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Arachnid Appearance and Attire

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Be careful, or she'll tangle you up in metaphorical and literal webs.

This Animal Motif is when a character consciously themes themselves, their behavior and even their home around spiders, though they might only do one or two of the above. Though they may have an Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance with long, thin limbs and a round belly, a rail thin and tall physique is the norm. Spider ladies are usually hourglass shaped, and regardless of gender or build almost always have black hair and pale skin.

They'll wear a lot of black, sometimes with red or white accents, lots of gauzy material, use web patterns, and generally either dress very fashionably in well tailored suits and dresses or go for Awesome Anachronistic Apparel with a whiff of decay. Villains enjoy High Collar of Doom and skintight Hell-Bent for Leather, though not necessarily at the same time. Personality wise they are usually territorial, sexually predatory (sometimes to the point of aptly being a Black Widow), and good at intrigue. On the more positive side, they can also be intelligent, patient, stoic, kind (this one is rare though) and creative, (they may be good at weaving either literally or metaphorically). Of course Dark Is Not Evil and they may just have a case of Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind; good spider people can be nice, but regardless of morality, spider-themed characters can usually be creepy with very little effort.

Spider powers optional, but usually include Super-Strength, Not Quite Flight augmented with In a Single Bound, shooting webs and being a Poisonous Person. Sneaky Spider can also be in play if they are characterized as manipulative or cunning. Theme Naming and Meaningful Name recommended. Spider puns less so.

Arachnid-themed outfits are common for a Spider-Man Send-Up. If combined with Beast Man and/or Shapeshifting, the motif can become far more literal, as with Spider People.

Though it is more often applied for spiders, sometimes other orders in the arachnid class such as scorpions get outfits.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Shogen Kazamachi from Basilisk has spider powers and looks really like one, having a gargantuan, round hunchback and long, thin limbs.
  • Arukenimon from Digimon Adventure 02 has a web pattern on her gloves and the brim of her hat, as well as a spider ornament on the hat, but it's all really subtle. Then she goes and turns into a giant spider monster.
  • Jolyne Cujoh from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean wears multiple outfits throughout the Part, all of which are characterized by the spiderweb-like print on them. They reflect her ability to turn her body into prehensile strings.
  • Soul Eater: Arachne (who name is Greek for "spider"), is nicknamed the "Spider Witch" and the "Spider Queen". She's an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette of tall height with an hourglass figure and long, thin limbs. She wears her hair in a bun that ends in the shape of a spider's pedipalps. She has web patterns on her irises, the collar of her black dress, and her hand fan.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL's manga has Kyoji Yagumo, who not only wears clothes with spider motifs, but has all sorts of spider-related powers, ranging from sprouting spider legs that allow flight on his back, generating sticky threads and forming giant webs, controlling an army of tiny spiders that can shapeshift into anyone, spy on them or simply kill them... Not to mention his ace cards take the form of menacing spiders.

