chance of causing the astrosphinx to explode in a shower of lightning bolts.

Added DiffLines:

** ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'': Astrosphinxes are mad, evil sphinxes that compulsively ask inane, unanswerable riddles and questions (such as "what's the speed of down?" or "how loud is blue?"). When an answer inevitably fails to come, the astrosphinx tries to kill the one it was asked to. Since an astrosphinx's madness leads it to interrogate everything it meets, including things like wildlife, insects and plants, they tend to strip entire planets of life if allowed to run free in this manner.


* ''Tabletopgame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** There are multiple subspecies of sphynx, of which the gynosphinx is the most like the Greek one. One supplement lists potential riddles for her to use. One riddle, which she uses when she's too hungry to play fair, has the answer "Kill me."

to:

* ''Tabletopgame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
**
''Tabletopgame/DungeonsAndDragons'': There are multiple subspecies of sphynx, of which the gynosphinx is the most like the Greek one. One supplement lists potential riddles for her to use. One riddle, which she uses when she's too hungry to play fair, has the answer "Kill me."me".


%%
%% The examples on this page have been sorted alphabetically. Please help keep this page tidy by adding new ones in order. Thank you!
%%






[[folder:Card Games]]
* ''Tabletopgame/MagicTheGathering'': This is a standard theme for sphinxes, where they are the iconic large creatures for Blue, the color of knowledge and the mind, and often get mechanics related to knowing and guessing.
** The original sphinx, [[https://scryfall.com/card/me1/23/petra-sphinx Petra Sphinx]], had players guess the top card of their libraries. This same guessing game was also used for [[https://scryfall.com/card/c18/84/conundrum-sphinx Conundrum Sphinx]].
** [[https://scryfall.com/card/c18/104/sphinx-of-uthuun Sphinx of Uthuun]] gives your opponent choice of which cards to put into your hand and which to put into your graveyard.
** [[https://scryfall.com/card/dis/114/isperia-the-inscrutable Isperia the Inscrutable]] rewards you if you can correctly guess a card in your opponent's hand. Of course, since they have to reveal their hand if you guess wrong, the riddle is a lot easier the second time.
** [[https://scryfall.com/card/m10/73/sphinx-ambassador Sphinx Ambassador]] secretly chooses one of your opponent's creatures; if they can't guess which one, you get to steal it.
** Even sphinxes who don't have riddle-related gameplay will often reference riddles in their FlavorText, because hey, that's what sphinxes do.
** The [[https://scryfall.com/card/ema/207/sphinx-of-the-steel-wind Sphinx of the Steel Wind]], however, gives the impression that she isn't really interested in this kind of thing, given her favorite riddle -- which, the card notes, nobody's ever answered to her satisfaction: "Why should I spare your life?"
** In ''Literature/TestOfMetal'', Tezzeret's attempts at solving riddles left by the mad sphinx Crucius are a major plot point.
* ''Tabletopgame/YuGiOh'':
** [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Ordeal_of_a_Traveler Ordeal of a Traveler]] forces your opponent's monsters to win a guessing game if they want to attack you; the art depicts a traveler being questioned by a sphinx.
** In the video game ''Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2008'', the player has to solve Duel Puzzles, with the opponent being a monster called [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Guardian_Sphinx Guardian Sphinx]].
** [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Hazy_Flame_Sphynx Hazy Flame Sphynx]] is an essential component to the Hazy Flame archetype (where the usual goal is to summon the incredibly powerful [[TheAce Hazy Flame Basiltrice]]. One per turn, the player can use the Sphynx's effect to guess whether the top card of his deck is a Monster, Spell, or Trap; if he is correct, he discards it and can Special Summon a Fire Attribute monster from his Graveyard or hand.
[[/folder]]



* ''ComicStrip/{{Nero}}'': In ''De [=IJzeren=] Kolonel'' ("The Iron Colonel") Nero and a British colonel are stuck in an Egyptian tomb where the sphinx tells them they are not allowed to leave unless they solve his riddle, which is the famous one from Greek mythology. Nero finally solves it and they are allowed to leave.



* ''ComicStrip/{{Nero}}'': In ''De [=IJzeren=] Kolonel'' ("The Iron Colonel") Nero and a British colonel are stuck in an Egyptian tomb where the sphinx tells them they are not allowed to leave unless they solve his riddle, which is the famous one from Greek mythology. Nero finally solves it and they are allowed to leave.



* The ''Fanfic/ShadowchasersSeries'' mentions several sphinxes.

to:

* The ''Fanfic/ShadowchasersSeries'' mentions several sphinxes.



** It is briefly mentioned that one sphinx cheated because the answer to her riddle was "[[MortonsFork Kill Me.]]" The other sphinxes admired her for being so clever and wanted to use her riddle, but sphinxes are not allowed to copy riddles. However, one sphinx thought her trick was dishonorable and helped the Shadowchasers capture her.
* ''Fanfic/ThroughTheWellOfPirene'': Amelia, Wire and the CMC meet one in the Cup palace, who offers them the typical three riddles or death trial. Amelia answers the first two through a combination of clichedness on the sphinx’s part and {{genre savvy}}ness on hers, but the third proves much trickier. [[spoiler:They don’t answer it -- Sweetie Belle has an emotional breakdown and starts crying and begging the sphinx not to kill them, which guilts her into just letting them go.]]

to:

** It is briefly mentioned that one sphinx cheated because the answer to her riddle was "[[MortonsFork Kill Me.]]" Me]]". The other sphinxes admired her for being so clever and wanted to use her riddle, but sphinxes are not allowed to copy riddles. However, one sphinx thought her trick was dishonorable and helped the Shadowchasers capture her.
* ''Fanfic/ThroughTheWellOfPirene'': Amelia, Wire and the CMC meet one in the Cup palace, who offers them the typical three riddles or death trial. Amelia answers the first two through a combination of clichedness on the sphinx’s sphinx's part and {{genre savvy}}ness on hers, but the third proves much trickier. [[spoiler:They don’t don't answer it -- Sweetie Belle has an emotional breakdown and starts crying and begging the sphinx not to kill them, which guilts her into just letting them go.]]



