Follow TV Tropes

Following

Armless Biped

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/babysheegoth.png
A creature with two legs but no arms (and sometimes wings). May be used to make a creature look more alien. Or they make something appear harmless until it's too late. They can also be used to stylistic effect for cartoons with less realistic character designs.
Advertisement:

Note that it's armless, not harmless — they may still have a dangerous bite, kick or tail-whip/sting, or may have psychic or magical abilities.

Note that examples only count as this for species that naturally lack arms. That is, humans and other races that normally have them don't count just because of injury or a birth defect that caused them to be born without them.

Waddling Head is this minus a torso. May result in Invisible Anatomy.


Advertisement:

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Film 
  • Shriekers and Ass-Blasters from the Tremors film series are built this way.
  • The Kaadus from Star Wars.
  • King Ghidorah from the Godzilla franchise, though he may not count given his wings. Definitely averted for his incarnation in Godzilla King Of The Monsters 2019, where his wings have proper arm joints and he walks quadrupedally on his wings like bats and pterosaurs do.
  • Kong: Skull Island has Skullcrawlers, giant lizard-monsters with two legs and a long, prehensile tail.
Advertisement:

    Literature 
  • The Hammerheads in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are armless, and attack by extending their necks (a la a jack-in-the-box).
  • The Carrion in Arcia Chronicles, an Eldritch Abomination summoned by the Gods of Light to devour the bodies of the slain Old Gods, consists primarily of a mouth and two legs.
  • The mecha from Orson Scott Card's Empire are pretty primitive, forcing them to use a simple spherical cockpit and dangerously unstable legs. Empire was based on it and there was cross-pollination during development, Shadow Complex also features these same mechas.
  • The inhabitants of Slongorn in the Well World series, although one could theoretically count their probosces as arms.
  • In The New Dinosaurs, the descendents of tyrannosaurs evolved into this.
  • After Man: A Zoology of the Future:
    • The wakka have evolved from South American field rodents into long-legged and very fast runners that resemble mammalian ostriches, only without the vestigial wings.
    • The Fin Lizard is a bipedal lizard found in deserts, with fins on its neck and tail that help to cool it down.
  • Halo: Hunters in the Dark: The morolaath, aka "blind wolves", that live on the Ark resemble two-legged lizards with no eyes. They were actually going to be in the first Halo game, but had to be cut out before release.
  • In the Teddy Ruxpin books, Tweeg's Evil Minions are the red, armless, bipedal Bounders.

    Mythology 

    Tabletop Games 
  • While most Battlemechs in BattleTech have arms to some degree, some have arms that consist of nothing but a tiny missile pod, such as the Catapult and Stalker. And even more extreme, there are even a handful of mechs with no arms whatsoever, such as the Blitzkrieg.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Digesters are portrayed a vaguely birdlike/reptillian bipeds with no arms. The run around spitting acid on things, and then slurp up the dissolved remains.
    • And then, there are the shrieker-esque ethereal marauders.
  • The eponymous critters from the board game Snits Revenge. They attack by kicking.
  • Also by the Snits' creator Tom Wham, The Awful Green Things From Outer Space are two-legged globs with single eyes. Despite the lack of a mouth, they exist only to devour the crew of the spaceship they have infested.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40,000 and their spin-offs feature Squigs, best described as half animal, half fungus, and half teeth. They're famed and feared for their unpredictable bounding gait and voracious ferocity, but Squigs form a surprisingly complex part of the greenskin ecosystem, serving as guard dogs, garbage disposals, livestock, and in one extremely specialized sub-species' case, hair plugs. Other races rarely appreciate this, however, as their encounters with the toothy critters come when goblins herd a bouncing horde of the things onto the battlefield, or orks strap them with explosives and send the beasts to chase tanks.
    • In early editions of the Epic scale version of Warhammer 40,000, the Hell-Scourge and Hell-Knight Daemon Knights of Slaanesh differ from most other classes of Knight as they lack any arms, mounting their primary weapon systems on top of their hull instead.
  • Warmachine has light 'jacks from Cryx and Rhul factions. They come in 'necro-gothic' and 'boxy armored' flavours respectably. Some creatures from Legion of Everblight fit the trope too — for those who favours the creepy organic look.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has multiple monsters that are armless and biped, both natural, like Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon, and artificial, like Booster Dragon and Dual Assembwurm.