    Comic Books 
  • All-Star Squadron: Originally the obscure Golden Age superhero Tarantula wore a yellow-and-purple costume that bore strong resemblance to Wesley Dodds' second Sandman costume. When writer Roy Thomas brought Tarantula back as a major ongoing character in All-Star Squadron, he and artist Jerry Ordway designed a new costume for him: both to make him visually distinct from Dodds and to emphasize the spider theme of the character. Tarantula's new costume was brown and black (like an actual tarantula) with a stylized spider on the chest and mask.
  • Emily Crowe from Desolation Jones, who emits pheromones that trigger the Arachnid Reaction.
  • The Batman villain Black Spider has no powers but a costume with a spider-motif. Several people have taken up the role.
  • Black Widow, interestingly enough, only carries this through her costume and weaponry (she has equipment named the Widow's Bite, Widow's Line, and Widow's Kiss, though none of it's spider-themed. The little hourglass shape on her belt is the only spider-themed imagery in her standard design, although variant costumes have included a spider logo or web motifs). Her storylines tend to be overshadowed by Russian imagery - and in one comic, Little Red Riding Hood. (spoilers: she's the wolf.)
  • Bride of Nine Spiders from the Immortal Iron Fist.
  • When the Red Robin eclectic little group of villains the Council of Spiders was upgraded to an international criminal organization upon appearing in the main Batman title the head of the orginazation's European operations is a woman who wears a dress with web-like spidery accents.
  • Robin (1993): Villain Redback Spider has a costume similar to Black Spider, but with more red. She uses poisoned "needles" as her weapon of choice.
  • Widow from Savage Dragon is a formerly homeless metahuman who has spider-based powers and appearance including pale skin and a web-designed costume.
  • Spider-Man: Spider-Man is a notable example in that unlike regular spider-themed characters, he's known for being very colorful, except when he's wearing his black costume. He and other spider-heroes also usually crack jokes or act silly when fighting bad guys, further subverting this trope. Peter Parker is "Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man", after all. However, when the situation becomes dire enough for these various Spideys to stop quipping, they become absolutely terrifying opponents that practically codify this trope.
    • There's also Venom, Carnage, and Toxin as symbiotes that copy Spidey's powers, and the various Spider-Women.
    • Madame Web also counts.
    • Lesser-known Spider-Man foes include Tarantula and Black Tarantula.
    • The two Scarlet Spiders, both clones of the original Spider-Man.
    • Silk and Spider-Gwen are similar in temperament to Peter, but their default costumes are much closer to the black-and-white color motif associated with this trope.
  • Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan. Specifically, the rather prominent spider tattoo he sports on his head, and his all-black ensemble.
  • Subverted with Spider Widow, a Quality Comics heroine from the Golden Age. She takes the name because she can control black widow spiders, but her costume makes her look like an archetypical Wicked Witch.

    Fan Works 
  • The canonical Discworld character of Arachne, a graduate Assassin with a fascination for spiders note  is developed in the works of A.A. Pessimal. She is introduced in the tale Fresh Pair of Eyes as a senior student at the Guild School who is given extra privileges in recognition of the fact her knowledge of spiders far outstrips that of her teachers. A younger student, suffering from serious arachnophobia in the Guild's Natural History Department, where Arache is tending the unparelleled collection of dangerous spiders, has a hallucination of Arachne looking very much like the heroine of Kiss of the Spider Woman just before she passes out. Elsewhere, Miss Arachne Webber is described as having a physical build which suggests more limbs than the usual four, and affects glasses with strange refractions that make it look as if she has more than two eyes. A lot more than two eyes. Even though Matron Igorina says the girl has perfect vision and does not require corrective glasses.

    Film — Animation 
  • Coraline has the Other Mother, who lures children to the Other World to feed on their love and eventually their souls. Fittingly enough, since several species of spiders are known to eat their offspring. She starts out looking exactly like Coraline's mother (bar her button eyes), but becomes increasingly spiderlike as the movie goes on. About halfway through, she has a pale complexion, long, thin limbs and dresses all in black, and the main room of her house is web-like with bug furniture. Near the end, she reveals her true form: a hideous spider-doll demon with steel razor-sharp limbs and needle claws. Fittingly enough, her realm is revealed to be a huge web as the spell falls apart.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman is a South American fantasy movie where the central character is iconically pictured standing as a dark silhouette against backlighting, her pose and dress making her look like a humanoid spider on a web.
  • Believe it or not, there is even a short amateur porn video starring a spider-woman (bad costume is probably from last Halloween) who wants love love love. Her chosen consort, true to genre, is anyone. Had he been more smarter, he would have avoided becoming a snack afterwards.

