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A Head at Each End

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Twice the llama, twice the spitting.

In Real Life, most animals' innards are basically tubes: a mouth at one end, an anus at the other, so food can be processed step by step as it passes from entry to exit. In fiction, it's entirely possible for creatures to omit the latter portion, and double up on the former: they'll have a spare head on the tip of a tail, or symmetrical bodies in which the forequarters of two animals — sometimes of the same species, sometimes different ones — are joined at the waist.

If the two heads have separate brains, or come from different species, expect plenty of arguments between the two. Fridge Logic issues of how some of these creatures get rid of their waste are either primly ignored or joked about.

CatDog is a recent Trope Codifier, having inherited that role from the Pushmi-Pullyu. Another common iteration of this trope is a snake with a head at each end of its body, inspired by the Greek amphisbaena.

Has nothing to do with the other head.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Buster Keel!: the Twin Heads is a giant serpent monster living in a flooded sewer who, at first, appears to be a giant two-headed horned snake but, upon being defeated, reveals himself to be a case of this. Lavie Lampshades the improbable anatomy, asking how a monster with a head at each end is supposed to poop.
  • Mazinger Z: Several Mykene War Beasts have a head at each end (which happens fairly often, since all Mykene War Beasts have several heads). This trope is used for first time in the Mazinger universe in the Mazinger Z vs. Great General of Darkness feature.
  • Ranma ½: Played with the Orochi, which has seven small heads on one end and a single, mountainous head on the opposite end.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Diabound has a snake in place of its legs. The even more powerful Zorc Necrophades has a dragon-like head coming out of his crotch (which is poorly edited to come out of his chest in the English dub). Dartz also uses a card called Twin Bow Centaur that manages to be this tropes without having any heads. It looks like two centaurs conjoined at the waists of the horse bodies but the human bodies do not have heads, so it is headless at both ends.

    Asian Animation 
  • Tik Tak Tail has a variation, in that the tiger Tak's tail is an entity of its own, rather than there being another full head on Tak's back. Regardless, Tail does have a visible face with eyes and a mouth.

    Comic Books 
  • In the alternate Marvel Universe of Earth X, most if not all of the normal humans on Earth have been mutated by terrigen mists in the atmosphere. At one point, it's revealed that Wong mutated so that his lower half became identical to his upper body, only it had an evil personality and took control over him.
  • Paperinik New Adventures: Emperor-class Evronians grow another head on the tip of their long tails. Oddly enough, said head does all the talking and seems cognizant, while the "normal" head only serves to shoot blasts of energy, but is still the most expressive.

    Comic Strips 
  • In the comic strips of Cricket, a children's magazine, the earthworm is treated as two characters: its front end, George, and its back end, Tail. The pair of them have different personalities.
  • In the newspaper strip Nest Heads, one of Nick's imaginary insects is the Milli-Vanillipede. One of this many-legged creature's two heads sings, the other lip-synchs.
  • Inverted in a Sesame Street comic strip in which Professor Drummond Bugle encountered a reptilian "beast with two tails". As he examined it, he discovered that it had a tail at each end.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Pony POV Series, Discord ended up doing this to the Spa Twins, Aloe and Lotus, leaving them so badly traumatized they could hardly stand to touch each other afterwards.
  • Episode I of Star Wars: Paranormalities featured a giant garbage-eating worm with a head on each end in Chapter 7. Unfortunately for Zolph, he learns that the creatures use its heads for both eating and waste disposal (the latter done out the opposite head), and the waste is highly acidic. This is justified on account of the worm being a mutant.
  • Zak and Ko of Zany to the Max.