* In the second ''Animation/PleasantGoatAndBigBigWolf'' film, two sphinxes, one with a goat's head and one with a wolf's head, guard the temple of the totem and ask Weslie and Wolffy how many stars are in the sky. Weslie replies by saying there are as many stars in the sky as there are grains of sand in the desert, prompting the sphinxes to start counting the grains of sand. By the time Weslie and Wolffy make it out of the temple with the totem, the sphinxes are ''still'' counting the grains of sand.

to:

* ''Animation/PleasantGoatAndBigBigWolf'': In the second ''Animation/PleasantGoatAndBigBigWolf'' film, two sphinxes, one with a goat's head and one with a wolf's head, guard the temple of the totem and ask Weslie and Wolffy how many stars are in the sky. Weslie replies by saying there are as many stars in the sky as there are grains of sand in the desert, prompting the sphinxes to start counting the grains of sand. By the time Weslie and Wolffy make it out of the temple with the totem, the sphinxes are ''still'' counting the grains of sand.



* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'', Harry encounters a sphinx in the hedge maze and has to answer a riddle in order to pass by it safely. ''Literature/FantasticBeastsAndWhereToFindThem'' states this as the reason the sphinx is classed as a beast rather than a being as it only speaks in riddles and puzzles and reacts violently if given the wrong answer. (However, she does tell Harry that if he decides ''not'' to give an answer and just retreat, she won't stop him.) Sadly, this scene was not included in the movie version.

to:

* ''Literature/ChroniclesOfAmber'': In the second book, Merlin runs into a sphinx. He's able to counter-riddle it and get away.
* ''Literature/AFantasyAttraction'': A sphinx drops by, spending most of its time asking pointless riddles.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}'': In ''White Plume Mountain'', main characters Escalia and the Justicar encounter a sphinx named Enid when they enter the titular mountain, who asks them to solve her riddle before passing. Escalia, a fairy, instead befriends her with small talk about how much trouble humans have understanding the needs and wants of sapient non-humanoid creatures like fairies and sphinxes, tricking Enid into inadvertently giving the answer (the moon) away. At the end of the novel, Escalia and the Justicar take the time to rescue Enid on the way out and she ends up traveling with them.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'', Harry encounters a sphinx in the hedge maze and has to answer a riddle in order to pass by it safely. safely; however, she does tell Harry that if he decides ''not'' to give an answer and just retreat, she won't stop him. ''Literature/FantasticBeastsAndWhereToFindThem'' states this as the reason the sphinx is classed as a beast rather than a being being, as it only speaks in riddles and puzzles and reacts violently if given the wrong answer. (However, answer.
* ''Literature/TheInfernalMachine'', a retelling of the legend of Oedipus, gives an AlternativeCharacterInterpretation of the Theban Sphinx, where
she does tell Harry is changed to a sympathetic character. She would have ''won'' the contest, as Oedipus cannot guess the answer to her riddle, but she ''tells'' him the answer, simply so she can end her life and be free of the curse that if compels her to kill and also to make him love her. (Explaining why she leaps off the cliff later.) Unfortunately, he decides leaves [[UngratefulBastard without so much as saying thank you]]. The scene ends with [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Anubis taking her soul to Heaven]].
* ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'': The Southern Oracle is protected by two stone sphinxes whose gazes trap a victim within their own mind until he answers every riddle in the world. All their victims die of thirst long before coming close to finishing. They let some people by unharmed, but [[OrangeAndBlueMorality no-one knows just what methods they have]] for determining who is worthy enough to pass; Engywook, who spent all his life studying them, cannot figure it out, and
''not'' for lack of trying.
* Creator/OgdenNash: In the poem "Fables Bullfinch Forgot: The Thirteenth Labor of Hercules", the Roman Gods declared that in order
to give an prove himself worthy of being a god, Hercules had to defeat the Sphinx in a riddle contest.
* Literature/OlogySeries: ''Monsterology'' describes how sphinxes greatly enjoy riddles, a trait they share with dragons.
* ''Literature/{{Pact}}'': Isadora is the daughter of the original sphinx. Where her mother preferred formal riddles, she enjoys framing them as simple questions that nevertheless demand a complex answer. If you're a smartass and
answer and just retreat, "a man" when she won't stop him.) Sadly, this scene was not included in the movie version. asks who you are, though, [[ImAHumanitarian she'll devour you]].



* In ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'', a sphinx asks Pteppic the RiddleOfTheSphinx. Pteppic nitpicks the metaphor and manages to leave the sphinx confused enough that he can make a quick getaway.
* The Southern Oracle in ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'' is protected by two sphinxes whose gazes trap a victim within their own mind until he answers every riddle in the world. All their victims die of thirst long before coming close to finishing. (They let some people by unharmed, but [[OrangeAndBlueMorality no-one knows just what methods they have]] for determining who is worthy enough to pass; Engywook, who spent all his life studying them, cannot figure it out, and ''not'' for lack of trying.)
* Referred to, without an actual sphinx, in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. Of Alleras, who is nicknamed "The Sphinx", Maester Aemon tells Samwell "The Sphinx is the riddle, not the riddler."
* In one ''Literature/SkippyjonJones'' story, the title character is asked this riddle by an Egyptian Sphinx parody called "The Finx":

to:

* In ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'', ''Literature/{{Pyramids}}'', a sphinx asks Pteppic the RiddleOfTheSphinx. Pteppic nitpicks the metaphor and manages to leave the sphinx confused enough that he can make a quick getaway.
* The Southern Oracle in ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'' is protected by two sphinxes whose gazes trap a victim within their own mind until he answers every riddle in the world. All their victims die of thirst long before coming close to finishing. (They let some people by unharmed, but [[OrangeAndBlueMorality no-one knows just what methods they have]] for determining who is worthy enough to pass; Engywook, who spent all his life studying them, cannot figure it out, and ''not'' for lack of trying.)
* Referred to, without an actual sphinx, in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. Of Alleras, who is nicknamed "The Sphinx", Maester Aemon tells Samwell "The Sphinx is the riddle, not the riddler."
*
''Literature/SkippyjonJones'': In one ''Literature/SkippyjonJones'' story, the title character is asked this riddle by an Egyptian Sphinx parody called "The Finx":"the Finx". The answer is [[spoiler:Skippyjon, AKA Skippito Friskito, himself]].



