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Animate Body Parts

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"I have enough of a spleenache as it is, thank you."

Countless of works, especially commercials, feature parts of the human body with their own separate personalities and desires. The body part in question usually has something to do with the product being sold, and may or may not be connected to a full human body.

For when the individually-sentient parts of the body are depicted as humanoids, see Anthropomorphized Anatomy.

Compare Brain Monster, Giant Hands of Doom.


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  • The Palmolive dish soap ads regularly feature a pair of hands. They were originally actual people's hands with animated eyes and hair, but are now animated completely.
    • Another Palmolive ad had a family of hands arguing about who would get to do the dishes. There was even a dog, also played by an animated human hand.
  • A car ad for Mazda had people's toes singing and tapping out the rhythm of a song because the car was so much fun to drive.
  • A series of commercials for an allergy product during the late 1990s featured a disembodied human nose at their main character.
    • Allergy commercials with giant talking noses; too many to describe.
  • One disturbing '90s ad for low-cut jeans had a belly-button sing "I'm Coming Out".
  • An infamous 90s Reebok advert went a bit further than this and showed a disembodied giant hairy belly chasing an athletic man through a city, mostly by gelatinous hopping, and culminating in a motorbike chase, while repeatedly shouting "Belly's gonna get ya!" You can view the madness here.
  • An ad for an athlete's foot product has a claymation foot, still attached to its owner, catch fire, grow a pair of evil eyes, and charge at everyone nearby, roaring. Made even creepier by the commercial's combination of claymation and live-action footage.
  • An antacid commercial featured an anthropomorphic stomach in a busted-up hotel room checking out of it to the tune of "Heartbreak Hotel".
  • This Coke Zero commercial, where the body parts themselves have decidedly non-human legs. And what kind of person has two tongues and one eye?
  • Some Ballpark Franks commercials feature an arm emerging from a person's stomach representing their hunger, forcing the person to eat a hot dog using various levels of subtlety. "HUNGER GET WHAT HUNGER WANT"
  • A California Milk Board's ad may be creepiest example of this trope: A woman in the kitchen suddenly flops out of sight behind the counter. Her skeleton stands up, absent of any other tissue. The woman's discarded, fully clothed and otherwise 'undamaged' flesh, just lies there on the floor... and when the woman's skeleton reassures the husband that she's just getting herself some milk, her eyes... roll... towards where the skeleton is standing now.
  • A disturbing UK advert for an itch relief cream featured a talking patch of skin that sounded like a falsetto Bill Bailey, and attempted to urge the woman in the advert to give it "just one little scratch", which the woman did, but eventually screaming "Aaah! Not Eumavate!" when the cream was applied.
  • Dr. Scholls has a wart remover commercial where the wart talks. It's disturbing as it sounds...
  • There is an advert occasionally seen in Britain featuring faces made of hands talking about, oddly enough, Adult Learning courses or something similar. It does make slightly more sense in context; the tagline is "Our future. It's in our hands."
  • There is a cell phone out whose selling point is that it has a full keyboard, enabling you to "text it how you say it." The commercial consists of various people's thumbs (with their faces on them, mind you) speaking as they type.
  • An Australian Ad for Tooheys Extra Dry features a tongue which dislodges itself from its sleeping owner's mouth before wiggling itself to a party, where it dives into a bathtub of ice and bottles of beer, wraps itself around the Tooheys Extra Dry and drags it back to its owner who wakes up wondering why he has a bottle in his mouth.
  • A vintage Alka-Seltzer ad had a man arguing with his stomach, just as if they were a bickering couple at a marriage counselor. (Note the stomach's voice: it's Gene Wilder.)
    Stomach: . . . the way he stuffs himself at his mother's!
    Man: You always hated my mother!
  • An ad for some sort of cough medicine features a talking hand wanting the person its attached to to take the medicine instead of coughing into it.
  • Those Lectric Shave commercials where his beard hairs look exactly like him and look happy as they're being shaved away into oblivion.
  • In a recent Tabasco Sauce ad, there are pepperonis with faces on them that sing about the sauce. There are two variations of this commercial. one with a sing-along subtitle on it, and one without.
  • One of Old Spice's new "Odor Blocker body wash" commercials.
    Terry Crews: ...Its blocking power is as powerful as me!
    Voice: Yeah it is.
    Crews: Who said that? (arm grows out of right bicep, pointing at the left bicep) Was that my left bicep? No. It was my...
    Abs: (in previous voice) Ab-dominals.
  • One ad campaign had a boy's stomach barge into his brain, interrupting whatever he happened to be thinking about, and loudly declaring "It's time for this boy to think about his hunger". This resulted in the boy's stomach grumbling (get it?) and him going and getting a pizza pocket.
  • A series of ads for Summer's Eve cleanser had talking vaginas. Yes, it's very disturbing.
  • The ad for an overactive bladder drug that features an an anthropomorphic bladder demanding to use the restroom again and again.
  • A radio ad for a local tea store featured a person's taste buds arguing over what kind of tea they wanted.
  • The antacid brand Rennie's "Happy Tummies" campaign, featuring anthropomorphic stomachs.
  • The Dairy Queen Lips campaign starred a talking disembodied mouth that promoted the titular restaurant chain's offerings.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The plot of Chintsubu is about talking penises with their own thoughts at feelings. Yeah.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Live Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Addams Family: Thing, a fully animate disembodied hand.
  • On an episode of It's Garry Shandling's Show, Garry failed the written portion of his driver's license renewal test. Upset with his brain for being so stupid, he hooks a camera up to his TV and points it into his head so he can see his brain. The screen reveals a fat guy (character actor Stuart Pankin) lying in a hammock, who berates Garry for not challenging him enough, and they make a deal with each other: Garry will stimulate his brain more, and the brain will work with him. While they have this conversation, other body parts come to visit the brain, including a short, bald man referred to as "Mr. P" (pancreas) and his larynx ( Dave Coulier), with whom he argues.
    Larynx (Dave Coulier doing a spot-on Garry Shandling impression): Hi, Garry!
    Garry: Is that my voice? I don't sound like that!
    Larynx: Yes you do!
  • In the night-time omnibus editions of UK soap Night and Day, the character Will Radcliffe is frequently spoken to by a voice emanating from just below his waist. 'Little Will', who speaks in a deep American accent, is solely preoccupied with matters sexual, as one might expect - but other characters are apparently unable to hear him.
  • One episode of Red Dwarf featured Rimmer the hologram 'accidentally' having another dead crewmember's arm uploaded instead of his own. Hilarious fights ensue.
  • In an episode of Scrubs, Carla sees Turk's mole talking to her.
  • Tales from the Crypt: In "Fitting Punishment", Ezra is attacked by the feet he amputated off his nephew Bobby's body so it would fit in the coffin.