    Film — Animation 
  • In 9, the Seamstress is a mechanical horror with a doll's head at one end and the salvaged upper body of a soul-drained stitchpunk at the other.
  • One of the less-aggressive animal encounters in The Croods is with the Trip Gerbils, lemur-like creatures joined at either end of a long striped tail.
  • During the "Pink Elephants on Parade" number in Dumbo, two of the elephants cross through each other and briefly become this.
  • The Vanterviper from Gallavants has two heads as such...but one is male and the other female. And they hate each other so much, they even sing a weird song on their woeful plight.
  • In The Book of Life, Xibalba's staff animates as a snake with venomous heads on each end. Being bitten by one head puts Maria into a coma, while being bitten by both kills Manolo.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • This is how The Asylum's computer animators managed to shoehorn head #5 into the title creature of 5-headed Shark Attack.
  • One of the cobbled-together undead from the sealed tunnel in Bride of Re-Animator consists of the upper halves of two cadavers, their truncated waists stuck together end-to-end.
  • In the 1967 film Doctor Dolittle, it's a two-front-ended llama: a creature actually mentioned in Peruvian folklore.
  • It also appears briefly in the 1998 Eddie Murphy Dr. Dolittle as a nod to the original source material.
  • One of these creatures was spotted in the cavern from the film Evolution (2001), during its bug-dominated period.
  • In a deleted scene from The Fly (1986), Brundle's test run of his triple-telepod apparatus turns a cat and a baboon into a hideous Mix-and-Match Critter with the two test animals' respective heads facing in opposite directions.
  • The Mix-and-Match Critter in Sharktopus has a shark head at one end and a cephalopod's beak embedded among the tentacles at the other.
  • One strange sea serpent-like creature in Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams initially appears to have two side-by-side heads, but later is revealed to be designed in this manner.
  • In Stardust, one of the market stalls has a cage on display containing a miniature elephant with heads at both ends. Mention is also made of a "two-faced dog".
    Ferdy the Fence: Very good guard dogs; they can watch the front door and the back door at the same time.
  • Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers: Giga Khimaira has four heads at its front (King Silvergon's, Goldra's, Guesra's and Super Alien Hipporit's) and King Pandon's two heads in its posterior area.
  • Referenced in the small mammal Nature Documentary Tiny Giants, when the narrator describes the desert centipede battled by the film's grasshopper mouse protagonist as a "two-headed monster". To the mouse, which closes its eyes to protect them and relies on its whiskers' tactile sensitivity to detect its opponent, the centipede's head and tail ends really would seem identical to the touch.

  • Two hunters ask their guide to settle a dispute between them as to which animal is the angriest: the lion or the crocodile. The guide answers that it's neither, the angriest animal is the crocolion, a beast that's the front half of a lion and the front half of a crocodile joined in the middle. The hunters protest that this animal can't exist, being unable to poop. The guide answers "Why do you think it's the angriest animal of all?"
  • An earthworm pops its head out of the ground and sees another earthworm do the same. The first earthworm says "Wow! You're the most beautiful worm I've ever seen! Will you marry me?" And the other earthworm says, "I can't, silly! I'm your other end!"