    Toys 
  • The entire Puffkins plush toy line.
  • Inverted by several iterations of the Weebles toy line.
  • Furby looks like a fuzzy penguin with bat ears and no flippers.

    Video Games 
  • Crash Bandicoot: You can count Ripper Roo if you squint; he never uses his arms because he's always wearing a straightjacket.
  • The Trebhums from The Eternal Cylinder are this, though they make up for it by having prehensile elephant-like trunks.
  • The earlier Oddworld titles have the Glukkons, bipedal suit-wearing executives. Their power lies in ordering mooks about.
    • oddworldwiki claims that they walk on their hands, their legs having shriveled in disuse, and the ending of Oddysee confirms this.
    • In a similar vein, there are the scrabs, centaur-style quadrupeds with human shaped torsos, but no arms.
    • The slogs are also an example of this trope, of a more canine variety however (big mouths with sharp teeth on a pair of fast, powerful legs about the height of a dog)
  • The Gekko of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots are depicted this way. And yes — the legs are organic. 'Armless they are not.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The Goombas, and by extension the Galoombas, Goombrats and all other related subspecies, all lack arms. Due to their short height, it's likely a non-issue for them.
    • Bob-ombs do have a two-pronged windup key on their backs, which may represent the vestigial remains of forelimbs. If, you know, realistic evolutionary dynamics applied to sapient living bombs. In their first appearance in Super Mario Bros. 2, Bob-ombs did have arms, but lost them by Super Mario Bros. 3 (with rare exceptions, such as in the credits of Paper Mario).
    • The Cataquacks in Super Mario Sunshine which are large duck-like creatures with no arms or wings, however they make up for it with their large bills that they use to fling Mario into the air.
    • Super Mario Odyssey has Robobrood, a boss example. Because of how tall it is, Mario has to weaken at least one of the legs so he can reach the weak points, all located in the main body. As it has no arms, it shoots its projectiles (bombs, enemies and energy discs) from its mouth-like cannon; its only other attack is running towards Mario to hurt him.
  • Shin Megami Tensei
    • Take-Minakata, a recurring demon, has no arms. In mythology, his arms were cut off in a duel.
    • In the spinoff series Digital Devil Saga, Gale's demon form, Vayu, is an armless green creature which attacks by kicking with the bony blade on one of its feet. As does Harley's Hayagriva form.
    • Subverted with Vayu. His arms are hidden by his wings (you can see them when he guards, uses an item or does his victory pose), and Hayagriva has T-Rex-esque arms hidden by little shell-thingies on his arms (observe when he uses Fire Storm or how he stands when he has Void Ice up). Dyaus would be a straigher example, because he has wings with tiny hands on the end of them.
  • In Spore, you'll usually have one of these at the beginning of Creature stage. Any more legs and you probably won't be able to afford many other parts. (You get an achievement for never using legs...)
  • The Headless from Pathways into Darkness. This seems to show up a lot in horror. They consist of a gaping fanged mouth at about torso level with a giant tongue waving around in the air, they bend over to vomit green brains at you.
  • The monsters from the Dizzy spin-off Fast Food are this, in addition to being Waddling Heads.
  • The Silent Hill series has the Numb Bodies of 3. The first enemy encountered in 2, Lying Figures, can appear this way at a glance but actually have unusable arms bound in their own flesh. Inverted with the Twin Victims in Silent Hill 4: The Room, creatures with no legs but a pair of arms.
  • Glaahks in Geneforge were genetically engineered as this for no apparent in-game reason, and out-of-game to make them absolutely weird. They attack with barbed tails, which are apparently coated in some kind of poison—a hit stuns you, and in a Solo-Character Run two of them working together can prevent you from acting at all, whittling you down to nothing with you unable to respond.
  • Alits and Kagoutis in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
  • Scavengers, as well as Snappers and their subspecies in the first two games of the Gothic series. For the third game, the Snappers were redesigned and given arms though.
  • A few Pokémon have this body type, such as Oddish, Poliwag, and Wooper. While those gain arms when they evolve, some fully evolved Pokémon also fit, such as Dodrio and Exeggutor. Serperior's two pre-evolutions do not count, having vine-like arms despite being serpents. Geodude inverts the trope, as it has arms but no legs.