** [[spoiler: It's Skippyjon, AKA Skippito Friskito, himself. He coughs up a hairball and gets it right.]]
* In the second ''Literature/ChroniclesOfAmber'', Merlin runs into a sphinx. Similarly to the Discworld example, he is able to counter-riddle it and get away.
* A sphinx drops by in ''Literature/AFantasyAttraction'', spending most of its time asking pointless riddles.
* In Creator/OgdenNash's poem "Fables Bullfinch Forgot: The Thirteenth Labor of Hercules", the Roman Gods declared that in order to prove himself worthy of being a god, Hercules had to defeat the Sphinx in a riddle contest.
* Isadora, in ''Literature/{{Pact}}'', is the daughter of the original sphinx. Where her mother preferred formal riddles, she enjoys framing them as simple questions that nevertheless demand a complex answer. If you're a smartass and answer "a man" when she asks who you are, though, [[ImAHumanitarian she'll devour you.]]
* Jean Cocteau's ''Literature/TheInfernalMachine'', a retelling of the legend of Oedipus, gives an AlternativeCharacterInterpretation of the Theban Sphinx, where she is changed to a sympathetic character. She would have ''won'' the contest, as Oedipus cannot guess the answer to her riddle, but she ''tells'' him the answer, simply so she can end her life and be free of the curse that compels her to kill and also to make him love her. (Explaining why she leaps off the cliff later.) Unfortunately, he leaves [[UngratefulBastard without so much as saying thank you]]. The scene ends with [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Anubis taking her soul to Heaven]].
* Literature/OlogySeries: ''Monsterology'' describes sphinxes as lions with either human, hawk or ram heads; any of these three varieties may have wings or be flightless. They greatly enjoy riddles, a trait they share with dragons.
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}'' novel ''White Plume Mountain'', main characters Escalia and the Justicar encounter a sphinx named Enid when they enter the titular mountain, who asks them to solve her riddle before passing. Escalia, a fairy, instead befriends her with small talk about how much trouble humans have understanding the needs and wants of sapient non-humanoid creatures like fairies and sphinxes, tricking Enid into inadvertently giving the answer (the moon) away. At the end of the novel, Escalia and the Justicar take the time to rescue Enid on the way out and she ends up traveling with them.

to:

** [[spoiler: It's Skippyjon, AKA Skippito Friskito, himself. He coughs up a hairball and gets it right.]]
* In the second ''Literature/ChroniclesOfAmber'', Merlin runs into a ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': Referred to, without an actual sphinx. Similarly to the Discworld example, he Of Alleras, who is able to counter-riddle it and get away.
* A sphinx drops by in ''Literature/AFantasyAttraction'', spending most of its time asking pointless riddles.
* In Creator/OgdenNash's poem "Fables Bullfinch Forgot: The Thirteenth Labor of Hercules", the Roman Gods declared
nicknamed "The Sphinx", Maester Aemon tells Samwell that in order to prove himself worthy of being a god, Hercules had to defeat the "the Sphinx in a riddle contest.
* Isadora, in ''Literature/{{Pact}}'',
is the daughter of the original sphinx. Where her mother preferred formal riddles, she enjoys framing them as simple questions that nevertheless demand a complex answer. If you're a smartass and answer "a man" when she asks who you are, though, [[ImAHumanitarian she'll devour you.]]
* Jean Cocteau's ''Literature/TheInfernalMachine'', a retelling of the legend of Oedipus, gives an AlternativeCharacterInterpretation of the Theban Sphinx, where she is changed to a sympathetic character. She would have ''won'' the contest, as Oedipus cannot guess the answer to her
riddle, but she ''tells'' him not the answer, simply so she can end her life and be free of the curse that compels her to kill and also to make him love her. (Explaining why she leaps off the cliff later.) Unfortunately, he leaves [[UngratefulBastard without so much as saying thank you]]. The scene ends with [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Anubis taking her soul to Heaven]].
* Literature/OlogySeries: ''Monsterology'' describes sphinxes as lions with either human, hawk or ram heads; any of these three varieties may have wings or be flightless. They greatly enjoy riddles, a trait they share with dragons.
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}'' novel ''White Plume Mountain'', main characters Escalia and the Justicar encounter a sphinx named Enid when they enter the titular mountain, who asks them to solve her riddle before passing. Escalia, a fairy, instead befriends her with small talk about how much trouble humans have understanding the needs and wants of sapient non-humanoid creatures like fairies and sphinxes, tricking Enid into inadvertently giving the answer (the moon) away. At the end of the novel, Escalia and the Justicar take the time to rescue Enid on the way out and she ends up traveling with them.
riddler."



* Dora Sphinx from ''Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger'' (King Sphinx in ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'') takes the human form of a game show host who asks riddles to children (and later, the Rangers), and traps them inside trees when they answer wrong. He even asks the classic sphinx riddle to stump the first kid at the beginning of the episode. The heroes eventually turn this against him, defeating him by [[BriarPatching tricking him into asking them what his weak point is]] (because he always reveals the correct answer to riddles after receiving a wrong answer).

to:

* ''Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger'': Dora Sphinx from ''Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger'' (King Sphinx in ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'') takes the human form of a game show host who asks riddles to children (and later, the Rangers), and traps them inside trees when they answer wrong. He even asks the classic sphinx riddle to stump the first kid at the beginning of the episode. The heroes eventually turn this against him, defeating him by [[BriarPatching tricking him into asking them what his weak point is]] (because he always reveals the correct answer to riddles after receiving a wrong answer).