  • After Man: A Zoology of the Future: The terratail is a subversion: it has markings on its tail that make it resemble a venomous snake, allowing this small rodent to perform a Backup Bluff, complete with a realistic hiss, when threatened by predatory birds.
  • All Tomorrows: The amphicephali are an alien species resembling large snakes with a head at each end of their bodies, and small secondary body that can move between their two pairs of jaws.
  • Book of Imaginary Beings: The amphisbaena, a snake with an additional head instead of a tail. Borges describes a similar snake from the Antillles, called the doble andadora ("both-ways-goer"), and that some medieval conceptions of the basilisk gave it an additional rooster's head at the end of its tail. Sir Thomas Browne believed that no such creature could exist, as every animal needs to have a front, behind, top and bottom, and a creature with a head at each end would have two front and no behind and be therefore impossible.
  • Utods in The Dark Light Years by Brian W. Aldiss. The other head has an anus in place of a mouth, but the body plan is otherwise front-to-back symmetrical.
  • Doctor Dolittle: In the novels, the Pushmi-Pullyu is an antelope with two front halves, attached at the waist.
  • Doctor Who New Adventures: The Process, the monster in Time's Crucible. The Process resembled a slimy worm or leech, but with lamprey-like mouths at each end.
  • Expedition: The Littralope invokes this image in-universe, having an entire simulated head on its rear end to confuse predators as to which way it's facing. Since the Littralopes, like all the other creatures on the planet, have no eyes or mouths, this ruse is pretty effective.
  • Fragment: Some of the freakish and terrifying animals have at least parts of a head at their rear end, including one that eats through its hind mouth and a few with rear brains and eyes.
  • In Harry Potter, double-ended newts are sold at the Magical Menagerie, a wizarding pet shop in Diagon Alley.
  • The Integral Trees: In a vegetative variant, the Smoke Ring is home to trees that grow in microgravity and have a leafy crown at each end of their trunks.
  • Nomes Trilogy: Grimma thought that Big John was this trope at first glance, as both the earthmover's bulldozer-blade and steam-shovel scoop had "teeth" on them.
  • In The World of Poo, one of the weird animals in the Ankh-Morpork menagerie is a variety of goat so shaggy, its head and tail ends are completely indistinguishable unless it sticks out its tongue.
  • Xanth: One novel has a brief gag where a Naga (a giant snake with a woman's head) is affected by a field that amplifies magic, and suddenly winds up with a head on each end. She's rather freaked out by it. It only lasts a moment, though.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Odd Squad: According to Oscar's discourse on symmetry, the swimming pool was designed by an agent who was symmetrical top-to-bottom. The actual agent isn't shown, but a drawing of him (complete with dashed line to show his plane of symmetry) does appear.
  • The Ultra Series have a bunch of these:
    • Twin Tail from Return of Ultraman is the first of many monsters having this design, a legless, shrimp-shaped monster with a second (and more obvious) head in place of its legs. While it gets its name from having twin whips on its upper head, its lower head has a poisonous bite that works in tandem with the upper, which it uses to great effect on its predator, Gudon, and later on Ultraman Jack.
    • Bogun from Ultraman: Towards the Future has a similar design and origin to Twin Tail, being a kaiju sea creature which has adapted to living on land (although Bogun's base form is a tadpole instead of a shrimp). It's upper head has a nasal whip as well, which it uses to smash up buildings.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology:
    • The amphisbaena (literally "both-way goer" in Ancient Greek) is an ant-eating snake or a hybrid of a snake and a bird with a deadly-venomous head at each end of its body.
    • Some creatures, most notably the Chimera, have living, biting snakes for tails. Cerberus and the Sphinx are sometimes also depicted in such a manner.
    • Depictions of Scylla vary widely, but many portray her with the upper body of a woman (with or without multiple heads) and a lower body consisting of tentacles ending in, or encircled by a row of, serpents' heads.
  • Japanese Mythology: The nue is a Mix-and-Match Critter with a snake for a tail.
  • Egyptian Mythology: Akeru: the front halves of two lions, joined in the middle. Often depicted with a solar disc on each head, it was symbolic of sunrise and sunset.
  • In Chinese Mythology, some depictions of the Black Tortoise of The Four Gods depicts the snake that entwines the tortoise coming from where the tortoise's tail is.
  • Mesopotamian Mythology: Humbaba, a guardian giant, had a lion's head on his shoulders and a snake for a tail. He also one-upped this trope by having an additional snake head ... on his penis.