  • Lil Dicky has his brain appear as a separate entity in the Pillow Talking video

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Brazilian Folklore:
    • The Hairy Leg is a famus myth from the state of Pernambuco about an autonomous severed leg with dirty rotten nails and dark fur, which hops around empty streets and alleys at night and kicks anyone on its way. Some versions say it has an eye and/or a mouth on its knee as well.
    • The Little Black Hand or Little Black Hand of Justice is a floating disembodied hand which can attack people by pinching or even strangling them. However, the hand can also be very helpful and prestative, helping to do domestic chores if invoked, although it will never harm slaves: in one story, a slaveowner whom the hand was helping to do the chores ordered it to punish a slave, making the hand immediately attack its master in rage.
  • Gbe Mythology: When Sewanla was on his way back home with the tail of a bird Tetelidja he had stolen in order to give his father a proper burial, the tail called aloud to its owner and said that it had been kidnapped when the Tetelidja asked for it to speak, much to Sewanla's astonishment.

    Newspaper Comics  
  • At least two Peanuts strips had various parts of Snoopy's body expressing opinions of their own—usually connected with jogging, which meant the feet said a lot. One of these strips ended when his heart commented, "Just remember, boys - if I go, we all go!" to which the feet remarked, "That's scary!" and another part said, "Shut up and keep jogging."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder has several undead formed of animated body parts, including the Crawling Hand and the Isitoq, an eyeball that uses its tattered optic nerve as wings.
  • Promethean: The Created has "pandorans", created when someone fails to make a complete artificial human and instead end up with a bunch of animated organs and limbs. They're fueled by the same energy source as Prometheans (who tend to leak power), so that they come to life when one comes near, but otherwise will become dormant and look like ordinary objects if they run out of energy.