  • Ferals Series: The Spinning Man builds his throne out of web, has claw-like fingers, fanged teeth, and becomes more spider-like in appearance as the series goes on.
  • Clarimonde, the antagonist of "The Spider", is, in human form, an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette whose hair is black and wavy and whose eyes, framed by long and dark eyelashes, are big and dark with an intense glow. She also follows Evil Wears Black with a black dress embroidered with a lilac motif, as well as black gloves. For the record, her spider form is a huge black spider whose body is dotted with purple spots.
  • Downplayed with Moghedien in The Wheel of Time. She's The Spymaster for the Shadow and is nicknamed "the Spider" (her name even reinforces this - a moghedien was a very stealthy, very venomous spider from the Age of Legends), and she tends to favor outfits with a spider-web pattern on them - a subtle spider-web pattern. As she reflects in one scene, it doesn't do to overplay a theme.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lady Illusion from Ace Lightning, a villain with a prehensile spider atop her head as opposed to hair, and a webbing theme throughout her clothing.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Captain Janeway as Arachnia, Queen of the Spider People in Tom Paris's Captain Proton holoprogram.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Anansi, Trickster God from West African folklore, as he frequently takes the form of a spider or a human with spider-themed clothing.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Legacy jobber The Spider Lady wore a cape with a glittery spider web on it as entrance attire.
  • Spider Man/Spider-man is a reoccurring gimmick in Mexican federations such as FILL, ERLL, LL VIP, AAA and CMLL. He's also shown up in Great Britain's X Wrestling Alliance.
  • WCW would reveal a masked luchador known Arachnaman in 1991. Marvel Comics didn't like that but after they went bankrupt, he (or more likely, someone else using the gimmick) would resurface on Dory Funk Jr.'s Bang TV serving Radiant Rain.
  • Black Spider, who started making rounds on the Mexican circuit in 1993 from IWRG with a mask, sleeveless and pants patterned with black and grey webs. Black Widow of the Pirana Promotion has a similar get up but with a hole cut out in the back of the mask for her ponytail.
  • Mariko Yoshida, as of her jump to ARSION, to reflect her new "catch" submission style.
  • Nate Webb has spider webs hanging off his tights.
  • From WrestleMania XX onward, Victoria started rotating spider sets through her ring gear. Tara introduced a mascot Taratula named poison in TNA.
  • The masked man Bronze Spider showed up in the Australian Capital Territory during 2007. The names a bit of a misnomer, as he is dressed head to toe in black but does have a big spider for his chest insignia.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Drow from Dungeons & Dragons tend towards this kind of thing, although dark-skinned and white-haired. The 3.5 sourcebook for the drow points out that their obsessive reverence for a creature that they can't hope to truly emulate has driven the society as a whole a bit crazy.
    • Maddie Webber, the iconic Drow character from d20 Modern Urban Arcana takes it to it's logical conclusion and applies it to her name. It's probably a self-chosen name anyways.
  • The Weaver from Werewolf: The Apocalypse is a Powers That Be variant.