* This is a standard theme for sphinxes in ''Tabletopgame/MagicTheGathering'', where they are the iconic large creatures for Blue, the color of knowledge and the mind, and often get mechanics related to knowing and guessing.
** The original sphinx, [[http://magiccards.info/lg/en/199.html Petra Sphinx]], had players guess the top card of their libraries. This same guessing game was also used for [[http://magiccards.info/cmd/en/42.html Conundrum Sphinx]].
** [[http://magiccards.info/m12/en/76.html Sphinx of Uthuun]] gives your opponent choice of which cards to put into your hand and which to put into your graveyard.
** [[http://magiccards.info/di/en/114.html Isperia the Inscrutable]] rewards you if you can correctly guess a card in your opponent's hand. Of course, since they have to reveal their hand if you guess wrong, the riddle is a lot easier the second time.
** [[http://magiccards.info/m10/en/73.html Sphinx Ambassador]] secretly chooses one of your opponent's creatures, and if they can't guess which one, you get to steal it.
** Even sphinxes who don't have riddle-related gameplay will often reference riddles in their FlavorText, because hey, that's what sphinxes do.
** This [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=189641 one]], however, gives the impression that she isn't really interested in this kind of thing, given her favorite riddle.
--> '''Sphinx of the Steel Wind:''' Why should I spare your life?
** In the ''Literature/TestOfMetal'' novel, Tezzeret's attempts at solving riddles left by the mad sphinx Crucius are a major plot point.



* ''Tabletopgame/YuGiOh'':
** [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Ordeal_of_a_Traveler Ordeal of a Traveler]] forces your opponent's monsters to win a guessing game if they want to attack you; the art depicts a traveler being questioned by a sphinx.
** In the video game ''Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2008'', the player has to solve Duel Puzzles, with the opponent being a monster called [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Guardian_Sphinx Guardian Sphinx]].
** [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Hazy_Flame_Sphynx Hazy Flame Sphynx]] is an essential component to the Hazy Flame archetype (where the usual goal is to summon the incredibly powerful [[TheAce Hazy Flame Basiltrice]]. One per turn, the player can use the Sphynx's effect to guess whether the top card of his deck is a Monster, Spell, or Trap; if he is correct, he discards it and can Special Summon a Fire Attribute monster from his Graveyard or hand.



* The PointAndClickGame based on ''WesternAnimation/ThePagemaster'' featured a sphinx in the Fantasy World that blocked Richard's entrance to the final part of the game. The riddle was "What is the beginning of eternity, the end of time, and the start of every ending?" The answer is "[[MathematiciansAnswer The letter 'E']]," which has to be presented as the "Electric E" item that Richard gets for clearing the Horror World.
* ''Videogame/WarioMasterOfDisguise'' has a sphinx as the boss of the third level. It asks you a series of questions, and if you answer them wrong, it kills you.
* An Egyptian Sphinx appears in various Kingdoms in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'', where it guards passageways. He only lets Mario get past it if he answers a questions. It travels among Kingdoms with a giant sail and will grant Mario a Power Moon if he spots him with the binoculars.

to:

* The PointAndClickGame based on ''WesternAnimation/ThePagemaster'' featured ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedOdyssey'' features a sphinx in the Fantasy World Sphinx, who you can fight normally, or choose to answer all three of her riddles to beat her.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' has a Sphinx optional boss
that blocked Richard's entrance you can beat through straight combat, or by correctly answering its riddles by hitting it with the proper color elements. The order of the answers to the riddles is the same as the order you need to use elements in the final part of battle to get the game. The riddle was "What is the beginning of eternity, the end of time, and the start of every ending?" The answer is "[[MathematiciansAnswer The letter 'E']]," which has to be presented as the "Electric E" item TrueEnding... [[GuideDangIt not that Richard gets for clearing the Horror World.
* ''Videogame/WarioMasterOfDisguise'' has a sphinx as the boss
there's any indication of the third level. It asks you a series of questions, and if you answer them wrong, it kills you.
* An Egyptian Sphinx appears in various Kingdoms in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'', where it guards passageways. He only lets Mario get past it if he answers a questions. It travels among Kingdoms with a giant sail and will grant Mario a Power Moon if he spots him with the binoculars.
this.]]



* In the Mystery Land board of ''VideoGame/MarioParty 2'', Bowser is cast as the Bowser Sphinx (though he merely wears an Egyptian headdress and isn't winged or lionlike at all) who challenges all comers to identify a silhouette. The Superstar of the board identifies it easily.
* One of the tasks in ''VideoGame/{{Shadowgate}}'' is to give a Sphinx [[TheseQuestionsThree three objects that answer three riddles he gives]].
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' has a Sphinx optional boss that you can beat through straight combat, or by correctly answering its riddles by hitting it with the proper color elements. The order of the answers to the riddles is the same as the order you need to use elements in the final battle to get the TrueEnding... [[GuideDangIt not that there's any indication of this.]]
* Featured as interactive map objects in ''Heroes of Might and Magic 2'', where Heroes visiting a Sphinx must answer the riddle asked or disappear, as if they had been defeated in combat or dismissed by the player.
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedOdyssey'' features a Sphinx, who you can fight normally, or choose to answer all three of her riddles to beat her.
* The different Sphinx enemies in ''VideoGame/FateGrandOrder'' have skills with names like Query and Riddle and their main drops are Scarab of Wisdom, which are said to only be given to truly wise who can solve complex problems.

to:

* In ''VideoGame/FateGrandOrder'': The different Sphinx enemies have skills with names like Query and Riddle and their main drops are Scarab of Wisdom, which are said to only be given to truly wise who can solve complex problems.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'': Featured as interactive map objects in ''2'', where Heroes visiting a Sphinx must answer
the Mystery Land board riddle asked or disappear, as if they had been defeated in combat or dismissed by the player.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePagemaster'': The game featured a sphinx in the Fantasy World that blocks Richard's entrance to the final part
of the game. The riddle is "What is the beginning of eternity, the end of time, and the start of every ending?" The answer is "[[MathematiciansAnswer The letter 'E']]", which has to be presented as the "Electric E" item that Richard gets for clearing the Horror World.
* ''VideoGame/{{Shadowgate}}'': One of the tasks is to give a Sphinx [[TheseQuestionsThree three objects that answer three riddles he gives]].
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
**
''VideoGame/MarioParty 2'', 2'': In the Mystery Land board, Bowser is cast as the Bowser Sphinx (though he merely wears an Egyptian headdress and isn't winged or lionlike at all) who challenges all comers to identify a silhouette. The Superstar of the board identifies it easily.
* One of the tasks ** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'': An Egyptian sphinx appears in ''VideoGame/{{Shadowgate}}'' is to give a Sphinx [[TheseQuestionsThree three objects that answer three riddles various Kingdoms, where it guards passageways. He only lets Mario get past it if he gives]].
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' has
answers a Sphinx optional boss that you can beat through straight combat, or by correctly answering its riddles by hitting it questions. It travels among Kingdoms with a giant sail and will grant Mario a Power Moon if he spots him with the proper color elements. The order binoculars.
* ''Videogame/WarioMasterOfDisguise'' has a sphinx as the boss
of the answers to the riddles is the same as the order third level. It asks you need to use elements in the final battle to get the TrueEnding... [[GuideDangIt not that there's any indication a series of this.]]
* Featured as interactive map objects in ''Heroes of Might
questions, and Magic 2'', where Heroes visiting a Sphinx must if you answer the riddle asked or disappear, as if they had been defeated in combat or dismissed by the player.
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedOdyssey'' features a Sphinx, who you can fight normally, or choose to answer all three of her riddles to beat her.
* The different Sphinx enemies in ''VideoGame/FateGrandOrder'' have skills with names like Query and Riddle and their main drops are Scarab of Wisdom, which are said to only be given to truly wise who can solve complex problems.
them wrong, it kills you.



[[folder:Web Comics]]

to:

[[folder:Web Comics]][[folder:Webcomics]]



* ''Webcomic/MixedMyth'': The protagonist runs afoul of a sphinx early on in the story. The answer she gives sounds like it ''should'' be right, which causes the sphinx to realize that it's been so long since someone got it right that she's forgotten what the right answer is, so they'll have to head back to her home to check the answer (our heroine is wrong, but gets points for creativity, which lets her off the hook since she managed to endear herself to the sphinx on the journey).



* Phix in ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'' sets the same riddle to both Monica and Shelly as a test to see if they're ready to fix the Calender Machine. They each give different answers and Phix rewards them both -- without, however, saying that either answer is ''right''.
* The protagonist in ''Webcomic/MixedMyth'' runs afoul of a sphinx early on in the story. The answer she gives sounds like it ''should'' be right, which causes the sphinx to realize that it's been so long since someone got it right that she's forgotten what the right answer is, so they'll have to head back to her home to check the answer (our heroine is wrong, but gets points for creativity, which lets her off the hook since she managed to endear herself to the sphinx on the journey).
* Played with in ''Webcomic/SkinDeep''. Michelle Jocasta, who is a Sphinx -- specially a winged grecian sphinx, as opposed to a wingless Egyptian sphinxes that also exist in the comic -- once dressed up for Halloween as the Riddler, because [[WordOfGod she thinks]] [[LampshadeHanging she's being clever]]. As a general rule, it's averted with her. WordOfGod states that she's no more prone to asking riddles than any other person. She does, however, have undeveloped oracular powers, as this is an inborn trait of sphinxes.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Paranatural}}'' Max and Isaac find a sphinx-like creature that tells them to answer correctly two of his three riddles. The first one seems to be the classic RiddleOfTheSphinx but the answer was "that guy" (a random passerby monster). Later on we see Isaac faling the last riddle and so he can't cross the Sphinx's bridge magical barrier... but since the "bridge" is only a plank over a small stream, he just casually walks over it.
* Inverted in ''Webcomic/SkinHorse'' with the Antisphinx. OnlySmartPeopleMayPass, but ''you'' have to come up with a riddle ''it'' can't answer. And there's a further twist: [[spoiler: this does not mean a riddle it can't answer ''correctly'']].
* Parodied in an extra strip in the book edition of the fifth ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' arc, "Blood Runs in the Family". The heroes visit a roadside stop with a sphinx as a cashier. Not only does the sphinx speak in riddles, but to ask it a question, one needs to phrase it as a riddle as well, even a prosaic question like "which way is the restroom?". Elan, being a bard, is adept at it, but when Vaarsuvius tries it, his/her SesquipedalianLoquaciousness ends up confusing the sphinx... resulting in a shower of confetti and a reward of a free ice cream cone for managing such a feat.

to:

* Phix ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Parodied in ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'' sets an extra strip in the same riddle to both Monica and Shelly as a test to see if they're ready to fix book edition of the Calender Machine. They each give different answers and Phix rewards them both -- without, however, saying that either answer is ''right''.
*
fifth arc, "Blood Runs in the Family". The protagonist in ''Webcomic/MixedMyth'' runs afoul of heroes visit a roadside stop with a sphinx early on in the story. The answer she gives sounds like it ''should'' be right, which causes as a cashier. Not only does the sphinx speak in riddles, but to realize ask it a question, one needs to phrase it as a riddle as well, even a prosaic question like "which way is the restroom?". Elan, being a bard, is adept at it, but when Vaarsuvius tries it, his/her SesquipedalianLoquaciousness ends up confusing the sphinx... resulting in a shower of confetti and a reward of a free ice cream cone for managing such a feat.
* ''Webcomic/{{Paranatural}}'': Max and Isaac find a sphinx-like creature
that it's been so long since someone got it right that she's forgotten what the right tells them to answer is, so they'll have correctly two of his three riddles. The first one seems to head back to her home to check be the classic RiddleOfTheSphinx but the answer (our heroine is wrong, was "that guy" (a random passerby monster). Later on we see Isaac faling the last riddle and so he can't cross the Sphinx's bridge magical barrier... but gets points for creativity, which lets her off the hook since she managed to endear herself to the sphinx on the journey).
"bridge" is only a plank over a small stream, he just casually walks over it.
* ''Webcomic/SkinDeep'': Played with in ''Webcomic/SkinDeep''.with. Michelle Jocasta, who is a Sphinx -- specially a winged grecian sphinx, as opposed to a wingless Egyptian sphinxes that also exist in the comic -- once dressed up for Halloween as the Riddler, because [[WordOfGod she thinks]] [[LampshadeHanging she's being clever]]. As a general rule, it's averted with her. WordOfGod states that she's no more prone to asking riddles than any other person. She does, however, have undeveloped oracular powers, as this is an inborn trait of sphinxes.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Paranatural}}'' Max and Isaac find a sphinx-like creature that tells them to answer correctly two of his three riddles. The first one seems to be the classic RiddleOfTheSphinx but the answer was "that guy" (a random passerby monster). Later on we see Isaac faling the last riddle and so he can't cross the Sphinx's bridge magical barrier... but since the "bridge" is only a plank over a small stream, he just casually walks over it.
*
''Webcomic/SkinHorse'': Inverted in ''Webcomic/SkinHorse'' with the Antisphinx. OnlySmartPeopleMayPass, but ''you'' have to come up with a riddle ''it'' can't answer. And there's a further twist: [[spoiler: this does not mean a riddle it can't answer ''correctly'']].
* Parodied in an extra strip in ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'': Phix sets the book edition of the fifth ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' arc, "Blood Runs in the Family". The heroes visit a roadside stop with a sphinx as a cashier. Not only does the sphinx speak in riddles, but to ask it a question, one needs to phrase it as a same riddle to both Monica and Shelly as well, even a prosaic question like "which way is test to see if they're ready to fix the restroom?". Elan, being a bard, is adept at it, but when Vaarsuvius tries it, his/her SesquipedalianLoquaciousness ends up confusing the sphinx... resulting in a shower of confetti Calender Machine. They each give different answers and a reward of a free ice cream cone for managing such a feat.Phix rewards them both -- without, however, saying that either answer is ''right''.



* In the first episode of [[creator/Ukinojoe]]'s "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_tuZbNNMz4 Great: The Show]]", the opening episode follows a band of travelers venturing the desert in search of "the perfect Bar Mitzvah" when they finally find the magic sphinx, which asks them to "explain the global socioeconomic crisis." One of the members of the band, a monochromatic, geometric lion, attempts to answer, only to be cut off with a booming "INCORRECT!"

to:

* In the first episode of [[creator/Ukinojoe]]'s "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_tuZbNNMz4 Great: The Show]]", Show]]": In the first episode, the opening episode follows a band of travelers venturing the desert in search of "the perfect Bar Mitzvah" when they finally find the magic sphinx, which asks them to "explain the global socioeconomic crisis." One of the members of the band, a monochromatic, geometric lion, attempts to answer, only to be cut off with a booming "INCORRECT!"



* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}'', the sphinx asked Batman and Robin, "What builds up castles and tears down mountains, makes some men blind and helps others to see?" The answer was "sand". The sphinx was a SoreLoser and attacked them anyway, but they quickly defeated it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries'', a sphinx asks Sabrina and Chloe the RiddleOfTheSphinx. Chloe answers "Man." Unfortunately, as it turns out, there's a magical nine-legged creature that fits the riddle a bit more literally.
* In an episode of Disney's ''WesternAnimation/{{Hercules}}'', the Sphinx is a quizmaster, voiced by game show host Wink Martindale. His riddle was "[[ToiletHumor What does a man do standing up, a woman sitting down, and a dog on three legs?]]" The answer is [[spoiler:[[SubvertedPunchline shake hands]]]]. [[note]]This is a reference to the induction ceremony for the Turtle Club, a real-life BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats: the inductee is given a series of riddles that seem like setups for lewd jokes, but has to give the correct, family-friendly answer to each one.[[/note]]

to:

* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}'', the sphinx asked Batman and Robin, "What builds up castles and tears down mountains, ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfPussInBoots'': The Sphinx notes that this makes some men blind her way cooler than her twin sister Callista, who doesn't tell riddles at all and helps others just outright attacks people instead. Too bad Puss proves atrocious at riddles.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}}'': In "Brinkadoom",
to see?" The escape from the eponymous disappearing village, Beetlejuice and Lydia must correctly answer was "sand". The sphinx was a SoreLoser and attacked them anyway, but they quickly defeated it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries'', a sphinx asks Sabrina and Chloe the RiddleOfTheSphinx. Chloe answers "Man." Unfortunately, as it turns out, there's a magical nine-legged creature that fits
the riddle posed by the Stinx, a bit more literally.
giant sphinx-like skunk with the personality of a game show host.
* ''WesternAnimation/ExtremeGhostbusters'': A riddling Sphinx was one of the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters of the Week]] the protagonists face. Said Sphinx's human face is actually a mask hiding a mishmash of mass of teeth, eyes and tentacles, which it only removes to drain the intelligence of anyone it deems the brightest minds who fail to answer its riddle. At the end of the episode, Egon is able to answer the Sphinx's riddle, immediately sending it down a VillainousBreakdown since no one answered it correctly before (apparently only Egon had bothered to read up on his Greek Mythology), and hence vulnerable to capture.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hercules}}'':
In an episode of Disney's ''WesternAnimation/{{Hercules}}'', one episode, the Sphinx is a quizmaster, voiced by game show host Wink Martindale. His riddle was "[[ToiletHumor What does a man do standing up, a woman sitting down, and a dog on three legs?]]" The answer is [[spoiler:[[SubvertedPunchline shake hands]]]]. [[note]]This is a reference to the induction ceremony for the Turtle Club, a real-life BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats: the inductee is given a series of riddles that seem like setups for lewd jokes, but has to give the correct, family-friendly answer to each one.[[/note]][[/note]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'':
** In one episode, the cast come across one of these when traveling through a desert.
** In the episode "Let's Play Prince Charming", Mr. Cat disguises himself as a sphinx and asks a riddle which is clearly a parody of the RiddleOfTheSphinx:
--->'''Mr. Cat:''' I have two arms in the morning, four ears in the afternoon and seven tentacles in the evening. Who am I?