  • Slavens and other same-class enemies in Final Fantasy XII. They attack by kicking, stomping and biting.
  • Metroid Prime has the Sheegoths, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes has the Grenchlers, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has the Defense Drone (a boss). The Sheegoths are dangerous ice-breathing predators who only have weakspots on their backs. Then you realise that they are the babies when you scan them — an adult one appears later, who is much bigger and meaner, and then becomes a Degraded Boss. Grenchlers look quite similar, except they're more like amphibian reptiles and are MUCH more aggressive and more dangerous, with abilities Sheegoths don't, like firing electricity at long range and leaping across entire rooms. And then there's the one room in Dark Torvus with the Dark possessed Grenchlers, and the Grapple Guardian, which is another boss example. Lastly, the Defense Drone is a large mechanoid that relies on high jumps instead of walking.
  • Djinn in the Golden Sun games, which don't need arms since they can blast you with Psynergy or augment your powers.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:
    • The giant monster, the Imprisoned, is a mouth with legs. No eyes. No nose. And covered in black scales and feathers that wave like fire on its back. It laters gains arms, a tail, and a halo that allows it to fly. And that isn't even its final form...
    • Exposition Fairy Fi also has no arms to speak of, just a body, head and legs. This is best exemplified in Hyrule Warriors, where she moves by gliding around like an ice dancer and attacks by mostly kicking. Concept art, though, did indicate that Fi does technically have arms, she just kept them hidden under her cape at all times.
  • The Knife Thrower enemies in Psychonauts. How do they throw their knives if they don't have arms? With their feet.
  • The player figure in Journey has no arms which was meant by the developers so people wouldn't wonder why they can't climb or pick things up.
  • Inverted by bile demons of Dungeon Keeper series, who are so fat that their legs have atrophied and they scoot forward on their hands and bottom.
  • AdventureQuest:
    • There are dozens of variations on the Frogzard, esentially a toothy lizard's head, a frog's back legs, and an inexplicably furry body.
    • Also the Gizzard, with a more developed head and body. Said to be a "missing link" between Frogzards and Dragons.
  • Plodder and Sneaker from FHBG.
  • Creepers in Minecraft technically have four legs but their vertical bodies make them resemble armless bipeds more than the other quadrupeds in the game.
  • The original XCOM trilogy had one alien with this design in each game: the carnivorous Reapers from UFO Defense, the cybernetically enhanced Triscenes from Terror from the Deep, and the explosive Poppers from Apocalypse .
  • The Bulborbs in Pikmin, as well as the Mockiwis introduced in Hey! Pikmin which look like wingless birds.
  • Anarchy Online has Leets, little adorable rodents that lack a set of forelegs. An idle animation, in which they groom themselves with one of their feet, lampshades it. There are also Onagis/Pendpods, which resemble giant terrestrial seahorses with a pair of legs.
  • The Monster Kid from Undertale. They tend to trip a lot as a result.
  • Bullsquids from Half-Life.
  • Tattletail, which is a parody of Furby with a cat-like face instead of a beak and feet like a hominid instead of a bird.
  • In Stardew Valley, a non-hostile Shadow Person named Krobus runs a Secret Shop in the sewers. Unlike the rest of his species, he appears to have no arms. It's unknown if this is a birth defect, or if it's just normal for members of his species to sometimes be born without arms.
  • Any Zoombinis that you create with shoes or rollerblades for feet will be this, as will Fleens generated with high heels or boots.
  • Baba Is You has Keke and Me. Keke is orange and has No Mouth, while Me is purple and does have a mouth.
  • Na Pali's fauna in Unreal I includes a few two-limbed critters, including a rabbit-like species, tiny raptor-like creatures (appearing in Expansion Pack Return to Na Pali) and lumbering creatures that are used by (four-armed) Nali people as livestock.
  • Ogmo from Jumper games is a lab creature consisting entirely of a rectangular head on two tiny legs.
  • Several enemies in Purple are waddling heads with no limbs besides two legs. However, the similarly designed player character has arms that vanish when not using weapons, so it's possibly the case for those enemies as well.