  • In the Doctor Who radio drama "The Paradise of Death", the Doctor mentions a two-headed Venusian animal called a Klakluk. It's implied to be this trope, as he remarks that it didn't seem to know whether it was coming or going.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • First and Second Edition have a giant Amphisbaena snake with a head at each end.
    • The serpentir is a skeletal undead creature consisting of two human upper bodies attached to either end of a snake's spine.
    • In Mongoose Publishing's OGL supplement Classic Play — The Book of the Planes, the bilateral exilarch is an Outsider-type creature from the Astral Plane. It consists of two upper humanoid bodies attached at their waists — one a fighter and the other a cleric — plus six wings.
    • The Hag, a mid-tier awnshegh from the Birthright setting, has the upper body of a disfigured crone atop a lower body made up of dozens of hissing snakes. Thus, she has a head at one end and many heads at the other.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Amphisbaenas are large venomous snakes with a head at each end. If the snake is cut in two, the separated heads can immediately reattach their bodies together or go separate ways and regrow their lost portions to become two new amphisbaenas.
    • The thrasfyr is a powerful, fiery creature that resembles a huge upright bear with a long, snaky tail that ends in a dragon head.
  • The Khornate Chaos Spawn Scyla Anfingrimm from Warhammer and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar has a snapping serpentine head on the end of his tail, in addition to the ape-like head that sits upon his heavily muscled shoulders.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Amphisbaenas are snakes native to the Lustrian jungles with an additional head in place of their tails. This is patently against basic biology even for the setting, and amphisbaenas are thus assumed to be touched by Chaos to some degree.

    Video Games 
  • In the freak show stage of CarnEvil you'll encounter an enemy who is a conjoined twin with each man's torso meeting at the waist. He also talks like Goofy for some reason.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: Diplocephalus, called Amphisbaena in the Japanese version and called as such in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, is a crocodile-like beast with the upper body of a fireball-slinging human woman attached to its tail.
  • Dark Souls II: The Duke's Dear Freja looks like one huge spider at first, but it's actually two huge spiders conjoined at the rear end. Naturally, each head serves as a weakpoint.
  • The second boss of Dragon Gun is a giant flying centipede monster with two heads, one on each end, both sides capable of attacking you simultaneously.
  • Dragon Quest II: Malroth, God of Destruction, has a snake-like head on the tip of his crocodilian tail.
  • DREDGE: Twinned Eels (#114): "Two spiteful siblings splitting at the seams."
  • Earthworm Jim: A whole series of inversions (two bodies joined at a shared cranium) appear, most notably Professor Monkey-for-a-Head.
    • And as if The Evil Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-filled, Malformed, Slug-for-a-Butt needed anything else to be alien and disturbing other than staying true to her name, it turns out during the penultimate boss challenge that the rear end to her aforementioned gigantic butt has a mind of its own and even the name J. Alfred Maggot, which is much shorter and just as accurate as the main head.
  • In the Facebook game Hatchlings, the hippogriff egg hatches out a creature with a beaked, horse-like head at each end. The "Snake-allufagus" of the Basketball series has a squat humanoid body with a snake (complete with basketball-grasping mouth) for a tail.
  • KanColle has Re-Class and Light Cruiser Demon, who provide two variants of the trope: Re-Class has a large tail-like extension coming from her rear that has a head on the end and Light Cruiser Demon's lower body cuts on top of a giant creature head.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: The area of Agon Wastes features the Sandigger, a worm enemy whose heads can only be damaged when either is active. One of them, the Bomb Guardian, serves as a Mini-Boss whose defeat yields the Morph Ball Bombs for Samus.
    • Metroid: Other M: The Dragotix is a dinosaur-like creature with a small, fire-breathing head at one end and a pair of massive jaws at the other end.
  • In MouseHunt, the Monster Tail mouse from the Polluted series has a toothy maw like a Venus flytrap at the tip of its tail.
  • Mystery Case Files: Drawings of multi-headed monsters, including a dragon-like creature to which this trope applies, are part of a puzzle from Ravenhearst Unlocked.
  • Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It: Inverted on the cover, which features a cow with a tail at both ends.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: According to Luigi, during his adventure, he battled Hizza, a giant snake that Plumpbelly Village had to sacrifice maidens to. Luigi notes that the snake had a second head on its tail.
  • Pokémon:
    • Girafarig is a giraffe with an extra spherical head as its tail, which bites without warning. This head is incapable of higher thinking and only responds to outside stimuli. In its original design, its heads on both ends were identical in everything except color.
    • Exeggutor that are found in the Alola region have a tail that has another egg-shaped coconut head on the end.
  • Push Me Pull You: Two players take control of a two-headed humanoid worm-like creature, to compete against another pair in a ball game that's part soccer and part sumo wrestling.
  • Serious Sam: The Second Encounter: Lampshaded upon seeing a statue of such a creature:
    Sam: Hmm, they always say two heads are better than one, but how does it fart?
  • Shadow the Hedgehog: The True Final Boss is Black Doom's One-Winged Angel form Devil Doom, an enormous red and black gargoyle-like monster with two heads, both with one yellow eye but one having two horizontal horns and the other having one unicorn-like horn.
  • Silent Hill 3 features hovering, blade-twirling creatures called Pendulums, which appear to consist of two human torsos attached at the waists, heads at opposite ends and facing in opposite directions.
  • Spiritual Assassin Taromaru has a two-sided green flying parasitic worm-demon as a boss, who attacks you while you're on a building's roof. The monster will spit projectile attacks from both heads, sticking in from the right and left sides of the screen as you damage it by hitting the body.
  • Sunless Sea: One random event that can occur when the player is exploring the maze of swamps and waterways on the island Mangrove College is built on is an attack from an "amphigator", an alligator with a second head replacing its tail.
    A thrashing reptile rears from the swamp... twice! A head at each end!
  • Thrill Kill has Judas, conjoined twins connected at the waist in such a way that there are heads at each end, two pairs of arms, and no legs. They usually crawl about, but in combat one walks handstand while the other fights.
  • Viva Piñata: Twingersnap is a snake with a head on each end. It can give rise to Fourheads, which has, well, four heads — one in the front, one on the back and two on necks attached to each side.