* In the four-part "Smurfquest" episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'', where Grandpa Smurf led Papa Smurf, Smurf, Hefty, Handy, Greedy, Sassette (who had stowed away) to the "four corners of the world" to find the components to recharge the Long Life Stone, their second stop was apparently Egypt, where they had to deal with a sphinx like this. Sassette was actually the one who guessed the answer to the creature's riddle [[spoiler:which was "a shadow"]]; probably a good thing she tagged along. However, Gargamel, who was secretly following them, couldn't guess it, and found himself being chased by the now-angry sphinx.
* One of the episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TheMummyTheAnimatedSeries'' had the O'Conner family dealing with exactly that. After they shout out the correct answer, the attacking [[MadeOfExplodium Sphinx promptly explodes]].
* A riddling Sphinx was one of the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters of the Week]] the teenage protagonists faced in ''WesternAnimation/ExtremeGhostbusters''. Said Sphinx's "human face" was actually a mask hiding a mishmash of mass of teeth, eyes and tentacles, which it only removed to drain the intelligence of anyone it deemed the brightest minds who failed to answer its riddle. At the end of the episode, Egon is able to answer the Sphinx's riddle, immediately sending it down a VillainousBreakdown since no one had answered it correctly before (apparently only Egon had bothered to read up on his Greek Mythology), and hence vulnerable to capture.
* One Sphinx appears in "Quest Buy" from ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil''. Marco and Star manage to blow through the riddle thanks to the Internet.
* The Sphinx in ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfPussInBoots'' is one of these. She notes that this makes her way cooler than her twin sister Callista, who doesn't tell riddles at all and just outright attacks people instead. Too bad Puss proves atrocious at riddles.
* In the episode "Brinkadoom", to escape from the eponymous disappearing village, WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}} and Lydia must correctly answer the riddle posed by the Stinx, a giant sphinx-like skunk with the personality of a game show host.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'':
** In one episode, the cast come across one of these when traveling through a desert.
** In the episode "Let's Play Prince Charming", Mr. Cat disguises himself as a sphinx and asks a riddle which is clearly a parody of the RiddleOfTheSphinx:
-->'''Mr. Cat:''' I have two arms in the morning, four ears in the afternoon and seven tentacles in the evening. Who am I?

to:

* In the four-part "Smurfquest" ''WesternAnimation/TheMummyTheAnimatedSeries'': One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'', where Grandpa Smurf led Papa Smurf, Smurf, Hefty, Handy, Greedy, Sassette (who had stowed away) to the "four corners of the world" to find the components to recharge the Long Life Stone, their second stop was apparently Egypt, where they had to deal with a sphinx like this. Sassette was actually the one who guessed the answer to the creature's riddle [[spoiler:which was "a shadow"]]; probably a good thing she tagged along. However, Gargamel, who was secretly following them, couldn't guess it, and found himself being chased by the now-angry sphinx.
* One of the episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TheMummyTheAnimatedSeries'' had
has the O'Conner family dealing deal with exactly that. After they shout out the correct answer, the attacking [[MadeOfExplodium Sphinx promptly explodes]]. \n* A riddling Sphinx was one of the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters of the Week]] the teenage protagonists faced in ''WesternAnimation/ExtremeGhostbusters''. Said Sphinx's "human face" was actually a mask hiding a mishmash of mass of teeth, eyes and tentacles, which it only removed to drain the intelligence of anyone it deemed the brightest minds who failed to answer its riddle. At the end of the episode, Egon is able to answer the Sphinx's riddle, immediately sending it down a VillainousBreakdown since no one had answered it correctly before (apparently only Egon had bothered to read up on his Greek Mythology), and hence vulnerable to capture.\n* One Sphinx appears in "Quest Buy" from ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil''. Marco and Star manage to blow through the riddle thanks to the Internet.\n* The Sphinx in ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfPussInBoots'' is one of these. She notes that this makes her way cooler than her twin sister Callista, who doesn't tell riddles at all and just outright attacks people instead. Too bad Puss proves atrocious at riddles.\n* In the episode "Brinkadoom", to escape from the eponymous disappearing village, WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}} and Lydia must correctly answer the riddle posed by the Stinx, a giant sphinx-like skunk with the personality of a game show host.\n* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'':\n** In one episode, the cast come across one of these when traveling through a desert.\n** In the episode "Let's Play Prince Charming", Mr. Cat disguises himself as a sphinx and asks a riddle which is clearly a parody of the RiddleOfTheSphinx:\n-->'''Mr. Cat:''' I have two arms in the morning, four ears in the afternoon and seven tentacles in the evening. Who am I?


Added DiffLines:

* In ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries'', a sphinx asks Sabrina and Chloe the RiddleOfTheSphinx. Chloe answers "Man." Unfortunately, as it turns out, there's a magical nine-legged creature that fits the riddle a bit more literally.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'': In "Smurfquest", where Grandpa Smurf led Papa Smurf, Smurf, Hefty, Handy, Greedy, Sassette (who had stowed away) to the "four corners of the world" to find the components to recharge the Long Life Stone, their second stop was apparently Egypt, where they had to deal with a sphinx like this. Sassette was actually the one who guessed the answer to the creature's riddle [[spoiler:which was "a shadow"]]; probably a good thing she tagged along. However, Gargamel, who was secretly following them, couldn't guess it, and found himself being chased by the now-angry sphinx.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'': One Sphinx appears in "Quest Buy". Marco and Star manage to blow through the riddle thanks to the Internet.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}'': In one episode, a sphinx asked Batman and Robin "What builds up castles and tears down mountains, makes some men blind and helps others to see?" The answer was "sand". The sphinx was a SoreLoser and attacked them anyway, but they quickly defeated it.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]

to:

[[folder:Anime and & Manga]]



[[folder:Comics]]

to:

[[folder:Comics]][[folder:Comic Books]]



* The ''FanFic/ShadowchasersSeries'' mentions several sphinxes.

to:

* The ''FanFic/ShadowchasersSeries'' ''Fanfic/ShadowchasersSeries'' mentions several sphinxes.



* ''FanFic/ThroughTheWellOfPirene'': Amelia, Wire and the CMC meet one in the Cup palace, who offers them the typical three riddles or death trial. Amelia answers the first two through a combination of clichedness on the sphinx’s part and {{genre savvy}}ness on hers, but the third proves much trickier. [[spoiler:They don’t answer it -- Sweetie Belle has an emotional breakdown and starts crying and begging the sphinx not to kill them, which guilts her into just letting them go.]]

to:

* ''FanFic/ThroughTheWellOfPirene'': ''Fanfic/ThroughTheWellOfPirene'': Amelia, Wire and the CMC meet one in the Cup palace, who offers them the typical three riddles or death trial. Amelia answers the first two through a combination of clichedness on the sphinx’s part and {{genre savvy}}ness on hers, but the third proves much trickier. [[spoiler:They don’t answer it -- Sweetie Belle has an emotional breakdown and starts crying and begging the sphinx not to kill them, which guilts her into just letting them go.]]



[[folder:Film -- Animated]]

to:

[[folder:Film [[folder:Films -- Animated]]Animation]]



[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]

to:

[[folder:Film [[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]



[[folder:Webcomics]]

to:

[[folder:Webcomics]][[folder:Web Comics]]



[[folder:Web Original]]

to:

[[folder:Web Original]]Videos]]



* The Sphinx in ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfPussInBoots'' is one of these. She notes that this makes her way cooler than her twin sister Callista, who doesn't tell riddles at all and just outright attacks people instead.
* In the episode "Brinkadoom," to escape from the eponymous disappearing village, WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}} and Lydia must correctly answer the riddle posed by the Stinx, a giant sphinx-like skunk with the personality of a game show host.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'', the cast come across one of these when traveling through a desert.

to:

* The Sphinx in ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfPussInBoots'' is one of these. She notes that this makes her way cooler than her twin sister Callista, who doesn't tell riddles at all and just outright attacks people instead.
instead. Too bad Puss proves atrocious at riddles.
* In the episode "Brinkadoom," "Brinkadoom", to escape from the eponymous disappearing village, WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}} and Lydia must correctly answer the riddle posed by the Stinx, a giant sphinx-like skunk with the personality of a game show host.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'':
**
In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'', episode, the cast come across one of these when traveling through a desert.



-->'''Mr. Cat''': I have two arms in the morning, four ears in the afternoon and seven tentacles in the evening. Who am I?

to:

-->'''Mr. Cat''': Cat:''' I have two arms in the morning, four ears in the afternoon and seven tentacles in the evening. Who am I?




Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Tamagotchi}}'': Mametchi and his friends come across one resembling Kuchipatchi in episode 136. It asks the standard RiddleOfTheSphinx ("What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, three legs in the evening, and no legs at night?"), which Mametchi almost answers with a Tamagotchi before realizing not all Tamagotchis have legs in the first place, with the Gotchi King in particular coming to mind. He changes his guess to a human, which is the correct answer and allows him and his friends to continue their search for the Crystal Crown.
[[/folder]]

Added DiffLines:

* The different Sphinx enemies in ''VideoGame/FateGrandOrder'' have skills with names like Query and Riddle and their main drops are Scarab of Wisdom, which are said to only be given to truly wise who can solve complex problems.

Added DiffLines:

[[quoteright:164:[[Webcomic/{{Oglaf}} https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sphinx.PNG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:164:It's a f**ing book, okay?]]


* An Egyptian Sphinx appears in various Kingdoms in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'', where it guards passageways. He only lets Mario get past it if he answers a questions. It travels among Kingdoms with a giant balloon and will grant Mario a Power Moon if he spots him with the binoculars.

to:

* An Egyptian Sphinx appears in various Kingdoms in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'', where it guards passageways. He only lets Mario get past it if he answers a questions. It travels among Kingdoms with a giant balloon sail and will grant Mario a Power Moon if he spots him with the binoculars.


* An Egyptian Sphinx appears in various Kingdoms in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'', where it guards passageways. He only lets Mario get past it if he answers a questions.

to:

* An Egyptian Sphinx appears in various Kingdoms in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'', where it guards passageways. He only lets Mario get past it if he answers a questions. It travels among Kingdoms with a giant balloon and will grant Mario a Power Moon if he spots him with the binoculars.

Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* In the second ''Animation/PleasantGoatAndBigBigWolf'' film, two sphinxes, one with a goat's head and one with a wolf's head, guard the temple of the totem and ask Weslie and Wolffy how many stars are in the sky. Weslie replies by saying there are as many stars in the sky as there are grains of sand in the desert, prompting the sphinxes to start counting the grains of sand. By the time Weslie and Wolffy make it out of the temple with the totem, the sphinxes are ''still'' counting the grains of sand.
[[/folder]]


* In a print-only strip for the book 5 collection of ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', the heroes visit a roadside stop with a sphinx as a cashier. The sphinx speaks exclusively in riddles, but [[TheDitz Elan]] has a surprising knack for them due to his bard training. Vaarsuvius is so verbose, they inadvertently win two free ice creams by stumping it.



* Parodied in an extra strip in the book edition of the fifth ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' arc, "Blood Runs in the Family". Not only does the sphinx speak in riddles, but to ask it a question, one needs to phrase it as a riddle as well, even a prosaic question like "which way is the restroom?". Elan, being a bard, is adept at it, but when Vaarsuvius tries it, his/her SesquipedalianLoquaciousness ends up confusing the sphinx... resulting in a shower of confetti and a reward of a free ice cream cone for managing such a feat.

to:

* Parodied in an extra strip in the book edition of the fifth ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' arc, "Blood Runs in the Family". The heroes visit a roadside stop with a sphinx as a cashier. Not only does the sphinx speak in riddles, but to ask it a question, one needs to phrase it as a riddle as well, even a prosaic question like "which way is the restroom?". Elan, being a bard, is adept at it, but when Vaarsuvius tries it, his/her SesquipedalianLoquaciousness ends up confusing the sphinx... resulting in a shower of confetti and a reward of a free ice cream cone for managing such a feat.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 132

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report