    Web Animation 
  • Creeps from RWBY look like they run on two massive legs, upon which they run quite fast. They have a tail and appear to have no arms or wings. However, the 'legs' are actually their arms; it's therefore legs that they lack.
  • The title character from Homestar Runner, along with Marzipan, the King of Town, Homsar and a gaggle of minor characters. This doesn't stop any of them from holding things or typing on keyboards; whether they appear to have invisible arms or telekinesis varies. Marzipan and the King of Town don't even have visible legs; it's unclear whether their legs are hidden by their clothes, or if they outright lack them.
  • Milford Cubicle in Salad Fingers.
  • This is actually a plot point in the animated short Kiwi!. The titular kiwi wants to fly, but doesn't have functional wings; its "wings" are tiny barely-visible nubs. As such, the kiwi tries to simulate flight instead.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Snaiad has the Titaniformes and the Monoanticheirans, two clades of Snaiadi vertebrate-analogues that lost their forelimbs entirely. Subverted with the Tromobrachids, who initially appear to be this trope, but their "jaws" actually are their arms, playing a role in chewing food and funnelling it into their chest-located oral cavity.
  • The water snuffle from Serina is an aquatic platypus-like descendant of the canary, that has entirely lost its wings to become a more streamlined swimmer. It's later descendants, the softbill birds, later evolve prehensile facial tentacles from their soft fleshy snouts, giving rise to the club-wielding bludgebird, the squid-headed squork, and the predatory grapplers, as well as boras and terries, groups of tentacle-faced flightless birds that are arboreal and terrestrial, respectively.
  • In Square Meal, you play as a troll that's one of these. It attacks by swallowing blocks (which comically distend it into a squared-off shape), then spitting the blocks enemies.
  • raocow uses as his avatar: Demo, who is a blue-haired armless alien demon cyclops lady. Demo is also the protagonist in A Super Mario Thing.
  • Prowlies in Brackenwood.
  • Smourbiffs in Noob.
  • Petscop: The games protagonist Newmaker (nicknamed Naul by some fans), Marvin, and the Quitter are all armless. They even share the same armless torso sprite. At one point it's mentioned that the game protagonist doesn't know how to open doors possibly due to this.

    Western Animation 

    Other 

    Real Life 
  • The moas. Large, extinct ostrich like birds from New Zealand that completely lacked wings. Other flightless birds had their wings reduced to a few bones, but moas lost even the joints to which the wings were attached.
  • The modern-day kiwi has two very short stubs located where its wings once were, and are covered up by its thick, feathered body. Interestingly, kiwis also have a tiny hooked claw at the end of each wing.
  • Snakes probably lost their front limbs before their hindlimbs- even today, you'll still find boas with vestigial pelvic girdles and clawed 'spurs' where their hind limbs used to be. Although they never stood upright, so that probably doesn't count.
  • There are a couple of lizard species that have lost one pair of limbs, although it's the front pair they retain and use for burrowing rather than to walk.
  • Abelisaurs such as the somewhat famous Carnotaurus were on the process of becoming this: Their arms retained a single spike-like claw, with the remaining 3 fingers being mere stumps, and their forearms had shrunk in length to the point of outright becoming part of their wrist, reducing their arms to backwards-bending stumps that were functionally useless and were getting smaller over time. Tyrannosaurs, however, were NOT going that route: The arms were reduced and had one finger fewer than those of other advanced predatory dinosaurs, but they were also ridiculously strong for arms of that size. Likewise, the feathered alvarezsaurs have very reduced arms with only one finger, but they were actually quite robust.
  • Inverted with frogs: when metamorphosing from tadpoles, their legs are the first things they gain upon reaching adulthood. They instead lose their tails.
  • Motor proteins, which transport materials along the microtubules inside cells, have a pair of "legs" that they use to grip and "walk" along the tubules' surfaces.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report