    Video Games 
  • Bordeaux from .hack//G.U. is this. Not only she has spiders adorning her armor, even her signature weapon is reminiscent of a tarantula's leg. Her AIDA-infected self (and AIDA<<Oswald>>) also takes on a decidedly arachnid form.
  • Death-sphere wizard Arachna, the Spider Queen, from Age of Wonders 2.
  • Lord Recluse from City of Heroes, Incarnate of Tartarus, head of the Nebulous Evil Organization Arachnos and ruler of the Rogue Isles. He is spider-like in appearance, with eight arms growing out of his back fitted with metal claws, and clad in armor resembling a spider's exoskeleton. His organization as a whole shares his spider motif.
  • In Dirge of Cerberus, Nero's Arachnero form.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, Mephala, a Daedric Prince whose sphere is "obscured to mortals" (but is generally associated with manipulation, lies, sex, and secrets) has elements of this. Frequently referred to as the "Webspinner", it is most evident in her Daggerfall appearance.
  • Spider from Galerians: Ash wears black and yellow for an orb-weaver spider theme.
  • When he appeared as a Guest Fighter in Injustice: Gods Among Us, Scorpion got a new outfit, designed by Jim Lee, that had many cues from his namesake animal, up to and including his Spear being shaped like a scorpion's stinger. His default outfit in Mortal Kombat 9 (mainly his mask and the pommels of his swords) also had some design inspiration from scorpions.
  • Elise the Spider Queen from League of Legends pretty much looks as much like a human spider as is possible while still looking like a gorgeous woman- she walks on the needlelike tips of her feet, has additional spider legs sprouting from her back, red-tipped Femme Fatalons and her Stripperiffic costume resembles black chitin plating. Then she just forgoes the niceties and transforms into a giant black window spider to finish you off.
  • Widowmaker from Overwatch has a very heavy spider motif. She has a black widow tattooed on her back, and her Infra-Sight goggles resemble the eyes of a spider.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice, Queen Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in; in her prosecutor outfit, her shoes have spider designs on them, her hair is styled after one, and her personal seal depicts one. This befits her true cruel and manipulative nature; her machinations are described as an intricate web that ensnares Khura'in.
  • Black Widow from Ring of Destruction: Slam Masters II. Aside from her ring name, she's known for her bedazzling flexibility (in spite of her large frame).
  • Juri Han from Super Street Fighter IV fits the bill. Her style of Taekwondo shows a great degree of flexibility, her top is fashioned after a spider, and her nickname within S.I.N. is even "Spider." Juri is a lewd, flirtatious character with a mean streak and a very predatory nature (sometimes sexually, sometimes not). According the developers, the basic idea for Juri was to "make her an evil, sexy character."
  • Zafina from Tekken 6. Director Katsuhiro Harada likened some of her moves to that of a spider and a few of her animations even involve Zafina crawling towards her opponent in an insect-like manner. While she possesses a large degree of mystique to her character and a cold and distant personality, she is working to prevent The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Yamame from Touhou Project is a spider youkai, and as such has six buttons down the front of her dress to represent her secondary eyes, while her dress itself has a rounded skirt to form the silhouette of a spider's abdomen. However, she wears brown and gold instead of black because she is specifically a burrowing spider (tsuchi-gumo).
  • Muffet from Undertale is a spider monster who has eight limbs (six arms, two legs) and four pairs of eyes. Her name comes from the children's rhyme "Little Miss Muffet," where a spider dropped down and frightened her.
  • Zarak, the Big Bad from Weaponlord. He wears a spider-themed armor, complete with a helmet in the shape of a large spider. that can shoot webbing out of its legs to tangle Zarak's opponents.
  • Wizard101: Morganthe. She commands an army of Beastmen spiders, and is never seen without at least two of her pet spiderlings. You can't expect her to dress with any other theme.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: There is a gang in lower Mistral built around this, led by the criminal head "Lil' Miss" Malachite. As a distinguishing mark, every member at their Bad Guy Bar has a matching spider web tattoo.
    • From Volume 5, there's also the White Fang soldier Sister Trifa, a spider faunus, dressed in primarily black and grey lace, with a spinneret laden in her wrist.

  • Cursed Princess Club: Prez favours dark clothes and has cobweb-like nets in her hair. She also inhabits all the positive qualities of spiders in her attitude by being intelligent, patient and creative. And once a month she transforms into a giant one.
  • In Drowtales, there are several characters that might fit this:
    • Melanarch is the resident Crazy Spider Lady. Her "lair" is filled with cobwebs and her outfits are all made of silk. She doesn't act like a spider, though.
    • The Beldobbaen clan has a spider motif. Their matriarch, Weas is perhaps the most notable example (her spider legs are not real, they're some sort of spell or shapeshifting).
    • Naal (Waes' daughter) is an Elegant Gothic Lolita who carries her pet spider on her back.
    • Thera is a Half-Human Hybrid whose spider parts are quite real. Melanarch's clothes are made from her silk.
  • In Fake News Rumble, we have Stephanos, both there and on a later occasion. A purple spider-like creature attacking in a way that limits movement? Sounds familiar.
  • Homestuck: Marquise Spinneret Mindfang wore a black, skin-tight pirate outfit, with a webbing design on the jacket. Oddly, Mindfang's modern-day descendent, Vriska Serket, continued the spider motif in every manner except her clothes—except for one scene where her most powerful attack causes her to take on Mindfang's abilities and wardrobe. Mindfang's alternate-timeline counterpart Aranea wears a tight blue dress with webbing patterns.
  • The evil-Spinnerette from Spinnerette had this even before her transformation.

    Western Animation 
  • Adelaide from Over the Garden Wall. She traps children with a web made of twine and has a black widow's red hourglass on her back.
  • Blackarachnia from Transformers: Beast Wars and her other incarnation from Transformers: Animated. Since both series don't share continuity, and are thus different characters, they're technically separate examples.

Alternative Title(s): Arachnid Appearance And Apparel, Spider Motif Character


Synostone: Fei

The Spider Master

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

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Main / TransformationSequence

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