    Web Animation 
  • In BIONICLE: The Mutran Chronicles, the Makuta are seen solving smaller issues by flipping mutated animals like coins. One time, they flipped one that had two heads and no tail, so it took a while to reach their decision.
  • In RWBY, the King Taijitu is a giant snake with a head at each end. One head is black and the other is white. ("Taijitu" is the proper name for the symbol the West calls the Yin-Yang.)

    Web Original 
  • Goodbye Strangers: A few strangers have heads on both ends of their body such as the recurridaize (which also contains at least two layers of smaller versions of itself) and the miridraner. Oddly the miridraner's two head are not identical. Both heads have mouths but only one has lips. Several of the meoms also have heads on both ends.
  • Polinices: The Amphinatan at first glance looks like a tropical fish with heads at opposite ends of its body. However, the thin "mouths" at each end are actually two cephalopod-like siphons, the real mouth is located at the bottom center within its mantle, and it has four eyes — two on each side of its thin carapace — right at its center.
  • This artist like to draw two headed characters of this type because it adds to their cuteness, such as a two-headed fox called Foxfox, which they even sell toys of.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: Conjoined twin Olms Lysil and Angwin, first encountered in “Quarrelers’ Pass”.
  • In an odd example, Beast Wars has Quickstrike, a Transformer whose beast mode is a scorpion with a cobra for a tail.
  • The whole premise of the animated series CatDog, centering around Conjoined Twins with a sophisticated cat on one end and a laid-back dog on the other.
  • Dragon Hunters has a Dragon of the week living in an icy cavern looking like an extremely long blue snake... with an additional head on his tail, which foils the heroes' plan to ambush it from behind.
  • An episode of Dragon Tales gives us Meow, the Copy Cat, a literal copycat with two cat heads (one at each end of its body) who had the power to make someone act like another person just by licking their face. The only way to reverse the effects of Meow's spell was to have her lick the affected person a second time.
  • In one episode of The Fairly OddParents!, after having a magical fight involving taking apart Voodoo Dolls of each other, Cosmo and Wanda spend a good portion of the plot trying to put themselves back together. At one point, they end up conjoined in this fashion.
    Cosmo: How do we go to the bathroom?
  • Futurama
    • Mr. Chunks is a "pukeme-poopyou", a two-headed goat that continually ejects vomit/diarrhea from either end, filling a pool that the loser of a contest will have to jump into.
    • In another episode Leela takes Nibbler to the vet and we see a woman with a dog like this. "Remember, Rover gets the pill and Pepper gets the suppository."
    • At the ceremony where Amy becomes part of Kif's family, they're given a snake to eat that has heads at each end.
    • Leela's mutant parents have a mutant cat with a snake's body and head for a tail.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: Swapper is an experiment with heads on both ends. Its primary function is switching the bodies of two individuals, which it accomplishes by exerting energy from both of its sets of eyes at its targets.
  • Looney Tunes: In Porky in Wackyland, there's a half-dog, half-cat creature whose heads continually fight each other.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "The Return of Harmony Part 2", Discord briefly appears to have a head at both ends of his body while taunting Twilight.
    • "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?" shows background ponies Lyra and Bon Bon fused together in this fashion. It dodges the... logistical problems this trope usually entails, as it takes place inside of a shared dream and doesn't have to make logical sense.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the "Treehouse of Horror" segment "Fly vs. Fly", Bart puts Snowball II and Santa's Little Helper through a teleporter and they come out as two different pets: one with both heads, ("Twice the pet with none of the poop!") and one with both butts. ("Eww! You can be Lisa's.")
    • In "Last Exit to Springfield", Burns and Smothers both play with a two headed dog at the plant. Implicitly it was mutated by the radiation.
  • In Thomas & Friends, Mighty Mac is a Fairlie, a double-ended articulated steam engine. Each end — Mighty and Mac — has a distinct face and identity.

    Real Life 
  • Planarians are worms with amazing capabilities to regenerate when cut into pieces. Oddly enough, when both the head and the tail are removed the midsection can grow a head on both ends— and in one especially bizarre case, a planarian sent to space regenerated a new head at both ends: and when both heads were removed, it continued growing heads at both ends and even reproduced asexually to produce two-headed offspring.
  • Several animals have adapted tails that resemble their heads, probably to deter predators attacking them from behind.
    • In some worm lizards, it's extremely difficult to distinguish the head from the tail without seeing an open mouth first. They can also move forward and backward.
    • The rubber boa has a rounded tail that's very close to the same shape as its head. If threatened by a predator, it typically curls into a ball and waves its tail like it's the snake's head, then tries to slither under a bush or down a hole while the predator is focused on the wrong end.
    • Some caterpillars sport false eye-spots and other features that make their rear ends look like heads.
    • Similarly, some tropical fishes have eyespots on their tails.
    • Bobtail skinks have chunky tails that resemble their heads.
  • Human Conjoined Twins born this way are called "ischiopagus" (coming from "ischium", meaning hip, and "pagus", meaning joined) and generally come in three flavors: with four legs (most common), three legs, note  or two legs (least common). Children born this way rarely live past childbirth, often due to said "logistical issues", such as one or both twins lacking a lower digestive system entirely. Those that do live past childbirth are usually separated early, as the two being conjoined often leads to one twin leaching nutrients from the other's lower digestive tract.
  • A Native American petroglyph in Utah depicts a bighorn sheep with heads on both ends. Another petroglyph from Tibet portrays a yak with heads on front and back.
  • One large sea turtle on display at the Sea World park in San Diego looks like this trope, having lost most of its tail to an injury. The stump which remains looks very much like a head when seen from the left side, thanks to a long mouth-like scar and a large misplaced scale which resembles an eye.
  • Recent (21st century) experiments indicate that drawing fake eyes on the back end of cattle decreases the frequency of predator attacks.


Video Example(s):



One fine day with a woof and a purr, conjoined brothers Cat and Dog were born into a world where everything is pitied against them.

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