    Video Games 
  • Cultist Simulator has The Heart Relentless, who does not permit conclusion. He is the closest thing the setting has to a God of Good, as he beats ceaselessly to protect the skin of the world from the Worms and the Gods-from-Nowhere.
  • Used in an extremely disturbing fashion in Dead Space with the Divider enemy, which explodes and then the body parts reanimate in an attempt to take over the protagonist's body in the most disturbing way possible.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Various severed body parts — including skin and hair — can be reanimated by Necromancers and clouds of gas in evil biomes. This wasn't initially intentional, but Toady decided to Throw It In! on the grounds that it didn't actually make any less sense than animated skeletons.
  • The original Earthworm Jim game has the penultimate boss, "Doc Duodenum", a sentient self-aware piece of small intestine from a giant alien lifeform. According to the manual, he got bored of his old life and left his host; despite his level "Intestinal Distress" being a Womb Level that resembles the interior of a giant set of digestive organs, it's actually not supposed to be his original boss. He's somewhat obscure in the fandom, as he only appeared in the original Sega versions of the game and was cut from all Nintendo versions, only to finally be restored in the 2010 Updated Re Release.
  • During the Old World Blues dlc for Fallout: New Vegas one of the final confrontations is with your own brain, which you must convince to rejoin you.
    • Also averted in the same dlc. Several wandering opponents seem to be animated skeletons wearing body armor. They turn out to be Y-17 Trauma Harnesses, devices designed to fight a defensive action while autonomously evacuating the wounded soldiers wearing them. The suits couldn't tell if the wearer survived the wounds, couldn't tell friend from foe, and couldn't identify where they were supposed to take the wounded. The suits are animated (and hostile); the skeletons are just all that's left of the people they were supposed to protect.
  • The Halloween Hack: Dearkhart and the Anxiety Attack enemies.
  • The internal enemies in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story are things like immune cells, which attack with a body check, and neurons, which attack by way of electric shocks.
  • Prayer of the Faithless: The Caged Heart enemy is something like an animate human heart, but it's attached to a cage with legs.
  • Bigeye in Something Else. It's a giant eyeball and the pet of the Evil Guy. It is quite easy because it has no projectile attacks.
  • In Sunless Sea if you dissect a thalatte you realise their internal organs are remarkably ambulatory. Your captain has issues keeping them in their piles and eventually resorts to staking them to the table. They're so lively they can be sold to a zoo.
  • Terraria brings us the Eye and Brain of Cthulhu, two early-game bosses. The Eye returns during the Final Boss as the True Eye of Cthulhu, a minion summoned by the Moon Lord. The Twins would qualify for this trope, except for the fact that they’re robots. It's also implied that the Eater of Worlds is also part of Cthulhu, though there's some debate over whether it's his spine or his intestines.

    Web Comics 
  • Several of the patients in Awful Hospital, though they prefer the term "free-roaming unisystemic vessels:" Thanks to the metaphysics of the setting, an ambulatory stomach can spend its time digesting, even though it's as far removed from any mouth or oesophagus as a human in London might be from the stretch of Amazon rainforest that produced their last lungful of oxygen.
  • In Monster Pulse, this is practically the entire premise. A mysterious energy somehow "infects" people and brings a randomly-chosen body part or organ to life as a separate, autonomous being. Unlike most of the examples on this page, they don't have human-level intelligence; they can vocalize and understand orders, but are only a little bit smarter than a well-trained animal.
  • In Team Fortress 2 #5: Old Wounds, Demo hallucinates that his liver, sick of his alcohol-soaked existence, is leaving him for good. It plays out like a breakup scene.
    "Alright, heart, figure out what the liver did. Lungs, you guard my rectum. Liver ain't welcome here any more."

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-1319 consists of a researcher's individual upper and lower halves who got fed up with each other and decided to split — literally. What's really bizarre about this example (besides the obvious) is that neither half of his body exhibits the personality of the original researcher; they're both entirely separate entities.

    Western Animation  
  • Done in the cold open of an Arthur episode, where his organs wonder where his brain went.
  • The backstory of Evil Con Carne is that the Villain Protagonist Hector Con Carne was reduced to a brain and a stomach in an explosion. While the brain retains his original consciousness, the stomach is fully sentient and capable of communicating on its own.
  • Leela's singing Susan-Boil from the Futurama episode "Attack of the Killer App".
  • One particularly strange Gumby short (called "Gone Clayzy") showed Gumby accidentally managing to pop the signature slant on his head off after knocking it into himself after falling off a tower of blocks. Independent of the now unconscious Gumby, the slant comes to life and proceeds to torment Prickle for a while until Prickle manages to reattach it to Gumby's head. And even after that, the slant comes to life one more time to give a brief Evil Laugh, to Gumby's confusion.
  • The Disney short Inner Workings anthropomorphizes a man's organs. The main conflict is between the carefree, party-loving heart and the serious, risk-avoiding brain. Other organs like the lungs, the intestines and the urine bladder have minor roles.
  • Mighty Magiswords: Vambre's brain and Prohyas' stomach are both characters in their own right, though the latter is depicted as the outside of the stomach rather than the organ itself.
  • In a Robot Chicken sketch, William Shatner's toupee goes out and lives a second life as a James-Bond style secret agent while he sleeps. He still hasn't figured out where the medals keep coming from.
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
    • A minor reoccurring character on the show was a disembodied leg named Gordon, who had a face on his foot.
    • In the Ruptured Appendix episode "Tickled Pinky", Rocko's appendix (and all his other organs) talk... and even have personalities. It turns out it's All Just a Dream, though

    Real Life 
  • Alien hand syndrome is a real life phenomenon where a person's hand appears to take on its own personality separate from conscious control. It can happen to people who have had brain surgery.


Video Example(s):


Stay On the Bus

After Judy decides she doesn't want to get her braces removed and gets on a bus that's full of Judy's teeth, they happily sing to Judy about staying on the bus so she doesn't lose them. But when Judy wants to get off when the bus passes by things she's interested in, she tries to stop the bus but accidentally drives it off a bridge and into water where her teeth tries to drag her down with them as the bus sinks.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / DescentIntoDarknessSong

Media sources: